The English Camp Company

The English Camp Company

About

The English Camp Company, L.L.C. organizes English Summer Camps in Italy & Austria for 7 – 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 and Austria. 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!

Founded
2008
Headquarters

Via Santissima Annunziata 18
06031 Bevagna PG
Italy

Reviews

Default avatar
Elizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This summer, I worked for ten weeks as a Tutor with the English Camp Company. I completed five two-week camp sessions, spending four weeks in Italy and six weeks in Austria.

Working with the English Camp Company was the most eye-opening, enriching, incredibly fulfilling, and life-changing opportunity that I have ever undertaken. Without a doubt, this was the best summer of my life. The English Camp Company exceeded my summer job expectations. My only regret is that the summer and my time as a tutor with the English Camp had to come to an end -

Thank you to the company co-founders/owners Ashleigh and Nate Poerio.

Ashleigh and Nate are the head of The English Camp Company. They hire the tutors and directors and greet them when they arrive in Italy for orientation. They are very kind, amiable, and caring individuals. Ashleigh and Nate run orientation training themselves. They make tutors and directors feel welcome and appreciated from the start. Throughout my entire summer experience, I felt entirely supported. Ashleigh and Nate were there to answer any questions or concerns that I had. Communication throughout the whole summer was nothing but excellent. Ashleigh and Nate work tirelessly to ensure that tutors, directors, campers, host families, and everyone involved have a positive summer camp experience. It is evident that they are incredibly passionate about the work that they do. I can't thank them enough for making my summer 2019 so memorable.

Tutors and directors attend a (very fun!) one-week intensive orientation where they meet other E.C.C staff and learn everything there is to know about the English Camp. English Camp orientation is well organized and in-depth. Tutors are placed into a multitude of different groups comprised of people that possess diverse experiences and personalities. In these groups, tutors work as a team to perform a variety of tasks and activities. As part of orientation, tutors and directors have the opportunity to complete a mock-camp day at a local primary school.

After orientation week, I felt confident and well prepared to go into my first day of English Camp.

Every two weeks, tutors and directors change camp locations and host families. No two places are the same, and often each different work location is with an entirely new group of people than the last. Therefore, each camp is incredibly unique and a new experience every time. The success of each camp is vital to the communication and cohesiveness of the staff. In this position, you are always collaborating with a team. You will meet amazing people from all over the world who will teach you so much and who will bring diverse ideas and viewpoints to the table.

Adaptability and flexibility are critical components of this position. Tutors are responsible for preparing English lessons for their class of children. In this position, tutors must continuously adapt and adjust to the different levels, needs, and interests of every student in their class at each different camp. English is taught through interactive games, songs, and activities. Creativity and enthusiasm are essential to making English learning exciting for the campers.

You will be amazed at how much your students will grow and become more confident in speaking English as the camp progresses. On Friday of the second week, your class will perform an original musical play (created by the tutor) for their parents. The most rewarding feeling in the world is watching your students nail the performance that they worked so hard on.

The relationships that you will form with your students are priceless. Saying goodbye at the completion of each camp will hurt every single time.

The English Camp Company places tutors and directors with Italian and Austrian host families. Most times, each staff member will have their own host family. Host families will go out of their way to make you feel at home and like a member of their family. They will take you to the coolest local places, show you amazing scenery that a tourist would miss, bring you to family events, and feed you some of the best authentic foods that you will ever taste. Host families are so excited to share everything there is to know about their culture with you and will want to learn about yours as well!

As an English Camp Tutor/Director, you will be working with youth Monday-Friday from 9-5. Additionally, you will be living with children from the camp in your homestay. This job can be demanding and tiring at points. You must genuinely love working with youth and bring that passion and energy to the job. If you are invested in the values of the program, it won't ever feel like work.

If you are seeking a fully immersive cultural experience that leaves you speechless, breaks your heart every time you have to leave a location, creates inseparable connections between you and individuals from all over the world, and changes you in all the best ways, this is the program for you.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Show up to camp every day with a smile and give your all. Don't take yourself too seriously, be crazy, and most importantly, be yourself! The more silly that you are, the more that the kids will love you and think that you're the coolest human on the planet. Have a go-with-the-flow attitude. Always say YES to trying new things and be eager to gain new knowledge about the world. Show gratitude for the little things and persevere through any challenges you may encounter along the journey. :)
A lovely 10-hour layover in Dublin, Ireland
Tom
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My 2nd Summer experience with The English Camp Company (ECC) ... Another Amazing Adventure!

I'm so appreciative of the opportunity to be able to come back and work with ECC. 2015 was my first year, fresh out of university and I was eager to experience an incredible teaching/travel program in southern Europe. Look no further than ECC! This summer I got to experience Italy and Austria, and both countries are so unique and amazing. You experience host families who offer a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the Italian And Austrian culture. If you're looking for an resume booster, you won't be disappointed. You work people from all over the world, eat great food, and the sights.. breathtaking to say the least. This is an amazing organization that will send you to places you never thought imaginable.

Camp days are long! Please don't underestimate that statement. This is not the Summer for you to spend the day sitting around looking at your phone. There's so much you can teach the students, and much more that they can teach you. This job is for creative people who are energetic, enthusiastic, FLEXIBLE, patient, and have a passion for working with youth 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. It's very important to have multiple activities and games for your students. Don't forget that many of them spend all year in a classroom, so PLEASE get them up, out and moving around. Not only is this your summer vacation/job, but it's also their summer. There are so many resources available online that will help you. Remember that English is a second language to your students. It's imperative that you speak slow, and like the italians do best, use your hands and body when you explain anything, they will certainly appreciate that. Embrace your own culture and traditions. Use games and activities you played in your youth. Walk around your class and always check on individual progress. Bring stickers and candy if you can! You'll have many supplies at your camp, so for example, if you're teaching numbers to ages 6-8, find cards or something else creative to help your students. Some students are kinesthetic learners, others audio or visual. Do your best to use creative methods to teach lessons. Most camp days are HOT!! Always always always...bring plenty of water.
Remember the tutors you work with are all different ages and come from all over the world. A successful camp requires a team effort. You won't always agree or get along, and plans will change. But at the end of the day it's not just about you. Come to English Camp for the children first and foremost. You're in an absolutely beautiful country (Italy and Austria) and you are fortunate to work with amazing people.

Appreciate the time you have with your host families. They go out of their way to ensure you have a memorable experience. The food is amazing, the sights, breathtaking, and the people heartwarming.

Prepare for an awesome Summer. You will work hard, and be rewarded at the end of the day. I'm so glad I came back for another Summer with ECC. I wouldn't have applied to return if the management and communication weren't great, and they were!

Read my full story
Default avatar
Gabby
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I originally came across this program when I was looking for an experience in Europe that was both affordable and culturally immersive. Little did I know how much I would grow and learn in such a small period of time with ECC. This was my first time travelling abroad to a different continent alone and I am really glad I did it to work with ECC. You get to meet fantastic people who are hungry to explore and learn. Please keep in mind that this is a job, and although it may seem like an adventure, it is still a paying job. Even though I was working, I had a blast. I recommend this opportunity to anyone who is flexible, adventurous, and really open to anything, but please do not be lazy. Working with children can be challenging if you have never experienced it before, and this is not a paid vacation. Keep in mind that if you are willing to give these kids a great time at camp during the day, you will have a lot of free time to explore real Italian towns with real Italian families. The owners of the camp are fantastic people who are very easy to communicate with. I am so glad I was blessed with this opportunity because it was easily the best summer of my life.

Default avatar
Patricia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Being surrounded by like-minded individuals who wanted to have an impact on kids and travel in a meaningful way as well as being welcomed with open arms by incredible host families... I could not even begin to explain how much of a positive impact that this wholesome experience had on me!!!! IT WAS THE ABSOLUTE BEST. Doing something like this teaches you about people. It reminds you that time means nothing with regards to how close you can get to someone. It shows you that even with a language barrier, communication can exist and that you can still form a connection with another person.

Overall, it was incredible to have people make you feel so at home wherever you are. As an example, since we were located in very small villages and towns, tourists were nowhere to be found. Therefore, people were so excited to meet me wherever I went and to learn about my life in Canada and who I was as a person. These strangers went miles out of their way to ensure I felt safe, comfortable and was happy being there. I’m so thankful for all of these individuals who have become family in such a short time frame. Plus, the teachers were so lovely and we all shared so many beautiful memories together. I recently went to California for a reunion with some of the people that I met... it's only been 6 months til we seen each other last aha!

I shed so many tears while here because I was so grateful and happy. The world feels a bit smaller and just brought me so much joy to share parts of my life with people across the world from where I live and for them to do the same with me. Gosh, and everyone’s food was so INCREDIBLE! Another thing to be so thankful for!

I highly recommend this experience to anyone who has an open mind and an adventurous spirit!

Default avatar
Evie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am extremely grateful for the amazing opportunity I was given in 2018 as camp councillor in both Italy and Austria. Honestly, it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Firstly, the compassion and dedication of Nate and Ashley is amazing. They pour their heart and soul into the camps to ensure both the kids and tutors are left with positive experiences. It must be so much work and a huge commitment but they are have the perfect amount of energy and enthusiasm for the job!! Upon arriving in Assisi for orientation I was slightly nervous as I had no idea what to expect. I was quickly reassured at how amazing this opportunity would be the second I met Ashley and Nate and the other tutors.

One of the things that make this program so unique is the opportunity to stay with host families! I had some amazing experiences which ranged from eating delicious gelato to attending a concert in the Austrian alps! The families I was with were so welcoming and caring and quickly became home. They allow you to see a side of the country that isn't experienced as easily by tourists.

Working with kids may be hard work at times especially as you have the language barrier which may make it hard to communicate. But if you have positivity and enthusiasm the kids will really enjoy that and you can have so much fun mucking around and playing games with them.

Lastly, I am so grateful for the connections I have made with the other tutors. So many of them I would call lifelong friends and I am still in contact with them. They are by your side every day and quickly become more like family. It isn't every day that you have the chance to work alongside people whose passions and energy motivate and inspire you to strive for any goals you may have.

If you are thinking of applying for this program I would seriously recommend you go for it. Not because every day will be easy (because it can be exhausting some days) but it will be incredibly worth it. Even if you are tired remember where you are. Because it'll go by in the blink of an eye, and before long you'll be wishing you were back in the beautiful Italy and Austria.

What would you improve about this program?
If anything I'd recommend having some experience in the area of teaching. It isn't essential and many of us weren't teachers (myself included) but it can definitely come a long way, especially with keeping the kids engaged with what you're teaching.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Thomas Johnson

Tom is an English and Humanities teacher living in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He graduated college in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in aviation and in 2017 with a master's in cyber security. After serving in the US Navy and Coast Guard for 4 years, he chose to pursue a career in teaching abroad for a life-changing experience.

Thomas Johnson

Why did you choose this program?

I discovered The English Camp Company (ECC) in 2015 after I read the amazing reviews on Go Overseas and Go Abroad. The staff support stood out the most to me, as traveling abroad can be daunting at first for many people. For a relatively small organization, ECC provides remarkable communication and support throughout the summer from start to finish. Ashleigh and Nate are hands down the best diligent team in Europe.

Believe it or not, it was difficult turning down the opportunity to teach and travel in Italy and Austria for a second summer. With that said, I almost forgot just how competitive it is to gain acceptance into the program, and how many applicants apply year-round. I've always loved a challenge, so putting together an application (pictures, videos, references, essays, class activities, etc.) that stood out from the crowd wasn't easy. But if you're willing to put the time in and submit and quality application, this program could possibly change someone's life, as it has mine.

Before working with ECC, I hadn't lived outside of the US. After spending the summer teaching and traveling in Italy and Austria, staying with host families, eating amazing food (the list goes on and on), I've become an international teacher, with experience living and teaching in 6 different countries.

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

ECC was a phenomenal source of assistance and information. Ashleigh and Nate went out of their way to ensure that I was well prepared to work abroad for the summer. I could always reach out to them by phone call or email with any question I had about staying with host families, Italian and Austrian culture, and camp days. Once I arrived at orientation, they were there to greet me and made me feel so welcomed.

The items I had to organize on my own were:

  • Plane ticket to and from Italy.
  • Train ticket from my final camp to the airport.
  • International Health Insurance for my time in Europe.

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

First, it's imperative that you commit to the available dates you put on your application. Camps are 2 weeks long, Monday to Friday. Keep in mind that you were chosen among thousands of applicants who would love to spend their summer working in Italy and Austria. This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a foreign culture and work with people from around the world.

I wish I would've known that I would work with different age groups at each camp. But it turned out to be one of the best challenges I could face. Changing grade levels at your next camp gives you the best chance to expand your teaching skills (and patience).

This job is for the creative, flexible, energetic, over the top bonkers...and yet mature kind of person. If you're silly and ridiculous, and love to be involved in the lives of the younger generation, this is the job for you! Feel free to leave your inhibitions in your home country and embrace the ECC tutor inside of you.

It is utterly important that you are involved all day at camp, and especially with your host families. If you want to sit down and look at your phone all day, there's no need to apply. There are many others who truly want to be your position.

You may live with a host family that doesn't speak much English. You would be surprised at how many basic words and phrases you can learn in Italian and German before working with ECC. This goes a long way. It's a great chance for a cultural/language exchange, and these families can end up being your absolute favorite. Therefore, you should embrace the fact that they're welcoming you into their home.

Lastly, working with tutors from around the world can be difficult at times. Everyone has great ideas. Everyone was hired for a reason. Everyone will get tired and hot. Not everyone will agree with one another. That's okay. Try your best to focus on the children at camp, and the fact that you're working in a breathtakingly beautiful place for a summer.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
  1. Saturday - Arrive at your camp location/city and meet your host family! Then meet up with the tutors and your camp director and begin planning the 2 weeks of camp with a theme, activities/games, you'll be given your class list of children, ECC books for your class, and start making posters for your awesomely colorful camp schedule, team points list, camp rules, and cleanest classroom (sometimes this happens on Sunday).
  2. Sunday - Spend the day with your lovely host family!
  3. (Monday to Friday*)
  • (~0745) Wake up at your host family home, get dressed, eat breakfast with your host brother/sister, grab your packed lunch and snacks for break then it's off to camp!
  • (~0850) Arrive at camp, greet the children as they arrive, discuss the plan of the day with your fellow tutor(s).
  • (~0915) Start morning camp circle songs and games.
  • (~0945) First English lesson! Feel free to start the day with a fun class activity.
  • (~11:10) Break time! Where's your snack? ^_^
  • (~11:30) Second English Lesson!
  • (~1300) Lunch time. I'm sure your host family packed a meal with yum yums. At a few camps lunch can be catered.
  • (~1400) Afternoon activities/games with your organized team. Competition time ^_^
  • (~1515) Break! Has anyone seen my fruit?
  • (~1540) Part II of Afternoon activities/games!
  • (~1645) Time to clean those classrooms.
  • (~1700) Say bye-bye to those children, and go home with your host family.

You have a lot of time after camp to shower, relax and eat with your family. Many of them will take you out to meet their relatives (or invite them over), see beautiful sights, eats lots of ice cream and pizza! (or the occasional ever-so-tasty weinerschnitzel). You may also end up meeting up with the other tutors and their families.

*The second Friday is Final Show.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Fear. It’s what often keeps us from living our lives and achieving our dreams. And it is one of the most common reasons why most people don’t travel. Whenever I talk to people about long-term travel, so many tell me they wish they could do what I do. They tell me all their travel dreams and then when I ask why they don’t pursue them, they come up with a plethora of excuses:

  • They fear not being able to afford the trip.
  • They fear they have too many responsibilities at home.
  • They fear they won’t be able to make friends on the road.
  • They fear not having the ability to handle it.
  • They fear something will happen to them.

Ironically, these are the fears I had before traveling, working, and living abroad. With all that fear, it’s much easier to stay at home in our comfort zones than to break out and travel. It’s a big thing to step out your door, away from your safety net, and into the known. The most comforting things I found out and would constantly remind myself along the way were this:

  • You aren't the first person to travel abroad. You'll meet so many people when you travel that have the same goals and dreams as you. You're not alone.
  • You're just as capable as everyone else. We all dream. We all have ambitions. We all have gifts. Why not you? There's not reason you can't do what other people have done and are doing now. We live in a time where technology has allowed us to communicate with others around the world with ease. Use it to your advantage. You're smart. You've got this. Don't doubt yourself.
  • Most of the responsibilities you have and make excuses for are materialistic. There came a day that I sold my car. I never looked back. I left my job. I found thousands more jobs abroad by simply searching on websites like Go Overseas. Suddenly, all those responsibilities began to disappear one at a time, and I felt free.
  • You will definitely find employment if you choose to go back home. Employers love looking at resumes that show diversity, language skills, and a proven ability to adapt to a different culture.

How do you travel and stay healthy?

We all joke about gaining weight when we travel, but it really is important to try to stay healthy in order to better enjoy the experience. It starts while still on the plane; avoid too much alcohol and caffeine and instead opt for water. Staying hydrated will help you feel better and minimize jet lag. Once in the destination, definitely enjoy the local food but don’t go crazy and try to balance it with a healthy breakfast. Finally, most of us walk a lot when we travel so use this as your daily workout and burn off those French pastries while also enjoying the sights.

I've found that I care more about my health when I'm abroad because I'm not able to run home to mommy or daddy and cry about my problems. Sure, I vent to them on occasion, but living abroad gives you a sense of independence like nothing else in the world can (not even university). If you want to travel long-term and really change your life, it's important you begin to take care of your body regularly. Les Brown once said,

''If you do what is easy, your life will be hard. But if you do what is hard, your life will be easy.''

More Interviews

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.
Interview with Ashleigh, Co-founder of The English Camp Company

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.