Marco Polo/Turandot

The Marco Polo and Turandot program was launched by CRUI, the Conference of Italian University Rectors. Its goal is to contribute to reinforcing scientific cooperation between Italy and Asia and to increase the number of Chinese students enrolled in Italian universities.

The aim of the program is to provide Chinese students with proficiency in Italian language and culture and to prepare them for enrolment at Italian Universities or Higher Education Institutions.

At Ca’ Foscari, the program is offered at the Ca’ Foscari School for International Education (SIE), a school which is dedicated to international students and programs.

Marco Polo/Turandot at Ca' Foscari University

The Italian language programme for Marco Polo/Turandot students is offered by Study in Venice,  an association which reunites four of Venice’s higher learning institutions: Ca’ Foscari UniversityIuav University, the Accademia di Belle Arti of Venice, and the Conservatorio “Benedetto Marcello”. The four institutions formed an association in 2017 with a view of work together and provide academic services to international students in Venice, including courses in Italian language and culture.

The programme is organised by the School for International Education at Ca' Foscari, a University which enjoys worldwide reputation in the field of language teaching, and has a strong decade-long tradition of research on language teaching and training for teachers of Italian as a foreign language.

The programme offers an innovative and pragmatic approach, focusing on the use of language in real communication. Core features include:

  • in-class lectures
  • language practice and support tutorials
  • in-depth workshops focused on diverse language aspects
  • Italian culture workshops and visits of museum and interest spots in Venice
  • language learning tandem with students enrolled in Ca’ Foscari’s Chinese classes

In the 2021/2022 academic year, the programme will run for 10 months from November 2021 until September 2022. Prior to the actual course, students may attend an online preliminary course of Italian language (September-October 2021), as well as preparatory courses.  

Course of Italian language (November, 2021- September, 2022)

The course is based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages as an intensive language course (at least 100 hours per month), with supervised mandatory attendance (also web-based) and a 4 module structure with a final period of catch-up/reinforcement work. Lessons take place from Monday to Friday in classrooms equipped for language teaching with full multimedia access.

Before the course starts students are required to take a placement test. Students will then be placed in classes of no more than 20-25 students based on the individual test results.

The classes will be arranged according to a communicative approach and through a functional and notional method to meet the students' requests for real communication needs.

They will be held by native language experts in multimedia classrooms equipped with the latest devices for language learning.

Language classes also include:

  • In-depth workshops focused on the development of language skills according to standards of CILS tests listening, reading and writing 
  • Italian language and culture workshop introducing some hours of Italian culture hints that describe our country.
  • Visits in Venice and the surrounding area.
  • Tutoring hours provided for language catch-up and reinforcement of the skills acquired in class and for the development of speaking skills
  • A language Tandem programme with Chinese learning students from Ca' Foscari. The purpose is to facilitate their integration in the Italian University background.

At the end of each module, an online test will be provided in order to check the improvements achieved and monitor any possible difficulties. Students will take a final test as last step of the course and will obtain a certificate of the skill level reached.

The enrollment fee also includes the Italian official language certification CILS (B1 or B2) that will be held in Ca’ Foscari by August, 2022 (special session). 

Optional pre-course of Italian culture and language (August - October, 2021)

From the a. y. 2021/2022, the Ca' Foscari School for International Education will offer an online Italian pre-course in preparation of the 10-month Marco Polo/Turandot programme at Ca' Foscari University.
The course is optional and requires the payment of an extra fee. It is thought for Chinese students with a beginners' knowledge of Italian. The course will be held two months prior to the beginning of the Marco Polo/ Turandot classes. It will be held remotely through the Platform Zoom and lessons will be held by highly wualified native speakers selected by Ca' Foscari University.

During the course the students will learn the basics of Italian language (levels A1-A2), through a communicative-functional method, in the most relevant fields: talking about oneself and one's family, interacting in shops, restaurants and with instructors.
The pre-course has an extra fee. For information please send an email to

Preparatory Courses

Thanks to our Study in Venice partners, alongside the Italian language course offered at the Ca’ Foscari School for International Education, students can choose to register for a package of preparatory courses, aimed at introducing them to their future area of study. Students can sign up to these courses upon arrival in Venice. 

Marco Polo/Turandot students pre-enrolled in Iuav University-Accademia-Conservatory:

Students who have pre-enrolled in a degree programme at IUAV, or at any of the Accademia or Conservatories will be able to take preparatory courses in architecture, music or art. In the a.y. 2021/2022 the courses will be the following:

  • a 30-hour course of History of the Arts, in cooperation with professors from the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice
  • a 50-hour course of Drawing, in coooperation with the professors from the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice
  • a 20-hour course of Music Theory, in cooperation with the professors from the Conservatory "Benedetto Marcello" in Venice

The courses start in April, 2022. Applications will open in January, 2022. For further information, please write

Marco Polo students pre-enrolled in Ca’ Foscari University:

For students who have pre-enrolled in a degree programme at Ca’ Foscari, further courses will be activated.  

Assessment and certification

Evaluation will take place throughout the programme. Students will be tested at the end of each term so as to check progress and monitor any difficulties, and at the completion of the entire programme they will sit a final exam in order to receive a certification from the SIE. Students will also be able to sit the official Italian language certification CILS (Certificate of Italian as a Foreign Language) at Ca’ Foscari in August 2022. 

At the end of the programme students are expected to reach an intermediate level (B1 or B2).


Attendance is obligatory. A minimum of 70% of the attended hours is required to access the final test.


In the a.y. 2021/2022 you can apply for:

  • the course Marco Polo/ Turandot (10 months)
  • the online pre-course in Italian language (2 months - optional)

Programme Marco Polo/ Turandot

The course has a fee of 5000 Euro. All information and the link for the payment in the attached Module A.

In order to apply, please send the following to withing September, 15th:

  • Module A (completely filled in)
  • Copy of passport

Online Pre-course in Italian language

The pre-course has an extra fee.

In order to apply please send an email to no later than August, 16th 2021

Last update: 26/11/2021