I learnt a lot during this experience. I had lovely host families, I especially bonded with the first family and I already miss them so much! I always felt very very welcome by the families, neighbors,teachers,students and everyone else in the small town I lived in. The English teachers at the schools took me under their wing and were almost like other host mothers . The children at the school were lovely to teach, always cheerful and lively. I loved living in the European culture and walking through the streets of the cozy town i lived in. The school timetable was also very flexible and I was also able to go to Rome, Venice and Germany during this trip.
The biggest challenge I faced was the language barrier. Sometimes it can be isolating not understanding what people are saying around you or not being able to have a hearty conversation with anymore for a few weeks. The other challenge is living with the host families. Don't get me wrong, I'm so so glad I stayed with the wonderful families I was placed with and got to experience the local Italian culture first hand, however if you're thinking about doing this program just consider that for 3 months you will be a guest in someone else's home and you have to *always* be polite,friendly and clean up after yourself. Lastly, another challenge I faced was preparing the lessons. I prepared all the lessons for the 3 different years each week myself. I enjoyed this freedom, however I sometimes wished I had more help as I was not always sure what level of understanding the different classes had and sometimes my lessons were too easy or too hard for the class.
Overall this was an unforgettable experience! I was overwhelmed with love and generosity. I got to live out my dream of living in Europe for a few months and being able to teach young children. I will hold on to the beautiful memories I made in Italy for all my life.