Friday, March 5, 2010

The Great Italy Debate

Things are finally falling into place for China. All our medical forms are done, our diplomas have been found, and we're just awaiting the working permits to go to the embassy in Paris to get our visas, which I'm sure will pose a whole other set of problems. In the meantime, we're trying to decide the best course of action for the summer. We're pretty bummed about our lack of travel this year, so we've decided to make up for it in some way with the extra cash we should be getting right as our contract ends (our last months salary and housing deposit, plus most likely our housing subsidy which hasn't arrived yet and Andrew's university pay which is also taking forever).

The situation is: we've been offered jobs as summer counselors in southern France from May 16-June 18. The job doesn't pay as much, but it's something, and we might get to live in a chateau for the summer! However, we also applied to be counselors in Italy, which pays more money. We're going through the interview process and are pretty sure we'll be accepted. But they want us from May 30-July 7. As you can see, the dates overlap. Add to this our desire to travel a bit before heading to China on July 8. As much as I want to see more of France, I'm a *little* frustrated with it right now and Italy is looking better and better. Our contract here ends April 30, we'll probably move out May 2 or maybe even 3 and stay with a friend in Orléans until the 8th, which is the last day of the Joan of Arc festival in Orléans. At this point we're considering traveling Italy for three weeks before doing our program for five weeks, or alternatively, traveling one week in May in southern France before doing the summer program until the 18th, then heading to Italy for three weeks as tourists only before flying to China.

The Italian program pays more and gives us a full two months in the country, but requires us to do our traveling before we get paid as counselors, while the French program would be paid before we headed to Italy, thus theoretically giving us more money, and it will allow us to see a little more of France before we leave and feels a little more comfortable because we already speak French, know the culture, etc. Another option is to do the French program and then head to China/Asia three weeks early and travel around there. But honestly, I really, really want to go to Italy, and I want to soak up Europe before I head to Asia.

What do you think?

Option 1: Travel Italy for three weeks, then do Italian summer camp for five weeks before heading to China.
Option 2: Travel southern France for one week, then do French summer program before heading to Italy for three weeks.
Option 3: Do French summer program, then head to China three weeks early and travel around there.

Woe is me for having so many cool choices before me!

*P.S. Did I mention that Andrew got a (fourth?) job teaching English to masters students at the university here? It's only 2 hours a week, but eventually it'll bring us some extra cash, once all the paperwork gets settled.


  1. Go to Italy. It sounds like a lot of fun.


  2. Ugh, tough choices. If it was me, I'd go to China early and travel there since you aren't going to have a ton of travel time there, and China is huge. But if you really want to go to Italy, I'd probably say do the Italian summer camp. At least you'll have more time in Italy, and more money is always better these days.

  3. Wow, just catching up on all your posts. I love that you guys made cheese! I want to try that sometime. And then the school you decided on in China is the one with the nice couple that's 2.5 hours from Beijing? I might have to read that all again to clarify.... but it sounds lovely!!!

    Obviously, as I'll be in Italy, I am biased toward you spending some time there, but I can understand the desire to do the French one in addition first or even skipping it and heading straight for China. But as you're already there so close to Italy, I bet you'd regret not going years later if you have to book a whole new trip, flight, etc. to get there when it's a short train ride now. Plus you might want to give your lungs a few last weeks of "fresh" air before they have to get accustomed to China air. ;) So, my vote, especially since you really seem to want to, is to come to Italy :)