Staff Spotlight: Fania Weatherby

Fania has just joined Art History Abroad as a tutor after graduating from her History of Art degree and has so far taught on the Southern Italy Summer Course and the European Semester Course.

What is your favorite travel memory?

streets in Ortiga

Working as a tutor for AHA has given me plenty of wonderful travel memories, but the place that stands out for me is Ortigia, the island part of the city of Syracuse in Sicily.

When we arrived I was struck by the architecture, the sea and the relaxed feel that permeates the island – this moment of seeing Ortigia for the first time was perhaps the most memorable. That evening we bought pizzas and ate them sitting on the beach, all the stars out, it was magical!

Unlike many places in Italy, Ortigia is not often publicized as a holiday destination, so the experience there felt like a real discovery, realizing how many places there are to see beyond the tourist’s itinerary.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have learnt an incredible amount whilst working for AHA. The summer course in Southern Italy was my first real experience of teaching and since then I feel I have developed so many skills about presenting information in different ways, about pastoral care, organization, and navigating my way around cities.

I have also, perhaps unsurprisingly, learnt so much about Art History: this has not only been from going to new places and researching for my sessions, but from the students themselves who continuously provide insightful and original comments in front of artworks.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Some of the best student feedback I have heard is that AHA has made them want to study Art History at university when this had not been their plan before.

Hearing this feedback is when I have been most aware of positive impact AHA can have on people’s lives and how this impact can be so long term.

Opening up Art History as a subject for students who have perhaps not studied it at school is such a fantastic thing that AHA offers people.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would definitely choose the Semester course. The experience of teaching the students in Paris and Nice was fantastic, I would love to be a student studying art in those places as well.

There is also such diversity on the course, even within the 2 week France section, with the opportunity to explore major cities in London and Paris and more remote areas in and around Nice and Montepulciano.

The Italian language course situated in the middle of the Tuscan hills would also be a huge highlight.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

For me, what makes AHA unique is its family atmosphere. Whilst on a trip it is really clear that all the tutors love what they do, there is a real feeling of togetherness on the trips with everyone enjoying the fun that AHA offers and supporting each other.

In terms of teaching, AHA is unique in the freedom it offers to tutors, there is no syllabus so you are able to tailor your teaching sessions according to your own areas of existing or developing interest and research.

This gives tutors the opportunity to teach the subjects they are passionate about and students the opportunity to engage with that enthusiasm. I always feel most proud of being part of a tutor team when we take students on excursions and everyone comes back happy after a long day out.