Diploma CILS (Certificate of Italian as a Foreign Language) and CILS Preparatory Courses

[image of Sienna]
Vincenzo Rustico, Campo di Siena

Under an agreement between the University of Pennsylvania and the University for Foreigners in Siena, Italy, the CILS (Certificate of Italian as a Foreign Language) has been activated at the University of Pennsylvania.

The official CILS Diploma, issued by the University for Foreigners in Siena, certifies your knowledge of Italian, is valid throughout the world, and does not expire (as other certificates like TOEFL do).

There are six different proficiency levels and you can take more than one diploma (e.g. after an A2 certificate you can take the exam again to get a superior level certificate):

A1 low beginner; A2 high beginner;

B1 low intermediate; B2 high intermediate;

C1 advanced; C2 proficiency

Please note that level B2 is valid also as language exam for admittance to any Italian University without the need for further testing, and that with level C2 you can apply for the position of official translator in several countries (from Italian into English).

In spring 2014, two CILS Preparatory Courses will be offered at the B2 and C1 levels by Rita Pasqui, Lecturer in Italian at the University of Pennsylvania and Cultural Officer at the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia.  The courses will introduce students to the CILS testing methods and offer them the opportunity to concentrate and improve on those areas of the Italian language they find most difficult. The course is opened to anybody who intends to take the CILS exam, current students and/or professionals.  The course fee is $200.

The C1 preparatory course will be held on Mondays 5:00-7:00pm, Jan. 20-June 2, in Williams Hall 214 - 255 S. 36th Street. The B2 preparatory course will be held on Fridays 5:00-7:00pm, Jan. 17-May 30, in Williams Hall 214 - 255 S. 36th Street.

To register for the course download and print out the registration form pdf at the bottom of this page.  Mail the form with a check covering the course fee to be paid to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania with the memo CILS Course.  The check must be sent no later than Apr. 24th to

Center for Italian Studies at UPenn

Williams Hall 549

255 S. 36th Street

Philadelphia, PA


Exam examples can be found on the website of the University for Foreigners of Siena at the following link:


Books for preparation from previous exams can be purchased here:



The CILS exam will be held twice per year. The next exam will be held  June 5, 2014. Registrations for the June 5, 2014 exam will be accepted until April 24, 2014. Click here for registration information.

The duration of the exam (consisting of listening comprehensions, reading comprehensions, grammar and use of structure tests, compositions, oral interview) is approximately 6 hours.


Exam fees:

Level A1, A2USD 70
Level B1USD 145
Level B2USD 168
Level C1USD 213
Level C2USD 250

Please be informed that the CILS exam can be taken by anyone who might be interested, students and/or professionals.

Test your knowledge of Italian, get prepared to take this challenging exam, and make your CV even stronger with this Official Diploma!


For more information, please contact Rita Pasqui or Marina Johnston.

CILS Jun2014Prep Course Registration.pdf171.84 KB