The italian academy study abroad

The Italian Academy

Why choose The Italian Academy?

The Italian Academy is an Italian language and culture center located in the heart of Syracuse’s archaeological area and close to the sea, offering a focused learning environment and a wide range of experiential learning programs, from University Preparation and Pathway programs to gap year and short-term language courses for both young adults and seniors.

With partnerships with local universities and a commitment to cultural exchange and hands-on learning, The Italian Academy is ideal for students looking to immerse themselves in Italian life. The campus balances a beautiful setting with effective educational programs, allowing students to learn Italian in a practical and enjoyable way.



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Yes, I recommend this program


My experience in Siracusa was amazing, I made a lot of friends and was able to evolve significantly in the language. I lived moments that i could only ever imagine in a beautiful city.
I learned so much about the italian culture and made native friends that treated me very well, I was also able to submerge in the culture of my international mates and learn about so many other cultures and lifestyles! I even managed to learn a bit of russian!
I would definitely recommend this experience as a gap year!

Yes, I recommend this program

Siracusa - the ideal place to study

Amazing experience, well beyond my expectations. Siracusa is the best place to study and spend a beautiful holiday! I really enjoyed traveling around Sicily, discovering wonderful places and rich history. I sincerely recommend The Italian Academy to all those looking for a fun and productive language holiday experience. I will definitely be back! Big thanks to all the friendly staff, a presto! Nataliia

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Yes, I recommend this program

Siracusa !

I stayed one week at The Italian Academy. It was a lovely experience. The school is new,
beautiful, lightful, and well designed. The staff is very friendly and helpful. My teacher was very careful to listen to my study needs and adapt the lessons. I really like my homestay.

Siracusa is a beautiful city surrounded by the sea, full of history, arts, and welcoming people.
I would definetely like to come back a Siracusa and in Sicilia, and see them again.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Bus stop pick up!

One example of the kindness shown to us during our course was the day we were waiting (and waiting!) at a bus stop in Siracusa after lunch in a local caffè, when Arianna, the course coordinator passed by and stopped and gave us a lift back to our apartment in Ortigia.

It was her lunch break and she didn't have to spend it ferrying us home! Incidentally, she had recommended this wonderful caffè and several other excellent restaurants which were not listed in any guide books.

This personal warmth and kindness was extended to us by all the staff at The Italian Academy making our stay in Siracusa most enjoyable.

What would you improve about this program?
We have only compliments so it would be hard to suggest any improvements!
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Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful, action-packed fortnight

My friend and I had the most wonderful fortnight in Siracusa in no small part thanks to the brilliant organisational efforts and teaching of The Italian Academy. Our morning lessons with Giusi were excellent and fun and every afternoon or weekend outing was well-organised by endlessly patient and kind Francesco who provided knowledgeable guides. There seemed no end to the beauty and hidden wonders of the region and we could easily have stayed longer. We especially enjoyed the full day 'Montalbano' tour which took us to Ispica, Modica, Scicli and other places that feature in the fictional detective series.
All the staff at the Academy were friendly and helpful.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked more clear information about our programme in advance of our arrival, although everything came as a very pleasant surprise!


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Giovana Mello Jardini

Giovana is a Brazilian girl who loves to learn new cultures, she has always loved meeting new people and exploring new countries.


Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program with the intention of learning Italian and building a repertory of arts and design before starting college in fashion design. I chose Siracusa because i was fascinated with the beauty of the city and it’s history, the town passed through many cultures and you can see evidences if the ages the town has lived through the many historical buildings which we also saw in architecture class. Honestly I’ve been traveling overseas since I was a baby but there is something about Siracusa that makes it my favorite place on earth. My advice is go and be open to make friends and live the amazing small town experience.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My program assisted me in so many ways, I learned the language from zero, it was through the program that I got my housing and tips from markets nearby to hospitals in case of emergency. The team was super supportive and welcomed me very warmly.

I had to organize my studies, I was able to evolve greatly on the language and other subjects because I decided to prioritize speaking and listening, I made tons of friends who would only speak with me in Italian and that helped me greatly even if most of the times in the beginning I had to answer in English.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Don’t be afraid to makes mistakes, you are there to learn and the mistakes you make will help you better understand the grammar.

One other thing is talk to people, even if you are afraid you need to try. The people I met in Siracusa were amazing with me and treated me super well and I confess I made the greatest friends in the world there.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The program was actually very chill the classes usually didn’t have a very specific time, it depended on the week but mostly we would start at 9:00 or 9:30 and finish at 17:30. After classes I liked to stay in Ortigia where I would go out with friends and just stroll around town or even go dancing in the marina near when summer came.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was to have trouble making friends, since I arrived for the spring program in January the classes were already formed and in a level that was way to high for me to join so I had a separate class that was in a whole different period. That made it pretty hard to make friends when i first arrived at the program and honestly made me feel very lonely so I took any opportunity to go out. One night everyone went to a party and there I made a lot if friends from another college and they stuck with me until the end. After the end of February the classes were merged for the foundation year so I made friends with the amazing classmates from my program as well.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Janina Mäkirinne

Job Title
Student Services assistant

Janina has a deep passion for immersing herself in new cultures, languages, and societies because she has always been intrigued by the social nature of humans. She is a travel enthusiast which has led her to master the economics of tourism and to choose a career path that is complementary to her personal interests and values.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel experience is my first trip to Sicily with a group old friends. We decided to rent a car and drive around the island along the coast since we all were crazy about beaches. We started the journey by driving straight to the Etna volcano and have a little hike amongst the clouds and watch the sunset on the horizon.

The next moment we found ourselves hitting the waves with our surfboards near the city of Syracuse which had crystal clear waters and clean white sand to galore. One of the memorable moments of the trip was a chocolate making session in Modica where the professionals taught us how to make your own chocolate from scratch.

And of course, I will never forget the wine tasting where we were introduced not only to Sicilian wines but also to the local cuisine. Sicily is definitely a place where you eat well and never run out of things to do and places to see.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

It’s hard to choose only one from the many that we offer, especially since my interests go further than just one area of the programs. However, I would choose the Italian+ option just in general (which means that the Italian language classes and activities are included), and then pick out and combine different excursions and activities from different programs.

This way it’s possible to have a little taste of everything; a cooking class on how to make Sicilian specialties from the Food and Wine program, a hike to Etna volcano from the Sicilian Adventure program and a visit to Greek amphitheater from the History, Myths and Culture program.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We are unique because every single member of our staff is dedicated to creating memorable experiences and always ready to go the extra mile to guarantee satisfaction and make sure everyone’s stay is as productive and enjoyable as possible. We are the best at what we do and that is what makes us unique.

I am always proud of my team when we receive good feedback from students. Every time we get a returning student to the Academy to study, it is a confirmation that we have done something right. I cherish the feeling of joy when a student is excited to re-enter the program for the second time. It makes me feel very proud of myself and the whole team and moreover, it tells us that we have accomplished something important with all of the efforts put into our work.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I think in order for a company to be successful it is essential to have a team that works seamlessly and effortlessly together. Good team work is the key for everything. It is always up to the management of the company to recognize the blend of experiences and to see each individual’s strengths in order to place them in the right positions inside the company, and to build a strong, qualified team of people.

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