How to Teach English in Italy
Italy is amongst the popular tourist destinations in Europe. People visit the county to experience the medieval Roman culture and architecture, most popular among which are the Colosseum, Roman Forum and The Leaning Tower of Pisa. But other than being a top ranker in the tourist’ list it is also a great destination for teaching English language. The level of English proficiency in the country is not impressive at all. Even most of the movies get translated from English to Italian. Considering this state of English, the native-English language teachers may have a good scope.
What makes Italy a good job market for English teachers?
Here are a few reasons why Italy could be a good option for English teachers:
- Moderate Proficiency – According to the 2018 EF English Proficiency Index rankings, Italy is ranked 34rth in moderate proficiency. The teaching of English in the country is purely textbook based, which means there is absolutely no practical use of what the students are taught at the school level. A high percentage of local teachers is not fluent enough in the language to offer any valuable knowledge. This could translate into more English teaching job opportunities as the country needs good English teachers but cannot meet the demand.
- You get to teach and travel – Teaching English in Italy can turn into one of the greatest experiences of your life. The beautiful country has a lot to offer and will not let you get bored at all. You can travel from city to city and earn decent money at the same time. Not only will you get to meet the friendly Italians but you will also enjoy a culture that thrives on friendships, socializing, great food and freedom.
- Great way to save money – Teaching jobs in Italy may not pay as well as some of the other non-native countries but if you plan your finances well you can pile up some savings. If you are a student, this money can help you pay your student loans and manage other expenses. Moreover, if you are just a traveler then getting an English teaching job can give you your traveling budget, which will be more than enough.
- You get international experience – This is one of the major reasons why Italy could be a great place for native-English teachers. If you are new to the field of teaching, then getting some international teaching experience on your resume can open more doors to better opportunities. Even for seasoned teachers, teaching in Italy can prove to be a valuable experience.
What are the basic requirements for teaching English in Italy?
- Bachelor’s degree – In order to get a good job opportunity with reputed schools and educational institution you must have a bachelor’s degree. As long it is from a recognized college or university, the degree does not necessarily have to be in English.
- Get your resume translated into Italian – This is not mandatory but getting your resume translated into Italian can give you an edge. As most of the people in Italy are not very fluent in English, therefore, a resume that is written in the language they understand may help you get more interview calls. Having said that, you should also attach a copy of your resume in English with your job application.
- TEFL/CELTA certification – These certifications are not mandatory but getting TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) or CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) certified may help you land more and better paid jobs. These will prove to be quite useful if you do not have any major teaching experience. Moreover, if you want to teach at a higher academic level, you may need to have these certificates. The training program will also help you get some valuable training that will make you a better teacher.
- Visa – If you are a non-EU citizen then getting a work visa may be very difficult for you. In many cases, it may even become impossible. One of the reasons is the paperwork an employer will have to do to get you a work permit. Most of the recruiters do not want to get into the trouble because of the bureaucracy in the country. They have to jump through countless hoops, which Italians mostly do not consider worth their while. But there is a very viable alternative that can allow you to teach English in Italy.
- Student visa – This type of visa is perhaps the next best thing. You can get enrolled in a university to learn the Italian language and then apply for a student visa. Once you land in Italy you will then have to apply for a residency permit. The application has to be submitted within the eight days of your arrival in Italy. The processing of your application may take around three months. And this is not all; you will need a tax number to start working, which you can apply for after you get your stay permit. You will have to contact the Tax Department.
- Working holiday visa – Again, if you are an American, a working holiday visa is not for you because you are not eligible. Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Canada can apply for this type of visa. But to get the visa, you will have to convince your visa officer that your primary goal for coming to Italy is just traveling and getting an employment is secondary. You will also have to meet some other requirements which include the following things:
- You will not be allowed to take your children with you.
- You must have enough finances to sustain yourself during your stay in Italy.
- A valid passport.
- You must be in possession of your return ticket.
- The general documentation required for getting a visa
- The documents that are required for applying the visa are,
- An application completed in all aspects
- A valid passport (valid for 3 months after the visa expires)
- A passport sized picture
- Proof of residence
- Visa application fee
Where can I find English teaching jobs in Italy?
Here are the best places to look for English teaching job in Italy:
- Public schools – There is a great demand for English teachers in the public school sector, however, getting a job there may not be that easy. Apart from the right paperwork, you will also need a good knowledge of the Italian language because most of the schools may not hire you otherwise. In order to get a job in the public sector you will have to go through a proper selection process.
- Private schools – Finding a job in private schools may be relatively easier as you may not have to go through any formal selection process. However, a few of the private schools may require an OISE TEFL from you.
- What is OISE TEFL certification?
- It is an internationally recognized TEFL certification that was designed by the University of Toronto. The certification can be obtained online, which will allow you to apply for teaching jobs across the world.
- Private language schools – The peak hiring time in private language schools is between September and June. Therefore, you must start to apply between February and march. On average, these schools offer a teaching contract that may last from 9 to 10 months.
- Summer camps – These are perfect for teachers who have a working holiday visa and are not looking for a long-term position. Most of these camps are owned by private entities and therefore, may have relatively easier requirements.
- Private tutoring – Private tutoring is another great way to earn some extra cash. Learning conversational English is quite popular in Italy, therefore, you may have plenty of job opportunities as a private tutor. As teaching jobs in Italy are not as highly paid as some of the other countries so, you can offer private lessons to supplement your primary teaching income.
- Colleges and universities – The hiring criteria for universities and colleges is tougher than other places. You will need to have a Master’s degree and a few years of teaching experience. Moreover, a few universities may also require you to know the basic Italian.
- International English schools in Italy – International English language school jobs may be among the best paid jobs in Italy. These are mostly American or British schools and follow their local school systems. Almost all of these schools are privately owned and are generally considered extremely expensive. That is why the class sizes may be smaller and the teacher salaries are higher.
Some major international schools are:
- St. Stephen’s School
- International School of Florence
- St. George’s British International School
- The English International School of Padua
- The British School of Milan Sir James Henderson
- Core International School
- American School of Milan
- Teaching programs – Different teaching programs hire native and non-native English candidates from all over the world. Some of these programs even offer the basic teaching training and the assist you with your job hunt.
Some of these teaching programs are:
- The International TEFL Academy
- ITTT TEFL Course in Florence
- British School of Maglie
Can I work as an English teacher assistant in Italy?
Yes, there are plenty of teacher assistant jobs throughout the country. There are various programs that invite applicants from all over the world (mostly native-English speakers) and place them in different parts of Italy.
Your job as a teacher assistant will be to work with the main English teacher in the class and assist him/her with different tasks such as lesson preparation, setting up activities or preparing field trips.
- Requirements for becoming a teacher assistant
- On average, the age limit to qualify for these programs is between 20-65. Different teacher assistant programs have different age limits.
- You must either have a college degree or be a college student.
- You must have the necessary visa and paperwork to qualify to the program.
- Benefits of being a teacher assistant
- You get to have valuable international teaching experience.
- You learn the art and science of teaching from the more seasoned teachers.
- You get to earn some extra money.
- Most of the programs may help you find a host family that welcome allow you to stay for the duration of your contract.
Major teacher assistant programs in Italy
- The British Council
- WEP International Programs
- School Language Assistant
How much do teacher assistants in Italy earn?
Your salary as an assistant teacher depends on the kind of program you select. On average you can make between $12.47 to $40 per hour. The university level TA jobs offer more money as compared to schools.
How much will I earn by teaching English in Italy?
The average salary of a teacher in Italy depends on the following factors:
- Your experience
- The place where you teach
- Degrees, diplomas and certification
- The city of placement
People with degrees, experience and a TEFL certificate are likely to get paid more. Moreover, bigger cities offer better paid jobs as compared to small towns and rural areas. On average, an English teacher can earn around 1000 to 15000 Euros per month. A comparison of salary packages offered by different institutions in Italy is as follows:
|Type of Institution||Income per month (in Euros)|
|Public school||1400 – 1600|
|Private sector||800 – 1200|
|Universities||1500 – 2000|
|International institutes||2000 – 3500|
|Private Tutoring||15 – 30 per hour|
Cost of living in Italy.
Living in Italy can be quite expensive for non-EU teachers. It is highly advised to plan your finances before you land in Italy. It is recommended that you take at least $2000 to $3000 with you, which should be enough to sustain you for a month or so.
Here is a breakdown of your probable expenses in Italy:
- Transportation – The local transportation system is quite good. The entire country has a huge network of trains that connects to all the important destinations. Moreover, you can find taxis, buses and metro buses as well. However, taxis in major cities can be quite expensive.
- Taxi fare per kilometer: $1.47
- City bus service: $1.70
- Metro Ride: $1.70
- Rent – House rent may range from $1,492 to $120, depending on which area you choose.
On average, you may have to spend somewhere between $850 to $1,000 per month.
What are the challenges of teaching English in Italy?
English teachers may not get enough benefits in Italy as compared to other countries. Most of the employers do not offer any accommodation expenses or flight reimbursements. Health care is also rarely included in ESL teachers’ salary packages.
Moreover, job security and sustenance may also be an issue. Italians are very vocal with their feedback. Therefore, if an institution feels you are not performing well they may ask you to leave, which would leave you jobless.
Which are the best cities for teaching English
Larger cities provide more opportunities for employment. Same is the case in Italy; the bigger cities like Milan, Florence or Rome offer rich cultural opportunities along with relatively more stable and better careers. Here are a few major cities that are popular for EFL teachers:
- Rome – The capital city of Italy is also the largest city of the country. From archeological sites to museums and churches, it is one of the most visited locations around the world. Most of the English language teachers reside in Rome and Milan.
- Bologna – Apart from being beautiful, this city houses one of the oldest universities in the European Continent.
- Florence – The upside is that Florence has a lot of summer schools and language schools but the downside is the city also is saturated with English teachers. Therefore, the market for English teachers is quite competitive. The city is also of moderate size, which means the benefits and living may not be as good as Milan and Rome.
- Milan – Milan is another great option for EFL teachers. The city is swarming with language and international school. The salary and benefits offered are relatively better.
How to teach English without traveling to Italy?
Many teachers cannot travel to Italy because of multiple reasons; some of them do not have the financial means while others struggle with paperwork or fail to get a visa. The good news is that you can teach English as a foreign or second language without even leaving the comfort of your home. Yes, you guessed it right! You can become and EFL or ESL teacher online.
However, the trick is to find the right platform that offers you consistent work and secured payments. One such platform is VIPKID. It is the largest online English school where more than 500,000 Chinese students take daily English lessons from over 60,000 teachers.
How to get a job with VIPKID?
The requirements are not that strict you just need to have the following:
- A bachelor’s degree in any subject.
- A year of teaching, mentoring or similar experience.
- Fluency in the English language
- And the right hardware and internet connection.
Benefits of becoming a VIPKID teacher
- International experience without any traveling – This is the biggest advantage for the teachers who cannot travel abroad to teach English. You can teach Chinese students online and get valuable EFL teaching experience.
- A great way to save some money – VIPKID teachers, on average, make between $11 to $22 per hour. This can be a great way to earn and save some extra money and supplement your day job.
- You can set your own working hours and rules – If you have a regular day job then VIPKID is the right option for you. The website allows you to set your own working schedule and take as many students as you can manage.
Becoming an EFL teacher in Italy may not pay you as well as some of the other countries. But if you plan your finances carefully and find supplementary tutoring jobs, there is a good chance you will go back home with good savings. The job market in the country is quite good and it is relatively easier to get hired in bigger cities. You just need to have the right visa and paperwork to be considered for teaching jobs with different institutions. However, if you do not want to or cannot travel to Italy then VIPKID is the best options. It allows you to get the experience you need and the helps you earn well.