Ciao! My name is Leanne. I’m from Rochester, NY.
After college graduation, I wanted to go on an Italian adventure. After some research, I decided on teaching abroad in Italy with GeoVisions and live with an Italian host family. It was an amazing decision!
This program came to my attention at the perfect time. I was going to graduate college in December, preparing to be a music teacher. Full-time teaching jobs don’t come around until fall, so I decided to go for it and apply for the GeoVisions program that I found online.
I was placed in Fermo, Italy in the Marche (that’s mar-kay) region in two middle schools. My students are so rambunctious, but I love them. They really are interested in the English and culture lessons I prepare for them. I teach 17 hours per week with three different English teachers. Mostly I am in charge of teaching an hour-long lesson and they help me translate or control the class. I love incorporating my music education when I can. The teachers are super supportive of this.
School ends at 1:00 p.m. and I go home to my host family. We have lunch at Nonna’s house, which always includes pasta and then some sort of protein. That’s right, pasta every day! Italian food is great!
After lunch we go next door to my host family’s house. The older daughter, 17, usually goes to the library or to see friends. The youngest daughter, 12, loves to play Scattergories with me on my phone or discover the latest SnapChat filters. In the afternoon I have time to plan lessons, read, take a walk, or generally just enjoy la dolce vita. An afternoon gelato is usually involved.
Dinner is at 8:00 p.m. The father of my host family comes home from work, and I share a lighter meal with the family of four. After dinner I’m usually exhausted from teaching abroad, so I retreat to my room to relax before bed.
Living with my host family has been the most rewarding part of this experience.
I was lucky that my host family already had a very solid knowledge of English before I arrived. What they are looking to get from me are the finer nuances of English: complicated sentence structures, sayings and idioms, obscure science vocabulary (my host mom is a chemist), etc. In my time with them I have seen them improve so much, especially my little 12 year old buddy.
I had the chance to travel on my own for on a few weekends. I went to Rome, Florence, and Cinque Terre. I will finish up my travels in Milan for one night before returning to the States.
I would say to any solo female traveler that you can travel on your own. I think every girl knows herself and what she can do better than anyone else. So if you know you can do it, then do it!
Be smart, stay alert, but you’ll be fine and you will have so much fun while teaching abroad.
People ask me if this experience with GeoVisions is all I hoped it would be, and I can honestly say yes! Teaching English abroad to my students and my host family is so rewarding. And I just happen to be in one of the most incredible places in the world. The best decision ever!