For me this experience was first, an opportunity to test out teaching as a career and second, an exciting assimilation experience. I lived in a small village outside a small town in Marche and taught English to five elementary school classes each week. They were excited to learn and ROWDY … man, those kids made me work hard, but we formed a lovely bond by the end of my 10 weeks.
I chose not to …travel on weekends and enjoyed local festivals, made Italian friends, and shopped at the weekend markets. I walked a ton, napped in vineyards, jumped in the freezing Adriatic in November, harvested olives (la raccolta), danced zumba at the community center, taught my family about Thanksgiving traditions (they loved pumpkin pie), carved jack-o-lanterns from “borrowed” pumpkins, drank genuine mocha, ate pasta for lunch every day, saw a turkey being boiled to clean off its feathers, ice skated on the smallest rink ever in the town plaza, became a regular at the local ice cream parlor … I learned so much: how to speak Italian, how to make mayonnaise and tiramisu, how to play “tombola”. To top it all off, my boyfriend surprised me at my host home and proposed.
Italy changed my life and was an incredible cultural adventure. I hope you enjoy it to the fullest!