I started out my ACLE experience three years ago and quite frankly if I had to go right into detail of all of the pros and cons I would be here all day(only with the cons). So, I'll narrow it down and cut to the chase(or at least try). ACLE claim they are a 'non profit organisation' when in fact they are anything but. They offer NO contract. In hindsight, it sounds great: A summer living it up in Italy with free food and accommodation, amazing experience bla bla.. Generally, this is the case.
However, you could be placed with DREADFUL camp directors ( I had 3 awful ones out of 9 camps so not bad). Think ACLE will help? THINK AGAIN!
Also, you could be placed in a single family home- I had the two WORST TWO WEEKS OF MY ENTIRE LIFE!! The sheer lack of food and general care for me was incomprehensible- told, not asked to babysit (families are told by ACLE not to do this), gritty neighbourhoods where I genuinely was afraid to walk through and not to mention the family's general lack of wanting me to be there.
The ACLE office do not care about you! No, I am not just saying this.. they literally DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU!
They will mislead you about where you are going to be placed (eg, I asked to be placed near to my airport city and of course, classic ACLE sent me three hours away even though their staff told me BEFORE I BOOKED MY TICKET FOR ITALY that I would be placed in that particular city).
The money is NOT worth the experience- and I really mean that. While I have had three fantastic summers (because of my students, tutors and families not ACLE) it does in NO WAY make up for it. You are literally working from 8:30-5/5:30 everyday not to mention your travel day (Saturday) and get paid a measly 240 a week-JOKE!!!!! I could work less hours at home in Ireland a week and get more!
They don't send enough materials to camp-EVER!
The new teaching method is useless. If you know anything about TEFL you will not support their new 'teaching methods'- if it deserves that name even- I'm convinced a monkey came up with some of the ideas but that would be insulting all monkeys!!
Now, just to make it clearer for you.. some pros and cons...
Teaching in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Get to visit places tourists would never go because you are living with Italians.
Amazing food and weather 99% of the time.
Easy and handy flights if you're travelling from Ire/UK.
They pay on time (see cons).
Make new friends.
Although they pay on time, they might as well give you a bag of peanuts- because that's what it feels like they're paying (at least they taste nice too).
They don't give two shizzles about you and you better believe it.
Favouritism exists within this company like there is no tomorrow.
They will drop you like the drop of a hat if you give them the slightest problem and remember-NO CONTRACT so there is no proof that you ever worked for them (no, your FB posts and pictures of your amazing Italian experience won't help you here, SOZ!).
They will go out of their way to do whatever the opposite of what you asked them to do (Because they are... I'll let you fill in the blanks).
You could work with amazing tutors- or total know-it-alls who actually know NOTHING.
Camp directors can be USELESS and/or control freaks.
Your host family can smother you (especially if it's their first time to have a tutor).
Long hours for a sometimes not so rewarding job.
Travelling on the trains is awful and you are sometimes left without a seat on a long journey.
You may have to share a room with a tutor (terrible situation if you don't really see eye-to-eye).
THEY ARE A TERRIBLE COMPANY-seriously, three years, nine camps, and ten host families later I don't know how I ever went back to them. I would NOT recommend this company to anybody!!!
Go elsewhere around Europe, even around Italy- you owe it to yourself!
The stress and hassle of putting up with ACLE is not worth it!