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Travel & Teach - Italy


Travel and Teach

Demand for English in Italy is high. Many students seek to supplement less than adequate English teaching in their state schools, so you can expect many of your students to be young adults or children, although business students requesting one to one tuition are also becoming more prevalent.

If you are adventurous and happy to travel to the country first, then there are excellent opportunities for securing teaching hours at various schools in order to make up a full timetable. From this flexible beginning you should be able to develop the contacts necessary to make a successful teaching career, if that is what you are looking for. But even before you go, it is advisable to arm yourself with the right information. The Italian Yellow Pages will have details of language schools in various regions of Italy. The website you’ll need is www.paginegialle.it and then search under ‘Scuole di Lingue’ by region. 

Most of the teaching follows the academic school year. If you are looking for work on the spot then the best time is in September or January. Work opportunities are more limited in July and August.  However, one thing you might try in July/August is the popular beach resorts on the Adriatic, for example or Sardegna, where there are "holiday clubs" which employ English teachers for the summer.  A lot of the work here is likely to be with children or young adults, but there may also be some opportunities with adults.  Teaching experience will be needed here though.

For EU nationals it is relatively easy to obtain the necessary paperwork to live and work here, but it can take time and again some Italian will be helpful to speed the process along.  After arrival, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit, for which you will require a letter from your employer. But that is only the start of the process, and Italy is one of the countries where speed and bureaucracy are not often found in the same sentence. The trick is to be patient, take important documents (passport, birth certificate, certificates and diplomas) with you and get them authenticated or notarised by the Italian Embassy before you go (see Useful Contacts section).

It it much tougher to find work legally if you are an American, Australian or New Zealander. Many work illegally since the paperwork involved makes it too difficult for schools to employ non EU citizens. Do check out a few schemes with the Italian consulate which may enable you to work legally. These include working as an independent contractor, entering Italy as a student and then working for 20 hours per week, or on a working holiday scheme. 

Due to the increasing popularity of Italy, it is far easier to obtain work on the spot than, say, by applying for work from outside the country. Initially, you would expect to make up a full timetable (22 hours +) by working part time at a variety of schools or institutes. Lessons are likely to be spread out across the day in common with timetables across Europe. This could mean teaching a businessperson in his factory before work at 8am, having the afternoon off and starting lessons again at 5pm, working through until 9pm. But once you are established and have proved yourself it will be easier to gain a full time contract with one school. By then you should have gained enough contacts to freelance, which is more financially lucrative.

Our recommended course options for Italy are:


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