I have been in Florence for one month now. I have learned to be an ESL teacher, I have learned to cook (sort of) and I have learned to be a tourist (or not be a tourist) in a tourist city. I have not learned to speak Italian, and this is my biggest setback.
I hate that I am afraid to talk to people on my own and that I can’t help the people who ask me questions in the train station (which happened 3 times yesterday). I have been here for one month now! So, I started my Italian course today. It was amazing, all of the sudden I wasn’t alone. I was not the only one who didn’t know everything the teacher was saying, in fact, I may have understood better than some of my classmates! I am so ready to be able to completely allow myself to live in this country and not feel like a foreigner or a drunk American study abroad girl (we’ve all been there; but from this side… what were we thinking?).
Watching my Italian teacher this morning was so amazing, because for the last 4 weeks I have been the one standing in front of the classroom talking to my students in a new language and hoping they are understanding me. I understood her, and it gave me so much hope as a teacher! I am now excited about being a student and being a teacher at the same time.
Yesterday, I was in Rome for all of eight hours; interviewing for a job in Florence (funny, right?). All said and done, if I want to go through the process (and can find a way) to get a visa then I can have a job. That’s pretty amazing being that I graduated 2 days ago and most ESL teachers struggle to make hours by holding 3-4 jobs! Now my dilemma is getting the visa without spending too much time, money and energy.
It’s pretty discouraging to spend hours on end in the library applying for jobs to get all of three responses saying you are not being considered for a position. It is hard to be sent out into the world of floating ESL teachers who are all scrambling to get jobs in the most popular cities in the world. But who said life was easy… here I go!
If I have any word of advice to a traveler, it will always be not to leave a place before you have seen all that you want to see. I left Australia too soon, now I find myself missing the things I never saw and wondering when I will make my return. Eight hours in Rome? That is a joke, I saw three monuments. Of course, the situation only allowed me to be in Rome for eight hours and of course because I am staying in Italy I will plan a more thorough trip but it will continue to cement my ultimate travel philosophy; never leave a place before you are ready.