Teaching English in Italy

By | December 9, 2016

Italy, known as the boot of Europe is a country located in Southern Europe. It shares borders with Austria, France, Slovenia and Switzerland and it has 2 enclaves in the country, Vatican City and San Marino.

If you are interested in the rich culture and history of a country that is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole world, then Italy might be the place for you. From the floating city of Venice, the ancient city of Rome or the shopping in Milan, Italy really has something to offer for everybody.

The demand for English teachers is high in the country because many Italians are interested in learning the English language. Although, you won’t be very highly paid and you won’t be able to save a lot of money, there are opportunities to travel and see a side to the country that you won’t get in just a few short days as a tourist.

Read more about Italy from Wikipedia.

Why Teach English in Italy

Colosseum at Night

Colosseum at Night. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

There are many reasons to go and teach in Italy! If you live in the north, you’ll be able to go skiing in the Alps. In Sardinia there are some fantastic beaches and great diving. You can see the ancient ruins of Rome or even commute to work in a gondola in Venice!

The Italian people are friendly and welcoming and they really know how to enjoy life. They eat fresh food, great pasta and enjoy fine wine with friends when they’re not working. If you’re a coffee fan, then there is arguably no better place in the world to get a great coffee!

Although the teaching job market for native English teachers is quite competitive there are also a lot of opportunities for English teachers in the country and you can make enough money to cover your monthly expenses and get to see the country at the same time.

Where to Teach English in Italy

Like most countries, there will be more opportunities in the bigger cities where there are more language schools. Having said that, there will also be opportunities in smaller towns and cities and you could become part of an appreciated group of language teachers.

Read about teaching English in different parts of Italy, click the image/link below.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Italy

Florentine Colours I (FLORENCE/ITALY/BRIDGE/REFLECTION)

Florence

In most cases, you will probably be working in one of the many private language schools in the country. You will not usually be able to work in the public school system because they only look for EU citizens that can also speak Italian.

Generally speaking, language schools start their school terms in autumn (around the end of September) and finish in June. Therefore, most teaching contracts will last for around 9 or 10 months.

Private Lessons

As is similar in many countries, English teachers in Italy will sometimes take on private students to supplement their income. Due to the fact that the cost of living in Italy is fairly high, private lessons can be a good way for you to get a little bit of extra income.

Teaching Requirements and Qualifications

As there are many people looking to teach English in Italy, there is a competitive job market. To make yourself stand out from the rest you will definitely need to have at least a degree and a teaching certificate such as a TEFL, CELTA or TESOL.

In fact, most schools now won’t hire people without having some kind of teaching certificate. Whilst there are some schools that will accept those with online certificates, it’s better to get yourself a classroom based certificate to stand a better chance of finding a job.

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Expected Salary and Living Costs

[sociallocker id=”1192″]The average salary for TEFL teachers in Italy is around €1000 (around $1300) per month. In some schools you might expect a little more maybe around €1200 (around $1600) per month.

A lot of English teachers in Italy supplement this income by taking private lessons.

The reason for this is that the cost of living in Italy can be very high and €1000 per month will only cover your living expenses.

Generally speaking, the cost of living in Italy is very high, although exactly how much depends on where you live. As a rule of thumb, the bigger cities will cost more whereas smaller towns will be cheaper. Moreover, the cost of living is also a bit cheaper in the south when compared with the north of the country.

A lot of teachers will share a house with other expatriates or teachers because the cost of a 1 bedroom apartment is often very high.

Read more about the cost of living in Italy from Numbeo.[/sociallocker]

Visa Requirements

Milan´s lights n°5

Milan at Night

Usually native English speakers that hold a European passport are preferred because they don’t need a working visa and can stay in the country for as long as they like.

However, teachers from outside of the EU will find it quite difficult to obtain a working visa and a lot often overstay their tourist visa and work for cash. This isn’t advised because you will be breaking the law in Italy and you could end up being deported.

If you aren’t from the EU and you want to stay in Italy for longer than 3 months legally, you will need to have a number of documents arranged before you arrive. For more information about regarding getting working visas for Americans, see the US embassy in Italy website.

How to Find a Job Teaching English in Italy

A number of language schools in Italy advertise for native English speaking TEFL teachers online. You will find them on TEFL jobs boards, local jobs boards and even on the websites of the schools themselves.

Moreover, you can look for work if you are already in Italy by reading the local newspapers and checking the classifieds ads of newspapers in the region where you are living.

Finally, you can try the age old method of going out and asking for a job! Get your CVs prepared, get a list of schools and go out and ask for jobs!

There is no real peak time about when is best to find jobs as schools in Italy generally recruit all year round.

Teach English in Italy

Nightfall in Venice

Nightfall in Venice

Living and working as a TEFL teacher in Italy certainly won’t make you rich, and it will be quite difficult to save any money as the cost of living in the country is so high. But there many reasons why you might want to work as an English teacher in Italy.

The stunning scenery, buildings, the old culture and history, the delicious food, fine wine and more, continues to make Italy a popular destination for TEFL teachers.

There is quite a competitive job market for TEFL teachers and you therefore want to ensure that you have a good teaching certificate (an internationally recognised TEFL, TESOL or CELTA) as well as a degree. This will give you a good chance of finding work in the country.

Moreover, it will help if you are a native English speaker from the EU because you don’t have to worry about visa restrictions and it will be easier to live and work in the country.

Disclaimer

Although I have never worked in this country, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. This blog post has been written after extensive research online, interviews with teachers who have worked or are working in the country, and local schools have been contacted. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have worked or are working in Italy, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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