How Gelato led me to TEFL in Italy
By: Pamela Quezada
Stracciatella…that’s the gelato flavor that changed everything for me. From that first taste of creamy vanilla and chocolate chip swirl, I just knew that I had to move to Italy one day.
Okay, okay…so a country as ancient and complex as Italy cannot and should not be reduced to something as simple as ice cream (delicious, delicious ice cream). To my then young mind, though, I did not need more than one bite of that rich and smooth goodness to declare my unwavering love.
Many years passed and though I did try to visit Italy whenever I had some vacation days saved up (which wasn’t often – I am American, after all, and as such I’m lucky to even get 5 days off in a year), my dream of moving stayed just that – only a dream.
In between the mindless data entry and soul crushing sales meetings at my corporate job, I would steal away a few moments to stare at pictures of the Fontana di Trevi, marvelling at the beauty and imagining myself throwing coins into the water for good luck.
Clicking through the pictures and blogs, I found that I was not alone in my wish to move to Italy one day. Many English-Speakers and even Americans seemingly stuck in cubicle farms like myself were moving across the globe, using their language skills to cultivate new careers and lives abroad. My dominant language had become a marketable skill that potential students, schools and agencies were willing to pay for. Teaching English could open so many doors – it would be the perfect way to work and live in Italy.
My research became more focused as I sought the best official certification I could reasonably afford and I worked harder than ever at work, trying to save as much money as possible.
Enter, Tefl In Italy: one of the only programs offering one of the most respected and recognized certifications in the world. Not only that, but the program was in Rome – the center of the Universe (sorry, NYC, but Roma gives you a run for your money).
It was decided: I applied and after many forms, photocopies, essays and an interview I was accepted. Despite all the work required in the application process, I still wasn’t worried – I had spent so many years in school and I did not think this course was going to be any different. As with most things in life, my overconfident expectations were way off.
This course that was partly a means to an end (a way to move to Italy), became one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life. More than that, it shaped my casual interest in teaching to a passionate life-long pursuit.
My future was blurry before I moved here, although I did not truly realize it at the time. I spent most of my hours in a windowless office back home, prioritizing the needs of wealthy companies and their clients, with no real direction for myself and my career. Trinity and Tefl-In-Italy gave me the glasses that I did not even know I needed.
My development as a person and as a teacher thanks to this course has been invaluable.
- I’m marketable: I can work almost anywhere in the world with this certification – not just Italy.
- I’m skilled: I go into this teaching career with a confidence and knowledge I never had before, armed with an impressive teaching portfolio and hours of hands-on experience.
- I’m excited and happy: I genuinely help people every day, teaching something valuable to my students who are eager to learn and who make me laugh. They challenge me to improve and to be creative.
But let’s face it…the best part of it all?
I get to have the most delectable gelato any time that I want.