TEACH ENGLISH IN ITALY
Living and working in Italy is any history, art, architecture, and food buff’s dream. Singles and couples alike flock to the historic cities of Rome and Florence and graze about the rolling landscapes of the Tuscan countryside. One could honestly spend a lifetime here and still not experience the uniqueness of each village, town, and duchy. Rich in all of these (and so much more), Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Because of this, learning English is extremely beneficial for those working in tourism-related industries. However, you’d be shocked at how low (generally speaking) the level of English is in Italy. Italians are proud to be Italian and, consequently, speakers of one of the most romantic languages to ever exist.
Teaching English here will allow you to more fully immerse yourself in this magnificent culture- a few weeks of holiday just aren’t enough to dig beyond the surface. Although Italy is not one of the main competitors in the European economy, ESL teachers still remain in fairly high demand, and the globalization of the market and ever-growing tourism industry only reiterates the need for locals to be able to communicate in English.
Requirements for Teaching English in Italy
Italy is part of the Schengen region and, as such, a permit will be required to work unless you are an EU citizen. Employers are far more likely to hire Brits who can work without the hassle of paperwork, although this very well might change after the Brexit repercussions take effect. Some companies, though, may prefer for their students to learn English with a different accent, so don’t be discouraged if you’re not British. While working illegally (under the table) by teaching privates or even at less reputable schools can be an option, legitimate institutions will require that you have permission to work. Professional work visas are hard to come by, but there is a simpler route for North Americans. By obtaining a student visa, on the grounds that you are enrolled in a language program yourself, you are legally granted permission to teach English.
Once you have this permission, getting a job at better-known schools will be a viable option for you. A TESOL certificate is certainly valuable in those types of institutions, whereas you might be able to get away with not having one if you are teaching under the table; the same goes with previous experience. Be warned: if you teach illegally, you risk a hefty fine and expulsion from the country. Earning your certificate from a program within the country will also increase your chances of getting a job, as you will have had the opportunity to build a network for yourself.
Job Hunting in Italy
Unless you are searching for a job at a university or have enlisted the help of a highly-regarded recruitment agency, your best bet at getting a job in Italy is to show up and interview in person. Italians are tactile people who want to get to better know you before inviting you into their businesses. February and March are said to be the best months for searching for a job, as schools will typically have a grasp for how many previous teachers intend to return for the following school year versus vacancies that need to be filled. Language schools typically begin the term in September and finish around May or June. As such, contracts there will last around ten months. There is also a long list of summer camps, both academic and recreational, available for teachers to work at in June and July.