The prestigious international StudyTravel Magazine recognized the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci group as the best Italian language school in Italy at the 2021 ST Star Awards. It is an important achievement for the group, which has brought more than 200,000 international students from over 80 countries to Italy.
Read by over 22,000 agent readers in 129 countries, the survey organized by StudyTravel Magazine rewarded the best educational organizations in the world, with a focus on those dedicated to language course stays and study holidays. The preferences of operators and experts in the sector resulted in the selection of the winners of the sought-after STAR AWARDS, which this year was given to the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci group ahead of its 45th anniversary.
Chiara Poggi, the group’s founder, with her husband, Hans Gedeon Villiger, commented, “This is an important milestone not only for our schools, but for the whole of Italy. This prestigious award focuses the attention of thousands of international tour operators on our country and it’s a strong sign of recovery for a sector that has been battered by the pandemic.”
Active since 1977, the group has schools in Florence, Rome, Milan, Viareggio and Turin. “Our Dolce Vita program has been innovative because it has addressed everyone from young people through to more mature students,” explains Villiger.
The program includes art and culture excursions as well as food and wine experiences. The founders explained, “The program is easy to offer in a city such as Florence that is so rich in art and extendable to excursions in the nearby countryside of Tuscany. From 1977 through today, the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci group has adapted the format of study holidays in Italy to meet new market demand, enriching the offering with various types of courses from arts to crafts, to preparation for entry to Italian universities, with respect for the unique aspects of each city where we operate.”
Wolfango Poggi, director of Scuola Leonardo da Vinci Milano and vice-president of ASILS (Association of Schools of Italian as a Second Language), said, “At the beginning of the pandemic, we feared losing everything because our students weren’t interested in online education and we had a responsibility to over 100 employees who work in our schools. We have worked hard with a marketing department to create a captivating new format for online teaching and we have succeeded…The result was that, as soon as it was possible, students returned in large numbers to the classroom and a great many continued to enroll in our online courses.”