API at the Babilonia Center for Italian Language and Culture in Taormina
Italian Immersion Semester/Quarter Program: Students who elect to study abroad with API in Taormina attend courses at Babilonia – Center for Italian Language and Culture. Babilonia was recently voted the top Italian language school in Italy, and consistently ranks in the top 10 in the country in this regard. This program is open to students of all levels, and is intended to provide a true Italian language and culture immersion experience. In addition to their coursework, students will live with Sicilian host families that are actively involved in school and city life. This is a perfect program for the serious student who is looking for an off-the-beaten path study abroad experience!
January Intersession Program: The January Intersession Program provides the opportunity for undergraduate students to earn academic credit, as well as a chance for independent or adult students to study abroad for professional development or career advancement. Students can enroll in one or two classes during the January session. The program price is based on the types and number of courses taken. If this program is taken along with a semester program, a discount is applied.
Immersion Summer Program: Students may choose to study for a short-term, intensive program of 2, 4, or 6 weeks. The number of courses available to them depends on the length of the program. Students in a 2 week program choose 1 course; students in a 4 week program choose 2 courses, students in a 6 week program choose 3 courses. The program price is based on the types and number of courses taken. Not all courses are available each session.
HIGHLIGHTS Taormina is a quaint medieval town perched on the summit of Mt. Tauro , in the northeast corner of the island of Sicily. Taormina’s amazing views of the turquoise Ionian Sea and Homer’s mythical Mount Etna have captivated artists, photographers and writers for centuries. The 2000+ year old Greek Theater, only steps from campus, hosts contemporary and classical concerts, opera, ballet, plays and events, as well as an International Film Fest in June ongoing since the 1950’s. Along the narrow medieval streets are architectural gifts from the many civilizations which ruled Sicily since its early Greek years, including a Roman amphitheater, Norman castle, Byzantine fountain and Arabic palace. Students also can enjoy the internationally renowned beaches of Taormina. The warm, clear Ionian Sea provides relaxation after class and weekend fun. The well-known Sicilian hospitality encourages students to participate in the social rhythm and allows for easy integration.
Spanish Language and Culture Program Students will complete 1 of 3 tracks per term in this program (tracks are differentiated based on the student’s language level and academic goals). Students may also choose to add additional hours or combine two quarter terms for additional credit. TRACK 1 – INTENSIVE LANGUAGE This track is open to students at all levels who are interested in improving their Spanish language skills. Students will take 120 contact hours of Spanish language, and may add on additional hours (up to 180 contact hours total) for an additional fee. TRACK 2 – SPANISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE This track is open to intermediate and advanced-level students (levels B1- B2) who are interested in improving their Spanish language skills while taking additional hours of culture and content courses. Students will take 120 hours of Spanish language, as well as an additional 65 hours of cultural electives (for 185 contact hours per term). TRACK 3 – HISPANIC STUDIES This track is open to advanced and superior-level students (level B2 and higher) who are interested in taking more in-depth Spanish cultural courses. Students may choose to take either 3 or 4 culture courses (to earn 135-180 contact hours per term).
Students are not required to take a Spanish language course at this level. Spanish Language, Business, and Humanities Program This program offers classes taught in English in both business and humanities, as well as Spanish language courses at all levels. Students who have completed more advanced Spanish courses can choose from a wide variety of classes focusing on Spanish culture and civilization that are taught in Spanish. A placement exam determines the language level of each student. The fall semester begins with an intensive two-week Spanish language course for 3 semester credits. The spring early start semester begins with an intensive four-week Spanish language course for 6 credits. Students are then required to take at least one Spanish language class during the semester. Depending on the term, students then choose four or five additional classes at 3 credits each for a total of 12-21 semester credits. Spain’s capital since 1561, Madrid is the contemporary capital of Spanish culture, finance, and industry. A large, international and cosmopolitan city, Madrid is a city of possibilities. It boasts incredible monuments and museums, including the Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. Visitors cannot miss the Iglesia de San Isidro, once the cathedral of Madrid, or the Palacio Real. Madrid is also known for its fountains and elaborate parks, including the glorious Parque del Retiro. The energy of Madrid is in its street life and warm people. Taking a gap year in Madrid means experiencing more than a classroom – it means experiencing the history of Spain and its people. Aspire by API gives students the chance to live and learn in this fast-paced capital city.
API students will discover the wonders of Italy on this two-week art, language and culture program. Starting in Rome, students will visit many of Rome’s major sites, including St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums. Then, the group will travel to Tuscania to meet welcoming host families ready to prepare home-cooked Italian meals for students while they live in an idyllic medieval town to explore the creative arts of drawing and photography. Tuscania has been admired for centuries for its picturesque setting, fine culture and foods, and cobblestoned streets. Surrounded by medieval walls and guard towers, the town provides endless opportunities for authentic cultural immersion.
Students will spend mornings studying Italian language, photography* and sketching with the wonders and beauty of Italy as the backdrop for inspiration. In the afternoons and on weekends, students participate in experiential activities such as pottery workshops, cooking classes and urban treks, and will explore the pillars of Italian culture and history with visits to Florence and Venice.
Ages: 15-18 year olds only, completing grades 9-11
Language Level: No Italian language experience required
Housing: Local host families/hotels; Some meals and laundry are included; breakfast and dinner daily are included. Students are responsible for buying lunch.