When we say our TESOL graduates travel the world, we really mean it! Mary Ann McCoy lives and teaches in Udine, Italy. This summer, two fellow graduates — Nicole Bezerra and Sara McCorkendale — joined her in June to put their well-earned skills to work.
Mary Ann said, “[The] teachers will have meetings with my adult students for conversation and cultural exchange, telling stories, local legends and discussions on how to survive Italy using English when traveling or working.”
Scheduled activities and lessons included mystery-themed dinners and live music. She added, “I think it’ll be fun since it isn’t ordinary to do these things. [It’s] lots of work preparing, but it’s worth it to see everyone at different levels communicating the best they can in English and having fun.”
In addition to the adult learners’ class, Mary Ann also led an English camp at the Istituto Bearzi. Participants were children from primary to middle school ages. She said, “Our program with the children was wonderful. I didn’t think we’d be able to do so much.”
Camps began at 9 a.m., followed by lunch at 12:15. After ending at 2 p.m., all were free to explore Italy — including an exclusive trip to some notable landmarks.
“The school planned and offered us a wonderful trip to Venice with the vice principle of the primary school and a guide [who] took us around Venice to see places most tourists never see — Doge’s Palace, [St. Peter’s] Basilica and so much more,” she said.
They also noted cultural differences between American and Italian schools’ lunchtime.
Mary Ann said, “Nicole and Sara were pleasantly surprised at the very healthy meals and the calm and time allowed for each child to eat without being rushed. I learned a lot about what to appreciate in Italian schools which still allow students to have moments of calm and play.”
Speaking of young people, Nicole’s daughter, Lilia, was also in Italy for the summer. The 14-year-old helped with the first- and second-graders. Mary Ann said they were all able to explore places such as Slovenia and the Dolomite mountains for a picnic.
This has truly been a summer to remember for everyone! Mary Ann said, “It has been a great experience for me, and I hope also for Sara and Nicole. I truly hope this will be repeated again next summer!”
Learn more about Mary Ann’s adventures in Italy!