Five Great Ways to Teach Abroad in Italy

Italy is a delectable blend of tradition, art, culture, cuisine, and avant-gardism. Stirred into its delicious mix is a beautiful landscape made of rugged mountains, rolling hills, terraced villages, picturesque lakes, and renowned beaches. From historic cities to the latest fashion, Italy draws every type of traveler to its shores. But, do not just travel to Italy. Live like a local through a variety of exciting teach abroad opportunities in the land of perfect pasta, wonderful wines, and charming cheese! 

 

CULTURAL TIPS AND TABOOS FOR ITALY

Tip: Italians often greet each other with a kiss on both cheeks. It is not expected of foreigners, but would be a great way to plunge right in. Shaking hands for a greeting is also common.

Taboo: Avoid using first names unless asked to do so. Titles are ideal in both causal and formal settings. 

Tip: Giving gifts to a host-family, co-teacher(s), and/or other colleagues is a kind, acceptable act, especially if it is something from your country of origin.

Taboo: Italian culture is comparatively conservative. Dress smartly to prevent the possibility of offending someone. Shoulders and knees should be covered in churches and holy places.

 

ITALIAN LANGUAGE

Gesturing is a big part of how Italians communicate. Citizens are conventionally known to be loud and lively. This reflects in the spoken language as well. Add a little oomph where bolded and underlined below:

Hello/Good afternoon: bohn-jyohr-noh

How are you? koh-may-stah

 

Excuse me (I am sorry): mee-skoo-zee 

Please: pyar-fah-voh-ray 

 

Thank you: graht-zee 

You are welcome: pray-goh

 

HOW TO GET A TEACHING JOB IN ITALY

 

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While most travelers hit up Italy for a holiday, teaching English in the boot-shaped nation provides a chance to integrate in a regional delight the way tourists cannot. Teachers are in demand throughout the country, and a variety of teaching options are out there to help turn a dream into reality for many people interested in immersing themselves in more than a plate of fettuccine

Maintaining openness about a variety of locations and teaching situations is best. Like most countries with popular TESOL/TEFL programs, where you want to live, and what you want to do plays a huge part.

Italian language or teaching experience is not required for most teaching jobs in Italy. However, a TESOL/TEFL certification would broaden your chances of being hired in a relatively competitive market. If you do not have a TESOL/TEFL certificate, consider getting one through the International TEFL Academy before or even upon arrival.

 

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FIVE GREAT WAYS TO TEACH ABROAD IN ITALY

Volunteer Teach in Italian Public Schools

Having access to a Guest English Teacher (GET) in the public school system is rare for many Italian students. In an effort to help provide full-immersion English language learning for mostly high school students, Greenheart Travel’s Volunteer Teach in Italy program is designed to match public schools in the Piedmont region with willing and enthusiastic foreign teachers.

As a volunteer teacher in Italy, you would get to live with a host-family, teach at a local school, and spend free time exploring. A volunteer teacher usually works alongside an Italian co-teacher, and assists with conversation skills through various classroom activities.

Requirements:

  • Native English-speaker
  • University student or graduate
  • Ages 20-35

 

Specifics:

  • Three-month program (residents of Canada, Australia and New Zealand can stay longer)
  • September and January start dates
  • Costs $800 (not including airfare)

 

Incentives:

  • Two-day orientation received upon arrival
  • In-country expenses including insurance covered
  • Accommodation and meals provided by a host-family

Since it is difficult for citizens of the United States to get a work visa in the EU, volunteer teaching in Italy might be the best option.

 

Facilitate Summer English Camps in Italy

Are you a teacher hoping to enhance your career, or a college student majoring in education? Another great way to teach English in Italy is to become part of a company hosting English summer camps. 

The English Camp Company (ECC) organizes English summer camps in cities such as Florence and Rome. Summer camps provide Italian children a fun and interactive environment to practice everyday English.

The length of commitment is normally one to three months, and the salary is around 350 euros (about $460 USD) per month.

 

Requirements:

  • Native English-speaker
  • High school graduate (at least one year of college preferred)
  • Ages 20-35

The ECC provides accommodation and pays for travel expenses during camps. Living arrangements are typically homestays. Accepted candidates must cover travel to and from Italy. 

 

Teach at Private Schools in Italy

Most teaching jobs in Italy are in private institutions. Language schools typically start in September and end in June. Contracts are generally offered for six to 12-month terms. Search for teaching stints between February and March, bearing in mind plenty of jobs open up closer to the start of the school year as well. Public schools able to afford a GET typically hire EU citizens and fluent Italian speakers.

The International TEFL Academy has postings for teaching jobs all over Italy. Rome and Milan come highly recommended, but definitely be up for an adventure in lesser known areas and cities as well.

Salaries for English teachers in Italy largely range from $500-$2,000 USD per month. An approximate cost of living is $1,000 per month, but varies depending on region and size of city. Do not expect to save a lot of money in Italy, but do anticipate getting your fill of a tasty experience.

 

Privately Tutor Italian Students

Many English teachers in Italy supplement their income by instructing private lessons on the side of a full or part-time gig. Private lessons can earn a teacher an average of 20 to 25 euros per hour. Teaching private lessons helps out with monthly expenses, as the cost of living in popular Italian cities is fairly high compared to wages. 

This could also be an option for volunteer teachers, as well as summer camp facilitators looking to earn a little extra cash to travel on. Check to make sure private tutoring is not against your teaching contract.

 

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Participate in a Language Exchange/Homestay Program in Italy

Be welcomed into a local family’s home to help improve their English fluency through the Language Homestay program by Greenheart Travel, or the Conversation Partner package with GeoVisions. These exciting opportunities are great for independent travelers looking for an intimate way to fully dip into the Italian way of life.

 

Requirements:

  • Native English-speaker
  • High school graduate (college preferred)
  • Must be at least 18 years of age

 

Specifics:

  • Year-round opportunities available 
  • Expect to tutor 15-20 hours per week
  • Costs anywhere from $1,400 to $1,800 USD for one to three months (airfare and travel expenditures not included)

 

Incentives:

  • Live with a local family
  • Teach English and learn Italian at the same time
  • Accommodation and meals provided by a host-family 
  • Plenty of free time to explore

Host-families are carefully screened. Participants normally have a private room. Placements are located throughout Italy, but most are in smaller cities. 

 

VISA REQUIREMENTS TO TEACH IN ITALY

Obtaining a work visa in the EU can be difficult for non-citizens. Getting a student visa or a “working holiday” visa would be an easier option for citizens of some countries. It is best to consult your homeland’s embassy about details.

 

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WHY YOU SHOULD TEACH ABROAD IN ITALY

Traveling to Italy is a dream come true for many world wanderers. And one of the best ways to get to know a place, to fully dig in, is stick around for a while. Italy is more than tangy gelato and latte art. Take a bigger bite by delving into this fascinating place as an English teacher. Italy is behind neighboring countries in terms of English education, so why not have your tiramisu and share some, too. Tutte le strade conducono a Roma! All roads lead to Rome!

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