Life in Italy as a Teacher in San Benigno

Life in Italy as a Teacher in San Benigno

So far my experience in Italy as a volunteer English teacher has been so remarkable! At first it was difficult adapting to a small town (I’ve always lived in a big city), but now I have fallen into an every day routine here and I am not at all homesick or anything!

I live in San Benigno which is 30 minutes from Torino by train. My host mother, father, and sister have been very welcoming. They are doing everything as expected, so I didn’t have any surprises, besides that fact that my host mother does my laundry, which is great! My host mother is the main teacher I teach with so she is fluent in English, my host sister studies English in school so she is pretty proficient, and my host dad does not know English, but he actually is trying to learn and speaks to me when he can in English. I do the same when it comes to Italian. I have my own room and bathroom, which is great because I don’t feel like I am invading anyone’s space. We have a very good family dynamic. Usually in the evenings after school/work everyone does their own work and then we meet for dinner and watch the news or a game show while we eat and we speak about our day or about something interesting going on in the U.S. or in Italy, and then we all hang out for a bit and then go our separate ways to prepare for bed.

Since I live in a small town it is difficult to meet people my age. I have met one person, but he doesn’t speak English and neither does his friends. For this reason my host family allows me to travel as I would like on the weekends to spend time with my friends that I have known in Italy previously as well as to spend time with the other Greenheart volunteers (we have all gotten very close over the past month). This week is Carnevale in Italy so my family and I are all going to a festival this evening and then on this weekend the volunteers are all traveling to Venice to celebrate the holiday because apparently this is a huge deal in Italy to celebrate it in Venice.

Since my host mother is my co-teacher, I drive with her to and from school everyday. We teach for a total of 18 hours per week. I work with approximately 110 middle school students and they love me and I love them! They put on a surprise welcome party for me and they all baked cookies and cupcakes and brought drinks. They wrote a song for me that they performed welcoming me to their school and Bosconero, which is the town the school is in, and they played the Star Spangled Banner for me as well. When they learned I loved Nutella they bought be a huge jar of it and a personalized Nutella logo name tag and they also baked me a cake with Nutella in it! They always give me candy and one student even made me a key chain.

I have begun teaching and preparing my own lessons about the American culture. Although all my students are not fluent in English, there are a few who are and they help me with translating the lesson into Italian (along with my co-teacher) so that way everyone can understand. We are in the process of orchestrating an event which would allow me to meet up with a group of students so they can help me to bake American treats for the entire school. They are all very excited about this and I am too. At first I was nervous about working with kids so young, but I am so happy with this placement. It literally warms my heart to wake up everyday and see them and see how happy and grateful they are to have me work with them. I have such a great bond with them all and the other teachers in the school.



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