What should I expect on my first day at your Italian school?

The first day of anything can be pretty scary, can’t it?

A new job, a new school, a new language.

Or perhaps a new way of studying, new classmates, and a new teacher.

But first days can also be stimulating!

So what should you expect on the first day of your Italian course at Madrelingua in Bologna?

Classes start at nine-thirty in the morning.

The school is easy to reach on foot from anywhere in the historic center of the city.

It’s a good idea to arrive 15 minutes or so early on the first Monday. That way you will have time to ask any questions, borrow a course book, and take a tour of the school with one of our teachers.

Your first class lasts until around 11.30, at which point the teachers gather everyone together and we all walk in a group to one of the local coffee bars.

To save time, and confusion, the tutor will take orders (in Italian, of course) for drinks and snacks. Your teacher, or the tutor, will explain what’s good to eat and drink, and how to ask for it.

In the bar you’ll be interacting with our staff and with other students, from your own class and/or from other groups.

The break is really a part of the lesson. It’s also your best chance to meet people and to make friends to practice your Italian with, so take advantage of it. Please don’t be tempted to wait in the classroom and catch up on your emails, or you’ll be missing out on an important element of the course.

When everyone is ready, we head back to the school where you’ll go back to your classroom, this time with a different teacher.

Whereas the focus for the first two hours is usually on ‘input’ (new grammar & vocabulary), the part after the break is intended for practice, in particular, speaking.

Lessons normally end at half-past one. Time for lunch, and Bologna is certainly the place for that!

Often there’ll be something organised for the afternoon or evening – for example, lunch together, a visit to a museum, or a drink. Events of this kind are publicised at the coffee break, and there’s a notice board in the reception area where you can sign up.

Don’t forget, most days there’ll be a tutor available in the library to help you with your homework and to offer extra explanations or speaking practice. That’s from two-thirty to four-thirty each afternoon, except on Fridays.

The school is centrally-located, minutes from the central piazza and close to the main shopping street. All of the sights worth seeing in Bologna (churches, museums, monuments, etc.) are within easy reach on foot, so be sure to save some time and energy for exploring the city. Your teacher, or our reception staff, will be more than happy to suggest places for you to visit.

So that was Monday. We hope you enjoyed it, spoke lots of Italian, and felt you’ve started to settle in! Tuesday will be easier, as you’ll already know the routine and who everyone is.

And after that, the days will just fly by!

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