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Siena Language Study

Danti Alighieri, Siena

 From: Siena, Italy

LSA Italian language school - Siena Italy - Michela

ABOVE: Michela, a teacher at the Dante Alighieri Language School, hosts a vocabulary game at the Dante Alighieri language school.

A few years ago. I enjoyed a "language vacation" at the Dante Alighieri language school in Siena, Italy. It was one of the most delightful travel experiences I've had in years, and I would have extended my stay by months if I'd had the time, money, and freedom. Here's a brief description of what I encountered as a Dante Alighieri student in Siena:

My classmates

My Italian class consisted of nine students: Mats, a technical stagehand at the opera house in Gothenberg, Sweden; Goshi, a cook at an Italian restaurant in Japan; Minna, a Swedish math teacher in training from Uppsala; Masumi, a Japanese seamstress; Marie, another Swede; Lucie, a Canadian from Montréal; Fernanda, a restaurateur from Querétaro, Mexico; Tina, a Dane from Aalborg who had just gone to work as a tourist guide at a wine estate in Montalcino; and one American (me).

Except for my grizzled self, the students ranged in age from 22 to 28. This concentration was a little unusual and probably reflected the fact that not many "language tourists" visit Siena in January. Year-round, the student body's age distribution is surprisingly diverse:

> 18 8%
18-25 22%
26-35 26%
36-45 14%
46-60 16%
> 60 20%

Students are also of many different nationalities, including Swiss (16%), German (15%), Americans (14%), Australians and Japanese (11% each), British (10%), and others (28%).

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