The Società Dante Alighieri was founded in 1889 in Italy and it is present now in Lebanon and other 60 countries worldwide. Its mission is to spread the Italian language and culture with a main focus on teaching activities, most of them aimed to allow the students to obtain the PLIDA Official Certificate.

With over two hundred thousand students, the organisation manages almost 3,300 schools and institutes. Società Dante Alighieri  is a no profit organisation, member of the European Union National Institute for Culture (EUNIC), ALTE, and also of the CLIQ Association (Italian Language Certification of Quality) together with the University for Foreigners of Perugia, the University for Foreigners of Siena, and Roma Tre University. CLIQ monitors the quality of Italian language testing activities in agreement with MAECI – the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Besides this, Dante Alighieri Lebanon provides assistance and help to Lebanese students in the process of enrollment in Italian universities. Through its PLIDA section, Dante Alighieri has developed a 6-level examination system to assess learners of Italian as a foreign language. Every year thousands of candidates take PLIDA exams in 350 PLIDA Exam Centres spread over 50 countries worldwide.

PLIDA exams are aligned with the international standards of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and are recognised by the MAECI, the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), the Italian Ministry of Interior, the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and the Sapienza University of Rome.

Furthermore PLIDA promotes best practices in teaching Italian as a foreign and second language, and provides training sessions, refresher courses and guidance to syllabus design.