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It has been 3 months since I left Italy and I can’t believe time has passed so fast. There is no day or night that I don’t think about the amazing experience I lived there, because it definitely changed my life, made me a better person, and gave me so many memories that will always be in my heart! There is no day that I don’t think about going back to Trentino, there is a famous quote that states “People always go back to those places where they loved life”. I loved my life during my time in Italy; every single day was full of happiness, new knowledge and laughs; and that is why I am sure I will go back there soon or later. I am always in touch with my Italian family, and you cannot imagine how much I miss them, I can’t wait to see them and hug them again! Being a JOINKI TUTOR, has been by far the most incredible experience I’ve had in my life! Thank you JOINKI, Thank you Italy, Thank you Sabrina, Paola, Andrea, and Mafalda!

 

(Catalina – Colombia)

For many years now I’ve been fond of diving, an activity that unfortunately doesn’t exist in Trentino. Nevertheless, from my very first week in Italy, I realized that I was going to experience a different kind of submersion, having Joinki by my side as a diving school. Carrying out this volunteering project, I saw myself diving into Italian culture, traditions, social life, history and last but not least – its moreish cuisine! Joinki project turned out to be exactly what I was looking for – a meaningful, inspiring, self-developing and fun volunteering experience. My main responsibility was to teach English to my host family and different students from schools in Val di Non. I will never forget the innocent smiles of my primary school students and their never-ceasing questions. Questions about my favorite sport, ice cream, family and hobbies. Their curiosity and persistence have taught me a lot. It would be totally wrong to say that this project is purely focused on language. Yes, language teaching remains a priority, while all the rest is still important and supported by Joinki. By saying all the rest, I mean traveling, getting to know Italian culture and language, making new friends, experiencing new things and much more – but you’ll have to join Joinki to understand what! I guess after this experience I’ll never stop praising Italy. A county so rich with culture when it comes to traditions, so tasty when it comes to cuisine, so unpredictable when in comes to appointments and so loud, so warm when it comes to people. During my time there, I had a few difficult moments, but they remain to be completely meaningless when compared to all those beautiful, amazing moments of doing, trying and feeling new things! This volunteering taught me much more that I ever expected and it has definitely enriched me as a person. I’m very glad that thanks to this opportunity I overcame some of my fears and valued some of my capacities. I made new friendships, friendships that are going to last. I made a new family, an Italian family that keeps their door wide open for me. I must thank Joinki for this incredible match. Now when its all done, I look back with gratitude and realize that it was a lifetime experience, one of the best opportunities I’ve ever had.

(Daria-Cyprus)

It provided an opportunity for me to have an experience teaching in Liceo in Cles, Trentino, Itlay. Liceo is an excellent and reputable local high school. The headmaster is so nice and kind, appreciating different culture. I cooperated with and was supported by some English teachers. In the beginning, everything was not easy for me, cause my major is not in education. From preparation of every week’s topics (deciding different themes, searching appropriating pictures, making powerpoints), to control of atmosphere and rhythm of every class, I needed to pay lots of efforts on it. It gave me a lot of challenges and teaches me how to be a good teacher.
The Italian family was so nice, friendly and thoughtful. They had given me many supports and always shown respect to me. It’s really thankful to have such a good family. I really like the atmosphere there, I felt  like at home, they treat me exactly like a family member.  I made a study plan for them and organized some courses every day. Some time we shared a video, some times we did some oral practicing. And most importantly, when you see their improvements, you will feel so happy about that.
Sabrina and Sara were so nice and thoughtful! They helped you a lot during this project. For the future tutors…you don’t need to worry too much, just to enjoy the project and meet the challenges!

(Julie- Australia)

Before discovering Joinki, I was at a turning point in my life. With a university degree in my hand and two years of work experience, I was looking for a change, for a chance to experience another way of life, and to find something more fulfilling. I had spent a summer travelling and knew that Italy held a culture that was utterly fascinating, and perhaps time spent immersed in Italian life was exactly what I was looking for. After spending some time researching I decided to try Au Pairing, but after 6 weeks living with a family, I discovered the work I was doing wasn’t the right fit for me.

Fortunately for me, I soon learned about Joinki and all the amazing things it had to offer. Working first hand with students at the local elementary and secondary schools, who were enthusiastic about the English language and what I had to offer, my world soon opened up to an avenue of work that I had never considered before. Working with and teaching young students was an amazing and fulfilling experience and Joinki supported me every step of the way.

As a mother tongue English speaker, I was able to guide conversation and topics in English and aid students with pronunciation and grammar points. Excited to hear about North American culture first hand, the students were always eager to participate and ask plenty of questions. Of course, there were some days and some classes that were either too nervous or shy to speak, or found the English language too difficult. It was important for me to find ways to engage these students and encourage them the best I could. I kept an open dialogue with the teachers and always looked to them for advice and guidance when I felt unsure of my work, to which they were always extremely supportive and positive.

The Joinki program also allowed me to explore the region and interact with the community I was now staying with. Excursions to the Canyons, Castle Thun, and Tovel lake exposed me to the natural beauty of the region and the history of the people. Trento is like no other place in Italy, a true hidden treasure in the Dolomites. Val di Non is completely surrounded by apple orchards and from each slope and peak of the hills you’ll find a castle secretly nestled amongst the trees. In fact, all of Trento is a magical castle region, with many still standing and maintained in their original condition, while others hold the true history and ages of time upon their walls, laying in ruins as rough foliage entwines the towers and trundles.

My time with Joinki has provided me with an incomparable experience and memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

(Rachel from Canada)

During my time I experienced countless unforgettable adventures and challenges. The most memorable include my Italian lessons with Roberto (Bob) and Sabrina, volunteering at the local children’s school, and traveling the Trentino region and beyond.

During my time with Joinki, I was provided with hour and a half long Italian lessons twice a week. I did written exercises, verbal exercises, and reading comprehension. These lessons greatly expanded my knowledge of the Italian language and allowed me to better communicate with and understand Italians.

For two weeks, I volunteered at a children’s school close to my host family’s home. I found it both difficult, and incredibly wonderful communicating with the young kids. The majority of them knew only a small amount of English, forcing both myself and them to learn new words in eachother’s languages. By far I heard “maestra”, meaning female teacher, the most. It was repeated so frequently throughout the day that I would hear the children saying it at night in my head while trying to fall asleep!

As a member of Joinki, I was given a free pass on the trains and buses of the Trentino region. I traveled throughout the region as well as many other parts of Italy and Germany. Some of these places include Trento, Bolzano, Padova, Florence, Bologna, Venice, and Munich. I met a variety of people, tried new foods, and soaked in the beautiful cities.

I will never forget my experiences with Joinki!

(Sarah from California)