Italian Language School: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about studying italian in Italy

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What about the climate?
Otranto and its surroundings have a typical Mediterranean climate. Summer is quite warm, with hot weeks in July and August. Spring and first autumn are milder, though it is still possible to bathe in the sea. In winter temperature rarely goes under zero. Average summer temperatures range from 18° C to 35° C . Average winter temperatures, from 5° C to 15°C.

How can I reach Otranto?
Otranto is a town of 5.000 inhabitants 45 km south of Lecce. You can easily reach it: - by car: Highway A14, tollgate Bari Nord (150 kilometers from Lecce). - by train: Direct links to/from Lecce from Bologna, Milan, Rome, Turin and, in summer time, from European countries. - by plane: Brindisi/Bari airports – daily flights to/from Rome, Milan, London- Stansted, Munich, Paris, Barcellona. - by ship: port of Brindisi – ferries to/from Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Egypt.

Is there a post office?
The post office is just near our school. Open time: 8.30 – 14.30

Is there a bank where I can change money or use the ATM (automatic teller machine)?
In Otranto there are three banks (open time: 8.30 –13.35 /14.45 –16.15), all of them with a ATM (automatic teller machine) point 24h. a day). Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Where will I stay?/ What kinds of accommodation do you offer?
The accommodations are in the building in which the school is located, in double rooms shared with other students from our school , in modern apartments from 2 or 4 beds, with heating, television , balcony with sight on the sea, veranda and furnished of kitchen in order to concur independently to prepare the meal and services. Sheet and towel are supplied. The cleaning of the flat and the change of the linen happen weekly. The apartment is considered reserved from Sunday evening before the beginning of the course to the Saturday morning. Various days of arrival and departure upon request. In alternative is possible to demand the accommodation in family in single room with breakfast treatment (is also available the treatment of average pension).

Which is the average age of students attending the school?
Fifty percent of our students are age between 21and 30, twenty percent between 16 and 20, fifteen between 36 and 50, ten percent between 31 and 35, five percent more than 51.

What should I expect about meals?
A typical Italian breakfast (usually served at 8.00 a.m.) normally includes bread, butter, jam/marmalade, or biscuits, as well as coffee, milk or tea. At lunch (13.00) it’s possible to have a first course (pasta or soup), a second course (meat or fish) with vegetables, and fruit or cake. At dinner (20.30): first or second courses along with vegetables and fruit or cake are the usual dishes, though you can have pizza or some other specialities. Water and wine are always on the table. At the end of the meal we usually drink black coffee.

What about accommodation in families?
Our host families are carefully selected. You will have the chance of enjoying a friendly atmosphere, practicing Italian in daily life situations and tasting homemade food.
The use of a part of the refrigerator, hand-washing of clothes, as well as the use of the ironing board, and of the kitchen is usually permitted with no extra charge. The laundry is near our family accomodations.
If you choose a Bed&Breakfast or a half board accomodation, please keep in mind that the use of the kitchen to cook your own food is normally not included. The best payment is cash.

Do I need to take my own bed-lines and towels?
No, you don’t.

What about accommodation in a hotel or in an “agriturismo” (ex- farm house)?
We can reserve for you a hotel or an “agriturismo” situated in Otranto, in the country or by the sea. Prices are according to the categories of hotels and the season. Please make your reservation well in advance.
As to the accomodation in an “agriturismo”, it is usually a simple room with basic facilities. You live nevertheless in contact with nature.

Am I supposed to communicate my arrival date and time?
Yes, you are. We need to know them well in advance in order to make the waiting time for you and your hosts as short as possible. And, eventually, to organize your pick up.

What documents do I need to come to Italy?
Citizens from the European Union can enter Italy with an Identification card or a Passport. Citizens from other countries should check with the nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate.

Which is the Italian currency ?
Since 1st January 2002 twelve member countries of the European Union have adopted a common currency called “Euro”.
It is however still possible to change other currencies: $, CHF, GBP, JPY, etc.

Where and when is it better to change money?
If you want to change large amounts of money, you better to do it in Italy. You should also bring cash for the first few days (taxi, bus tickets, small purchases, etc). In change offices commission rates are higher. The cheapest ones are at the bank. For a stay longer than 3 months, opening a bank account might even be more convenient. We can give you information about it.

What about payments?
Credit Cards are accepted almost everywhere. Euro-Cheques can be changed in banks (each Euro check is guaranteed max for Euros 200). You can receive money at Automatic Teller Machines (ATM), if you have an ATM card linked to an international network (Eurocard, Cirrus, Plus, Maestro etc.). Mastercard and Visa (with PIN number) may be used to withdraw cash from an ATM machine. In Europe, ATMs do not often accept PINs with more than 4 digits. Cash from ATM is only in Euro. The daily amount is limited.

How much pocket money do I need?
Euros 100 per week, in addition to the costs of accommodation and food, should be enough.

How much pocket money do I need?
Italy uses a 220 Volts/AC system. Additionally, wall sockets and plugs may differ from those in your home country. Be sure to get information about the possible need for an adapter before your departure.

Am I insured during my staying at you?
During your staying at our school you are insured if you communicate us your staying period 1 months before arriving, else you must be personally insured against illness and accident. Contact your insurance company to ask whether your personal insurance is valid abroad. Otherwise purchase a travel insurance. Members of the national insurance-companies in EU countries should demand the E111 form to obtain free health service in Italy.Robbery coverage is often included in personal insurance. If not, we suggest you to purchase coverage for your stay in Italy.

Which world time zone does Italy belong to?
Italy uses Middle-European-Time (MET), i.e.: Rome = 0 / New York = -6 / Tokyo = +8.
During the summer months (mid March to mid October) the clocks are turned ahead one hour to Middle-European-Summer-Time (MEST = MET + 1h), i.e.: Rome = 0 / New York = -5 / Tokyo = +9.

What should I check before leaving?
Here is a list of things we suggest you to check before your departure:
- Valid passport or identity card
- Tickets and reservations
- Insurance documents
- Money, traveller’s cheques and credit cards
- Personal medicine or medical prescriptions
- E111 form (for citizens from EU countries)
- Italian address given to parents etc.
- School informed about arriving time
- Transfer requested from school

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ILS Italian Language School
Head Office: Vico Antonio Sforza, 18  -  73028 Otranto (Lecce)  -  Italy
Mobile: +39 329 2956361  -  Phone: +39 0836 801552  -  Fax: +39 0836 805350  -

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