Today, I’m sharing with you a little bit more in-depth information about my trip with EF to Rome!
What is EF?
EF or Education First is a travel organization. They help you learn a new language by housing you in a country that has that language as their mother tongue. You can take an EF trip any time you want to, and you can go for 2 weeks all the way up to 24 weeks.
How I became the 2017 EF Blogger
Remember this blog post where I told you about my 2 favorite destinations provided by EF? That was my entry for the 2017 EF Blogger Contest. The winner of this contest would become the 2017 EF Blogger and get to travel to an EF school in Europe for one week. I entered the competition, not even thinking that I would win it. I just enjoyed browsing through their site and pretending to pick my next destination. And guess what? I ended up winning the competition. When I found out, I screamed a little bit (also, I was working at my internship at that moment so you can imagine the faces I got… 😉 )
From then on, I emailed back and forth with some Education First people, all of them really nice. They asked me for my top three destinations in Europe. My number one destination was Malta, then Italy, then Spain. Unfortunately, Malta was already fully booked so we went for Italy. But boy, am I glad we ended up choosing Rome!
How I prepared for my trip to Rome
Before I left for Rome, I didn’t speak Italian at all. I was getting a little bit anxious because I’d heard that many Italians don’t really speak English. So, I downloaded the Duolingo app. This app is amazing (also, this blog post is not sponsored by duolingo)! It helps you study the basics of any language by using the app 5 minutes a day. I originally downloaded the app to learn Spanish, but since I was heading to Italy, I added Italian to the app as well.
I also downloaded the iTranslate app. It’s basically like Google Translate, only this one had better reviews.
What EF Roma was really like
Honestly, I had an amazing time at EF Roma. And no, I’m not just saying that because they sent me to Rome for free. It was truly a wonderful experience. My host family was so kind, the school staff had some of the best teachers I’d ever had and everyone was there for the same reason: to learn Italian and explore Rome.
Since I was only there for one week, EF gave me the basic course, meaning that I had 10 classes that took place Monday through Friday. Every class was 80 minutes long. Monday was an orientation day. All new EF students got a tour of the school, a tour of the city and our first Italian classes. Tuesday and Thursday, I had two Italian classes in the morning, from 9 until 12 AM. On Wednesday and Friday, I had two Italian classes in the afternoon, from 3.30 until 6.30 PM, meaning that I had time to explore Rome every single day.
In the end, I did learn a lot! Of course, one week is too short to really get the hang of Italian. But, I do kind of understand now, when Italians are talking to each other. Also, I can count to twenty and say a lot of words in Italian, so I would say my mission was definitely accomplished!
Thank you so much Education First for sending me to Rome! I had the best experience. Grazie e arrivederci!
Feel free to ask your questions about EF and EF Roma in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them!
Now, how many times did I use the word Italian in this blog post? 😉