January 13, 2020

The lovely Peta

Our wonderful host, Peta, who moved from Australia to Italy with her family, runs several English Language Cultural Centres in the country, with plans to expand! We are inspired with her drive to integrate and share skills with the local people in her community.

And you have a chance to participate!

Peta offers a fabulous exchange; volunteer in one of the centres 30 hours per week and in return get your own apartment in the heart of town with all utilities covered. You would experience real Italian life here and be part of the community. You will even get the opportunity to learn Italian!

If you are interested read on as Peta answers some questions for us!

Peta\'s beautiful home in Italy

● Tell us a little about your location

We’re located in the Province of Viterbo in alto Lazio in Italy.  It’s a little-known region of Italy and locally it’s called “Tuscia”.  We currently have 5 English Language Cultural Centres around this region and are expanding to 5 more over the next 6 months.

● What is the inspiration behind your project?

The desperate need for native / mother-tongue English speakers to provide support to local communities with their English language skills.  Most Italians study English at school and have a good level of English grammar, reading and writing.  The problem is they don’t have many opportunities to use their language and interact with native English speakers, that’s where we come in :)  Our centres provide a place for Italians to come and use their English, whether it be for formal lessons, to drop in for a coffee, read an English book, watch an English movie or just to drop in and say hi!

● What is the main highlight of your project?

Working within the local community, offering easy, effective and affordable English language services and building relationships with our students and the locals.  Being local and being able to provide English language services when needed!

● Can you tell us about a positive volunteering experience you have had?

One of our volunteers who worked with us up until Christmas was working in one of our centres that has a contract with a DayCare centre, the owners and staff all loved her and she was so excited to work with the children and bring her ideas and experience into our programme.  It was really hard to say goodbye her the week before Christmas and to see the children all gathered around her and say goodbye at such a festive time of the year was both sad and special at the same time.  She fitted in really well with our focus and mission and was so happy and positive which made it really easy for our students and everyone!

● What do you look for in a volunteer?

Someone who has a passion for all things Italy and Italian!  Positive, self-motivated and enthusiastic.  You don’t need to speak Italian, but it helps if you have a little basic knowledge. Your level of English needs to be native or a high level of fluency to ensure we’re meeting the needs of our students.

● What jobs do you have in store for volunteers?

Our volunteers deliver our Direct Method English teaching programme to small groups and individuals.  They also work in our centres fielding any enquiries and sharing their experience on our social media.  There is a small amount of house-keeping, making sure the apartment and centre is dusted, swept, vacuumed and kept tidy.

● In exchange for work, what do you offer volunteers?

We provide our volunteers with their own 2-bedroom apartment located in the centre of a medieval village in Italy!  All utilities (gas, electricity, water, etc) are paid for they get internet access at the apartment and in the centre and also have the use of a mobile phone with local number and data access.  Some centres also provide the use of a small car.  We also provide support and information about tours and if our volunteers want to study Italian or any other type of courses during their time with us, we can introduce them to the local University team.

● Are you currently looking for volunteers?

Yes!  We have openings for this programme which kicks off in February through to the week before Easter and then we open our April to July and our summer programmes.

Thanks Peta, we really enjoyed talking to you!

If you enjoyed this article, why not get in touch and sign up for one of her upcoming programmes? The next one begins in February so you still have time! You won’t regret it!