A language course is a great way of tapping into the local culture. Courses are available to foreigners at universities and in private language schools across the region.
France Details of language schools and courses are available at www.qualitefle.fr and www.europa-pages.com/france.
Greece Try the Athens Centre (www.athenscentre.gr).
Italy The Università per Stranieri (www.unistrapg.it) in Perugia is a popular place to study, with hundreds of courses available to non-Italians.
Spain Check out the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas (www.eeooiinet.com) or look for schools at www.europa-pages.com/spain.
Turkey Popular schools include Dilmer (www.dilmer.com) in İstanbul and the nationwide Tömer (www.tomer.com.tr).
Information about courses is also available from the cultural institutes maintained by many European countries around the world, such as the Spanish Istituto Cervantes (www.cervantes.es) or French Alliance Française (www.alliancefr.org). National tourist authorities, student-exchange organisations and student travel agencies should also be able to help. Ask about special holiday packages that include a course.
If you don't fancy a language course there are many other subjects to choose from – cooking, art, literature, architecture, drama, music, fashion and photography.