It is only between Australia and Italy. It is the connection between Australians’ and Italians’ dreams and needs.
A personalized match host family-tutor, based on candidates’ attitudes, preferences, and needs.
It adds further value to the discovery of Italy and to the process of learning a foreign language.
The exchange programme was founded in 2018 by Francesca Breda. The purpose of this project is bringing Australian people closer to the Italian reality, often not enough appreciated and praised by Italians. It might be a way to enhance the Italian territory, not only to the eyes of the ones who want to discover it, but also to the eyes of its inhabitants, who might have got used to the priceless magnificence which surrounds them. OzItaly wants to create a cultural exchange between Australia and Italy that can also become a unique opportunity and a valuable resource for our Italian reality, given the increasing importance of the English language.
Ciao! I am Francesca and after living in Australia for several years, I created this cultural exchange programme that allows me to keep a strong connection with the wonderful land of downunder. I’ve always had a great interest for languages, which influenced my path of studies and eventually made me become a language teacher. Furthermore, I’ve always had a big passion for travelling and, in general, for the world of tourism. My great interest for the Italian artistic and cultural heritage led me to sit the regional exam to obtain a tour leader licence.
I love travelling, but I don’t like a holiday with an end in itself. I believe that a trip should be a source of personal enrichment and growth, it should open new horizons, bring something which lasts forever within ourselves. I hold within myself a huge experience which I treasure, and which pushes me to promote human beings’ movement and interaction. Living experiences which take us out of our routine is a bit like being born again and makes us appreciate all aspects of life because we become aware of how life can be lived in different ways by each individual.
I recently traveled to Italy for about 7 weeks from late October to just before Christmas. Through OzItaly I spent about 5 weeks living with a host family in Belluno, Veneto and taught English in exchange for food and accommodation. Overall, this was an incredible time to be in Italy as I was able to experience the seasons change and absorb the festive season.
Prior to arriving, I could see great benefits to the OzItaly program. Time spent with a host family will allow a longer stay in Italy outside of its bigger cities, help me to save travel money and offer the chance to further develop professionally.
The living arrangement was very comfortable and allowed for a perfect lifestyle balance between energetic weekend road trips, and a stable weeknight homelife. This would usually consist of tutoring, cultural exchange, and watching films or the World Cup. However it was the reliability of daily 5-star home cooking and clothes washing that was most valuable.
With my host family’s assistance, I spent my leisure time in Belluno exploring the city centre and surrounding towns and ancient sites, hiking snowy mountains far and local, enjoying weekend trips away to Firenze, Verona and Treviso and eating authentic Italian meals every night.
By the end of my OzItaly experience, I had absorbed much of the Italian culture that resides in the family home and had developed strong connections and relationships that will last well beyond my November in Belluno. The last couple of days spent with my host family was in Milano with their relatives as we celebrated San Nicolo Day. We listened to music, ate, drank and shared stories.
I would recommend the OzItaly experience to any Australian teacher looking for a deep and meaningful connection with anything Italy.
Well, I have to say, going to Italy as a tutor with Ozitaly was the best thing I have ever done for myself. The family (MY family – we are forever connected) were gorgeous. Francesca was amazingly supportive and the opportunities to “live like a local” were fantastic. I visited Venice five times and think I know it better than many locals. Everywhere I went the people were warm and welcoming. As I am 60 (+) I was pretty scared to do this on my own. I had recently lost my husband and wanted to get away and fill my mind with beauty and new experiences. Ozitaly gave me all this and more. At one stage I got sick an wound up in hospital (Francesca took me and stayed with me until after midnight then came back the next day to collect me, take me to another hospital and then take me to lunch – above and beyond in my book) Australia and Italy have a reciprocal medical agreement, so there was no problem there. My smartphone is full of photographs of simply stunning places I had the opportunity to visit. It wasnt a drecome true because I could never have even imagined the wonderful places I had the opportunity to visit thanks to Ozltaly. I am really happy to talk to anyone about this amazing opportunity. I cant speak too highly of Francesca and the opportunities afforded to me because of Ozitaly. If you are thinking of “escaping and living like a local” – don’t hesitate – do yourself a favor – you will be glad you did!
As I have just had the opportunity of spending a month with a very welcoming Italian family in Padova I can say that the experience differs vastly from that of a regular tourist living in a hotel and visiting tourist sites daily. To be spending time together within a home, having meals together, discussing the rhythm of their daily lives and having the pleasure of sharing your love of the English language with them, allows you to connect with their culture in a way that would only be possible under this arrangement. For me it has been a wonderful experience, one which I shall never forget.
When I thought of teaching English as a second language in Italy, I couldn’t help but picture sunny, blue skies, colossal pizzas, Aperol spritzers and the clear blue Adriatic coastline. I know there’s no perfect country, but there’s a reason why Italy is always a top holiday destination – why wouldn’t you want to live there if given the chance?
I’d been living and working in London for the past three years as a corporate finance lawyer, rarely seeing the light of day working well into the night most nights. I found no joy in what I was doing and I was looking for an escape, so I began brainstorming: how could I use my current skill-set to do something that made me happy? I’m not religious but I do believe in signs, and when I came across an advertisement for a TEFL 120-hour online course that week, I knew straight away that was my ticket out of London. I enrolled the next day and started the course.
Half way through, I began my job search; I knew that I wanted to be in Europe, but I had no particular destination in mind – just somewhere sunny. A few Google searches later I came across a website called OzItaly: a business connecting young Australians who want to teach and immerse themselves in Italian culture with Italian families who want to learn English. It sounded perfect. As a first timer, I didn’t want to take on a big class of young, screaming kids in a foreign country, so when I was offered to teach a family with two girls, aged 11 and 14, in the Prosecco hills I couldn’t say no.
The founder of OzItaly, Francesca Breda, is a teacher herself who spends her time between Australia and Italy. As the business manager, she personally selects and pairs Italian families with Australian tutors in the hope of providing each with a useful, memorable cultural exchange. I applied on her website and after a call with Francesca, she knew just the family for me – I was headed to the Veneto region in Italy, near the Prosecco hills in Treviso, and I would be staying for 1 to 2 months with the family. My task was to encourage English speaking in the house and improve the girls’ grammar for maximum 8 hours a week – the rest of my time could be spent however I chose.
The family was the perfect, stereotypical Italian family: family meals at the table everyday, they cooked the best Lasagna and Bolognese I’ve ever had, they introduced me to the local prosecco and vino – they really took me in like a part of their family. And with the expectation of 8 hours per week, I also had plenty of time to explore the area and work on my own projects. I couldn’t recommend it enough, and it’s perfect for those on a budget, because all meals and accommodation are covered in return for your teaching.
I’ve been able to see parts of Italy that you’d never see as a tourist, and I’ve met so many locals – each of them welcoming yet intrigued to see an English speaker (it is very rare for them to see native English speakers in the small towns surrounding Treviso). There’s an extreme shortage of English teachers in Northern Italy and with English being a compulsory subject at school, Italians are having to teach English, so the level of English teaching is not necessarily preparing students to speak “real” English.
So if you’re interested in an experience like mine, I urge you to do it.
1. Laita introduces herself
2. Life with the host family
3. Let’s talk about Italian food…buon appetito!
4. Who would you recommend this experience to?
Ozltaly interview: Welcome tutor Stella!
Who wouldn’t want to be in tutor Stella’s shoes and enjoy a unique placement in the UNESCO Prosecco Hills, pampered by a local host family?
L’esperienza è stata molto positiva per noi come famiglia ospitante. Abbiamo avuto l’opportunità di conoscere il nostro tutor online con grosso anticipo, cosa molto importante perché dà l’opportunità di vedersi oltre che parlarsi, e farsi una buona idea gli uni degli altri. Non è detto che l’abbinamento sia quello giusto al primo colpo, come è giusto che sia.
E’ fondamentale per la buona riuscita dell’ospitalità che le due parti abbiano ben chiare le proprie aspettative:
– A chi saranno dirette le lezioni? Adulti, adolescenti o bambini?
– L’età del tutor è importante per voi? Quanto indipendente sarà?
E’ importante chiarire che le attività della famiglia non devono subire alcuna variazione per il fatto che c’è un ospite fisso. Basta rilassarsi, fare in modo che lui/lei entri a far parte della routine. Non bisogna stare assieme sempre e comunque ognuno deve avere spazio per stare per conto proprio se questo fa piacere. Coinvolgere il tutor nelle attività, gite, cene con amici o parenti deve essere un piacere per tutti: in questo il nostro tutor è stato sempre più che disponibile e curioso, che è l’atteggiamento perfetto.
E va anche benissimo prendersi una camomilla serale sul divano, in calzerotti e pigiamone. Siamo in famiglia!
I just wanted to say thank you so, so much for the incredible experience that was Ozltaly. It was such an amazing opportunity and I’ll always be grateful to you for organising it and for running this fantastic company! The family means the world to me and I miss them lots – I feel so lucky to have been able to get to know them. They were warm, welcoming and so kind from the start; looked after me when I was sick; and truly treated me like family. I hope that in the girls I’ve found lifelong friends. I can’t wait to go back!
During my stay I was also able to see all the varied beauty of the Veneto region, and grow personally in independence as a young adult, and in my teaching skills. It was fantastic seeing the girls’ confidence grow when speaking English while I was there, and practising the Italian I learned at school too.
I can say without a doubt that this was a life changing experience – thank you so much again! If you ever need anyone to recommend the program or if a prospective tutor has any questions about the experience, I’d be so happy to help.