BABILONIA - Center for Italian Language and Culture
BABILONIA - Center for Italian Language and Culture Programs
BABILONIA - Center for Italian Language and Culture Reviews
Studying in Sicily
Submitted by Dom - The College of Wooster | January 10, 2018
I was lucky enough to spend three and a half months studying at Babilonia as a university student studying abroad. While I have Italian ancestry and family, I never learned the language. Hence, I chose Babilonia because I thought it would give me the best chance to speak Italian. I was not disappointed!
When I arrived in Sicily, I knew only a few Italian words (fettucine, pizza, grazie, etc.). Thanks to Babilonia, I can now have meaningful conversations with my Italian friends and family! Babilonia is a school completely based on immersion; the instructors and staff insist on speaking to you in Italian. This was intimidating at first, but it cultivated a learning environment where communication is valued and you are not judged if you make mistakes with the language. The students continue this environment, who also (while they might fluently speak another common language) always strive to speak Italian together during the many school-organized activities. This is unique among study abroad programs in Italy.
Besides the kind and helpful staff and instructors, my host family was amazing. Donatella, Pippo, and Gabri had an amazing amount of patience with me as I learned the language, and always encouraged me to speak—or try to speak. I felt like I was a part of a real family, which made the adjustment seamless and energizing. Oh and the food was amazing as well .
Thanks to Babilonia, I had some of the greatest experiences of my life and learned A LOT of Italian. The connections I made with my host family and new Italian friends will last a lifetime…sono contentissimo di aver scelto Babilonia! Grazie mille!
The best ever
Submitted by eloise | October 18, 2017
Babilonia offered the best experience anyone could ever ask for. On reflection, the reasons for this are because of the methodology used, the dedication of the teachers and support staff, and the opportunity to live in a welcoming environment as a family.
The methodology used was the communicative, functional, interactive approach 100% of the time. All the teachers were trained in this method and its effectiveness was evident in the progress of the students. The materials used were “realia”, and the classes were always student centred.
Babilonia is situated within a public garden with a cafe bar and restaurant available to the students. So “those who eat together stay together” is the perfect description of this. The students had morning coffee together, break time together, and the opportunity for lunch. During this time, Italian was the language used. Because of this and the many excursions, film nights, and special evenings offered (all in Italian), the students became as a family.
Babilonia - A dream school in a dream location!
Submitted by KFisher - Friuli Venezia Giulia Italy | July 24, 2017
BABILONIA is truly a dream. From the staff and management who are absolute angels to the wonderful, simply amazing teachers, all in a fabulous place like Taormina ... what more could you ask for? I had the great fortune to spend two weeks here for teacher training course (through AATI) and it was the best professional development I have ever had in my career as a teacher. I also made the wise decision to stay with a host family. This was one of the things that made Taormina and Babilonia unforgettable. “Mamma Angela” provided me with everything I needed and more. During my stay, she hosted other Babilonia students from Japan, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the United States and she treated us all as family, with home cooked Sicilian food and wonderful conversations, always in Italian, of course! ❤ If you have a chance to come here, do it – everything about this place is NUMERO UNO!
Babilonia, a congenial environment for learning Italian
Submitted by Dr. Ernst-Erich Doberkat - Germany | March 12, 2017
This is the second time I went to Babilonia for a language course; I had been there in 2013 for a two week course, after that through the summer of 2016 I enjoyed teaching by an excellent language teacher from Babilonia over the internet, and I had now the impression that it would be time to hone my language skills again. This was primarily suggested by the things I want to to in the foreseeable future, needing an adequate command of the Italian language, both active and passive. So I subscribed to a one-week course at Taormina again, this time for one-to-one teaching, four hours a days, five days per week. This was a fairly demanding exercise for me. Both teachers gave their best to improve my grammar and my conversational skills. They did it in a friendly, demanding and competent way in the very nice and productive atmosphere on Babilonia's campus. The campus itself is quite spectacular for somebody like myself, hailing from northern Germany, the administration and the class rooms being embedded in a green pasture with orange and citrus trees, so that, whether permitting, the instruction could take place outside. I should mention the people running the place: they are extremely friendly and helpful, giving an open ear to whatever demands have been brought to them.
In summary, I did achieve what I wanted to in Babilonia's most pleasant, helpful and inspiring environment.
An experience unlike any other
Submitted by Jordan Patterson - Bryant University | March 08, 2017
I had the absolute pleasure of attending Babilonia Language School for four months during the fall of 2016. My program started on August 5th, and continued until November 16th, when I left for a backpacking trip around Europe.
Throughout my stay here the focus was on immersion, and Babilonia provided that 100%. Throughout all your classes, administrative questions, restaurants, events, and excursions, they speak only in Italian. Fear not, the wonderful teachers do not speak to you as if you already know what they are saying! The teachers help you the entire time, and take the time to sit with you and walk through everything you are having issues with.
The classes are structured around grammar and conversation. You have each of this for an hour and a half a day, and a small 'pausa' in the middle, allowing you to meet all your friends!
During this break you can enjoy a coffee from the little kitchen and some other treat. After classes, if you would like, you can also order a meal from the kitchen, where you are provided a discount as a student. My favorite meal was a pasta dish sprinkled with pistachio and bacon.
When I went, I was the only person from my program, and I knew nobody. However, this did not last for long! Throughout my time with Babilonia I had the pleasure of meeting so many different people from diverse walks of life. To today, I still remain in contact with these wonderful people.
Of course, Taormina is magical. The small town of Taormina is always bustling with life and activity, and every vista is breathtaking. My friends and I would catch a bus down to Isola Bella or Letojanni for a short beach trip, or we walked up to the overlooking city of Castelmola for an incredible view of Sicily. Mount Etna, Sicily's resident volcano dominates the skyline as well from Taormina. Every resident of Taormina is amicable, and by the time that I left, I had made friends with many different store owners. Every time I walked down the street, I dropped in to say Ciao! Taormina is also a relatively short bus trip to Catania, one of the major cities of Sicily.
I also had the fortune of staying in a host family. This was one of the things that made Taormina and Babilonia unforgettable. Lucio and Olga provided me with everything I needed, and more. They treated me to home cooked food, Sicilian delicacies, and wonderful stories.
I know I will return to Sicily, and I am sure I will be welcomed back with open arms.