The English Camp Company

Why choose The English Camp Company?

The English Camp Company, L.L.C. organizes English Summer Camps in Italy, Austria & Germany for 6 – 14 year olds. We offer an enjoyable, interactive atmosphere where children can use everyday English and improve their knowledge of the English language in a fun, relaxed summer camp environment.

Our fun-loving Tutors (teachers) come from across the world and all of our tutors are well-qualified with backgrounds in education, teaching, or summer camps!

Working with The English Camp Company, L.L.C. our tutors have the opportunity to teach English in wonderful cities throughout Italy, Austria & Germany. It’s the perfect summer job for students in the education and language fields. At The English Camp Company, L.L.C. we want to instill a desire to learn English, and show the students that they can do it and that's not as scary as they may think!


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Yes, I recommend this program

One of the best experiences of my life: Italy and Austria with the English Camp Company!

I worked as a Tutor for the ECC in July 2023, and it was honestly one of the best experiences of my life.
The program started with a week-long orientation in Assisi, Italy, where you get to meet all the other tutors from around the world. During the orientation, you're trained to lesson plan and carry out camp activities, so the ECC staff makes sure you're ready for the actual camps! My 2 camps were in towns in Emilia-Romagna, Italy and Carinthia, Austria, and both times I lived with a local host family. This was my favorite part of the entire experience, as you get to become a part of these families and truly get immersed into the local culture and their everyday lives. The families brought me to places like waterparks, the beach, hiking, and the ECC also hosted cultural activities in each camp such as canoeing and wine tastings!
During the actual camps, you typically work with a class of about 8-10 kids, who are all really eager to learn English. You have lots of support from the ECC staff, your camp director, and other tutors during the entire process, so there's no pressure at all. The ECC not only wants to teach English, but they want to make English fun, so you'll enjoy your lessons as much as the kids.
Working with the ECC allowed me to meet amazing people, explore Italy and Austria, and reminded me how much I love teaching. I am currently completing my TEFL Certification to be able to teach English abroad, and plan on visiting both my host families again!

  • Meeting all the other awesome tutors: everyone doing this program loves to socialize and seek out new experiences, you'll meet some friends for life
  • Living and becoming a part of local families
  • Free Housing and Travel in Italy and Austria
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Yes, I recommend this program

English Camp Company

I would say joining the ECC for the summer was one of the most incredible experiences I have had. For my first time abroad I was able to experience so much culture, meet so many cool people from around the world, and saving money while doing so. Staying with the host families was my favorite part because I was able to build lasting friendships and connections with people who I still talk to now. Going through the ECC was such an awesome way to travel and learn about Italy as well as learn to teach!

  • Trying new things and meeting lots of people.
  • Immersing yourself in the culture and picking up some italian!
  • Building lasting friendships
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fun Summer, Iffy Leadership

It was an amazing summer, no doubt. One of the best. Host families were all amazing, as were students and fellow tutors. Great way to see Italy as well as meet new people. But the owners of the program would openly gossip about other tutors. I heard them openly saying rude things about other tutors and my friends told me they openly said disparaging things about me. Hurtful and unfortunate because otherwise a great summer. I would recommend regardless.

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Yes, I recommend this program

The Summer of a Lifetime

This past summer I had the most amazing opportunity to be a part of The English Camp Company. Traveling across the world to meet strangers and teach kids English could not have been a better experience because as soon as you meet them, they become family! In addition to having so many new connections with people, the host families do everything they can to make sure you experience their culture - even if you don't understand the language (I still talk to all of my host families!).
I worked at three ECC Camps as a Tutor for the Red Book group (the youngest, ages 6-7), and although you might not be able to understand them, they see your energy and that excites them to want to understand you. The ECC training was excellent at the beginning of the summer, and provided you a good foundation to help make you and the camps successful. I had amazing experiences getting to know the kids, we made every activity into an adventure.

This was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and I am so fortunate that I was able to be a part of this program and the children's path to learn English!

(I am actually planning on going back to my host families in Italy this summer! I can't wait to see them again!)

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
During one of my camps in Italy I stayed with a family who was heavily involved with the community. They had 3 kids (one who loved using my phone to take funny Snapchat selfies), almost every evening we did something different, and on the weekend we went to a waterpark over the mountain! The most memorable night I had with my host family was when they decided to take me to a pasta making night. This was not leisure either, it was 80 year old women making pasta so fast! The only time they would take a break is when they were waiting on the men to being them more to fold, and when they brought out more beer! When I first started I looked at the pasta and the filling like I had never seen something like it before, but after a few lessons I finally learned to connect the right corners and put the right amount of filling in so it would cook the right way. Within the first 30 minutes I had learned to make the pasta almost as fast as the beer drinking grandmothers. The whole community was gathered together to make hundreds of servings of pasta for an upcoming event and being a part of that was incredible!
My last camp I worked at was in Austria, it was so beautiful there! I stayed with a family who had 4 kids and lived on a farm, so cows and goats everywhere, I loved it! Both of my host parents worked (my mom was a veterinarian), so for the weekend another tutor's host family took 3 of us (tutors) on an amazing adventure! We ended up hiking up into an ice cave, it was chilly outside due to the elevation, but once inside the cave, we were freezing! I was actually planning on wearing shorts and sandals, but my host mom advised against so I bundled up. After hiking back down the mountain, hopping in the cars, and heading back to our town, one of the host families mentioned they knew a dairy farmer. Jumping at the opportunity, I asked if there was any way that I could milk a cow! They didn't think it was possible but after talking with the farmer when we got home, he happily allowed us 3 tutors in his SUV. Driving on an unmarked path, up a mountain with a loaded car is an experience all by itself, but once we got to the top, the ride was forgotten and the view became stunning! One of the host brothers showed us how to call the cows off the higher part of the pasture and how to corral into the milking area. Once inside the building, I happily said I would go first! After cleaning off their utters, I milked the cow, and attached the milking machine! Once the milk had been through a cleaning process and was chilled, we tasted it! It was the best milk I had ever tasted!
If you have any doubts whether you should apply, DO NOT HESITATE! Say yes to every opportunity! I would have never thought I would be making pasta with 80 year old beer drinking grandmothers or be milking a cow half way up a mountain, but it all happened, and I would not change a thing!
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Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Summer of My Life

My summer spent working for the ECC was the most fun-filled, eye-opening and rewarding of my life! It started with an informative and interactive orientation week where the tutors became acquainted; we learned helpful teaching tips and what we could expect in the months ahead. It was so awesome being surrounded by such a kind, friendly, and energetic group of people who shared a passion for teaching, kids, and travel.

Each camp session is two weeks long, and for each session, you will be placed in a different small town in Italy and/or Austria, where you will be assigned a host family and group of tutors to work with. For me, the opportunity to teach in a classroom and work alongside others with solid teaching experience was novel and instructive. The wonderful thing about this program is the variety. Each session is unique to itself: filled with new experiences, opportunities, and people to meet. Each session will pose challenges and, at times, can be exhausting, however, with an open-mind and positive attitude, you will have an incredible experience.

One of the highlights of ECC for me was the people. From the host families to the other tutors, to the children I taught, I formed many wonderful and long-lasting friendships over the summer. The host families, in particular, were lovely and warmly welcomed me into their homes. Living with an Italian family gave me the most authentic experience possible, seeing things that many visitors would not be exposed to and eating home-cooked, delicious, local Italian dishes not offered in a restaurant. I equally loved getting to know the other tutors who were from around the world and had their own unique stories and perspectives to share. It was the connections that I made with the kids that was most fulfilling. I came to understand the impact I could have on others’ lives, regardless of language barriers. It was amazing for me to witness the improvement and love for English that many of the children developed over the course of each session.

Working for the ECC was a dream job, and an experience I will never forget. It combined all the things I love, and reminded me how much I enjoy travel, meeting new people, and working with kids. It helped me grow independently, strengthen my social skills and broaden my perspective on cultures and people. It taught me that the world is much bigger than my own life and experiences, and that I still have so much more to learn.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I came across the ECC while searching for opportunities to work abroad, particularly in Italy (as I had been wanting to immerse myself in that culture for a while). Their program stood out to me from the other "teach abroad" programs because they offered a position that no other program did: being a camp director. Seeing as I speak Italian fluently and I have experience organizing events, I was very attracted to the possibility of being a camp director while also being in the country that I had been dreaming of visiting.

Needless to say, I was positively overwhelmed by the experience and I'm so glad I decided to accept and spend 2 months in Italy!

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

ECC has two leaders, Nate and Ashleigh, that really do help you out from the beginning by having an orientation week that helps you understand a bit how the camps are going to go. Obviously there are a lot of situations that can't be taught theoretically (there are so many variables that make teaching at every camp such a unique experience!), but orientation gives you a base to at least get you started.

Also, you aren't left on your own to hunt for somewhere to live. The week at orientation accommodation at a local hotel is provided and meals are provided too (except for one night where you can decide to explore Assisi and eat out). When you actually start working at camp, food and accommodation are also provided, but by the host families that ECC pairs you up with.

The only things that I had to organize were:
- Plane ticket to Italy and back home.
- Train ticket from Rome to Assisi.
- Train ticket from my last camp to the airport (and accommodation/food for the extra day I spent in Rome after my last camp).
- Health insurance.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

You really have to realize that you're going to Italy/Austria to work and not to travel. Yes, the latter will most likely happen, as you can make arrangements with your host families (and they probably have plans already to show you their country). However, the main goal is to go and work. You do have a 9-5 job after all!

However, this should so not stop you from applying because it is such a beautiful job. There are worse things that could happen to you than being overseas, eating delicious food and experiencing a new culture. It's such a dynamic environment that you'll probably not even see the days go by. First thing you know, you'll be crying at the train station, saying good-bye to your current host family and hopping on a train to go to your next one.

One other thing I wish I could have known is that it's ok to not know things. It's ok to feel like you're not prepared and there's no way you could do this. You're probably in the same boat as the tutors that are working with you. You'll see that you'll manage to figure something out in the first few days of the first camp and then you'll only keep getting better!

You're working with kids. They will appreciate anything you do and the mistakes that you think you're making, no one else is noticing them. Kids will literally be so happy only to get to know you. They don't need much to have an awesome day at camp. Be patient with yourself and the other tutors. You'll figure it out!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Camp goes from Monday to Friday for two consecutive weeks in one same town. During the week, the routine is pretty similar:

- In the morning, as soon as you get to camp you prepare whatever needs to be prepared for the day and you play with kids that arrive early.
- At the beginning of camp, we have a morning circle with songs and then we play some games before starting the day.
- Then we have two English lessons that are divided by a 20 min break for a snack
- Then there's lunch (this is a 1h break).
- The afternoon consists of two blocks of games where the kids are divided into teams (the team with more points at the end of the week normally gets a little something!) . These are separated by another break.
- By 5 pm, parents are normally already waiting so you just greet them at the door and say bye to the kids :)
- Then you have the whole afternoon to visit/spend time with your family/spend time with other tutors/etc. It's really free time for you to relax and enjoy yourself!

The last Friday is special because it's the final show! Parents get to see what their kids have done during the 2 weeks.

During the weekends you mostly spend your time with your family, visiting or going to family/friends gatherings. You also have some free time to roam around the town :)

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 traveling alone and not knowing how things worked abroad. I had never ever left the North-American continent, let alone traveled alone, so I was a bit scared as to what that would be like. Especially since my mom is a bit protective, so I've always been by her side and I had never traveled without her planning everything.

To overcome it, I honestly just jumped into it. It sounds strange to say, but I almost didn't even have time to think, as I got accepted into the program in May (less than a month before the start of camp). I really had to move it. Before I knew it, I had a ticket to Italy so there was no going back. I must say that having the language down diminished my stress a lot. Actually, that stress turned into excitement and I couldn't wait to actually interact with this culture that I had been learning about for years. It was a bit scary to find my way around the big Rome station, but I managed to get through it.

I was also scared to feel awkward being a guest in a house that had no clue who I was. I couldn't understand why someone would open their house to a total stranger, but I had such a beautiful experience with every single family... They are so open and happy to learn who you are and what you do. Again, language probably helped, but the level of hospitality in Italy is remarkable and I got attached so fast to every family. I still talk to them and we are figuring out plans to see each other again!

What was your favorite thing about working in this program?

I absolutely loved getting to interact with the host families. They really made a big difference and they made me feel at home. Even if I am not their biological child, they really treated me like one and they gave me emotional support like my family would.

I have beautiful memories of all of them. From going to family gatherings, meeting their friends, going out for a drink with them, going to festivals (and being strongly suggested to sing in front of everyone :') [I told them I sing opera and from that moment they had been wanting to hear me sing jaja]), going for gelato together every day... There are so so many priceless memories I made with all of them in a short span of 2 weeks per family.

We shared laughter, tears and beautiful moments that, to this day, still warm my heart.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Ashleigh McLean

Ashleigh McLean was born in Adelaide, Australia and moved to the UK with her family in 1999. While studying at the University of Liverpool, she spent a year living in Austria, improving her knowledge of the German language, and co-founded The English Camp Company with Nathanial Poerio. After graduating with a BA in German and International Development, she moved to Italy to devote her time to The ECC. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog Alba, cooking new recipes, and travelling.

What position do you hold at The English Camp Company? What has been your career path so far?

Ashleigh: My name is Ashleigh McLean and I am the Co-Founder of The English Camp Company. The ECC was founded while I was in university; after graduating from university, I have since been organizing summer camps through The ECC.

Did YOU teach abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?

Ashleigh: Yes, in the summer of 2005 I taught English in Romania at a residential summer camp for 6 weeks. I had so much fun that I wanted to continue my summer job of teaching English in Europe. I then taught English in summer camps in Italy for 3 consecutive summers before founding The English Camp Company.

What does the future hold for The English Camp Company - any exciting new programs to share?

Ashleigh: We are always continuing to strengthen and improve our summer program for our tutors. We currently have most of our camps in Italy and a few in Austria, so we hope to be able to expand in Austria in the future.

What about the future of the teach abroad industry? How do you think international education will change over the next 10 years?

Ashleigh: The teach abroad industry is extremely positive. Many people are now realizing the importance of Mother Tongue Language teachers, and I think this will only increase.