Due to its many attractions that include the Mediterranean climate, a laid back approach to life, and world famous cuisine, Italy is always a popular destination for TEFL qualified teachers. If you want to head to Italy to teach English, there are a few tips to follow that should help you plan your trip.
What do I need to teach English in Italy?
As demand for teachers is high in many areas there are few restrictions on who can teach English in Italy. The one exception is that the vast majority of reputable employers will expect you to have completed a TEFL certification course. If you can include a high quality TEFL certificate on your job applications you will automatically jump above other applicants with no formal teacher training to offer.
How do I apply for TEFL jobs in Italy?
You will probably find a small number of jobs advertised via online forums and job boards, but the majority of positions in Italy are secured following an in-person interview on the school premises. In most cases, teachers working in Italy simply jump on a plane to their chosen location and start job hunting once they have settled into their new surroundings. This can seem like a daunting prospect if you are new to overseas travel, however, it is a common and straightforward approach that is almost guaranteed to result in employment within a short time.
When should I apply for TEFL jobs in Italy?
In order to take advantage of the peak hiring time in Italy it is best to arrive before or during the month of September as it sees the start of the new school year. At the end of the previous school year thousands of foreign teachers will have left their jobs to return home or move onto another position, creating a huge number of options for new arrivals. The next best time of year to be looking for teaching work in Italy is during January.
What about visas for teaching English in Italy?
As they are able to live and work in Italy without a visa or work permit, EU citizens often have an advantage in the job market. In contrast, obtaining the correct paperwork to work legally can be difficult for non-EU citizens, which means a large number of foreign teachers end up working with nothing more than a tourist visa in their passport. Although this is not strictly legal, it is still a common occurrence that is largely tolerated by the local authorities.
If you would prefer to keep everything above board, there are a couple of other good options to consider. By enrolling on a local language course you could be eligible for a student visa which also allows you to work for a limited number of hours each week. Another option is to apply for a one-year working holiday visa. These are currently available to citizens of Australia, New Zealand and Canada, although they are usually restricted to those aged between 18 and 30.
What are the start-up costs for teaching English in Italy?
As it is likely that you will have to travel to Italy without having a job lined up in advance, you will need to have enough money available to see you through to your first pay day. Most teachers manage to find a suitable position in less than two weeks, but you should still budget for at least four to six weeks of expenses that will include accommodation, meals, transport costs etc. As a rough guide, this figure should be somewhere in the region of $2,000 to $3,000.
How do I get a good TEFL job in Italy?
The best way to find as many job options as possible is to contact every potential employer you can find in your local area, even if they are not actually advertising for new staff. You should be able to find the required contact information by searching online or by utilizing local directories such as the Yellow Pages. Other teachers who are already working in the area can also be an invaluable source of information on the local scene.
To ensure your job application is not thrown straight in the trash, it is vital that your CV/resume and cover letter contain all the necessary information and are professional in appearance. You might also want to have an Italian language version of your documents available to any employer who would prefer it. Many teachers also find business cards to be useful as you can hand them out whenever you happen to meet potential employers or private students. Another simple tip is to invest in a local SIM card on arrival as this allows you to provide employers with a local contact number rather than an international number. Finally, whenever you contact a school in person it is important that you are smart and professional in appearance or you can say goodbye to finding a teaching job in Italy.