Wendy’s experience


A five week residence-stay in Padova, Veneto.

I: “Many have said that you are a very ‘brave’ woman to have undertaken this experience.

W: “I don’t know that I would call it bravery. I would call it independence, ……? I am very keen that at the end of my life I would say “Je ne regret rien”.”

I: “What brought you to this experience?

W: “The aim of this organisation is to encourage Australian-Italian cultural opportunities. I read about OzItaly, looked it up online, had a long think about it and contacted the director. I was offered a few places and I chose the one that was most appropriate – privacy was a primary concern for me.”

I: “What are the obligations as far as tutoring is concerned?”

W: “My family is very serious about learning English. We sat around together and discussed the best plan for each day, according to the needs of the children and adults.”

I: “Any negative aspects?

W: “None. Privacy was my main concern. I had all my days free until 6 pm. And I spent the week-ends with my family exploring this spectacular area. Every day I would go into town and just wander. After the first few days I was able to find my way around. My free time has enabled me to look up historical facts of Padova, so enriching my experience in this beautiful city.”

I: “Would you recommend this experience of living with an Italian family (for 5 weeks), here in Veneto?”

W: “It’s a very personal decision I think and would not suit everyone. You are in someone else’s home, respecting their way of life, perhaps their religious beliefs, and accepting how they want this exchange to work for them. At the end of these 5 weeks I do think success has to do with the synchronicity of both parties.”

I: “Advice to tutor applicants?”

W: “One needs to be very clear about what one wants in terms of accommodation, healthy environment, safety and security. One of my priorities was a proper bed, not a pullout one.”

W: “In your opinion, is a good knowledge of italian a necessity?”

W: “At least a little knowledge of Italian is very important: being able to understand getting around, reading instructions, timetables….”

I: “What do you miss about home?”

W: “I miss my family of course, and my garden.

I: “What is the first thing you will do when you arrive home?”

W: “I’ll be in the pool!