There’s no question that I have an absolute love for the Italian language. This is one of the reasons why ever since I graduated from University, I always chose to accept positions that would allow me to make the most efficient use of my both written and spoken Italian language.

I worked for two years at the Representative Office of a prestigious Italian Bank here in my country. This work allowed me to use and improve both my written and spoken Italian and after two years of working there, I figured out that my calling was teaching Italian language. But today, I’d like to focus on the benefits of my experience given that it provided me in depth knowledge on how formal letters should be written in Italian.

As you can imagine, writing formal correspondences are not among the curricula of any Italian Philology Department at any given university. As a person who is interested in keeping on learning something new every other day, when, after having passed the written and spoken interview exams based on the translation of financial newspaper articles both into Italian and into English, I was offered this job at the Representative Office of an Italian Bank, I knew that it would allow me to further improve my language.

And years later, when I sat down to take the Cils C2 level language certification exam for Italian several months ago, I saw how beneficial the outcome of my previous work experience still proved to be.

What Is the Cils Exam & Why You Should Consider It?

CILS is a certification of Italian language competence that attests the Italian language knowledge and communication competence. It’s released by University for Foreigners of Siena through ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe).

The Cils C2 level exam that I took lasts 5 hours and is divided into two sessions. It’s worth mentioning that the Cils certifications include 6 different levels. However, you don’t need to have passed a lower level Cils exam previously, you are free to apply for the one you want.

One of the most interesting things about Cils exams is that they’re not based on teaching texts or particular language courses. Overall speaking, they may be a good option for those who study Italian, for those who work and study in contact with the Italian reality, for those who want to measure their competences in Italian.

In the written section of the Cils C2 exam, you will be asked to write two essays, for each of which you have a total of 4 topics to choose from. Well, in my case, for the first essay, it was a formal letter (I picked this one because of my previous work experience). This essay topic was a formal letter to be written to the City Hall in which I would express my observations regarding the current not-so-favorable circumstances in which the town was in and come up with suggestions as to how to help maintain a better environment and ask for improvements. The second essay was about presenting my own point of view regarding the entrance fees to museums and historical monuments which in some cases can be relatively high. I presented suggestions of different measures that could be taken in order to lower those fees.

Again, for this second essay, I have to say that my continuous writing and reading in Italian has helped me a lot.

Bottom Line

In the old days, you just had to get a degree and after that you would end up working in the same company for your entire career. There was no need to take any more exams or to get any technical training. However, things have changed a lot.

Ultimately, no matter if you have a degree or not, in the modern world you just can’t settle for what you get from educational institutions anymore. After all, being in charge of your own formation and personal development, requires you to constantly update and upgrade yourself.