Courses to become an intercultural mediator (mediatore interculturale)
In Italy, there is not only a single path to become mediatore interculturale (intercultural mediator), but it is possible to choose among many different courses. Depending on the level, the courses are offered by organizations, the regions, universities, and other public and private entities. Although many mediators manage to work without being qualified, having a qualification allows them to increase their skills.
The mediatore interculturale, or intercultural mediator, is the person who helps people of different languages and cultures to communicate more easily. The professional service that the mediator offers is called mediazione culturale e linguistica or mediazione interculturale.
The mediator can be a man or a woman and can be an Italian or a foreign person.
Their work is very important. When a mediator is present, in fact, people can speak the language of their country of origin, or another language they know well, and the mediator translates everything said.
How to become an intercultural mediator?
In Italy, there is not only a single path to become a mediatore interculturale cultural and linguistic mediator.
Some people work in mediazione thanks to their life experience and language skills, even without having a qualification. This, however, occurs mainly when there is a high number of people arriving from a country and there is a need to find mediators who speak their mother tongue.
Many people, on the other hand, decide to take a course and become certified mediatori. This way, they have a certificate that helps them prove their skills, especially when looking for a job. In fact, a requirement for working in many organizations is that of having a qualification. For some of their services, Comuni also require mediators to be registered in the albo professionale dei mediatori/traduttori, which is the professional register of mediators and translators. Being registered in an albo means that, if you have all the necessary requirements, you are officially recognized as part of a professional category.
Where does the mediator work?
In Italy, mediators work in many public offices that offer services for foreign people such as:
- Government Offices:
Comune, Questura, Courts, etc.;
- Health services (hospitals and clinics)
- Social services:
for appointments with social workers and lawyers, prisons;
- Reception services:
In the assistance in the first period in Italy;
- In schools
The mediator is a professional figure required in many other places that need their linguistic skills. These can be national and international events; companies that have relationships with other companies abroad; working for cooperative; cultural and sports centers (ex: museums, foundations, etc.).
Today, courses are offered by many organizations, public and private agencies. Below, you will find more information on training courses and university courses in intercultural mediation.
In Italy, training courses are offered by many institutions.
Many courses are organized by the Regions and other public offices. These courses are generally free or have a fairly low registration fee. You can also choose to enroll in a private course which, however, has a higher cost.
Public courses are organized by the Regions, which decide: the duration and the requirements to be able to enroll, the contents that will be taught, and the organizations that will organize the training. This means that there may be small differences depending on the region and the year.
The training courses are organized in 2 levels and are divided into:
1. First level courses
At the end, you get a qualifica;
2. Second-level courses
At the end, you get a specializzazione
FIRST LEVEL COURSES
First-level courses have a minimum duration of 450-500 hours. Often, hours of internship (tirocinio) are also added. At the end of these courses, participants receive a qualification called qualifica di mediatore.
These courses help the mediator know the rules that must be respected, and find out how some workplaces function.
To be able to enroll in the first level courses, it is necessary to:
- Be older than 18 years old
- Have a valid permesso di soggiorno
- Have good knowledge of the Italian language: at least level B1
- Have good knowledge of the foreign language: at least level C1
- Have a scuola superiore Diploma
or a certificate of the same level taken in another country and recognized in Italy. If you have a Diploma, but you do not have the certificate with you (for example, because you left it in the country of origin and cannot get it), you can submit a self-certification (autocertificazione) in which you declare that you have obtained your Diploma.
NOTE: some courses also allow enrollment to those with a minimum of 8 years of school attendance. If you do not have a Diploma but are interested in taking a course, we still recommend that you check with the school in any case asking if it is still possible for you to follow their course.
The topics taught may vary according to the courses, but are usually:
- The Italian system: for example civic education and public services;
- Italian laws: the Constitution, rights and duties, immigration laws;
- The rules of mediation: how to communicate with beneficiaries during a mediation service, how to manage difficult situations;
- Basic computer skills;
- Other topics: psychology, intercultural education, etc.
SECOND LEVEL COURSES
After having attended the first-level courses and having obtained the qualification, mediators who want to specialize in a field of work can attend second-level courses. Second-level courses, in fact, are not compulsory, but give more training. By choosing a specific area, the mediator has the opportunity to better study a work area which can be: the school environment, social and health services, administrative services, among others.
The duration of the second-level courses varies according to the organization that arranges them and ranges from a minimum of 200 hours to a maximum of 400 hours. At the end of a second-level course, a specializzazione in mediazione is obtained.
Many first and second-level courses are organized by various public offices and organizations. If you are interested in enrolling in a course in your city, you can do an online search by visiting:
- The website of your Region;
- Adult education centers or CPIA (Centri Provinciali Istruzione per gli Adulti);
- Writing on Google: corso di qualifica/specializzazione per mediatore interculturale (culturale /linguistico) + your city.
Advanced courses in mediazione interculturale, and intercultural mediation, are also offered by many Italian universities. The requirements for enrollment and the duration vary according to the course and the university, but for all, it is necessary to have finished secondary school and have obtained a Diploma.
These are some courses offered by universities:
- Università Telematica degli Studi (IUL)
Free advanced course (1500 hours)
- Perugia: Università per Stranieri di Perugia
Free course: European intercultural mediator (360 hours)
- Brescia: Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
European intercultural mediator course
- Palermo: Associazione Mediali
Free course: intercultural mediator
To find a course in your city, you can do an online search by writing on Google: corso per mediatore interculturale + università + (your city).
Universities also offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in intercultural mediation. These courses are longer than the training courses because they last at least 3 years and are chosen by students who want to continue their studies at university.
These are some degree and master courses offered by Italian universities:
- Torino: Università degli Studi di Torino
Three-year degree course
- Milano: Università degli studi di Milano La Statale
Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees
- Roma: Università degli Studi Roma Tre
Three-year degree course
- Napoli: Università degli Studi di Napoli L’Orientale
Three-year degree course
These are only some of the many courses available and if you want to find a university degree or master’s course in your city, you can do an online search by writing on Google: Corso di Laurea/Master mediazione interculturale + Università di + (your city).
In addition, there are also other similar study courses that allow you to work in mediazione if you have the required language skills. The study paths are: Scienze sociali, Scienze dell’Educazione or Psicologia with specialization in Educazione professionale.