‘Italian Study Vacations’ 3: How much will it cost?

A frequent question: how much will an Italian study vacation cost? The answer? Not as much as you’d imagine.

There are four things that make up the total cost of your Italian study vacation:

  • your flight (and any other transport costs)
  • your course
  • your accommodation
  • your food and entertainment

Let’s take a look at each one, in turn.

(By the way, a euro (€) is about a dollar and a quarter, or a little less than an British pound, though exchange rates obviously vary over time..)

First, transport: Bologna has an international airport, which is also a hub for low-cost European airline Ryanair. There’s a bus from the airport to the city center, or you can take a taxi to more or less anywhere in the city center for around €20.

If your flight is to a different Italian city, you can easily reach Bologna by train from Rome, Milan or anywhere else for that matter! Train fares are very reasonable in Italy and the service is good. Take a look at the http://www.trenitalia.com/ website for an idea of services and ticket costs. While you’re there, you might also want to check out the other cities you’ll be able to visit in your free time. Milan, Venice and Florence are all easy day trips from Bologna, and Rome is only two hours away on the faster trains.

You can expect your accommodation to be within walking distance of the school where you study, so you won’t need to budget for travel costs once you’ve arrived.

What about the course itself? A one-week Italian course, in a small group with 4 hours of classes each morning from Monday to Friday, will cost you around €200 if you take advantage of available discounts.

Longer courses are cheaper per week, as well as being more effective in terms of what you’ll actually learn. For this reason we recommend you plan for a two or three-week stay, which will allow you time to settle into a routine, make friends and make fantastic progress with your Italian!

Accommodation next. The most affordable option is a “homestay” which means a room in an Italian home, normally within walking distance of the school. For €120 a week you get a single room, plus use of the kitchen and bathroom. Other options include renting an appartment or staying in a hotel.

Finally there’s food and entertainment, which of course will vary depending on your tastes and budget. You can get breakfast in one of the many bars near the school: coffee and pastries should come to around €3 a day. There are a variety of affordable lunch options too, at around €5-€10. In the evenings, you’ll probably expect to pay slightly more than that if you choose to eat out, though it is possible to eat for free if you buy drinks in a pub. This seems to be the typical choice for students and younger people.

So, with around €200 a week for your course, €120 on accommodation, and (say) €20-30 a day on food and drinks, you should expect to spend around €500-€600 for a week-long stay, and progressively less for longer courses where the course costs less and you will begin to self-cater more. Plus  the cost of getting here, and getting home again!

In the next article in this series we’ll be looking in more detail at the various accommodation options available to you.

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