Travel Italy and become TEFL-TP certified with ACLE
84% Rating
(41 Reviews)

Travel Italy and become TEFL-TP certified with ACLE

Experience Italy by teaching abroad on our TEFL-TP programme, during which you will receive a paid study grant. This opportunity gives you great teaching experience and strong leadership skills, as well as memories to last a lifetime. With around 400 camp locations, you’ll get to travel the country and experience Italy in an exciting and unique way. ACLE has 35 years experience fulfilling its passion of inspiring people to learn English.

Locations
Europe » Italy » Rome
Europe » Italy » Milan
Europe » Italy » Florence
Europe » Italy » Venice
Europe » Italy » Bologna
Europe » Italy » Pisa
Europe » Italy » Turin
Teaching Practicum
No
Training Type
Classroom
Training Length
120hours
Job Placement
No
Accommodation
Host Family
Inclusions
Accommodation
Activities
Meals
Transportation
Exclusions
Airfare
Age Min.
19
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
See site for pricing inquiries.
Other Locations
All over Italy

Questions & Answers

Yes, technically we look to recruit native English speakers. However if you are a near native English speaker and you have a high proficiency in English your application will be considered.
Once you receive your job offer, we normally ask you to confirm your flight details within 3 weeks time in order to secure your place at Orientations. Then we'll ask you to send us a copy of your flight receipt. After that time, if you have not been able to purchase your flight for any reason you should contact us.
It depends on the family you stay with and the town or city in which you are placed. Be open to differences in each place you are tutoring and try not to worry if at first it seems like you aren't happy with your situation because 1) there is most likely a miscommunication or misunderstanding; take time in a different conversation to bring up your concerns, expectations for outings etc. Ask for fr...
If you haven't found out already: it's definitely worth emailing the English Office, they always want new tutors and can be flexible on some deadlines if need be. And if you don't get to apply this year, I would definitely recommend you try again next year, it was an AMAZING opportunity, loved it so much last year :)

Program Reviews

  • Benefits
    77%
  • Support
    76%
  • Fun
    79%
  • Facilities
    87%
  • Safety
    89%
  • Instruction
    90%
  • Support
    85%
  • Value
    100%
  • Difficulty
    50%
  • Job Assistance
    70%

Program Reviews (41)

ACLE Trainee Tutor
Kieran John
Male
23 years old
The Netherlands
Other

The Best Summers I ever had!

10/10

I loved my time with ACLE so much I went back every summer, for three years.
You meet so many amazing people from around the world, stay with incredible host families, teach some adorable (and some patience-testing) kids, and you get to travel one of the most stunning countries on earth... while earning money!

My summers with ACLE were honestly the most incredible times of my life! I made friends for life, and have learned so many valuable skills, which I hope will help me in my future career as an educator.

How can this program be improved?

Keep the summer going forever...

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Magdalene
Female
22 years old
UK
University of Essex

Eye-opening

8/10

I spent my first summer with the ACLE program teaching English in Italy in 2016. I stayed from early June until the end of the season in mid-September. I had a phenomenal experience, and taught at six different camps starting in Rome, travelling to various small towns all over the country. The connections with host families are part of what makes the experience so special and personal. The families go out of their way to make you feel comfortable, and this helps significantly. I had no experience of teaching but the training made me feel very prepared for the classroom. The friendly colleagues I worked with supported me through each camp, and even though I worked with different people at each camp, team spirit was very evident. The children were well behaved all across Italy and it was an honour to interact with such happy, excitable children. Travel, accommodation and food was all covered which put my worries about finances at ease. I enjoyed travelling between camps on Saturdays, and I never travelled alone other than the week I came back from my holidays.

How can this program be improved?

Better communication with camp directors at times

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Beth
Female
22 years old

The best summers of my life

9/10

2016 was my second summer teaching with ACLE, because one was just not enough.
My ACLE journey started with a random email from someone at my university targeted at anyone studying Italian, English or teaching. I am actually a physics student but took an Italian course in my spare time and because of my love of Italy and lack of summer plans I went along to the meeting that this guy had organised to see whether the opportunity that he'd talked about could be interesting to me. I came out of the meeting totally inspired by how much fun it looked, and how worthwhile a cause it seemed.
I decided to apply, but having no formal teaching experience at all and very little experience working with children I didn't hold out much hope of getting the position, so when I did I was both very excited and very nervous that I wouldn't be any good at the job.
When I got to orientation, all of the teaching materials we needed for the summer were provided, and we were given a crash course in "the ACLE way". By the end of my first week teaching I felt I'd learned so much, I'd realised that I could do more than I ever thought and I had grown so much more confident.
The most important qualities for an ACLE tutor are enthusiasm and flexibility, everything else ACLE will either give/teach you at orientation or you will learn on the job.
I would recommend ACLE to anyone who wanted to meet people, work with kids, travel or just gain very valuable life experience!

How can this program be improved?

Some camps don't have both morning and afternoon meetings with all the staff. I think these meetings can be really important to improve the day-to-day running of the camp, to ensure that everyone knows what's happening and when and what resources are needed.

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Kate-lynn
Female
28 years old
Durban, RSA
Other

Phenomenal Summer Abroad

9/10

Responsive and respectful children? Camp directors organizing and facilitating a smooth camp experience for tutors and children? Housed and fed by local, willing families? Interaction with English speakers from across the globe? Opportunities to travel with new friends and experience Italy as a tourist and a local?
Yes yes yes.

I lived with three totally different families in various regions in Italy- from living in a castle (you heard right) in Tuscany to a build-by-hand house by a family that grows their own fruit and veg, I have the most fantastic experiences. The families fed me local cuisine and assisted me I trip planning, the children were curious and willing to learn English and tried extremely hard to understand cultural differences and the tutors you are partnered with at camp will be life-long friends. You will have new respect for those learning multiple languages, realize that hand gestures and body language are vital for survival, be exhausted but well rewarded and walk away with songs and games to get a crowd off their feet (I am still singing the camp songs weeks later).

I would love to be back again for another life changing summer abroad- thank you for the time and effort poured into the running of such a program!

How can this program be improved?

Ensure all camps have adequate space for whole camp activities.

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Amanda
Female
23 years old
Toronto
York University

Scared you wont be prepared? Orientation has got you covered

9/10

I have had an amazing experience with ACLE, and am thankful for the opportunity. ACLE is a wonderful program which promises what it offers. One thing I believe ACLE does very well is prepare you in the one week orientation for what you can expect as an English tutor in your future camps. We all felt nervous at orientation on Monday morning and had no idea what to expect, but by Friday afternoon I felt ready to take on camp. It's amazing what just one week can do! The orientation leaders are great and are very committed to helping you too. They were in your shoes, so they have tips to make you feel more comfortable. Another great thing is the way they organize and structure your week. They do it as if you were a kid at camp. The leaders teach you the songs by modelling them to you as if you were an Italian student (slow, repetitive and with hand movements). This was helpful because this is eventually how you will be teaching the kids. They did this for other aspects of camp, including how to run tribal games in the same fashion, as well as putting on a final show. During orientation you also meet so many people from around the world. It was one of my most memorable weeks. ACLE is a wonderful program that allows you to travel and get a taste of teaching, especially if you are considering teaching abroad in the future. Keep an open mind and be willing to try something new, that is the secret for a trip to remember. I definitely recommend it!

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Anthony
Male
21 years old
Thornhill
York University

A Truly One-Of-A-Kind Experience

10/10

Like numerous other programs, ACLE provides the opportunity for native speakers of a language to travel overseas and apply teaching mechanisms of the same language in a place where it is not the dominant one. However, what makes ACLE such a better experience is not only it's revolutionary approaches to delivering teaching mechanisms in an non-stressful, action-packed environment, but also because it brings speakers of language from all over the world. Even from someone like me who grew up in a country very multicultural (Canada), I was so intrigued by how many different kids of people I met, and we all got to work together overseas in a beautiful country. Overall, ACLE has definitely been one my greatest life experiences so far, and I would be thrilled at the prospect of possibly returning next year.

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K
Female
26 years old
Toronto

Unforegetable experience

8/10

The ACLE program was an unforgettable experience and very rewarding. If you love working with children, are family oriented and enjoy working in a team setting then this program is a perfect fit for you. This is more of a work trip then a leisure vacation as the training portion was loaded with useful training activities and demanded high energy at all times. Teaching in various schools across Italy was amazing as you got to see how different communities live across the country and had a short amount of time to also explore the various cities. I personally loved the program as teaching is my passion and I enjoyed getting to know the families I lived with. I would NOT recommend this program if you are looking to party and not take the responsibility of teaching english seriously. If you are also NOT interested in staying with families then I would also NOT recommend this to you as staying with a family is the most rewarding part and the families truly have a desire to spend time with you and get to know you therefore if you are not interested in this it would not be suitable for you. The longer you stay the more rewarding your experience is. I loved this experience and look forward to returning next summer!

How can this program be improved?

It could be improved by providing a wish list of places to go so you had some say in where you go, although it is true that every place in Italy is beautiful. I would also recommend a skype interview process when hiring as not all tutors were suitable for this experience which hindered work environments.

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Karishma
Female
24 years old
SALISBURY
Widener University

Inexpensive way to immerse into a beautiful culture while working with children!

10/10

I feel so fortunate to have been able to be a tutor with ACLE. Originally, I didn't think being a tutor would be too intense but after orientation, I knew the job would be tough. I enjoy working with children and although the job was more intense than I thought it would be, I wouldn't have it any other way! The children you work with adore you and the parents and other adults see how hard your work and respect you. You have the opportunity to work with tutors from many English-speaking countries so you learn about their cultures as well as Italian culture. This is a wonderful opportunity for people who enjoy being enthusiastic, energetic, and outgoing! I wish I would have discovered this program sooner so I could have done it every summer! Another huge benefit of this program is that you can do it without spending an absurd amount of money. Because of the study grant that ACLE provides, I spent about $800 for one month in Italy (including my flights to and from America, food, housing, souvenirs, and the orientation fee). My host families were all kind and hospitable. I became so close to one of my host families that they have insisted that I come back next summer to stay with them for a week or two when I'm done with camp! They bought me presents the night before I left and were so touched when I gave them a small gift I brought from America. I feel like I found a second family!

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Dani
Female
23 years old
George, South Africa
University of Stellenbosch

An opportunity and experience of a lifetime

10/10

I definitely recommend this programme to anybody who is interested in having an unbelievable summer. It's amazing to meet so many wonderful, enthusiastic and energetic tutors from all over the world. I stayed with two generous and welcoming host families that couldn't do enough for me. Hearing the children using English words with more confidence, at the end of a camp is the most rewarding feeling. And most of all, it is so much fun! Thank you ACLE for giving me this opportunity.

How can this program be improved?

I think that overall the programme is very organised and efficient, allowing it to work well. However, with the increase of tutors doing the ACLE programme, the payment system that was used, couldn't cater for the amount of payments to be made this summer.

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Vicky
Female
38 years old
Eastleigh, Hampshire
Queen Mary- University of London

Authentic Italy

9/10

I've been a drama teacher for 13 years, and this program still had plenty to teach me! The orientation course was very good value for money; the days were packed with exercises and teaching strategies, the program was well organised, and we got three excellent meals a day.

Staying with host families was by far the highlight for me, where else would you get such an authentic view of Italian life and culture.

I taught in high schools, and the work was challenging, behaviour was sometimes an issue in the schools, as well as the heat. I had a hugely varied experience in only 3 weeks of camps, and this was mainly due to the different camp directors - you never know what to expect, and its really important to be flexible.

How can this program be improved?

There needs to be more focus on two week camps in the guidebook, we had run out of activities half way through week 2 of one of our camps. Please could there be more structure for week 2.

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Qita
Female
27 years old
London, England
Other

Fun and exciting Italian adventures!

10/10

I spent a month in Italy last summer with A.C.L.E. and I have to say I had the BEST time! I met the most amazing fellow tutors that will be friends for life on orientation (which was really thorough, so I felt really well prepared to go to camps after) then had a great time singing silly songs and playing great games with the Italian kids. Thankfully I've also had a chance to work with A.C.L.E. since in London, taking Italian teachers on a tour of the sights and sharing fun teaching methods. I'm even going back this summer to help with this year's orientations! I couldn't recommend it enough, go and make epic memories exploring Italy! What have you got to lose!

How can this program be improved?

I do have London rent to pay so I wish the study grant was a bit higher, but everything is paid for while you're out there so it's not like you lose money out there ^_^

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Meghan
Female
27 years old
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Carleton University

Two Summers in the Italian Sun

10/10

You want me to share just one story? I honestly think it's impossible to only share one story about Acle because I have so many positive things to share.

In general I'd have to say that my experiences with Acle have been some of the most important that I have ever had in my life. My first time teaching with Acle I was only 19 years old, had never been to Europe, never been away from home for longer than 2 weeks, and I travelled alone. Needless to say the whole plane ride there I was thinking "IS this real?"..."IS this all a scam?".."THIS seems way too good to be true". In all honesty though as soon as I landed and met the Acle staff at the train station in San Remo, my fears and apprehensions were taken away pretty quickly.

First of all, Acle is super organized. From their staff in the main office, to the staff at the orientation week, to the camp directors/ host families. Everything is organized for you. You don't need to be thinking of how you'll get somewhere or where/when you'll have your next meal. All of that is taken care of and that takes a lot of the stress off of you. The only thing you'll need to focus on is being the best that you can be for your students.

Speaking of the students. I would have to say that my first experience with Acle in 2010 was the main reason I decided to focus on teaching as my career path here in Canada. It was the most real and raw teaching experience I had had to date. I had my own students, I had my own learning space, and I had to plan my own lessons. I also had to assess my students progress at the end of our time together. All of this combined had me realize that THIS, THIS was for me. Every challenge, every moment of uncertainty made me realize that it was the first of many rewarding teaching experiences.

If I was to focus on on camp/location to highlight it would be the City Camp I was a tutor at in Bari-the heel of the boot-in southern Italy during the summer of 2014. I mean, I could talk all day about the beaches and sun in this region, but this camp tops my list of ultimate teaching experiences. This City Camp was different from most of Acle's traditional camps. At this camp the students spend half the day with the English tutors enjoying the regular Acle program (songs, games, arts/ crafts and activities in the Acle work books) and the other half of the day is spent playing sports taught in English by Olympic calibre athlete coaches. Oh and did I mention that the camp location was at an Olympic stadium? Well...it was!

How can this program be improved?

The first and only thing that comes to my mind would be the lack of materials for "creating" at the camps. Acle is really a chalk board free program, which truly enhances the learning, but at a few of the camps I have taught at- craft materials such as markers, tape, glue, and paper were hard to come by.

Response from ACLE

Thanks for your lovely words Meghan.

We are so pleased to hear that you have enjoyed your summers with ACLE. Bari is one of our favorite places here in the office.

Thank you also for your notes on camp materials. We will be sure to pack extra craft materials this year.

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Andrea
Male
26 years old
Windsor, Ontario
University of Windsor

I've never heard of a bad experience!

10/10

I first heard about ACLE through school mates who have done the program. Over the years I've met about four people who have done the program and I only have heard AMAZING stories about their experience. I decided to go to the most beautiful place in Europe (according to me) and do what I love most - teach children and travel. I can't express how much fun I had in my 1 week of orientation, 3 weeks teaching and a couple days afterwards to travel. I learned so much about myself and will never forget the experience I had from the program. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to do it. I can stress enough how smooth, fun, life changing this journey was for me. If you have the chance to do this, do it!

How can this program be improved?

Honestly, this program is so organized, and I feel that there is no major improvements that need to me made. If I could express my feelings on one thing it would be how I was worried travelling alone to Italy (to do the program and travel afterwards). It would've been helpful if the ACLE facebook group would have been available to people planning when to go teach, travel etc. After being accepted to the program, it would've been nice to be given a chance to connect with other people that had the same feelings as me, and decide to travel with them if possible. However it was very helpful that a facebook group was available to us after we had confirmed our airplane tickets and dates.

Response from ACLE

Ciao Andrea,

Thank you for your lovely words.

You will be pleased to hear that ACLE trainee tutors are now able to join the Facebook group from the time they are accepted onto the programme (before flights are purcahsed) and we have the new ACLE.org Facebook page which is accessible all year round.

We hope to see you back with us this summer.

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Alex
Female
27 years old
Toledo, OH
Georgetown University

I'd do it every summer if I could.

10/10

I taught for ACLE in the summer of 2011, and then again this past summer of 2015. Before heading to Italy this June, I thought perhaps the ridiculously high opinion I held of ACLE was due in part to nostalgia - surely I had forgotten certain hardships of the program, or had just gotten exceedingly lucky with the people I had worked with before. Then I arrived in my first camp of the summer and realized, nope, it wasn't just nostalgia. Working for ACLE was just as wonderful and rewarding as it was four years ago - the people were just as lovely, the kids just as fun, Italy just as stunningly beautiful.

ACLE is the perfect program for you if you're looking for a summer job that will be an amazing experience and also give you a bit of pocket change with which to travel if you're planning to explore other parts of Europe after your time with ACLE is finished. It's also the right place to be if you're looking to make some stellar friends to to do that exploring with you! Both times I've done ACLE, I've ended up traveling onward and having some fairly grand adventures with another counselor I met through camp.

Basically - ten out of ten, would do again. (And again, and again.)

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Megan
Female
21 years old
Montreal, Canada
Dalhousie University

Megan Lindsay's review of summer 2015

9/10

I would (and have) recommend this program to anyone interested in discovering beautiful Italian cities while working with amazing people. I signed up for ACLE last year after a classmate told me how much she loved her own experience, and I was not disappointed. The camp directors are some of the most supportive, caring and helpful people I have ever met (especially the camp director in Mestre, outside of Venice). As for the host families, their genuine love and care for you is one of a kind. You are only with this family for one or two weeks at a time, and they will do everything in their power to ensure that you have the best possible time during your stay. As for the relationships you will make with your fellow tutors, it is something similar to life changing. Even within the few short weeks you will be working together, these friendships will last far beyond this limited time frame. Last but not least, ACLE TAKES PLACE IN ITALY!!! There is nothing more beautiful than the quaint Italian villages I was given the chance to see and the INCREDIBLE gourmet cuisine I experienced daily.The Italian culture can best be described as artistic, lively and loud. Chances are, you will fall in love with it.

How can this program be improved?

I were to change one thing it would be a slightly longer recess for the kids and the tutors. I sometimes found the breaks too short (after gathering all the kids outside, and bringing them back in, which can take a while). It was super beneficial to give the kids some time to run around in between lessons, and giving them some extra time to do so could potentially benefit their learning.

Conor
Male
University of Leeds

You teach better if they're laughing

9/10

What better way to see a country than by making its children laugh while teaching them? When ACLE say 'Emotion Generates Learning' they mean it. ACLE’s experience and positive philosophy combine to train you to deliver games, songs and exercises that the participants enjoy so much they often forget they are learning. You’ll often come out of a workshop feeling like a rock star, with participants asking for your autograph. You’ll need to work hard and be adaptable to different ages ranges and regions and be able to read the room. If you put in the energy, the kids will give far more back.

I’ve done both Camps and Theatrino. Camps are mainly workshop based. Your day goes like this: warm up circle (songs and games), then sessions with your own group (all kinds of stuff), and then camp wide activities to finish the day (such as treasure hunts). Of course there are some more formal language aspects to teach, such as bits of grammar, but whenever possible you’ll teach through something creative. You’ll be amazed how you can you can teach comparatives through a drawing, game or football chant, or whatever suits your style. You normally help your group put on a short performance at the end of the week. The younger ones are super cute, and the older ones are often surprisingly competent. I had one group ask if they could make a film, and they did it all themselves. I ended up just checking the English. Camps give a nice balance of seeing different places, but have a week or two to settle into each one. Staying with host families is one of the best bits—many Italian families will spoil you rotten!

Theatrino is more performance based, as you put on two or three shows each day, normally followed by a short workshop. The shows are well pitched for each age, are larger than life and you play for laughs. From January to June, you will see a good chunk of Italy, getting to know the different cultures of each region, and eating amazing food. Like any long tour, you need to be prepared to share personal space—make sure you get yourself some ‘me time.’ You will genuinely make amazing memories in and out of work. Certain schools, children and teachers will stand out, and you will see incredible places. We had a school in Pompeii, so popped over to the ruins after work. Months later I still keep saying ‘when I was in Italy…’

How can this program be improved?

Perhaps more scope to adapt material as you go, though a fair amount is given.

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Katie
Female
24 years old
Nz

Amazing time

10/10

I really enjoyed working with acle, it was a lot of work and absolutely exaughsting but fantastic ! The day starts with a coffee and then a circle of students all staring at you, the moment you start "the lama song" and the children's faces light up, you feel more than awake! The energy bouncing round these camps is fantastic and everyone is there to learn English and have a great time! My host families were fantastic and one in particular was hard to leave, we shared a few tears upon departure as we had become so close over my two week stay. I have been traveling about 3 years in Europe, climbed mountains, saw beautiful things and still this was on of the best experiences I have had. If you get the opportunity, get involved! You will never regret the summer you spent teachibg incredible kids English by having fun and traveling a beautiful country at te same time :)

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Gabriela
Female
24 years old
Bath, United Kingdom
University of Bath

Return again and again and again!

9/10

My first Italian adventure with Acle was in summer 2013. I was hooked to say the least! I've come back as a return tutor since and I am strongly considering coming back again for summer 2016.

Some negative reviews make the point that Acle does not care about its tutors. I think that this couldn't be further from the truth. In summer 2014, I was assigned my last camp in Northern Italy, but had to go back home due to an emergency two days before the camp was due to start. The Acle team were quick to hear me out and understand my situation. I was not "blacklisted" and they paid me the same day, even though finding a replacement for the camp probably cost them extra resources but nothing was deducted from my study grant. I have since been invited to come back as a tutor on multiple occassions, thereby showing that Acle valued me and my deducation to all the children I worked with.

I have lived with three host families so far and I can say that they were all wonderful in every single way. I was never taken advantage of (in terms of babysitting), but was in fact treating as a honored guest and even family. My last host family lived in a small two-bedroom apartament and had three kids (which all shared a room), the husband and wife were so kind that they let me stay in their bedroom for two weeks while they slept on a pull-out couch. In terms of food, they catered to me as a vegetarian and often insisted on paying for me when we went out for gelato.

I could go on forever about how wonderful the programme is but I would encourage everyone reading these reviews to try it for themselves instead of just reading about it. Hard work and dedication is necessary from tutors but what we gain back is much greater. I'm still in touch with tutors I've worked with and my host families who have invited me to come back on several occassions.

How can this program be improved?

As mentioned by others, there are also things that can be improved but compared to all of the pros, these cons are minimal:

* pay study grant into bank accounts not PayPal

* send more materials to camps

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Kura
Female
24 years old
Brooklyn, New York
Pace University

Testing the waters and Jumping In

8/10

Participating in ACLE was my test the waters experience. After finishing college I thought about going abroad to teach. However, I could not see myself committing to 6months or a year in doing something I had no real experience in. Then I heard about ACLE and I applied. I was notified that I was accepted into the program whilst writing my thesis in my University's library. I was excited that I would have something to do for nearly 3months after graduating and I was also terrified because I was not 100% sure of what would be happening while I was in Italy.
Although, they try there best there are just somethings orientation cannot prepare you for. There is also a lot that they do prepare you for, but once you're in it seems a little more challenging. Either way the staff was always a great resource and very helpful. You work a lot with people who are teachers year around and they are great guides if teaching is something you wish to do. In addition your co-tutors are also there. Surprisingly many people have previous experience working abroad, meaning they have some of the best tricks and tips for getting hard to get ideas across. Besides the amazing assistance and support you get from your peers ACLE is a great source for travel and just getting there. If you are staying for the 3week minimum or the whole 3month + shabang there are a lot of opportunities to see and truly get to know Italy. One you are staying with host families and they are usually game for cultural exchange. Two you make friends along the way that take you, drag you, and call out for you to come, go, explore and see different places. My time made it so I have the opportunity to stay with people not only from Italy, but from around the globe.

Anyway, I loved my time with ACLE and my experience tutoring. Now I am exploring degrees to teach English as a Foreign Language while preparing to take several trips to see dear friends I during my time in Italy.

Jumping in

How can this program be improved?

More emphasis in orientation for the older levels

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Ashleigh
Female
22 years old
Northern Ireland
Stranmillis University College

Italian Adventure

8/10

My summer with ACLE was a very different experience to anything I could have imagined before taking the trip to Italy. Before going, myself and two friends who were also going to orientation with me, were very apprehensive about what the next month was going to involve.

Orientation:
We flew into Nice so had to travel across the border into Italy. This sounds fairly self explanatory, taking two trains, however the trains were quite run down and covered in graffiti etc.
We were met in the train station by Helen and Charlie and were driven to the golf resort. As my friends and I had requested to stay together, we were placed in a room with one other Canadian girl who was lovely. The room was nice (two sofa beds and a double bed) with an en suite bathroom and a mini fridge. We were given some time to relax before dinner and we were excited to start our training the next morning.
On the first day of orientation we were met by a warm up circle. This was a truly nerve wracking experience as we came to the realisation that we would have to do this, by ourselves in only a weeks time.
There was really nothing to worry about as the training days at orientation really prepared us for camp life. The ACLE Tutor Manual has everything you would ever need to know and more in it so you will never be stuck without ideas.
On the Thursday of Orientation we were given our first camps and who we would be going with. I was going to Foligno in the very centre of Italy with another Irish girl, Hilary. ACLE had arranged a bus to take everyone to Milan to get trains from there, however, myself and Hilary had to get an early morning train from San Remo to Rome. It took roughly 9 hours to get to Rome, then a further 2/3 to get to Foligno.
This wasn't as bad as it sounds actually as it gave myself and Hilary the chance to chat and get to know each other a bit more as we didn't really talk much during Orientation.

Camp 1 - Foligno
In some ways, Hilary and I were lucky in that our first camp was quite small. There was only one other return tutor and it just so happened that Foligno was her final camp so we were quite happy to let her do any activities that she thought had worked well in her previous camps and also this allowed us to take note of any activities not listed in the tutor manual.
Our camp director in Foligno had extremely limited English so the only way we could communicate with her was through the return tutor translating everything. The helpers in the camp were also useful for translating to the camp director. Apart from the language barrier she gave us everything we asked for and was happy to go along with anything we wanted to do.
In this camp I taught a level 2 class. They were very lively and hated doing the assigned worksheets that ACLE provides. This left me with a bit more work to do in planning lessons that they found interesting but a lot of arts and crafts seemed to be a big winner with this group. The children all had a good time at camp and the parents were all really happy with how the camp went.
The family I stayed with this week were lovely. I had my own guest house in their back garden which was great for a bit of peace and quiet, however, the internet from the family home wouldn't stretch that far so if I needed to use the internet at all I needed to go and sit in a chair outside the family's patio doors. The family were very accommodating to dietary requirements, they even got me to try quite unusual foods like rabbit and wild boar.
At the end of the week they threw myself and Hilary a dinner party in their garden. They invited Hilary's host family and the camp director and some of the assistants from the camp. It was a great time to relax and enjoy some good food and chat with Hilary about non work related topics.

Camp 2 - BORGONUOVO
Myself and Hilary were placed together for the second camp as well. We were in a smaller town where we could walk to camp every day and at lunch time we were allowed to go to a local bar to get pizza which was much more relaxing than eating a packed lunch with the campers. This camp was much larger than the first with 8 r so tutors, 4 of which were return tutors. This school was much more modernised than the last school so we had a large sports hall for whole camp activities which was nice and the classrooms opened up so we could use the outside space easily. The children at this camp (level 3) seemed to enjoy the ACLE materials a lot more than the first class which was a welcome relief for me as I didn't need to do much independent planning. The camp director was lovely and had great English. She was really cool and even took all the tutors and assistants to a fair on the last night, rave and all.
The family I stayed with lived in an apartment right above the gelato shop (how fab) and basically gave me a free reign to do anything I wanted when I was with them. When I first arrived in Borgonuovo, the dad picked me up and walked me to the house and informed me that the mum and daughters were at the seaside and wouldn't be back until the following evening. He was really nice though and took me to a supermarket to buy food that I liked to eat. The mum couldn't really speak any English and the daughters knowledge was limited also but it wasn't really an issue as the only time I really spent with them was dinner time. This is quite uncommon though as usually families like to plan activities in the evenings.

Camp 3 - Bergamo
This was my final camp and it was by far the largest. The camps have been running there for a really long time so the camp director was really skilled and knowledgeable about how the camp should be run. I had a level 2 class again for this camp but their level of English was much better than with my first class. They could easily follow along with what I said but would sometimes be lazy and wait for a helper to translate the activities rather than think about the task in English. I had a bit of a problem with behaviour in this group and parents who refused to believe that their child could possibly bully another child but instances like these are few and far between.
The family I stayed with this week were really the best. They were quite well off but really family orientated and down to earth so when I arrived and said that it was my birthday they immediately got to work throwing me a pizza party and baking a cake with their whole family. I was really nice to get to chat to them, as they all had really good English skills. Bergamo is a beautiful city and I got to see a lot of it thanks to my host family and the camp director.

Overall the experience was really positive, I made so many new friends and learned so much about teaching in general. However, a thing to note is, if you can, don't have a helper in your class. The kids will know that they are Italian and will wait for them to translate everything you say. Even when you tell the helper not to translate they often will begin speaking to the children in Italian which can be really unhelpful, especially when introducing a new concept or vocab.

FIngers crossed ill be able to go back to Italy for another ACLE summer soon!

How can this program be improved?

More standard roles for helpers, explain to them that they are to speak English unless it is really essential for them to translate something for the campers. Also the pay isn't great but as we didn't pay for anything while we were there it wasn't too bad overall.

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Bridget
Female
26 years old
New York, New York

A rewarding experience

9/10

I have worked for ACLE for the past this summer because I found the experience to be a fantastic and beautiful way to get to know a different culture, and while being paid at the same time. I've seen a circus on the top of the mountain, walked up another mountain, been to the most beautiful beaches and ideal country sides and been to places I would have never seen otherwise. Each new camp offers the opportunity to meet new native speakers from all around the world and work with bright Italian students. One of the best parts is living with a host family. They welcome you in with such open arms and do everything they can to make you comfortable! The work itself is so fun and rewarding. Speaking English, singing, dancing and playing games with kids is a pretty accurate description of your day to day life and by the time you fall asleep you are so tired, but so so satisfied.

I can say that for anyone interested who is interested in travel, alternative ways of teaching or learning about a new culture (or all three), this is the way to do it.

How can this program be improved?

I was a bit confused by the process drama and coordinating so many people does seem to be a bit difficult.

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Elouise
Female
22 years old
Birmingham, England
University of Birmingham

A great way to earn, gain experience, and travel!

10/10

The programme offered by ACLE is very tutor-orientated, meaning that I was really cared for as a tutor and I felt that my opinions and comments were welcomed and appreciated. The scheme itself is so much fun! Morning sessions are devoted to classroom based learning, and this is through fun worksheets, games and songs, and the afternoons for show practise and fun and games! The kids get really involved and are so enthusiastic, its really encouraging to see!

The really special and unique thing about the scheme is the fact tutors get to live with host families. I have stayed in touch with all of my host families (I had 5!) and I made some really close bonds with them. The families feel privaliged to host a tutor and really take care of them. My families were all very keen to show me the best monuments, lakes, resturaunts, bars, pools etc etc. Some families took to me medieval cities which was just incredible! Also, there is nothing quite like Italian home-cooking....

How can this program be improved?

If there is anything to be improved on the scheme, perhaps some more opportunity to speak directly with the people who work behind the scenes organizing placements etc.

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Allison
Female
27 years old
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
University of Saskatchewan

Culture Sharing

8/10

My absolute favourite part of the experience was staying with host families and getting to know the other English tutors from around the globe! You never know whether you'll be out to the small town pizzaria with your host brothers and sisters or seeing the city at night with the other tutors and their hosts as well! Volleyball by the River Po? A traditional travelling comedy group? Learning to cook from Nonna and her 60+ years experience? So good!
The opportunity to see multiple parts of the country was great too. 1-2 weeks in each place helps give a real understanding of Italy.

How can this program be improved?

I think the biggest thing that could be improved is within the administration. Sometimes between sending so many tutors to different places every week and sending out materials to ensure all camps have everything they need to be successful, gets mixed in the organization. It means being extra flexible and always having several back-up plans.

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Rianne
Female
22 years old
Essex, England
Canterbury Christ Church University

Not one to miss!

10/10

Thinking about leaving your typical life behind for a summer? You're bored of your 9 to 5 job and daily routines and deadlines, aren't you? If you fancy yourself some sun and want to revolutionise childrens lives in Italy, then ACLE is what you need.
This experience is not one to miss.

Yes, you will get tired, and yes you will need those swimming pools your host families have, but yes, it is so worth it.
I spent 1/4 of my year in Italy, traveling almost every week, exploring and adventuring with some of the best friends I've ever made. It is an unreal life that you wont find anywhere else. Within a simple week you can make friends and build such strong connections with your camp directer, your students and the other tutors. Some of the places I got to see and work in, included: Milan, Rome, Florence, Brescia, Venice, Lake Garda, Trento, Bologna, and Verona; are you jealous? Then go apply!

ORIENTATION:
To start, you are thrown into a beautiful golf resort with so many people from many different cultures and countries, you are more than fully prepared for the crazy summer you're about to embark on. If you're nervous, after this week, you'll be absolutely fine! You are given, what I like to call "the book of life". A lovely handy book full of everything you'll ever need to know! Lesson plans, activities, songs and games! (Yes, songs. You'll learn to form a love-hate relationship for them and continue to sing them for a following year or so. The kids love them it's great). You'll be taught everything you need to know, and even get a day where you'll meet a group of students to help prepare you for your first class!

CITY CAMPS!
I was never left to travel alone from camp to camp and my trains were always well organised and on time!
I still miss all of my host families, and keep in contact with many of them! The host families are amazing, they help you learn Italian, and feed you more than you'll ever need to be fed! I was taken to some of the most beautiful parts of Italy that no holiday-goer would ever discover without a local! Lets not forget all of the major cities and events as well though! Including the EXPO at Milan.

The course is designed to train you to teach and expand your knowledge, but you're also given a study grant. Just keeps getting better! Paid to have the best summer of your life!

I couldn't tell you one favourite moment, there's so much i loved; from the morning hugs and endless "love you" cards and seriously random behaviour from some of my students. (They seem to love cross dressing and bursting into song at random points).
I think my favourite day at work has to be working at a lake, playing beach volleyball and teaching outside a beach hut in the sun shine! (obviously with sun cream on as it was 35 Degrees).
Your students help you as much as you help them, their enthusiasm and motivation to learn really makes you a passionate and energetic tutor. Tutoring English is a great way to improve your own confidence and really build self esteem.
Couldn't have wished for a better summer!

How can this program be improved?

The level of work for each age group, some of the lower work sheets were too difficult and the process drama was challenging at times!

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Noah
Male
21 years old
Waterloo, Ontario
University of Windsor

Una incredibile esperienza!

10/10

My time with ACLE was absolutely unbelievable! Such an incredible experience!

In regards of the organization itself it was always helpful when I had questions and I always felt like I was free to inquire as much as I felt necessary. The staff is helpful and very kinds.

The orientation is a great experience because you meet so many people from all over the world and in just that week you really develop connections with people. I have friends that I made in orientation that I'm going to visit this coming year. It's a huge group of like-minded people wanting to have a fun time while doing some teaching in the process.

The camps are obviously the biggest part of the experience and I had an incredible time at every single one. None of my directors were unpleasant or rude at all. They're excited to get to know you and have the best time possible for the kids.

The families were another thing that was perfect. I didn't have a single bad experience with any of the families I stayed with. They are so warm and kind and they really want to learn as much about your culture as possible. Italians are incredibly hospitable people and they will make sure you're comfortable and feel at home for the time you're with them.

I thoroughly enjoyed everything there was to my time working for ACLE. I was able to travel to some of the most beautiful places I had ever seen, meet incredible people and create connections all over the world, teach english to kids while having fun doing, and the food was really the cherry on top of the cake. I would recommend working for ACLE to anyone. It's really a life changing experience.

How can this program be improved?

There really isn't much to improve. The pay is a little low but while you're with them you pay for nothing so everything you make goes straight to the bank.

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Chris
Male
25 years old
Brooklyn, NY
University of Miami

Amazing

9/10

I had never been to Italy before. ACLE completely prepared me with a week of training at a beautiful mountain resort. What followed training was one of the most important experiences of my life! I saw Rome, Florence, Siena, Venice, Brescia, the Amalfi Coast, the Dolomites, and countless works of art and pieces of priceless history. The host families welcomed me whole-heartedly, and gave me the best of what they had to offer. I even learned some Italian, and by the end of three months, I could contribute to a conversation around the dinner table. Meanwhile, ACLE gave me a huge amount of material to work with. The tutor manual has so many songs, games, and activities that I couldn't possibly utilize them all. I felt the material was appropriately adjusted for the different levels, especially since the development of Process Drama for the older students. Even though Process Drama is challenging and needs some fine-tuning, it demonstrates how committed ACLE is to developing exciting, innovative teaching methods. I learned more than I can possibly write here, and I would recommend ACLE to any one I meet.

How can this program be improved?

Process Drama (the material for the older students) needs a little simplification.

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HEATHER
Female
24 years old
Yorkshire, UK

Bella Italia

9/10

2015 was made incredibly special by ACLE. After graduating from university I craved adventure and a unique working life. From January to June I took part in ACLE's Theatrino Standard Tour - performing fairytales and comedy sketches in Italian schools. Although the work was exhausting; I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of each day. It was an enriching experience and I always felt a sense of achievement as I left a school knowing that our work had made a positive impact.

I knew that when I left Italy in June I would miss the people, culture and work so the opportunity to work as a tutor was an easy decision to make. I persuaded my sister to join me on my second Italian adventure and she too fell in love with this beautiful country.

In order to be a successful tutor you have to inject personality, enthusiasm and passion into every working day. Being an English Tutor is an extremely rewarding experience and ACLE really need tutors who are imaginative, creative and fun-loving. Trust me - life is so much easier at camp when everyone is working their hardest! ACLE is like an extended Italian family and my time working with them has been unforgettable. They deserve to have tutors who want to make a positive change in the Italian scholastic system.

How can this program be improved?

Perhaps they could be a little more selective with tutors, so that the problems raised in previous reviews would be unlikely to happen. ACLE need more people to apply so that they can send out amazing tutors to the camps. The children deserve to have tutors who love what they are doing and support ACLE and their goals.

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Sam
Female
27 years old
Montreal, Canada
McGill University

Rewarding Experience

9/10

I think my headline explains itself. I love to travel and I am studying to be a teacher so ACLE caught my attention early on. However timing was never quite right for me to pack up my bags and leave for an entire summer. My family and friends finally convinced me to do it and I am so glad they did. I learned so much from my experience. It was amazing to work with people from all over the world. I tried to learn from everyone's different approaches to teaching because everyone has their own way of doing things. In doing so, I learned a lot about myself as well.

The days are long, hot and exhausting but seeing those children having so much fun at camp made everything worth it.

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Lydia
Female
25 years old
Ireland

DON'T DO IT TO YOURSELF!!!!

1/10

I started out my ACLE experience three years ago and quite frankly if I had to go right into detail of all of the pros and cons I would be here all day(only with the cons). So, I'll narrow it down and cut to the chase(or at least try). ACLE claim they are a 'non profit organisation' when in fact they are anything but. They offer NO contract. In hindsight, it sounds great: A summer living it up in Italy with free food and accommodation, amazing experience bla bla.. Generally, this is the case.

However, you could be placed with DREADFUL camp directors ( I had 3 awful ones out of 9 camps so not bad). Think ACLE will help? THINK AGAIN!
Also, you could be placed in a single family home- I had the two WORST TWO WEEKS OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!! The sheer lack of food and general care for me was incomprehensible- told, not asked to babysit (families are told by ACLE not to do this), gritty neighbourhoods where I genuinely was afraid to walk through and not to mention the family's general lack of wanting me to be there.
The ACLE office do not care about you! No, I am not just saying this.. they literally DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU!

They will mislead you about where you are going to be placed (eg, I asked to be placed near to my airport city and of course, classic ACLE sent me three hours away even though their staff told me BEFORE I BOOKED MY TICKET FOR ITALY that I would be placed in that particular city).
The money is NOT worth the experience- and I really mean that. While I have had three fantastic summers (because of my students, tutors and families not ACLE) it does in NO WAY make up for it. You are literally working from 8:30-5/5:30 everyday not to mention your travel day (Saturday) and get paid a measly 240 a week-JOKE!!!!! I could work less hours at home in Ireland a week and get more!
They don't send enough materials to camp-EVER!
The new teaching method is useless. If you know anything about TEFL you will not support their new 'teaching methods'- if it deserves that name even- I'm convinced a monkey came up with some of the ideas but that would be insulting all monkeys!!

Now, just to make it clearer for you.. some pros and cons...

Pros:

Teaching in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Get to visit places tourists would never go because you are living with Italians.

Amazing food and weather 99% of the time.

Easy and handy flights if you're travelling from Ire/UK.

They pay on time (see cons).

Make new friends.

Life experience.

Cons:

Although they pay on time, they might as well give you a bag of peanuts- because that's what it feels like they're paying (at least they taste nice too).

DISORGANISED

They don't give two shizzles about you and you better believe it.

Favouritism exists within this company like there is no tomorrow.

They will drop you like the drop of a hat if you give them the slightest problem and remember-NO CONTRACT so there is no proof that you ever worked for them (no, your FB posts and pictures of your amazing Italian experience won't help you here, SOZ!).

They will go out of their way to do whatever the opposite of what you asked them to do (Because they are... I'll let you fill in the blanks).

You could work with amazing tutors- or total know-it-alls who actually know NOTHING.

Camp directors can be USELESS and/or control freaks.

Your host family can smother you (especially if it's their first time to have a tutor).

Long hours for a sometimes not so rewarding job.

Travelling on the trains is awful and you are sometimes left without a seat on a long journey.

You may have to share a room with a tutor (terrible situation if you don't really see eye-to-eye).

THEY ARE A TERRIBLE COMPANY-seriously, three years, nine camps, and ten host families later I don't know how I ever went back to them. I would NOT recommend this company to anybody!!!

Go elsewhere around Europe, even around Italy- you owe it to yourself!
The stress and hassle of putting up with ACLE is not worth it!

Response from ACLE

First of all, we would like to say that we respect your honesty and would never have imagined that your time with ACLE would have caused you so much distress.

We would however like to respond to some points made in your review.

The first being that ACLE offers no contract. This is very true as tutors are not employed by ACLE. This is a very important point to make. All tutors are taking part in a TEFL-Theatre and Play course for which you receive a certificate and the support of a study grant.

ACLE is, at it's core, a study programme. It's a way for people, in many cases with no prior TEFL experience, to gain an introduction to the TEFL industry and focus on it from the specific angles of drama, songs and games. All of our tutors are here as willing volunteers.

Yes the hours are long and can be exhausting. However at the end of the day the enthusiasm and contribution from our tutors is making hundreds of Italian children happy, and provided a positive contribution to their education.

You also brought up an issue with camp directors and host families. It is unfortunate that you did not raise these issues with us at the time as it would be a problem that could have been dealt with.

Host families are often commented as one of the best parts of ACLE as you are welcomed into their homes with open arms. It is a shame that you did not receive this experience.

We receive queries from tutors everyday and always do our best to help tutors have the best experience possible. We are sorry if you beleive that this is not the case, however nothing could be further from the truth.

The last week of camps we see over 300 tutors leaving Italy from various airports. This means that we have to get everyone within easy travelling distance. Your grievance here is perhaps down to a difference in opinion; we would not consider a 2.5 hour train journey a difficult distance. Additionally we always provide help when tutors need travel information; you yourself were sent train times and options. We never (and you certainly were not) tell tutors they will be in a particular city, we say we will get you as close as possible. Again this may be a difference in opinion as with camps all across Italy, your camp was one of the closest although may not seem that way from your prospective.

It is in fact noted in our welcome pack that tutors are advised not to book flights 'any earlier than saturday afternoon, preferably sunday'. This is to avoid situations like the one that you found yourself in.

We are sorry that your experience with us this year has not been a great one. However, having returned to ACLE for 3 years to be part of the study programme, use our teaching methods and accept the study grant it is surprising to see you now show contempt for them.

We hope you find a better experience in the future.

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Rosie
Female
25 years old
Preston, English
University of Central Lancashire

How Milan became my new favourite place.

8/10

During my final week of camps I was lucky enough to be placed in Milan. I had the youngest group of children which I was initially really worried about due to the language barrier. However, my students were all absolutely amazing and an absolute pleasure to teach all week - and in some cases their English level was really good! During my free time I got the chance to explore the city and I very quickly fell in love. Milan feels exciting and like there is always something happening. We stumbled across Milano Film Festival one night which was an absolutely amazing experience; watching short films from all over the world on a big screen in the middle of the park was something that I will never forget.

How can this program be improved?

It would be great if the tutors had a full day of free time to either explore their city or have time to themselves during the weekend.

About The Provider

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ACLE (Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational) is a non-profit organisation accredited by the Italian Ministry of Education and the World TEFL Accrediting Committee. ACLE promotes student-centred learning, and is the first association in Italy to use T.I.E. (Theatre in Education) to teach English, and to organise

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