Brexit concerns for the British European

15. October 2019 19:00

Susan Ferris

A British academic living in rural Italy dealing with the anxieties caused and the possible effects of Brexit

Susan Ferris: “I particularly liked your flyer. My entire career was based on ‘Building Bridges’ with Europe.”

My talk will be based on the differences; the order, the disciplined life-style and working practices of life in Oxford against the often chaotic, seldom disciplined, but strangely more flexible approach that one can experience in Italy. Simple things that we take completely for granted in the UK can be challenging in Italy. However, with good will, the right approach and a little humour one can often achieve the required objective.

Susan Ferris qualified as a teacher in the post 18/ further education and advanced language sectors at 23 but was also a qualified interpreter/translator. For most of her career she was a freelance interpreter/translator for Italian in the Oxford area but also organised ‘in House’ language tuition for many of the larger companies in and around Oxford in different foreign languages. She provided the curriculum, which of course was of a business and corporate nature, and observed strict quality control procedures of all teaching and learning.

Towards the end of her career Susan Ferris provided post degree courses for language graduates who wanted to gain a more commercial ability in their chosen language and also managed the provision of foreign language tuition throughout the county.

For her entire career Susan Ferris has worked with Italian nationals and indeed taught those who chose to live and teach in the UK. She has a deep understanding of their culture and actively embraces the “at times complete and utter difference of mind-set”. Since her retirement she has lived in Italy half of the year and has now acquired first-hand experience of what it is like to live –and also to teach – on the “continent” as a British European citizen.