Considering moving to Italy? Be sure to read our interview with Sean in Italy to learn about what life is really like in Milan!
Tell us about yourself! We would love to get to know more about your background and what drew you to teaching abroad.
My name is Seán Ceroni, I grew up in Leitrim but spent the last four years in Dublin for college, studying Art History and Philosophy in Trinity. I was drawn to teaching in Italy by the fact than I’m half Italian and had always wanted to spend some time living in Italy to connect with my roots. Teaching English through the TEFL Institute of Ireland internship program then seemed like the perfect opportunity to go to Italy without having to worry about finding a way to support myself.
You were on a much different career path. Tell us about your college study experiences and how/why you made the switch to teaching.
I enjoyed my college experience a great deal, so much so that I think I would like to pursue academia in the future. However, I didn’t want to go straight into a master or a Ph.D. program as I felt I was lacking real-world job experience. Teaching English, though not directly related to my studies, seemed a great way to gain teaching experience which would be useful in a future career in academia.
Tell us about your TEFL experience. Do you feel that it prepared you to teach in Italy?
I had a very positive TEFL experience, I found the online course thorough but also convenient as the phone app gave me the flexibility to continue working while I completed the course.
When first moving to Italy, there was a welcome orientation. How do you feel it helped you to get settled into the country?
I found the group training very helpful as being in a big group of Irish people all coming to Italy and facing similar problems helped us to resolve those problems together creating a strong feeling of solidarity, lessening the stress that comes with adjusting to a new country. Further, our TEFL course was solidified by some intensive training which left me feeling prepared and confident to teach.
Tell us about living in Milan. What were your initial thoughts? Was there any culture shock?
I am enjoying living in Milan a lot so far. Milan is much bigger and busier than Dublin so that was initially a shock, but I’m now getting into the swing of things and have the feeling that this is a city full of opportunities.
Have you done much traveling around since moving? If so where? If not, are you planning any fun trips?
I went to visit some of my Italian family in Ravenna one weekend, which was very easy with the excellent train service in Italy. I have also discussed going on a day trip to Turin or Genoa with one of my fellow teachers which would be easy to arrange with the flexible hours our school offers.
Any advice for anyone considering teaching abroad?
I think teaching is a fantastic way to get the enriching experience of travelling with a sense of job security and purpose, and I think a kind of internship program which links training and job placement the way the TEFL Institute of Ireland’s does is the most straightforward and direct way to get that experience.