- On 05 September 2017
- Tags TEFL Florence
Growing up in a suburb of Los Angeles, I was influenced by people from all walks of life. Some of my best memories are of the weekends that my parents took my sister and me to diverse neighborhoods around the city. These outings developed my thirst for learning about different cultures and lifestyle. I realized Teaching English as Foreign Language would fulfill my passions in serving and educating others, learning about different cultures and seeing new places.
I chose to take a TEFL certification course abroad because I wanted to broaden my perspective and immerse myself in an environment where I would be forced to adapt to a new language, culture, and lifestyle. While I feel fortunate to have my family, friends, schooling, and the environments I’ve lived in up until this point, I couldn’t ignore my desire to push myself outside of my comfort zone by immersing myself in a new country. When I started looking at TEFL courses, I had one goal in mind: find a highly regarded, complete and comprehensive course with a strong cultural component. Fortunately, I came across Via Lingua!
As someone who has always been especially curious about the history of urban spaces, I realized that only by living in a city can you truly gain insight about how the citizens interact with their environment and shape the daily culture that defines a city. Via Lingua provided the perfect opportunity to act on these aspirations.
Their course offered a cultural and communication element that laid the foundation for me to comfortably and confidently connect with people of all backgrounds and learn how to adapt to a new city. The administrative staff was committed to helping me enhance my intercultural communication skills and learn about the history, culture, and daily life in the city I was living and studying in. Via Lingua provided all the resources and support I needed, starting with an introduction session to learn the basics – this is a resource provided to all Via Lingua students taking their course in a city where English is not the native language. I completed my TEFL course in Florence, Italy and I learned useful phrases to order food, greet people, and navigate transportation. My mastery of the Italian language quickly expanded beyond “Ciao!”
In addition to your exposure of the local language, you will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with one of the iconic landmarks in the city you are in. The Culture Capstone Project is one of the cultural projects you’ll be assigned. It allows you to discover things about the city that make it so special as well as give you the chance to work with your classmates. In my case, two of my classmates and I successfully navigated ourselves using public transportation to a thriving town located outside of Florence. The scenic views were stunning and learning about the history of the Roman amphitheater was super interesting!
Researching our assigned project tasks and reflecting upon them left me feeling accomplished and satisfied with my team’s ability to exercise our intercultural communication skills. This project created a structured way to fulfill a deep cultural immersion experience, one I was seeking upon initially enrolling in the program.