ALCE | Accademia Lingue e Culture Europee

Frequently Asked Questions

20 topics to ease your mind!


G. Marconi airport is one of the most important Italian airports and is linked with scheduled and low cost flights with the main European cities of Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Uk, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Croatia, Romania, Turkey, Moldova, Russia.
Bologna Central Railway Station serves as the main rail junction in Italy. Whilst being a city of art in its own right, it is conveniently situated near many other historical centres such as Florence, Venice, Milan, Verona, Mantua, Parma, Padua, Ravenna and Ferrara; all of which can be reached within 50 minutes to 2 and half hours (with the new high speed trains called “Freccia Rossa e Freccia Argento”).
ALCE is located in the prestigious Santo Stefano residential district (one of the safetiest and most green areas of the city), inside the historic centre and it is serviced by some of the main bus routes. The most beautiful city park, the Giardini Margherita is only few hundred metres away, a perfect spot for recreation activities or simply to relax and enjoy the luscious green spaces.
At ALCE courses run for 49 weeks; the school is open all year round and only closes for Christmas and the New Year holidays.
At ALCE each lesson lasts for 60 effective minutes.
In order to maintain a serious academic environment for motivated adult learners, we don’t offer part-time courses (minimum is the intensive GI23 which offers 23 hours per week) and we don’t accept large groups or young teenagers (less than 17 years old).
We take pride in our excellent teacher/student ratio with a maximum class size of eight students and an average of four to six students ensuring individual attention. We never reduce the number of class hours even if there is a lower number of enrolled students.
Although being a relatively small institute, since the beginning we have kept a really balanced mix of nationalities; no country exceeds 10/11 % and every year we host students arriving from around 25/30 different countries.
At ALCE there are 4-6 active levels all year round. Our academic system is structured to ensure all weak points are identified and dealt with effectively. Students progress through levels and through the satisfactory completion of a previous level of study. Each level lasts for a different and progressive number of weeks (A1: 4 weeks; A2: 5 weeks; B1: 8 weeks; B2: 9 week: C1 e C2: 10/12+ weeks), in order to satisfy the requirements of the European Common Framework and the CILS syllabus.
On the very first morning (on Monday), each student is properly assessed and placed in the class according to his/her valuated level. This placement test is both written and oral and is based upon the European Common Framework. The test is also designed to determine each student’s particular needs. Every two weeks progress is monitored with a graded test. These fortnightly tests are extremely comprehensive and include written comprehension, written composition, oral comprehension, grammar and syntax.
Every two weeks our teachers produce a personalized detailed report on each student. At the end of the course students receive a) a “certificate of attendance and acquired skills”, b) a full detailed “evaluation sheet” which consists of an assessment of all aspects of student progress: commitment, participation, understanding, speed of learning, difficulties encountered and also tailor made suggestions that assist the student in overcoming obstacles and to fill identified learning gaps.
Since 1997 ALCE has been an official CILS EXAMINATION CENTRE, Authorized by Unistrasi – The University for foreigners at Siena; since 2012 it has also been appointed as an Authorized Exam Preparation Center for DITALS (The Certificate for Teachers of Italian as a foreign language).
ALCE is the only school in Bologna and Emilia Romagna, that is not only a CILS and DITALS official center, but also proud member of IALC (International Association of Language Centre), the award winning association of high-quality, independent language schools, and ASILS (Association of Schools of Italian as a Second Language), whose members are required to adhere to strict didactic and professional requirements in order to guarantee the quality of instruction and professional level of services offered to students. Our courses are also recognized and accredited in Sweden by CSN, and in Germany (most of the landers) for the Bildungsurlaub.
All our teachers, supervised and coordinated by an expert Director of Studies, as well as holding a degree in humanistic subjects literature, languages, history, art … and specific Masters, are certified DITALS 2 , and also can boast of years of teaching experience (not less than 5 - with an average of 8.7).
The school views its social and cultural program as a natural and essential addition to classroom tuition in accelerating language acquisition and enhancing cultural appreciation. As such it is encouraged and regularly updated by the school and is a varied and motivating educational tool (It may include: Italian cinema, cooking classes, wine tasting sessions, local visits to places of historical interest, guided excursions to cities of arts, museums, “apertitivi” etc.
The school directors, check, supervise and directly monitor all the offered accommodation, and personally interview and inspect the selected host families.
ALCE is the only school in Bologna (and one of the few among all the others in the whole country), offering its own unique self-managed independent quality residence (which can accommodate up to 12 students and it is located 5 minutes walking distance away from the school).
All our host families and apartments (shared or independent flats), are located very close to the school premises, between 5/6 to 15/20 minutes walking distance or between 5 to 15 (maximum) minutes by bus (not more than 2.4 km and all of them near the main transport routes).
What makes us unique, is being a small/medium-sized, independent, family-owned school offering a 5-star service to motivated learners. We started in 1999 and we have earned a reputation for excellence. The atmosphere at ALCE is professional but friendly. Everyone is on first name terms and you will quickly feel comfortable mixing with the staff and other students. It is not unusual that when students leave (and we have a lot of “returning“ students year after year), they express gratitude not only for the quality of teaching but also for having been treated as a member of a caring family rather than simply a client.
ALCE is recognized for its “open door policy” to address any student problem or question. For this reason each day at school students find themselves in an environment where they can express their satisfaction with course and accommodation as well as in social activities, simply through an informal chat with any staff member (from the teachers to the Director who is constantly present and available) Additionally they receive (on arrival) questionnaires and evaluation forms for this purpose.