Italy Taormina Student Over Ocean 6215917

Students who choose to study abroad with API in Taormina attend courses at Babilonia- Italian Language School. 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 live with Sicilian 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!

What's Included?


Pre Departure Services


@api Online System

Orientation Materials and Resources

Access to International Phone Plans

API Alumni Network

Social Networking


On Site Services

Airport Reception

On-Site Orientation

Resident Director


Medical and Life Insurance

Excursions (overnight, day)

Social and Cultural Activities

Welcome and Farewell Group Meals

Volunteer Opportunities


Housing (some meals with host families)

Re-Entry Services

Re-Entry Materials and Support

Post-Program Evaluation


Alumni Network and Global Leadership Academy

View all opportunities and amenities

Application Requirements

  • 2.75 G.P.A.
  • Open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors
  • Open to all levels of Italian speakers
  • Completed API application
  • University contact information form
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Official transcript
  • Entry requirements: valid passport

What You’ll Study

TOTAL CREDITS - 3-6 semester credits

Students who choose to study abroad with API in Taormina attend courses at Babilonia- Italian Language School. 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 live with Sicilian 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!

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.


Students receive transcripts from U.S.-accredited Marist College for courses taken at Babilonia. Marist College is a four-year, fully accredited U.S. college in Poughkeepsie, New York.



The course selection may vary and no course is guaranteed. Some courses may require additional fees for books, labs, equipment, etc. These fees are not included in the program cost. Students are encouraged to make course selections from the online listings when completing the program application as course listings, descriptions, prerequisites and/or lab fees are subject to change.


API partner universities in Italy issue credit according to the American system, whereby most courses are worth 3-4 U.S. credits each.

Elementary Italian 1

Elementary Italian 2

Intermediate Italian 1

Intermediate Italian 2

Advanced Italian 1

Advanced Italian 2

High Advanced Italian 1

High Advanced Italian 2

Superior Italian 1

Superior Italian 2

Cinema of the Mediterranean Through the Italian Lens

Class lectures explore the rich, diverse Mediterranean region by analyzing the similarities and differences amongst the many cultures represented. The focus is on the people, history, economics, languages, and politics of the region as seen through the Italian perspective. Course topics include Reunification, World War II, the image and role of women, morality and the Church, the Mafia, and the delicate balance of multiculturalism in the South.

Students who enroll in the June session of this course participate in the Cinema Campus Taormina and Master Classes organized by the Taormina International Film Festival during the Festival in June. The festival has been an annual event since 1954 and draws an audience of internationally renowned film specialists. Film screenings are featured in the 2000+ Greek Theater just steps from campus. Students meet with film directors, actors, actresses, writers and producers. Earphones are provided for synchronous translation of the lectures, seminars, and workshops. Along with participation in the Master Classes of the Festival, the course includes daily class lectures and discussions with viewings of international films.

Camilleri’s Commissario Montalbano: Detective Stories in Modern Sicily

By studying and appreciating the world of the author Andrea Camilleri and his literary creations, students are introduced to Italian (and more specifically Sicilian) culture, history and literature and the socio-historical circumstances of the time. Beginning with an exploration of the Italian giallo as a genre and the historical presence of detective fiction in the Italian literature this course then reviews Sicily’s contributions to the genre. An in-depth focus will be centered on the literary works of the Sicilian author/phenomenon Andrea Camilleri with a specific focus on the Commissario Montalbano series. Through a study of Camilleri’s detective novels, students will develop an appreciation of the Sicilian culture and an understanding of the social function of detective fiction.

Geology of the Mediterranean and the Volcanoes of Sicily

This course provides a background to the geology of the Mediterranean region, Sicily, and the Eolian Islands and introduces and deepens knowledge of volcanology. Volcanism is a key component of the regional geology of Sicily and in the adjacent Tyrrhenian Sea. Mount Etna is the second most active volcano in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. Etna provides the fertile volcanic soil in which the Sicilian agriculture thrives. Orchards and vineyards flourish along the slopes of the volcano making the agriculture of Sicily unique and plentiful. Stromboli’s intensive eruptive bursts have earned it the nickname Lighthouse of the Mediterranean. Seminar topics include Plate tectonic and volcanic settings, the origin of the magmas, type and styles of eruptions, volcanic products, the physical properties of magmas, and eruptive mechanisms as well as the myths and legends which historically are connected to the volcanoes of Sicily. On-site lectures significantly extend learning and enhance understanding of the class lectures.

NOTE: An additional fee is required to cover the two excursions.

History of Mediterranean Civilizations: History of Sicily

This course presents a comprehensive overview of Sicilian history beginning with the prehistoric era through to present day. The course is built around lectures examining the history of Sicily and the influences of the many nations which have ruled the island which include the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Normans. Lectures will be in class and on site.

Images of and from Italian Women in Cinema

Italian women have inspired, charmed, instilled fear, supported and led throughout the centuries. Tornatore, Visconti, Rosi, and Rosellini are among the many talented directors who have contributed cinematic masterpieces which highlight Sicilian history, culture and the many roles that Italian and specifically Sicilian women have played. This course examines the many facets of Italian women. Through cinema, the historical roles of Italian women and the changing roles of present-day Italian women are explored. Readings are in translation (English) and films will be viewed with English subtitles. Comparisons of feminist movements in other cultures will also be explored.

Mafia: Regional, National, or Global Issue?

The image of the Mafia that first arises is generally the one portrayed by Hollywood films, like The Godfather, Good Fellas, or more recently The Sopranos, where Italian American gangsters form family based secret criminal organizations engaged in illegal activities such as drug-dealing, prostitution, and protection. However, the wise guys that become rich, feared and respected in the neighborhood by operating in an open war against the legal institutions are a romantic and misleading version of a phenomenon more widespread, more ingrained and more destructive. This course provides an Interdisciplinary perspective examining the multi-faceted system of organized crime in Southern Italy, in particular, Sicily, through an interdisciplinary approach beginning with the historical background and then focusing on the economic, sociological, and political global impact. The course examines its legendary origins paired with its historical past and current reality. Although the course focuses on the Sicilian Mafia, students will also examine the Calabrian Ndrangheta and the Neapolitan Camorra and “mafias” outside of Italy. Students will study diverse historical documents/interviews, and attend on-site lectures.

Many Manifestations of Italian Culture

This course is designed to introduce students to the Italian (particularly Sicilian) culture through immersion, observation, and reflection. The course is built around 25 hours of cultural lectures (in English) complemented by activities examining the daily life, social values, contemporary issues and ancestral traditions of Sicilians. Also included in the course is Italian Language study (20 hours) to facilitate and enhance the cultural immersion experience. Cultural lectures and readings in English include topics such as the Geography and Unique Features of the Regions of Italy, Mythology and Legends, the Geology of Mt. Etna, the theater of Pirandello, the plays of Aeschylus, etc.

Sicilian Writers in the Italian Literature

Sicily boasts two Nobel Prize in Literature recipients and through the centuries has attracted significant numbers of world-renowned writers. Sicilian Writers in the Italian Literature explores chronologically the literature produced by Sicilian authors representing the rich cultures which have influenced Sicily along with works written by renowned international authors who spent time in Sicily inspired by the island and its unique features. Authors include Pirandello, Verga, Quasimodo, Camilleri, Sciascia, Tomasi di Lampedusa, Vittorini, De Roberto, Capuana, Consolo, Bufalino, and Fava.

  • Classes taught in English and Italian
  • Transcript from U.S. accredited institution (Marist College)
  • Immersive Italian program
  • Jan-term program


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    Daniele Sirna

    Daniele Sirna will be your Resident Director and a resource for you on-site.

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    Mariana Delmonte-Gladstone

    Mariana Delmonte-Gladstone will be your Program Coordinator and prepare you to go abroad!

    Email -

API students participate in several excursions per session designed to help familiarize them with areas of their host city, country, and surrounding region. The following is a listing of all excursions for API Taormina programs. All excursions are subject to change.

In keeping with the academic focus of the program and international nature of the student body, Taormina excursions are conducted almost entirely in Italian.

A sample of possible excursions is listed below. Destinations may change, and not all excursions are offered each semester. A final list will be provided prior to departure.

  • Catania

    Catania is known as the city on the highest volcano in Europe. Its historic downtown with its Baroque style is a UNESCO-listed wonder. In ancient times the town was covered by Mount Etna’s lava and rebuilt several times. Imagine Catania as a cake with multiple levels… beneath the current city are the ancient ruins of a town with over 2,700 years of history! Catania is also well-known for its food. This is the home of Sicily’s iconic Pasta Alla Norma, La Pescheria Market, and some amazing local bars and restaurants.

    NOTE: Available for the January two-week and four-week sessions, and the summer two-week, three-week, and four-week sessions.
  • Vendicari

    Situated on the southern-most part of Sicily’s east coast, Vendicari is a mixture of lagoons, sand dunes, rocky coastlines, and sandy beaches. The high salinity of the ground provides an ideal habitat for Mediterranean flora. Thousands of migrating birds stop by for a few days each season on their way to or from Africa.

    NOTE: Available for the summer two-week, three-week, four-week, six-week, and eight-week sessions.

Most API students live with a host family. Students who live with families are provided with breakfast and dinner daily. Families provide an amazing opportunity to experience the Italian and Sicilian cultures firsthand. Host families serve as a unique introduction into local culture and may be made up of a married couple with children, a divorced or widowed woman with children still at home, or a family with some members living at home and others living outside the home. Taormina host families are very active in the community and with school activities, and are excited to host new students!

Advanced Italian speakers or 2nd-semester academic year students may choose to live in a shared apartment. Apartments are typically a 10-15 minute walk from the school. Most students will share a room with only 1-2 other students. All apartments come equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and common areas. Washing machines are available, and students are responsible for their own meals. Students can opt for a single room for an additional fee.

In host families, students are housed individually so as to maximize their exposure to the Italian language.

Homestay Bedroom 36782428081 O
Homestay Entrance 36087827944 O
Homestay Kitchen 36922068595 O
Homestay Sitting Room 36087828284 O
Homestay Sitting Room2 36922069565 O
Homestay Terazza 36087828444 O
Independent Apartment Bedroom 36922070315 O
Shared Apartment Bedroom 36087829404 O
Shared Apartment Double Bedroom 36782430951 O
Shared Apartment Kitchen 2 36782428381 O
Session Program Dates Program Cost Application Deadline Payment Deadline
No upcoming sessions found
Jan-Term Jan 12, 2019 - Feb 2, 2019 $5,180 Oct 15, 2018 Nov 1, 2018
Jan-Term Jan 12, 2019 - Feb 9, 2019 $5,780 Oct 15, 2018 Nov 1, 2018