I cannot put into words how much I loved this summer - the tutors, Italian people, families, helpers and children were all so amazing. I got to see so much of beautiful Italia and I am so grateful.
Overall I was at four camps - 3 two week camps and one 1 week camp. I was fortunate enough to begin camp up near Milan and was then moved down outside of Rome, then outside of Naples and then moved back up again to a small town outside of Milan.
I took the opportunities at the middle weekend of my two week camps to explore the amazing cities of Italy with my fantastic co-workers. I got the opportunity to visit Milan, Pompeii and even Venice where we booked hostels and stayed the weekend. My host families were more than happy to give me advice as to where to go and bring me to the train stations. During my one week camp outside of Rome my host family brought me on a grand tour to see all the major attractions and even to the Vatican. I was truly spoiled.
You need a lot of energy and enthusiasm to work at these camps. My biggest camp had 11 tutors and 115 children! I was crazy. The children are crazy, but it was so much fun. I bonded with my class and got to know so much from other tutors about their lives and culture. Of course there was different personalities and everyone was so creative and wanted their ideas heard, but at the end of the day it was about putting the children first and not fighting among ourselves, and we got on great and all the activities were fantastic (and were useful in draining some of the children's energy). Also, tactical 15 naps during our breaks also helped keep our own energy up to keep going during the day.
The hardest thing for me was leaving my families, especially when I was with them for two weeks. They were all so inviting and considerate. I didn't have one bad experience. It was sad to leave them and then open your heart to a new family, but the new families were always so good it was easy to fit in right away. Italian families live off of What's App and I am still in contact with them all.
ACLE always paid on time and I worked for a full seven weeks. We were asked if we needed a break in the middle to go on hold for a week, but I wanted to work so didn't take the offer. The camps are tiring, but so worth it. I like a good sleep in, but not once did I complain about getting up at 7 in the morning because I loved my job and I wanted to work.
I had a great social life - both with the families and my co-workers. The families sometimes paired up with another tutors family and would show us around together or go out for dinner. There was never a problem when I asked if I could meet up with the other tutors. Sometimes even the helpers and assistants would join us on a night out which was great because they knew where to bring us.
There is so much more I could write about my experience this summer. I didn't want to come home I loved it so much. I would and hopefully will go back next summer or the summer after. I now have friends all over Italy and all over the world after working with such amazing people. I recommend ACLE to everyone.