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Teach English In Italy

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    1

Great Program!

I had a great experience doing the Volunteer Teach program in Italy. I stayed with a host family for two months, and also volunteered in a school for 15-20 hours a week. I was placed with a family near Rome, so on the weekends I was able to visit nearby places, and during one weekend I even went to go see Florence and Venice! The public transportation in Italy is easy to understand in a short period of time. Culturally, you also learn a lot by staying with an Italian family. Its a pleasure helping them learn English, bonding with family members, and learning how to cook genuine Italian cuisine. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to gain experience abroad, or testing out the waters to see if teaching is right for them.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Teacher Support

    10

  • Pay and Benefits

    1

  • Living Situation

    10

  • The School/Placement

    10

Very positive experience

My host family and I were very well matched and we all enjoyed sharing 9 weeks together. Geovision made my Italian adventure possible - thank you! I got to know a wonderful new region of Italy - Le Marche.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

This Opportunity Was Rich!

My husband and I have just returned from a month of working in the Geovisions Conversation Corps Program in the Marche Region of Italy. The experience was rich for cultural immersion. We found ourselves living in the stunning countryside at a magical villa. We were treated to Italian hospitality including homemade pasta, wine and olives. Our host grandmother shared the language of good food and great accommodations.

Working in four different schools within the town of Montecosaro allowed us to share English with 15 classes of students from 8-year-olds to 14-year-olds. There was much enthusiasm and excitement involved in our classroom visits. We shared lessons on American holidays, currency, climate, family life, and geography. Although we were labeled “tutors”, we often found ourselves in the role of classroom teacher. Sometimes we were supported with translation by the Italian teacher, sometimes not. Initially this created considerable apprehension because we knew no Italian and the students had a low level of English. As the days progressed we encouraged our role to be one of support rather than lead in the classroom.

Non-teaching days included weekends and one weekday. With the help of our Italian hosts and a rental car, we were able to investigate many sites in the Marche Region. Intentionally, we were not interested in going to big, familiar cities. Part of the reason for spending time working in the schools was for the opportunity to see Italy as Italians do. The warm reception we received from the Italian people was remarkable in our shopping, eating out and site-seeing adventures. Walking through the cobblestone streets of a town, strolling the piazzas, stopping to observe an olive harvest, enjoying a cappuccino, verdicchio wine or olives all’ascolana were treats of this trip, and unique to traveling as conversation corp volunteers rather than as tourists.

This opportunity was rich! The connections we made with the local people were heart-warming and placed the Geovisions experience as a top-notch way to travel. It compares more favorably than tourist travel. It is much more memorable and immersive. We have built relationships with our hosts and will enjoy future exchanges with them for a long time to come.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Teacher Support

    10

  • Pay and Benefits

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • The School/Placement

    10

Teaching In Italy Was Incredible

My program was a dream come true. The families, lifestyle, food and places were all fantastic. I felt very lucky to get placed with such wonderful people. They were extremely generous and brought me all around Italy so I could experience the country with them.I was nervous at first to be staying with complete strangers but very quickly I became apart of the family and now I always will be.

Teaching at the school was my main focus for being in Italy and it was incredible. It was a bit challenging but it was also really interesting to see the structure of how Italian schools are run. My only advice for Geovisions would be is to prep people a little more before they go abroad to teach. I had worked in a public school in America for 3 years and have obtained my masters before I went to Italy to teach and I still struggled.

I was unaware that the students overseas learn British English whereas Americas speak American English. This made it very difficult for me because I had little knowledge of British English. I know it sounds silly but as a tutor in Italy the classroom teachers really wanted someone knowledgable of the language. My duties were to correct them on vocabulary, sentence structure and pronunciation. Those 3 things were very difficult to grade on because the students have been taught British.

Needless to say I spent many hours lesson planning on American English. Another request a teacher wanted me to tell Geovisions was that they would really like teachers who are familiar with their country. They expressed to me in the past that they have had people sent over who could not answer questions students had about the United States. I again made lesson plans, but I did that because I already have the awareness of teaching with my experience.

I think it is very important to have people who are passionate about teaching and discussing their country. Those 2 things were my only concerns but I figured I would include them in this review because the teachers expressed their concern to me. Other than that the trip was incredible and I thank everyone at Geovisions for helping me through my journey and I would absolutely sign up for another program again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Teacher Support

    10

  • Pay and Benefits

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • The School/Placement

    10

Loved it

My students and learning that I have the ability to stand up in front of a class made this a truly memorable experience.

I chose this program because I needed to do an Internship, and this was perfect for what I needed. GeoVisions reputation on the program was a deciding factor.

I stayed with an amazing host family.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

I Loved Everything About This Program

It has been a wonderful experience.

I used this program as an internship for school. I submitted a powerpoint to my school and I'd like to submit it to you too.

I am a humanities major and it will be shown to all humanities majors in my university. We are required to do an internship and it is very likely that many students from BYUI will be contacting you about this program for their internship.

I hope I am able to spread the word of this great program!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Italian Immersion

This is one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life. After 30 years as an elementary school librarian I decided that what I wanted to do in retirement was travel.... but not as a tourist. I wanted to live in countries and really experience them. I discovered the Geovisions programs and knew that if they were half as good as they sounded online, that they were the organization I wanted to use. I've used Geovisions to go to Italy to teach English in a middle school the past three years, staying with the same wonderful family they found for me the first year. I have not been disappointed in any way with Geovisions. They make all the connections and arrangements and they are the safety net for you in your host country. Dont' get me wrong, this is not for the faint of heart. You have to be outgoing, independent, flexible and ready to jump into unfamiliar situations when you leave the familiarity of home and customs and travel to another country on your own. But Geovisions makes it happen, and does it for the most reasonable program fee I have seen anywhere.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life-changing Experience

Volunteering as an English Conversation Partner in Italy has to be at the top of my great life experiences. Not only was I placed with wonderful families, the classroom experience was very rewarding. Each day, the students were excited to see me come into the classroom. It was so much fun to teach the children -- from age 6-16 -- all about English, America, and my life in Alaska. They were very eager to listen and learn.

I was fortunate to have two different families and towns in which to teach. My family experiences were beyond any expectations I might have had. I was always included in activities and made to feel special. Being a part of the family and helping them with their English skills on a daily basis created friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

I am looking forward to going back to Italy to "teach" again.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • The School/Placement

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Pay and Benefits

    N/A

  • Teacher Support

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    7

Volunteer teach in Italy

My school placement was great. I was teaching at two middle schools for 17 hours per week. Most of the teachers that I was teaching with were really good at realizing when I needed help translating for the students or controlling unfocused energy in the classroom. GeoVisions provided some great materials that spring-boarded my teaching ideas while other materials were incomplete and useless. I did have many more resources than tutors that I met that had used other American agencies to travel. Living with my host family was the most rewarding part of the experience. The youngest girl in the family improved so much in English while I was there. She was my little buddy. I also had time to travel on weekends. This program was great.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • The School/Placement

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Pay and Benefits

    9

  • Teacher Support

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Live And Teach In Italy

Last year I had a wonderful adventure here in the Le Marche area of Italy. This year I am in the same town, Montecosaro, same fantastic family, same school and I have the same wonderful teachers to work with.

I am in the Conversation Partners program which means that I work 15 hours a week at a local school. The two teachers of English who I work with are wonderful. Last year they came up with what has been, for me, a dream schedule. There are 9 classes in the school, what would be 6th-8th grades in the US. I see each class once or twice a week. We split each class in half and when I am there, the teacher teaches half and I work with the other half on conversation. I come up with activities to get them speaking using the grammar they are working on with their regular teacher. It worked out so well planning the class time this way last year that we're doing it again this year. This year, in addition to the regular classes, I am working with groups of 10-13 two days a week after school.

For anyone who has never travelled to the Marche area, it is a beautiful and undiscovered part of Italy. Basically it's Tuscany on the other side of the mountains. It is dotted with medieval hill towns as Tuscany is, with the added advantage of being able to see the snow covered Apenines to the west and the peacock blue Adriatic to the east.

The family I live with has three children, 15, 14 and 10 so we are always busy. I am content to just blend in with their family life. I feel very lucky to say that I am now part of their family and they are part of mine. All 5 of them came to visit me last summer in the US for three weeks - so much fun!

I feel that I have become a Geovisions ambassador. The program is very well run and I have looked at many other similar programs online that don't seem to have the same support or range of choices that Geovisions gives you.

This is the way to travel, to learn and to experience other cultures. Geovisions provides a local liason who acts as a safety net if you need one (which I didn't but it's nice to know it's there).

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

A Challenging And Fulfilling Experience

I participated in GeoVisions Conversation Partner program from Feb-May 2012. I was placed in a secondary school in Civitanova Alta, Italy and taught 7-8 different classes of students ranging from 10-14 years old.

I lived with two different host families during my stay. GeoVisions facilitated placement with an organization based in Italy. If I remember correctly, I initially applied to GeoVisions in November with the intention of leaving in February, and by the beginning of January I had met my first host family through email and pictures. A week or two later I met my second host family the same way.

Communication throughout the application process was to be expected. It's important not to stress out if you don't hear from them for a week or two. Often other countries have much different views of what constitutes a prompt reply and they also typically have more business holidays - so it can take much longer to work with foreign organizations. That being said, I didn't feel like I was either neglected or overwhelmed by GeoVisions staff.

After arriving in country most of your support will come from your in-country liaison. I do wish there has been a little more support in creating teaching materials for each country. When I arrived at the school I was teaching at they had no program, organization, or structure for me whatsoever. I was essentially plopped down in the school with another teacher and told to teach. Because I hold a degree in communications and linguistics I was able to improvise and then research how to develop lesson plans most applicable to my situation, but if I were wholly inexperienced (as the GeoVisions website indicates it is perfectly alright to be) then I imagine I would have seriously struggled.

In fact,the first language tutor this school had did just that. Apparently he was totally unprepared and ended up making a really bad impression on the school and teachers because he just didn't know what to do.

If you are planning on going abroad to teach English than I heartily recommend taking a TEFL or TESOL course, even if it's only online. It will provide you with at least the bare minimum of information you'll need in the classroom and for communicating with different cultures.

Ultimately, your study/work/volunteer abroad experience is what you make of it. GeoVisions and your in-country liaison are not there to babysit you, hold your hand, or in any other way coddle you along in your journey. You are most likely interested in pursuing this path because you want to experience something new and challenging. It will definitely be that. If you have an emergency (as one of my fellow language tutors did) they will be there for you and do everything they can to assist. Beyond that, you're pretty much on your own. But isn't that what this experience is supposed to be?