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)