Language courses

When do the next courses begin at CLA?
The beginning and end dates of courses are available under “Calendar and course timetables” , on the CLA homepage.

What is the difference between an extensive, blended or intensive course?
CLA courses differ according to length and number of lessons per week.

Extensive courses are two and a half months long. Lessons take place twice a week and each one lasts for two 60-minute hours.

Blended courses (only available for English level B2 for specialized Engineering courses) consist of two and a half months with one classroom based lesson a week of two and a quarter 60-minute hours. On a blended course, apart from the classroom based lessons, students follow an online course in their own time by using an interactive self-access platform (Moodle).

Intensive courses run for around three weeks, with lessons from Monday to Friday each one lasting three academic hours (intensive Italian courses instead have lessons from Monday to Saturday, each one of three academic hours).

Which languages can I study at CLA?
CLA offers courses of English, German, French, Spanish, Italian as a second language for foreigners, Portuguese, Chinese and Russian.

How are the language courses levels organized at CLA?
CLA offers courses at different linguistic levels; generally the following levels are offered:
A1a/A1 (absolute beginners), A1b, A2, B1, B2a, B2b and the advanced levels C1a and C1b.

In the event of a timetable clash between a CLA course and lessons in your Department, what can I do?
After having enrolled on a course, if you discover that there is an overlapping of days and times between a CLA course and those of other lessons in your Department, you can ask the CLA Secretary’s office to change to another parallel course with free spaces. This is only possible before the third lesson of the course you have enrolled on.

Does CLA also offer private lessons?

Is it possible to follow language courses online?
Yes. CLA offers students the chance to access online self-study language courses for B1 and B2 English level with innovative and interactive software. These are useful for students who, for various reasons, are not able to attend a traditional classroom based language course.
For further information click “Course enrolments”.

Do I have to pay for a course at CLA?
There are different rules governing enrolment and payment according to the type of user participating in the courses (a student who has to pass a compulsory language exam, a student who is following a course for personal reasons, university staff members, external users or workers from other organizations which have stipulated an agreement with the university for its personnel). For further information please visit the page “Course enrolments”.

Do I have to pay for the books required on a CLA course?
Yes. Students have to buy their own books from one of the various bookshops around Trento.

Are graduates offered a discounted rate if they enrol on a CLA course?
No. From the moment they graduate each course costs 400 Euro, exactly the same as an external user.

Is it compulsory to attend a language course to take the language exam?
No, but the course is recommended to improve your language skills.

Is enrolment on a CLA course compulsory?
Yes, if student want to attend language couses, enrollment is mandatory. You can find out how to do this under “Course enrolments”.

If I want to enrol on a course but the deadline has passed, what can I do?
It is possible to enrol on a course late, but only on specific days indicated on the CLA website. This applies only to courses which have been activated and those with free places remaining.

Is it possible to take the end of course test without having attended the course?
No. In order to take the test students have to attend at least 75% of the lessons.

Is the end of course test the same thing as the language exam required by the Departments?
No. The end of course test is only to show the level the student has reached by the end of the course attended. If the student passes, it enables them to enrol on a CLA course at the next level up to one year after the end of the original course. In order to pass the language exam required by the Department and gain the relative credits, the student has to take the exam at CLA which is totally separate to the language course.

Where can I find information about changes to lesson times/notices about lessons booked to make up for cancelled ones?
Students are informed by email of all variations. Furthermore all variations in lesson times or lessons making up for cancelled ones can be found on a specific noticeboard outside the CLA Secretary’s office. For courses held outside CLA on other university sites, please contact the reception of the relative Department.

Are CLA certificates valid at European or International level?
No. They are simply certificates to show you have attended a course.

Does CLA organize language courses or study trips abroad?
No. CLA does, however, allow organizations who offer such courses/trips to advertise on the noticeboards around the centre.

Placement test

If I have no knowledge of a language, do I have to take the placement test in any case?
No. You can just enrol directly on the A1a/A1 level course for absolute beginners.

What does the placement test consist of?
The placement test is done online and is a single test covering all levels. It is available for English, German, French, Spanish, Russian and Italian. It consists of multiple choice questions, sentence completion, etc., which establishes the level which most closely corresponds to a student’s knowledge of a language. 

How long is the placement test? How long is it valid for?
The test lasts for a maximum of around 50 minutes; it can be taken at any time up to the same day as enrolment (students are advised to make sure they allow enough time to do this beforehand).
It is valid for 6 months from the date it was taken and can be repeated after 2 months.

Are the test results available immediately?
Yes. After taking the test the system will tell you the level of course you can follow.

What can I do if the placement test page closes before I have finished all the questions?
If you have clicked the buttons “submit” and “continue” at the end of the test, the result has been send and therefore cannot be cancelled.
If, instead, the page closed before submitting the test, the ‘booking’ can be cancelled and test may be retaken. To check whether this is possible, please telephone the CLA Secretary’s office if this happens.

What can I do if I am told that my login ID and password are invalid when I insert them into the system?
You need to call the CLA Secretary’s office and they will check what can be done.

Do I have to take the placement test to enrol on a course if I have a certificate recognized by the University of Trento (e.g. PET, FCE, etc.)?
No. The placement test is not necessary. You can enrol online if the certification or exam result has been inserted into Esse3. Alternatively, you can present the certificate in person at the CLA Secretary’s office. 

Entrance tests and Language tests

Is it possible to take the language test required by my Department without attending CLA courses?
Yes. CLA courses are optional and are aimed at helping students reach the language level required by the Department exam.

How can I prepare for the language test?

  1. Students are advised to take the online placement test, which is available on the CLA webpage, in order to find out their individual language level and see if it is necessary to improve their knowledge of that language before the language exam or not;
  2. Students can see the grammar and vocabulary for each level which should have been studied for the exam, available at this link language syllabus;
  3. To find out how to take the exam please download the exam guide from the CLA site under "Test" where you can also take a mock test and enrol for an exam;
  4. Students intending to prepare for the exam alone may consult paper-based and multimedia resourses in the Trentino library catalogue (CBT), divided according to language, level and language skills. These are available at the University Central Library, situated on the ground floor below the CLA language centre itself;
  5. There is a language tutoring service available for students who want to go about improving their study of foreign languages through a self-study programme. Times of various teachers’ office hours are available HERE.

International certificates

Which language certificates does the University of Trento recognize?
The list of the various certificates recognized as valid instead of taking the language exam required by your Department are listed on the CLA website.
If you have one of the certificates listed, you should hand this in to the Academic and Student Services within your own Department.

CLA tests can be recognized at European or international level?
No. The tests organised by CLA are not language certifications, but tests that are necessary to satisfy the language requirements expressed in the study plan. For UniTrento students, it is possible to take some language certifications at an discounted price. Full information on the page: Do you want to obtain a certificate?

Who should I speak to about recognizing credits from language exams required by my Department?
Please contact the Academic and Student Services within your own Department.

Project "Tandem: Language and Culture Exchange"

Pairing with a Tandem-partner

Is it guaranteed that if I apply to the project, I will be assigned a partner?
No, the assignment of a tandem partner depends on the applications received and the languages made available by the candidates.

When will I know if I’ve been assigned a partner?
Shortly after the closing of the registration, will be sent to all those who have applied for the project an email to warn of possible pairing with a partner.

Can I get more than one tandem partner?
No, only one.

What if I don’t get along with the assigned partner?
We will try to find a new partner, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to get you a new one.

Languages used in the project

What languages will be used during the exchange?
In the tandem project offered at the University of Trento, one of the two languages spoken during the exchange is always Italian.

The other language of conversation in the pair will be the one made available by the international partner and that responds to the request from the Italian partner.

  • For the language offered, applicants must be native speakers or level C1/C2 - CEFR.
  • For the language sought, it is recommended to have a basic knowledge (level A1, better A2 - CEFR). The exchange will be more effective if there are already the foundations of oral communication..

(I’m an Italian native speaker) - What languages are made available by international partners?
In each edition, the offered languages vary depending on the applications. Usually, languages like English, French, German, and Spanish are proposed, but there are also applications for Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Turkish, Persian (Farsi), Hindi, and Thai. We have also had candidates who are native speakers of Norwegian, Danish, Armenian, Hungarian, and Czechoslovak.

Is it mandatory that one of the two languages of the exchange be Italian?
Yes, because in the pairs of participants, one of them is always a native Italian speaker.

(I’m an Italian native speaker) - Can I ask for more than one language?
Yes, you can. When filling out the application form, you’ll have the possibility to express your preference for more than one language. However, you will be assigned to one tandem partner only, based on the languages spoken by the non Italian applicants.

(I’m an Italian native speaker) - Can you assure me that the pairing will be with a native speaker?
No, it's possible that the partner may not be a native speaker, but rather a person with a high level of language proficiency (C1/C2 CEFR level). They will be a suitable interlocutor for practicing conversation in a relaxed context and for gaining greater fluency in oral expression.

(I am not a native Italian speaker) - Can I offer more than one language?
Yes, in the registration form, you will have the opportunity to indicate all the languages you want to offer and their respective levels of proficiency. You can indeed offer your native language, as well as other languages in which you have an advanced level (C1/C2 - CEFR) and in which you can converse with others fluently.
For instance, if your native language is Polish and you have a C1 level in French, you can offer both languages. If you also know English at a B2 level, you won't be able to include English as a language for the exchange..

Tandem activities

How many hours of exchange are planned?
Couples are required to engage in a total of 24 hours of conversation in the language, either by meeting in person or via virtual means.
12 hours of conversation will be in Italian, and 12 hours will be in a foreign language other than Italian.

How often should the language meetings take place?
We recommend conducting the meetings on a weekly basis, dedicating equal time to both languages of the exchange.
However, the couples will have the autonomy to decide when to meet.

Where do the language meetings take place?

The meetings can take place either in person or virtually (Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc.).

What does it mean that I will need to keep track of the meetings in an online diary?
Participants are provided with an online environment in which to maintain a diary. Each participant should record essential aspects of the conducted meeting (duration, languages used, conversation topics, etc.). This tool is useful for monitoring one's activities, progress, and the achievement or non-achievement of personal goals.
We recommend filling out the diary immediately after each meeting, together with your partner.

What can my partner and I talk about?

One of the characteristics of tandem language learning is autonomy: you can define conversation topics based on your needs and interests.
You can also agree on how to communicate corrections to each other and how to provide feedback on the progress of the conversations.
If you prefer a more guided experience, you can always refer to the materials published at the following link:

What happens if I want to withdraw from the project?
Firstly, you should communicate this to your partner and the project administration ( If your partner wishes to continue, we will do our best to find a new person, but the closer we are to the project's deadline, the more challenging this will be. In the final weeks of the project, no further re-pairing will occur..