It’s understandable that many individuals choose to return to volunteer in Italy two, three, four, sometimes five times. This service program offers the opportunity to teach conversational English to engaged middle school and high school students while enjoying the spell-binding Sicilian coastline and blue skies in Italy’s Trapani region. Here are just three simple reasons many of our alumni volunteers are drawn back to Italy year after year:
1. Meaningful Service and Connections
When you volunteer in Italy, you gain a perspective of the country that only a “non-tourist” can acquire. Because of the meaningful human connections provided through day-to-day service, you leave Italy with more than just souvenirs and photos. You and your volunteer teammates have the opportunity to experience the genuine acceptance that builds international understanding and mutual respect.
Global Volunteers’ work project in Italy is teaching conversational English to high school students in classrooms alongside local teachers and through small group activities – ideas for suitable games, songs, and other interactive lesson plans can be found in the Global Volunteers teaching guide book. You’ll have the opportunity to team-teach, work one-on-one, or lead classes on your own – depending on the request of the local teachers and your comfort level.
One thing is sure, these students are brilliant and truly crave the opportunity to learn American English from native speakers.
“The principal of Hospitality School thanked us as we were leaving. She was pleased that we had been there and looks forward to having more volunteers come to the school.”– Maggi Gallaher, Sicily volunteer on inaugural program
2. The Charming Town and Culture of Castelvetrano
Global Volunteers’ service program in Italy is on the island of Sicily, in the picturesque town Castelvetrano, in the province of Trapani near the southwestern coast of the island. It has a population of roughly 31,000 residents and is famous for its olives, olive oil, cobbled streets, narrow passageways, ready access to the sea, and unique architecture reminiscent of the past. Here, you’ll enjoy outdoor cafes, traditional bakeries, charming shops, and flea markets while making your way through the winding, narrow streets – sometimes running into your students and newly found friends.
It’s easy to see why people fall in love with Castelvetrano… Just take a look at these photos:
“We took an early morning walk into the center of town and visited the Chiesa San Giovanni Battista. It’s likely the largest of the many churches in town and is quite spectacular inside. A mass was in progress so we stood silently at the rear of the church and took in its splendor.”– Keith Kresge, Sicily volunteer on inaugural program
3. Food, Food, and More Food
Handmade pastries, bread, pizza, and pasta. Seafood dishes. Gelato – flavors galore! There is no denying that Italy’s distinctive cuisine is simply delicious. You enjoy authentic Southern Italian meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner – either at the hotel where volunteers stay or local restaurants.
“Dinner was as always, a great taste of local cuisine – this time a return to the Trattoria Giovanni. The men (grandfather, son, and grandson) have always welcomed us warmly and are very proud of the local dishes from Castelvetrano they serve us.”– Tim Cunniff, Sicily volunteer on inaugural team
Take a tour of Sicily here:
Still not convinced?
Over a thousand Global Volunteers have served, often repeatedly, in Ostuni, Monopoli, Cisternino, Carovignio, Ceglie Messapica, Torre Santa Susanna, Martina Franca, Fasano, and Franca Villa Fontana throughout Puglia since 1995. And now our new host community, Castelvetrano, in the province of Trapani on the island of Sicily is giving volunteers reasons to return again and again to bask in the charm and participate in meaningful volunteer work with Sicilians who want to improve their conversational English. Volunteers in Italy have consistently reported a high satisfaction rate and given positive comments, like this one from Italy Global Volunteers Ed and Carolyn Gilardi:
“It’s difficult to explain the wonderful feeling we have in Italy – making new friends, working as a team, interacting with students and staff, learning about the Italian culture, and enjoying the taste, smell, and sights of southern Italy.”– Ed and Carolyn Gilardi , Italy Global Volunteers
You may also like: