Serving in Italy
Every year, millions of people travel to Sicily seeking the ultimate travel experience. Unparalleled in its rich culture, Sicily offers delights ranging from fine wines and exceptional cuisine to high art and great historical sites. But the real Sicily can remain hidden to even the most experienced traveler. The vast majority of tourists leave having never experienced one of Italy’s most important national treasures – its people. Many also tour Sicily and never realize that beyond the exquisite churches and museums, are people who wish for a better life and need assistance to get ahead.
Our partners in Sicily invite you to assist in teaching conversational English, the international language of commerce, technology, and opportunity. Local leaders believe that learning English is a necessity for their children’s and young adults’ future success in a globalized world and an increasingly integrated Europe. The demand is high for English-speaking volunteers in the region. You can be a valuable resource in Castelvetrano where it is essential for young people to learn and practice this critical skill to get ahead.
In Sicily, you will find the greatest pleasure in immersing yourself in the charming aspects of the culture and making new friends, which can last a lifetime. Sicilians love to make you feel at home, relish sharing their food and customs, and especially appreciate your every effort to speak their language. In addition to experiencing the daily pleasures of ‘la dolce vita’ – the sweet life – you can enjoy one of the most memorable experiences of your lifetime.
“I think that Global Volunteers has formed this idea of creating peace and justice with other countries around the world, and this idea is not only plausible but doable. Peace starts with a relationship and Global Volunteers seek to do just that: build relationships. And with the small steps we are taking to do this worldwide, the idea of peace with other countries seems closer than we think.”
~ Emily, Global Volunteer in Italy
Community Partner & Work Projects
The Municipality of Castelvetrano and its mayor, Mr. Alfano Enzo are our host partners in this community of 31,000. Other members of our host organization include Giovanni Parrino, a member of the City Council who is councilor for social policies, and Patrick Cirrincione, The President of the Castelvetrano City Council.
Conversational English will be the initial community work project. As in all of Europe, English is becoming an increasingly important tool in Sicily. There are few opportunities to learn from native English speakers in the non-tourist areas of the country and thus the Castelvetrano officials are delighted by this opportunity. You will work with students and young adults who are interested in learning and expanding their English capability.
The focus of the conversational English program is the students. Most young people have studied English in school, but few have the opportunity to practice with native English speakers. You can serve as a valuable resource to these young adults by providing your time and dedication.
As is the case on any Global Volunteers service program, flexibility and cooperation are required of all volunteers. In addition, volunteers need to be mobile because most will walk to their classes on cobble stone walkways and narrow sidewalks.
You’ll need to be prepared with conversation topics as well as other interesting activities to promote lively interaction with students. Many of the techniques in Global Volunteers’ Conversational English Resource Manual will help you prepare; offering numerous ideas and plans for working with your students. We will send you a copy of the guide before you depart for Europe. We cannot overemphasize the positive effects of the interactions between volunteers and students. One or two weeks volunteering can sometimes be pivotal in a student’s career choice and motivation.
You will make a difference! By providing the community members the opportunity to expand and improve upon their varying levels of spoken English you can help change the arc of a young person’s life. This is a chance to lead discussions on interesting and enjoyable topics. A typical day might include conversations on subjects ranging from current events to cultural differences. Spaces on the team are limited and the new Sicily programs will fill quickly, so it is wise to secure your place on the team now.
Service Program Logistics
Your team will be led by either a Global Volunteers staff person or an experienced team leader. In cooperation with the community leaders, your team leader will facilitate your team’s orientation, assist you in becoming fully engaged in the work project, and manage all project-related logistical issues
Of course, you cannot visit Sicily without also partaking of its world-renowned cuisine! Sicilian food is delicious and consists mostly of pasta, pizza, seafood, and vegetable dishes. Three meals a day are included and you will be served breakfast and lunch at the guest house. Dinner will be at local quaint restaurants and cafés. Desserts, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages are readily available for an additional charge.
Global Volunteers stay in a family owned and operated delightful boutique guesthouse in the city center, centrally located and within walking distance of schools, restaurants, and parks. Each room has A/C, private bathrooms, and hot & cold water. The electricity is 220v. The boutique guesthouse has Wi-Fi access and cell phone reception for those who have a phone with international capability. The standard accommodations are double occupancy, but single rooms are available for an additional fee.
All in-country transportation related to your service program is included in the fee. On the starting date of your program, you and other members will be picked up at the Palermo International Airport and take a chartered bus or van to Castelvetrano. On the last day of the program, you will also be picked up from the hotel and driven to Palermo International Airport. During the week, you will walk to the places where you will teach conversational English. Note: transportation for free time activities is not included.
Accurately assess your functional mobility. Our work assignments and partner communities require varying levels of physical stamina and mobility. After you register, you will be asked about your physical capabilities relating to your mobility. Please answer the questions honestly.
Required Mobility for Italy: Mobile – Walk 1 mile, climb five flights of stairs, walk on uneven terrain, and get on and off buses and trains independently.
The city of Castelvetrano is famous for its olives and olive oil and is characterized with cobbled streets, narrow passage ways, and Sicilian architectures that permit visitors to take a walk into the past. About 20 minutes south of Castelvetrano, is the town of Selinunte located on the Mediterranean Sea. Its Greek ruins date back to 409BC and feature the temple of Hera as well as several other ancient sites that visitors can tour. Selinunte is within the municipality of Castelvetrano and features a beautiful beach and waterfront restaurants. During evening free time, you can stay in Castelvetrano to visit the local churches, museums and parks in the area that show the rich history of Sicily. On the weekend, you can arrange various excursions to explore other parts of Sicily; travel to Erice, Trapani, Palermo, Castellammare, San Vito Lo Capo, and Marsala and hop on a boat to one of the islands for hiking and water sports, or stay in Selinunte and enjoy delicious food, drinks and the beach, as well as the archaeological park.
Service Program Contribution
Global Volunteers’ service program contribution covers all lodging in double accommodation, three meals a day, in-country team transportation, emergency medical evacuation insurance, all preparatory materials, onsite orientation, a full-time experienced team leader, and administration costs. Single rooms are available for an additional fee. The Italy service program contribution is $3,005 for one week and $3,220 for two weeks. Please ask your volunteer coordinator about student, companion, and alumni discounts as well as referral credits. We also encourage you to use Global Volunteer’s online fundraising tool where you can create a personalized webpage to request partially tax-deductible donations from family and friends to help cover your service program contribution. Airfare and free time activity expenses are the responsibility of each volunteer. The service program contribution and airfare are tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers.