Considering moving to Italy but wonder what life would be like? Be sure to read our Interview with intern Lauren teaching English in Rimini, Italy.
Tell us about yourself! We would love to get to know more about your background and what drew you to teaching abroad.
I’ve always been passionate about languages, but it’s thanks to my secondary level Spanish teacher that I realized just how important the role of a teacher is. Even the students whose strengths lay in other areas became passionate about language because of her methods and attitude towards learning. I completely thank (or blame!) her for where I am today, and what I want to achieve as a teacher!
You were on a much different career path. Tell us about your college study experiences and how/why you made the switch to teaching.
Originally I was studying Spanish, Italian and Latin American studies at NUIG, but I left after one year as it wasn’t what I was looking for. I worked in pharmacies for two years, meeting people of all backgrounds and helping them improve their health. This reassured me that my strengths lie within communication and working with people, but something always pulls me back towards languages! Choosing a TEFL course was a great way for me to see if I enjoy language teaching, and whether or not I could become an effective, teacher without attempting to commit to a 4-year university degree – again!
Tell us about your TEFL experience. Do you feel that it prepared you to teach in Italy?
Without a doubt! The online course meant I could continue to work while earning the qualification. The staff at the TEFL Institute of Ireland constantly check-in and provide you with so much information so I felt as though I had a lot of guidance, even without a classroom. I’ve had the opportunity to apply everything I learned in the course to the classroom – I cannot recommend it highly enough!
When first moving to Italy, there was a welcome orientation. How do you feel it helped you to get settled into the country?
Most importantly it helped me form connections with other teachers and staff throughout the country. It also reassured me that I wasn’t the only person who felt nervous about teaching for the first time. The training, however, reassures you that you can and will do a great job and makes you feel much more confident as a prospective teacher.
Tell us about living in Italy. You were living there as an au pair, what is it like to return?
Life here is just beautiful. As an au pair, I stayed in Le Marche with an amazing family who I still visit. I came to Italy at that point for some exposure to the language. So when the Italy Internship was announced on TEFL.ie, it was a no brainer! Now I’m based in Rimini – a busy seaside town full of students and tourists in the Emilia-Romagna region. I couldn’t be happier living la dolce vita!
Have you done much traveling around since moving there? If so where? If not, are you planning any fun trips?
So far I haven’t done much traveling. First I want to focus on really getting my teaching to a very high standard and making friends in my new town. We have made plans to travel, with San Marino, Puglia, and Bologna at the top of our list!
Any advice for anyone considering teaching abroad?
Do it! Don’t think twice about it. It’s just a little bit of studying and work which leads to so much personal and professional development. Doing the course with the TEFL Institute of Ireland means you’re not only educating others but educating yourself through travel. Go for it!