My summer fling with Italy – teaching English at a summer camp

I have a job! I know I said this a few months ago, but this time I really mean it! As you can guess, China didn’t work out (here’s the story). But when the travel gods close a door, they open a window. And windows are a lot more fun to climb through.

I was planning on going to Kunming, in the south of China, to teach English for one year, but a few weeks ago that plan fell through. I found other options and in 12 short days I have gone from application to hired!

China was now my closed door and Italy is my wide open window with fresh air and sunshine.

A few weeks ago I got an email from the school I was going to work at in China that made me reconsider if I really wanted to go there. You can read the drama here.

That was quite a depressing day until I realised I had other options. The whole world is my oyster!

I was relatively excited for someone who’d basically lost a job they didn’t even have the chance to start. I was thinking of other options: travelling around Asia, travelling around Europe again (no, I have not seen it all), finding a job somewhere else or going somewhere cheap and hunkering down until something long-term came up. Endless possibilities. It’s that oyster thing again.

I began thinking of temporary jobs I could do until I found something long-term.

By chance, I remembered an English camp in Italy I had applied for last summer.

I’d sent in my ACLE application from Greece last spring and I was in Montenegro with weekdaily (that should be a word – daily, but only on week days) internet connection when I was moved onto the final application round. Albania was my ‘home country’ when they were going through the final hiring process. Unfortunately, I didn’t have internet connection but once a month when I left the village I was in to spend a weekend ‘out’.

During that time, I was also applying for a position as an au pair in Italy and was offered and accepted that job just a few days before ACLE offered me a job with them. Since I didn’t have internet connection, I took what I could get and the au pair job knocked ACLE out of the picture. Over the summer, the au pair job didn’t turn out to be what was promised and I regretted the decision, wishing I accepted the job at ACLE.

Now was my time. I would give ACLE another chance if they would have me. By the time I was seriously considering applying to ACLE, it was late and I was ready to go to bed, but I decided to stay up a few more minutes and look at the ACLE website.

I got a shot of adrenaline and a rush of energy when I saw that the deadline for applications was (can you guess it?) that day.

Five hours later and nearing daylight, I submitted my application online. I included an explanation of why I hadn’t included the reference letters. I made sure they understood that since I applied and was offered a job last year, my application was probably still on file and maybe last year’s reference letters could sit-in until this year’s got there.

I was reassured everything was fine and I was moved onto the final round of applications.

The last round required the applicants to give examples of games, songs and teaching styles that can be used to teach English to children. It also asks the applicant to create a full lesson plan. Not easy stuff, but most of the questions were similar or the same as last year’s so I was able to use some of the activities and plans I’d already made. The applicant is given two weeks to complete this stage. I finished it in less than two hours.

One long week later and I had a job!

It was a short, quick road back to ACLE that started last summer in faraway Greece. It’s funny how things turn out sometimes. Hopefully this is for the best.

I don’t think it can turn out worse than my China plans and there will be plenty of gelato waiting for me in Italy.

So, off I go to have a summer fling with the land of delicious wine, fresh pasta and mouth-watering pizza.

Ciao ciao, ragazzi. Don’t wait up.

You can find my past escapades in Italy here.

7 thoughts on “My summer fling with Italy – teaching English at a summer camp

  1. I can’t believe that I stumbled upon this post! I I have taught for ACLE and in China. I had a great time with both! I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with that school in Kunming, but you totally made the right decision to forgo going until you had the visa… that could have gotten ugly. I still think that you should try again, however. China’s pretty amazing. 🙂
    Good luck on your adventures!


    • Jobs can go back in any country, but this one was just not off to a good start. I was very excited to go to Kunming, but the school’s constant requests for me to go without a work visa made me have second thoughts. I know Italy will be fun- I’ll just have to find something else to do after the summer. 🙂

      Look out for my next post on Saturday explaining the breakup story. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s