Since I get asked this so much, I thought this might be a good thing to write about.
During my junior year of college, I studied abroad in Antwerp, Belgium for three months. I had an absolute blast there and grew so much as a person, and officially caught the travel bug. That March, I went to Nicaragua for an alternative spring break trip. During that trip, our group got to sit in with a class at the university in Leon, with a group of students who spoke English fairly well.
We each paired up with a student and helped them work on their assignments about US History. The professor was a Peace Corp volunteer, and I absolutely loved how he worked with the students, and I enjoyed meeting all of them. I’ve always liked teaching but never saw myself doing it as a career.
The following summer, the one before my senior year, I had a full-time internship at an internet startup in New York City. It was for a position that I found out half way through the summer that I wasn’t made for (B2B sales, not so much for me), so the long days of doing something that I didn’t enjoy really wore me down. After that, I knew that finding a typical 9-5 desk job after graduation wasn’t going to make me happy.
After doing some research (including the purchase of an awesome little book called Delaying the Real World), I learned that teaching English abroad was the best way to live in a foreign country without going broke. So I applied to a Language Corp program, was accepted, and have been waiting for the day I leave ever since.
I have a degree in marketing, and I want to come back to New York City and work there eventually, but for a while I’ve had this gut feeling that if I started a 9 to 5, I’d feel like something was missing. I knew I’d always be thinking “what if”, as cliche as that sounds! So I knew this would be the time to do it, before I get comfortable with a steady paycheck, have to worry about health insurance, and all the other things that are dealt with once entering the real world.
And I chose Italy because I have ALWAYS loved the country and the language, and want to become fluent!
Plus, I love gelato, so… duh.