Case studies Michele, the optimist
Michele, the optimist
Michele, the optimist

Michele, the optimist (6)

Motto: Learning by doing. Life is fun!

Demographic and biographical Characteristics

Michele (19, male) is in the middle of an educational training. He comes from a well educated family of academics. He is living in an own part under the roof of the house of the parents. He spends a lot of time by playing drums in a band. Besides of that he is keen on learning foreign unusual languages like Chinese and Japanese. He is active in Facebook and besides of that has a wide network of friends in Italy and other countries.


Educational and transitional pathways:  

Michele has finished the generational vocational school in 2008 with quite good results. Between 2008 and 2010, he was travelling to China and Japan. Due to the personal contacts of the parents to these two countries he could stay in a Chinese and later a Japanese family. There he very quickly learnt the new languages by practising speaking every day. Besides of that he earned some money by working in a shop in China and as assistant of an English teacher in an elementary school in Japan. Now he is thinking to come back and start in a vocational school in the field of "Restaurant and catering industry”. He intends to work later in the field of running a restaurant because he likes eating, he doesn’t want to wait too long until he is able to earn money and to prepare his own entrepreneurship as soon as possible.

He is aware about the exceptional chance he got to go to China and Japan and to learn those unusual languages. Up to now he is speaking 4 languages: Italian, English, Chinese and Japanese. This advantage he wants to use very concretely in a business where languages are increasingly necessary.

The objection by the parents that he also could study economics he rejects, since he wants to earn money as fast as possible. 

Motivations and Strategies:

Michele made the decision to strike another path than his parents and sister and not to go for an academic career. At an early stage it was clear that he would not continue after middleschool, but that he as soon as possible wanted to do something concrete, something differing from the occupational history of the other family members. In order to find out what would be suitable for him he decided not to attend any other education experience, but instead to travel directly to Asia for two years having taken his school leaving certificate. Then his father had often been to China and Japan as a visiting professor, but he didn’t have the possibility and the time to learn the languages. Michele picked this experience up but wanted to return with this knowledge and then make a vocational training in a practical field in which languages play an important part as fast as possible. Becoming a restaurant specialist seemed the right solution. After a few years of work in various restaurants Michele plans to open up his own.

Ad hoc learning scenarios

Vocational School and orientation in transition

At first Michele went to school in a quite normal way and finished the middleschool with good results. However he could not at once decide what should be his next step. He only knew he wanted a pause from educational experience to clear up his mind about his vocational plans. He then chose an unusual road: to learn languages, which neither the parents nor the sister speak, namely Japanese and Chinese. Thus he created his own skills palette within the family, which made him distinguishable and gave him perspectives by his choice of the vocational field restaurant. This shall be the foundation for him when opening up a restaurant later on

Language-Learning in the country entails also an insight view into the mentality, attitudes and everyday life. It helps to develop quickly language skills and to become aware of the normal level of speaking a language. Through the direct embedding in the families he could increase his basic knowledge of the languages very quickly. It was learning by doing. Thanks to his openness he got easily and quickly into contact with young people in the two countries which enabled him to get more and more into depth of the language.

Support Services used

Michele regularly keeps in contact with friends, who admired him since he is doing something special. But they have not that influence to give him advice and motivate him to carry on this road. Regularly he writes on Facebook to his friends about his thoughts. He also uses blogs and twitter. Thereby it gets more clear what exactly he wants to develop for later use. The parents play a more important role as contact persons. However, Michele does not follow their advice to take a higher exam, as he wants to get ready and start to earn money as soon as possible.

Learning type

The learning experiences of Michele can be summoned up as follows:

Learning from practical experiences: Michele decided to go abroad to learn Japanese and Chinese as for Italy difficult languages, in order to develop a distinction and to find out what he would like to do professionally. He learnt the languages by practicing them every day and could intensify the language skills by exchanging with young people who are living there and from the global understanding of their attitudes, customs and mentalities.

Self-directed learning: He decided for learning by doing at the first range. He likes to go his own ways and to develop learning-scenarios through activating himself, getting into an exchange directly to friends in his own country but also in China and Japan but also in indirect exchange through Facebook, developing his own professional perspective – and taking his time (2 years) to get through the things.

Information and Communication Technologies

Michele is using the internet nearly 4-6 hours a day, not only for interaction and search, but also for leisure like reading books, watching movies or matches – which is easy to download them without restrictions in China and Japan -, skyping and using it for any kind of information needed to cover the daily life-situations. 

The internet is for him the portal and mirror to the world in any kind of use – more than the mobile. Therefore he uses it also to communicate his ideas with people on his professional development.

As recommendation for the G8WAY platform he would appreciate to find more space for peer exchange and review on field reports or insight view into the personal policy of companies – not only on a local and regional level, but more on an international one. He wanted to get informed on the labour-market and job-opportunities also in China and Japan or elsewhere in the world to know more precisely where to go and what to do next.