Here I am in the South of Italy, I arrived this morning from the UK (as you can see in the photo) and it’s fair to say that my first 24 hours have been eventful! The moment I stepped off the plane I felt a real buzz of excitement that I’ve finally arrived in Bari and ready for my next ESL adventure which I will be sharing with you.
My school director picked me up from the airport and drove me to my apartment located near the school. It’s never easy moving to a foreign country and settling in takes a bit of time, so don’t panic! Italy will be the forth country I’ve lived in to teach ESL and I’m just thankful I can put some milk in the fridge on the first day. Little things like that makes it easier to adjust and for sure exploring the area is important, such as finding a local supermarket. Another great feature of my apartment is that my room opens onto a large terrace which offers panoramic views of the suburbs and with the weather still being warm, I’m able to sit outside during the evening with flatmates.
As for my first impressions of Italy, it’s loud! Not what I expected, but, in a good way, its caught me by surprise and for sure this offers a cultural and communicative exchange between teacher and students since I have a lot of questions to ask. People I’ve met so far have been friendly and I’ve already tried some traditional Italian cuisine famous from the Southern region, such as ‘Orecchiette Piccole Ore’… very tasty. The language school is located near cafes and small restaurants which close for Siesta which was new to me, the idea of shutdown in afternoon hours is one that I’ll need a bit of time getting used to.
For now my understanding of Italian is none existent, but hopefully I’ll be able to practice occasionally, with flatmates and in everyday life such as when ordering an espresso in a cafe (remembering that only tourists drink cappuccino after 10am) the aim is to take some Italian lessons once I’ve settled in and feel a bit more comfortable with the cultural offerings, also apparently my Italian accent isn’t so bad. Later in the week I will explore more of Bari, in particular the old town since I’m interested in architecture and history.
I’m looking forward to starting my first day of teaching tomorrow and meeting staff and students. I’ve been given a basic timetable which includes hours of teaching young learners, teenagers, adults and Cambridge exams which will provide me with more experience of exam preparation and marking. My first lesson for each group will consist of warmer activities, I won’t be jumping straight into a course book, instead I’ll use some ESL materials to assess the students level of English. This will be discussed in my next blog, watch this space!
Ps. the old school Italian Fiat cars driving around sum up my love of Italy. Ciao