Why did you choose this program?
I chose to work for ACLE after my brother had a successful summer with the program. It seemed like the perfect chance to get away from home and to be working a job that really gets me excited and inspired.
This program highlights a lot of things I really love; you experience Italian culture in a genuine way, you work with kids, and you have a place to be the most creative and insane version of yourself.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
ACLE provides all lesson plans for you and helps with all your travel/train details when you go from camp to camp. All you have to prepare is a good attitude!
Of course, there is still a lot of freedom for tutors! The lessons are pre-planned, but you can change them however much you need to honor your classroom skill level. If you want more games, add more games! If you want more songs, add them!
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
I suggest having extra money put aside so you can take weeks off to travel. The work is very fulfilling, but it takes a lot out of you. Take care of yourself!
And say yes to as many things as you can! In my first camp, I was very reserved and timid (totally normal!), but as I got more comfortable with the idea of having a host family I learned that they want you to take advantage of them! They are excited to have you there and they want to show you new things.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
You teach about 8 hours a day with assigned breaks and you are free on the weekends. The rest of your time is spent going out with families or other tutors.
An example of a school day is maybe 8-4. You start by doing warm-ups with all the kids and tutors together-- you sing songs, play games, get excited for the day! Then tutors will have lesson time, this is where you have your own class (kids can be anywhere from ages 5-18!)
You'll usually have a break in between lessons to re-group. Then all tutors will get together after lunch and you will do afternoon activities (Talent shows, fashion shows, water games etc.).
The day ends with a meeting, and maybe a beer, with the other tutors before you go home!
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear was just how independent you had to be.
I started the program when I was 18, which is the youngest you can be. It was intimidating working with people who seemed to be more experienced or qualified than I was, but after my first week teaching, I felt very confident in myself!
I think that is what makes the program so awesome. It helps you realize how cool you are just because you got yourself there.
Do most tutors have a background in theater?
A big concern I have noticed when I talk to people about applying for this program is they feel like they aren't going to be theatrical enough. It's true ACLE asks tutors to use theatre, but most tutors are teachers, not actors.
Everyone feels intimidated when they enter any new program, but trust me when I say, if you get accepted, you got accepted for a reason. You should feel more proud than scared!!!