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Teach English Abroad

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Teach English in Italy

If you want to teach English in Italy we don't blame you. It's a dream destination full of historic sites, picturesque landscapes, artistic marvels, and culinary perfection. It's not surprising that over 50 million people come to this Mediterranean country annually.

Many of these people will tell you that you cannot fully appreciate Italy in one visit. You have to stay for a while to truly enjoy everything that it has to offer. Teaching English in Italy will allow you to do this and truly experience its art, cuisine, language, culture, and history.

With English teaching jobs in Italy paying between €1,770 to €2,430, you too can live la dolce vita.

How to teach English in Italy

Teach English

There are many English teaching jobs available in the small towns and big cities of Italy. You’ll have no problems securing a part-time teaching position especially if you have the necessary work experience and qualifications. Any ability to speak Italian is of course considered a massive plus. 

The only downside to teaching English in Italy is that full-time work can sometimes be harder to come by. TEFL teachers in Italy often need to get different part-time roles in order to make ends meet. This could mean teaching private lessons alongside working for a language school.

A large number of English teachers in Italy work at language schools. Some also work as private tutors. 

Work for Private Language Schools

The majority of the listings for English teaching jobs in Italy are posted by private language schools. The reason for this is that Italian public schools tend to hire only EU citizens or those who are fluent Italian speakers. So, if you want to teach abroad in Italy, working for a private language school could be the most feasible option.

Another option is to work for private language institutes that cater to business professionals. Here, you teach employees business English and how to communicate with their colleagues and English-speaking counterparts.

Generally, the language school teaching jobs are the easiest to get because there are many openings in Italy. However, the pay is not always that substantial in language schools (and this doesn't just apply to Italy). That’s why when looking for a job teaching English abroad, its worth looking for those that come with benefits like free transportation, accommodation, and meals.

If you get work with a language school, besides giving ESL lessons you might be tapped to help students with test prep. This is a common activity for students who are looking to land a spot in a prestigious international school for higher learning. It can also entail teaching an adult student who is planning to take an English certification for career advancement.

Teach at an International School

Working for an international school is the highest paying job there is for an English teacher in Italy. The competition for these teaching jobs is rigorous and the qualification requirements are quite high.

Schools in Italy generally don’t post about the teacher’s pay on job listings but the average starting salary for this type of position can be €1,500 ($1,600 or £1,275) a month or higher.

Be a Counselor at a Summer Camp

For individuals who are planning on teaching English abroad for a short time, picking up work at the various Italian summer camps is a good idea. Educational companies and private institutes hold these camps to give students something productive to do over the three-month school break. 

The great news is that it is easy to get a place in such camps. The not-so-good news is that a number of the jobs are volunteer positions. Despite offering no pay, positions for summer camp counselors quickly get filled because the requirements are lenient and they offer the chance to get some much needed teaching experience. They also come with other benefits like free meals and accommodation. 

Tutor Privately

Giving private lessons can either be your full-time gig or a side job to supplement your income. Many native-speaking individuals staying in Italy offer private lessons to earn extra pocket money.  

A tutor can easily earn from €14 to €30 ($16-$32 or £13-£23) per hour for individual lesson. You can also offer discounts for groups or incentives for people to refer you to their friends. 

Teach at an Italian School

As mentioned, getting a teaching position in an Italian public school can be difficult for non-EU citizens. However, if you have the right qualifications, you can go after such jobs. Speaking some Italian will go a long way to helping you secure a position.

Nevertheless, with numerous international schools offering full English-based curriculums, you might have a higher chance of landing a position there rather than in an Italian public school. As always, just make sure if you have the necessary qualifications to meet the requirements of the position.

Requirements for teaching English in Italy

You will need to meet certain qualifications to be able to teach English in Italy. These requirements are pretty standard although they might seem a little strict compared to other areas of the world.

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree in any field or major (BA or BS) is usually a requirement for teaching English in Italy.

Language Requirements

Employers are increasingly hiring foreign workers who do not speak the Italian language fluently. However, being able to communicate in Italian can be a huge advantage especially if you are vying for a position with other TEFL teachers.

Native English speaking teachers, as evidenced by a passport, are also preferred by most schools and other institutions. Italian language institutes typically favor hiring people from the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa.

TEFL Certification

Holding a Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate is a pretty standard requirement for anyone who wishes to teach English abroad. This includes Italy where most language schools will expect you to have one. The minimum you should go for is a 120-hour TEFL certification. This certificate is proof that you have the knowledge and skills required for teaching English for any reputable institution in Italy. There are a number of TEFL courses that you can take online.

Previous teaching experience

Many teaching jobs in Italy require some experience, if not in the classroom then at least working with students in some capacity. If you're after one of the top positions, most Italian schools require their teachers to have several years ( commonly at least 2 ) of experience in teaching the English language. 

Licensed teachers from other countries who are dreaming of teaching abroad in Italy will need to present their government-issued qualifications from their state or home country to demonstrate their credentials. 

Documents and Visa

If you are a holder of a passport of an EU member state, then you can enjoy Italy visa-free. This means that you can get teaching jobs without needing a work permit. All you need is to have a legal working status under the law. 

However, if you are not from the EU, there are a couple of bureaucratic processes that you have to go through to be able to teach English in Italy. If you are an Aussie, Kiwi, British, or North American, you will need to secure a visa to work in the country.

Anybody coming from outside the Schengen Area must have a work visa to legally work here. You will need the following to apply for this:

  • A work contract drawn up by the school that hired you

  • An original and a copy of the work permit or Nulla Osta

  • Pre-paid visa fee receipt

  • A valid passport (valid until three months after your visa expiration.) The passport must also have at least two blank pages.

  • Two passport sized photos

  • Supporting documents that demonstrate your financial resources. (this can be in the form of bank account statements).

  • Diploma or certificate for your bachelor’s degree

  • TEFL certificate

Applying for a work visa to work in Italy can be a slow process. It is therefore prudent to prepare all the necessary documents and their copies before visiting the office. Ideally, your potential employer should help you with this.

What’s it like to teach English in Italy

In order to work harmoniously with your colleagues and students, you should be aware of the country’s etiquette and culture. Below are a few helpful things to know to help you adapt to life in Italy.

Classroom culture

Whether you teach young students or professionals, you can expect them to be very excited to learn English. Italians take interest in the culture of others so be prepared to share that. 

Your co-workers will happily offer tips on places to try and things to do. Be enthusiastic if people want to practice their English speaking skills with you.

Lesson Planning

Each school has its own methodologies for teaching English. Some may ask you to follow a pre-planned lesson while others will expect you to create lesson plans of your own based on their textbooks.

Use of Italian

While Italians will not expect you to be fluent in the language, they will highly appreciate seeing you try. Plus it will make getting around easier if you learn basic phrases.

Fashion

In the classroom, you will be expected to dress modestly. This is also applicable when you go out to visit sacred locations. Long sleeves and skirts should be fine for women. Trousers and a dress shirt are fine for men. For other leisure activities, you can wear casual attire.

Teach English in Italy jobs

The salary, teaching experience, and leisure activities that you can enjoy in Italy will largely depend on which part of Italy you find a job.

Where to teach English in Italy?

Milan

Milan is a large city that offers a lot of opportunities for work. This makes it a great option and you will encounter many ESL teachers here. You can also find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the famous Italian food as well as leisure activities here. However, it is not the cheapest place to stay. Housing can be very pricey in Milan in comparison to other Italian cities.

Florence

Florence is an attractive destination rich in history and culture. It will be easy to find an English teaching position here as it is a popular tourist destination. This means there are a lot of Italian students who benefit from learning English! If you are interested in architecture, the Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomo Cathedral can be found here. 

Bologna

For the foodie who wishes to sample the best dishes, Bologna is the place to explore. It is one of the oldest cities in Italy and is home to more than three hundred restaurants. Bologna is growing in popularity among international students and English teachers alike thanks to its university. Just be aware that the students expect high quality teaching standards!

Where to find jobs?

There are two main way to find jobs teaching English in Italy. The first one is to explore TEFL jobs online.

The second option is to apply to language schools directly. However, some schools will require you to have secured your visa before offering you a position.

Finally, if you're already in Italy and looking for extra work you could offer your private tutoring services in Facebook groups or websites where Italian students look for English teachers. Offering private classes can be a great way to make a bit of extra income.

When to apply?

Many schools begin classes in September or October and finish in June. This means that you should start applying to language schools from February onwards.

Summer camps usually start in July and you should apply a few months before.

Meanwhile there are opportunities available throughout the year, so it can just be a case of seeking them out if you want to teach abroad in Italy.

Teach English in Italy Salary

The average salary of an English teacher ranges from €1,770 to €2,430 ($1,900-$2,600 or £1,500-£2,060) a month. This will depend on the type of institution and location. The benefits you can expect include paid vacation time, health insurance, free housing with utilities, transportation allowance, bonuses, and paid holidays.

Cost of living in Italy

Life in Italy can be more expensive than in some other non-EU countries but it is affordable on an English teacher’s salary. Of course, teaching in a small town can be cheaper than in bustling cities.

If your work does not provide accommodation, you can expect to pay anywhere from €635 to €1,050 ($680-$1020 or £540-£680) a month.

Utilities will cost you about €90 ($100 or £80) a month.

Entertainment costs will depend solely on the activity. Watching a movie will cost two people around €17 ($18 or£14).

Life in Italy

Italy is almost always at the top of any art lover’s bucket list. You can visit the museums here and marvel at the works of Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Titian, and Caravaggio. 

Of course, we cannot overlook the food. Italian cuisine really doesn’t need any introductions. The specialties of the different Italian regions are something every visitor must experience. No meal here is complete without a bold serving of espresso or a glass of good house wine.

Still looking for more information? Check out some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding English teaching jobs in Italy below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money can you make teaching English in Italy?

The monthly pay for English teaching jobs ranges from €1,000 to €2,430 depending on the type of job you get.

Is there a demand for English teachers in Italy?

Yes, there is a demand for English teachers in Italy. Plus with the ever growing need for English language skills, teachers can expect to see a surge in demand for their services in future. 

What qualifications do I need in teaching English in Italy?

At the very least, you will usually need to have a bachelor's degree, a TEFL certificate, and some teaching experience.

Can you teach English in Italy without speaking Italian?

Teachers with no Italian language knowledge can teach English in Italy. Classes are done fully in English to immerse the students in the language.

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