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C.I.L.S. (Official Certificate
of Italian Language)

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of Italian Language)

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OUR STUDENTS SAY ABOUT US

TYPE OF STUDENTS IN OUR SCHOOL
   The average age of the students who attends our school is from 34 to 48 years olt. You are not too old or even too young to study itlian at our school; our youngest student was 7 years old and our oldest student was 75.

   Our students come from all over the world (in 2004 they came from 25 different countries): North America, Europe, Japan Australia and New Zeland; South America. The distribuition of the different nationalities per period is always homogenous and this fact encourages the use of Italian as common language.

   At our school you will find different kind of persons: students, teachers, employees, retired, managers, entrepreneurs, business consultants, economists, lawyers, sellers, housewifes, journalists, tour operators, interpreters, designers, religious ecc...

   The course that can be chosen lasts from a minimum of 1 week to 6 months; the most part chooses to stay from 2 to 4 weeks. The level of knowledge of our students is: beginner 43%, medium 29%, advanced 23%, excellent 5%.

   The students that choose our school have a medium/high cultural level and interest towards the Italian culture. That means a strong participation to the cultural acttivities that the school offers: guided tours, seminars, etc. In the last year, during their stay here, all the students took part to at least 2 cultural activities proposed by the school.

   The most part of the students already attended other courses in Italy and abroad; a good percentage, appreciating the mix of cultural offer, warm atmosphere of the school and of the rich region chooses to visit us again.

   Ciao Barbara...I am doing very well; I just got back from my spring break, which was il 15 marzo - 25 marzo; Non ho fatto niente; il mio italiano e' peggiore di prima; I would give anything to be back in Otranto, or even just Italy; I miss it so much; everything was so much fun and so exciting; here it is so dull; oh well, my grades are still good and I only have 2 months of school left; I gave my italian professor those 2 stories you gave me on Italian culture and he's gonna use them for our class; I have to go to class now but I will write you later and fill you in on what else is going on me
ciao ciao...filippo (U.S.A.)


   Cara Barbara, sono ritornata in Germania e volevo ringraziarti tanto per un tempo meraviglioso ad Otranto, in Puglia. Non c'era il tempo a dirti molto sui miei pensieri, quindi lo faccio adesso:
Volevo ritornare in Puglia proprio per sapere di piu`della societa`, della cultura, della vita pugliese con tutti gli aspetti positivi e negativi perche´mi sento molto legata con questa regione. E tu, ci hai mostrato tantissimo delle cose importanti fra solo due settimane. Avevo davvero l'impressione di viverci. L'anno scorso quando era in Puglia la prima volta non pensavo mai di sviluppare una passione, un sentimento cosi`forte per una regione, per un paese. Ero curiosa di vedere la patria di Fortunato, uno mio amico, e volevo vedere Matera, perche´il libro 'christo si e`fermato a Eboli' e`stata il libro piu`impressionante che abbia mai letto. Ma poi. Mi trovo sempre tanto bene in Puglia ed abiterei volentieri qualche tempo dovunque, a Bari, Lecce oppure in un paesino, per conoscere la societa`in un modo giusto. Questo non e`mai possible fra due settimane oppure anche fra un mese. Senza lavorare e vivere con la gente si e`sempre un turista. E anche adesso ho il sentimento che io debba ritornare un' altra volta per stare piu`lungo. Molto confuso per me perche´normalmente preferisco vedere sempre dei posti nuovi. Dall'altra parte ho parlato con molte persone che hanno mostrato a me delle possibilita`per trovare una pratica, un lavoro, alla fine per viverci. Allora sembra che anche la Puglia si apra per me e offra qualcosa.
Comunque, tutto quello era un'esperienza molto importante per me, devo riflettere su tante cose, e mi hai aiutato molto con la tua grande passione di spiegarci tutto. Adesso cerco di continuare con la lingua italiana sul serio e forse potrei diventare anche una tradutrice un giorno lontano. Poi riesco a capire meglio i problemi del mio amico pugliese che ha lasciato un tempo terribile dietro di se´. Anche questo e`una buona cosa per aiutarlo piu`efficiente. Per il futuro piu`vicino sara`abbastanza, o no?
Allora, tanti saluti a tutti,
Martina (Germany)


Cara Barbara,
ringraziamo per la bellissima settimana che abbiamo potuto passare ad Otranto grazie alla Tua organizzazione e mediazione. In particolare abbiamo apprezzato molto il corso di lingua e cultura.
Quasi, quasi mi rincresce di non aver partecipato anch'io di più alle ore di conversazioni sulla cultura del Salento, con tanto di "tarante, messapi, tarantate" ecc.
Magari vi sarà un'altra occasione, visto che siamo tornati tutti entusiasti tra le ns. montagne! Così, una volta tanto, autorizziamo Voi, gente di mare, ad invertire lo slogan (life is mountain, not beach) di noi solitamente orgogliosi montanari in "live is beach, not mountain".
Grazie ancora e tanti cari saluti a tutti Voi (in particolare anche ai Vs. "scolari" americani)!
Hannes e famiglia (Germany)


Cara Barbara!
Anch'io non vorrei lasciar passare i giorni senza averti prima mandato i miei più cari saluti dalla nostra vallata, dove la temperatura è scesa sotto i 12°C e piove da giorni. Abbiamo vissuto delle vacanze bellissime ad Otranto grazie sopratutto ai corsi d'italiano, alla gente che abbiamo conosciuto e alla bellezza del Salento. E finora non è passato un giorno dove non ci sono mancati i colori del vostro mare e della vostra terra, il cinquettio dei milliaia passeri sulle vostre palme, il suono dei motorini e le paste deliziose la mattina, l'acquamarino della baia di Porto Badisco, il sapore delle maritate e dell' vostro olio, la linearità e l' intimità della città antica. L'ottima atmosfera a scuola, l'amicizia tra i bambini americani e i nostri e infine la tua impressionante conoscenza della cultura italiana accompagnato dal tuo modo così caro di presentarcegliela hanno fatto di queste ferie purtroppo troppo brevi un'esperienza bellissima!
Il ricordo di queste vacanze ci accompagnerà durante il lungo periodo invernale e ci faciliterá di pensare alla prossima estate, dove speriamo di rivederci!
Saluti a tutti, sopratutto ai nostri amici americani (magari[!!!] si potrebbe fare un bis l'anno prossimo coi corsi per i bambini?) e un'abbraccio caloroso da parte mia Wendelgard e famiglia (Bolzano)


Ciao Barbara!
I just wanted to say hello to you because I never got the chance to say goodbye to you. I said I was going to say goodbye to you before I left Otranto but I arrived to late the day I was leaving, the school was closed and you and Patricia had left.

I was very sad to leave Otranto and Italy, I have had a wonderful summer, I got to know a lot of new people and got a lot of new friends.
I was staying two more weeks in Italy before I went home to Sweden, I went to St Benedetto del Tronto, Verona and Venezia, but I must say that I liked Otranto and Salento much much better. I am really happy that I chose to come to the south of italy and not to the northern part. The people are more friendly in south, more open, it is more cheap, there are not many tourists from other
countries and the food is much better! In Verona I heard more people speak German on the streets than italian and if I spoke italian to some of the italians, they replied in German or English!!! The food was both more expensive
and did not taste as good in the south! For me, the genuine and real Italy is in the south and I will definitaly come back to Salento and Otranto some day.
It was so hard to leave, at the end I was almost feeling like one of the inhabitants because everywhere I went people said; Ciao Anna, come stai?
I think I have learnt some italian to, from almost knowing no italian at all when I arrived, I was able to help to translate between Italian and English in Verona the last week. Some Japanese tourists and an italian man that worked at the railwaystation had some communication problems so I was helping them to understand each other. So even if I have not studied so much during my spare time in Otranto as I could have, I guess I have learnt pretty good anyway.

Thank you Barbara for everything. It has been the best summer in my life! And please, say hello to Patricia from me....
Love, Anna Eriksson (Sweden)


Dear Barbara,
I want to say thank you for this week at Scuola Porta D'Oriente.
I am very impressed by the school, the skills and personal attention of the instructors, and by the beautiful city of Otranto. It is the perfect arrangement for a language school.
I was able to purchase a cell telephone (in Italian), ask to buy €, how to use the parking tickets, understand a lot of what people said to me. These are exactly the basic skills I need.
I would like to return for a week of school in October or November. I will try to plan in advance this time, but it is difficult with business.
Thank you for your kind and very helpful assistance.
Ann Lee (American Manager)


   The Otranto region allows, whoever is prepared for it, to discover secret treasures and magic places.
   "Questa é la scuola", tells us Angelo when he drove us to where we would be staying. But where he points out we cannot see much. One house, just like the one to the right and the one to the left. One wonders how will the school, which looked so attractive in internet, be.
   But the competence, energy, intelligence and sensitivity of Barbara make very quickly for the first impression. She realises the needs of her different students and puts herself immediately to work conveying a cultural dimension to the teaching of the language. With a very professional approach and love and care for what it does, all the staff of the school gives its students the keys to discover the particularities of this Salentine region, somehow abandoned from central decision-making powers.
   In Otranto one feels relaxed and safe. Far away remained the obsession for mobile phones and the frantic comings and goings of people one senses in other parts of Italy. Local inhabitants are helpful and even nice if given enough time. Food is fresh and of good quality.
   Landscapes with endless olive tree plantations and a red land rich in bauxite gives a sense of vitality. The sea is intensely turquoise. The long walks along the seaside, on wild little roads, amidst rocks and against strong winds, talk of remote times.
   And it is precisely that what gets to you more: the sense of being in the bosom of civilization, the place where so many Eastern and Western cultures have met, giving rise to what is today modern world. This is how one can let the imagination fly away in front of the few remains of the Basilica di S. Nicolò di Casale (where Barbara recommends us to go), where so many Medieval researchers met to read, translate and study sacred and non sacred books. This is how one feels awe admiring the fantastic huge mosaic floor of the Cathedral, where the references to different philosophical and spiritual theories enlace in a huge Tree of life. In the cathedral we meet the expert, Father Gianfredda, a man immensely cultivated and wise. The Greek references are not only in the language, but in traditions and customs, and of course in the Grecía salentina with its quiet small villages which offer exquisite squares, churches and frescoes. Not to be missed the tour organized by Barbara in that area.
   Salento is as well the region of the "tarantismo" and the "pizzica", aspects to which the school also opens windows of study.
   A week was not enough to grasp a region quite unknown but extremely interesting. The door is open to come back.
Cristina Pena (Translator)

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italian language school porta d'oriente
Scuola Porta D'Oriente
Via Antonio Primaldo, 70
- 73028 Otranto (LECCE) Italy
E-mail: info@porta-doriente.com
Web-Sites: www.porta-doriente.com - www.italienischammeer.com
www.italian-language-school.com - www.ecole-cours-italien.com
Phone: 0039 338 4562722 - Phone/Fax: 0039 0836 804431

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