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Camp jobs for non-EUers?
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MilanTeacher



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi everyone, I actually signed up to respond to this post. I have worked for ACLE (but am by no means employed by them today, so I have no investment in saying anything positive or negative about them). As far as it goes, it is basically legit. Here's how they do it.

Non-EU citizens work as "volunteers" and receive a stipend for living expenses. It is around 220 euro per week. You sign a contract stating that you are a volunteer. They go to the Agenzia Dell'Entrate (tax office) and register every single person, and pay taxes on the stipend. I know this for a fact, because I got a job in Italy after ACLE and went to the Agenzia Dell'Entrate to get my tax code, and they told me that ACLE had really been paying my taxes, and I already had one. It was registered with my passport and everything, so it was 100% legit.

You cannot stay more than 90 days without a EU passport or visa. They have non-EU people in their theater troupe year round, and ACLE sponsors a student visa for them (doing a "theater" training course or something). So everyone working there is legal, even if ACLE does bend the rules to make them so.

As far as the rest of it goes, it is a good deal if you are just looking for a way to see Italy in a different way. You mostly stay with families, and ACLE pays for your travel from camp to camp, so you don't spend a cent. Plus you get to see cool small towns and villages and get to know the people.

On the down side, you have zero free time. They say your weekends are free to travel, but you are usually traveling between camps, and then have a meeting on Sunday if you are at a new camp, so unless if you stay in the same place it is impossible. When you live with the families you pretty much are on their schedule and have no freedom, which can get suffocating. The days are really long and tiring, so by the evening you are usually too exhausted to do much. Sometimes the camp directors are absolutely insane which can make working with them miserable. But it is rewarding and a totally different experience, plus the kids are usually great!

Honestly they were nothing but professional with me. They provide you with a training for a week, great meals and evening entertainment, and are accessible to help you when you go away. It's true that you might not have recourse to sue them for wages or anything, but they always pay on time. And besides, you wouldn't be losing much money in any case! In my orientation a guy had heat stroke, and a girl showed up with a speech impediment, and they didn't allow them to work (but honestly, they shouldn't have been there in the first place) but other than that they kept their word on everything.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9299
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the post. That was very useful for clarifying the reality of the situation!
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8919
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's what I got from them,

Quote:
The contract that we use for our tutors is a collaborators/student contract. It does not include any information on wages etc, also all our tutors are paid in cash (50 euro per week during the teaching weeks, and then the rest of each weekly wage given in bulk at the end of your time with ACLE). Therefore, our non-EU tutors come out to Italy on their automatic tourist visas, tutor and/or travel for as long as they wish within the 90 day period, and then return to their respective countries.

It is obviously your own decision whether you think that this will be satisfactory for you to do, or whether you would prefer to obtain a visa for your time with ACLE. We can provide a supporting document which can state the dates that you will be with ACLE, however, then you are restricted to being in Italy for only those dates. Should you wish to extend the dates you would like to work with us, you would not be able to.

Our non-EU tutors in the past have only ever obtained a working or a student visa if they are hired for a period longer than 90 days.
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MilanTeacher



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's there official "visa" letter they sent to me a few years back:

To all prospective ACLE Summer/City Camp applicants from
the USA, CANADA, SOUTH AFRICA , AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
who do not have an EU passport

This year, as major changes have been made regarding European and Italian immigration laws, most Italian associations, including ACLE, are still unable to issue or assist applicants in obtaining long-term working visas.

However, as ACLE has Teacher-Training status and is fully recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education, it is still in a position to offer successful applicants the following:
• The opportunity of joining the team on a “voluntary” basis by asking them, on their arrival, to sign up for a membership subscription with ACLE. This membership will allow tutors to participate in ACLE’s didactic programme of Summer Camps and/or City Camps, as well as the Introductory TEFL.TP Orientation course (Teaching English to Foreign Learners through Theatre and Play) as student trainees on a voluntary basis.
• A contribution of 220 euro each week they participate in a day camp (City Camp) and 240euro for each week they participate in a residential camp (Summer Camp). This amount is to be considered as a contribution (not a wage or salary). Successful applicants will receive this contribution at the end of their stay minus the 50 euros they will receive as sub each week.
• Free transfers between camps and full board and lodging for the duration of their time with ACLE.
• Medical insurance to cover camp-related accidents. (Candidates must also have their own insurance to cover non camp-related accidents and medical expenses)

Successful applicants must:
• Possess a valid passport/tourist visa if they intend staying less than 90 days (which doesn’t mean they will be with ACLE all that time!)
• Have proof of medical and accident insurance
• Attend one of our TEFL/Orientation courses starting in Sanremo, arriving the day before, and be available to go straight to Camps on successful completion of course. The fee of 150 euro* (full board and lodging included) must be paid in cash on arrival. This fee also includes the receipt of membership subscription.

So yeah it is like a "student volunteer" thing, but they really do register you with the tax office and everything. Illegal? Don't think so. Bending the rules? Definitely. But you will find that "the rules" in Italy are often incomprehensible. And BTW I would NEVER advise anyone to stay/work in Italy illegally.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9299
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I think it's unlikely that anyone working on such a scheme would actually get in trouble, barring some really extreme bad luck (like a murder at the camp or something that drew serious official attention and media).

However, it's also clearer and clearer that this is near slave-wage work Surprised
Not sure how much of 'enjoying Italy' this would contribute to, but if people want to spend part of their 90 days in the zone doing it, it's probably safe enough in legal terms.
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MilanTeacher



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If those are slave wages then you obviously haven't worked in Italy before Wink

I was actually financially the best off for the 3 months I worked for ACLE (as apposed to later when I worked in a language school). The 220 a week, plus an end of summer performance bonus adds up to around 1,000 per month. Which was exactly what I made working at a language school, except I was paying 500 in rent, 100 in utilities, 80 in transport, 250 in food per month. ACLE covers all of those expenses, so I saved every single cent.

The conditions can be slave like in a way though, because you have very little freedom to choose where to go/what to do/what to eat, and you may find yourself in the countryside where you cant get anywhere without a car, so you are 100% at the disposal of your host family. Mine were nothing but great, but some of my friends had slightly crazy (as in wayyy over-attentive) families that wanted to spend every second together.

You don't have the time to enjoy Italy from a touristic point of view. Like I said, unless you miraculously stay in the same place for a few weeks, the weekends are used transferring between camps. There are very few camps in the touristy cities like Rome and Florence (there aren't any in Venice). Most of them are in small towns, and suburban areas (there are a ton in Milan too- not the most fun with heat/smog/mosquitos), and probably 75% are in the North of Italy.

On the other hand, you do get to enjoy Italy from a more "real" point of view. You are seeing real life, and real families, and getting to experience the real culture, in a way tourists can't. The families treat you like royalty (huge meals!) and you meet lots of great people from around the world.

If you are looking to just enjoy traveling around Italy and want freedom, I would advise saving up and doing an extended holiday here. Neither ACLE or teaching at a language school will give you the time or money to do it.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1207

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an interesting thread!

If it's for such a short period of time, and it's considered "voluntary" as in no recognised work contract, I don't see how it could be illegal or even stretching the limits of legality. If it was done on a student visa, I think this would be different - you're only supposed to work 20 hours a week in order to support yourself, whereas this sounds a lot more than the 20 hours.

I think there must also be some other way non-EU artists etc can work legally in Italy. For example, you get lots of actors (hello, Clooney!) working here months and months... Maybe there's something related there that non-EU teachers could exploit. Though good luck if you wanted to get any sense out of the relevant ministries.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8919
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for all the feedback. Looks like it might be possible for me to do it for a week or so, I'll have to see if I have time though.

Teacher in Rome wrote:
I think there must also be some other way non-EU artists etc can work legally in Italy. For example, you get lots of actors (hello, Clooney!) working here months and months... Maybe there's something related there that non-EU teachers could exploit. Though good luck if you wanted to get any sense out of the relevant ministries.


I'm sure they have artist and sports visas that people get.


Last edited by naturegirl321 on Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8919
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MilanTeacher wrote:
Successful applicants will receive this contribution at the end of their stay minus the 50 euros they will receive as sub each week.
.


What's the "sub"?
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MilanTeacher



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm not sure if that is a typo or what...

Anyhow, you get paid for all work done on your last day of camp. This is mainly because of the logistics of getting the money to you as you travel, but apparently they had some teachers (i.e. 19 year olds) go crazy spending money at the bars/nightclubs and broke after a few weeks, and showing up hungover (or not showing up at all) the day after. So they give you 50 euros at the end of every week to buy any "extras" that you might need within reason, but still save the majority of your money. I noticed that the minimum age is now 21... I wonder why?
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8919
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MilanTeacher wrote:
Hmm not sure if that is a typo or what...

Anyhow, you get paid for all work done on your last day of camp. This is mainly because of the logistics of getting the money to you as you travel, but apparently they had some teachers (i.e. 19 year olds) go crazy spending money at the bars/nightclubs and broke after a few weeks, and showing up hungover (or not showing up at all) the day after. So they give you 50 euros at the end of every week to buy any "extras" that you might need within reason, but still save the majority of your money. I noticed that the minimum age is now 21... I wonder why?


Ok, well, it looks pretty good, even though I'll be in Europe this summer I might not do the camp. We're looking at starting a family soon and I'd hate to be going through morning sickness in front of a whole bunch of teenagers.
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MilanTeacher



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it probably wouldn't be the best idea then!! Most of the people there are pretty young (when I was there people were usually 19-23 years old, with a few people older than that. There was one 30 year old but she was definitely the odd one out! I think 30 was the max age). So if you are married/in a serious relationship/looking to start a family, it would definitely feel a bit weird to be working with people still in a college mindset, no matter how nice they are! If you are pregnant, the heat/working on your feet all day/running around after kids etc might be really stressful (and possibly dangerous!) too.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8919
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MilanTeacher wrote:
Yeah, it probably wouldn't be the best idea then!! Most of the people there are pretty young (when I was there people were usually 19-23 years old, with a few people older than that. There was one 30 year old but she was definitely the odd one out! I think 30 was the max age). So if you are married/in a serious relationship/looking to start a family, it would definitely feel a bit weird to be working with people still in a college mindset, no matter how nice they are! If you are pregnant, the heat/working on your feet all day/running around after kids etc might be really stressful (and possibly dangerous!) too.


I'm only 28! But yes, I'm 100% sure I'll be pregnant then, so am not sure about it. Though I know about the young mindset. I work at a university here in Suwon and although I'm the youngest at work, there are plenty of 30 and 40 somethings who are still stuck in the college mindset.

Part of me wants to do the camp as a last hurrah type of thing, my husband will be staying at home anyways while I trot off to Europe for a month, but I'm not too sure if I'd get turned away for being round around the middle.
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artemisia



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 867
Location: the world

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did the working in Italy during the holidays thing (not summer camp) with kids. Big mistake! I mean it was fun but it was so much better when I went back later and was just there on holiday. I did it mainly 'cos I was a bit chicken about going somewhere I didn't speak the language and wanted something concrete to travel to initially with other teachers. I soon found I could get by with a mix of phrase book Italian, occasional English words and a fair bit of sign language!

"....murder at the camp" (Spiral78) perhaps by the "...absolutely insane camp directors" (MilanTeacher)??
Sounds like the workings of a (B grade) movie!
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littlegreenbicycle



Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NatureGirl!

Newbie here. Thanks so much for posting on this topic. I've actually been researching ACLE stuff the last few months and had the same idea. And thanks Milan Teacher for your perspective on working with them in the past. Super helpful!

I've been working a desk job for the past 2 years to pay off the rest of my student loans with the goal of moving to Italy to teach English/work with theatre programs. I've even been taking Italian classes for the last year or so.

After reading through the forums (and doing some research on my own) I've come to realize that my chances of working in Italy as an American are basically non-existent. So I thought ACLE might be a good way to get to travel, see some different regions/dialects and have a more authentic experience than I would as a tourist (and make a few bucks).

I don't have my CELTA or formal teaching experience yet. I am an actress and I did work as an Assistant Director at a Childrens' Theatre one summer--but that's all my experience with younger kids aside from maybe teaching a Sunday school class or similar. I've been mentoring college students and connecting them to entry level film jobs (I also work as a Production Coordinator/Exec Asst at a studio) and really enjoy that age group. I do plan on doing my CELTA in Prague this July and then comparing different options (country wise) that might be open for me.

I've been reading through these forums for the past month or so trying to absorb all this great info, while I waited for my registration to go through! So excited to continue sorting through all these posts and ask some questions of my own Smile

Thanks again for the great posts!
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