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Have you always been dreaming of taking a trip through Tuscany, eating in Italy, or lazing on a beach on Italy’s Mediterranean coast? This seems like it is only destined for the rich and famous, but teaching English in Italy has made these experiences more accessible than ever before.
Italy is an unlikely contender in the ESL game but English teachers are rating it as one of the best places to teach English if you want to explore Europe.
Here is the ultimate guide to teaching English in Italy to help you embark on a new and fantastical journey!
Why Should You Choose Italy?
Italy is by far one of the most popular destinations in the world. The country is steeped in history that shaped life as we know it today along with an abundance of landmarks and romanticized cities.
The country enjoys excellent weather for most of the year and not to mention the food is off the charts. You can enjoy a relatively low cost of living compared to other major destinations in Europe, especially if you opt for a smaller city.
Italians also enjoy a healthy work/life balance and you will have plenty of opportunities to explore this magnificent country.
What Are the Requirements To Teach English in Italy?
Italy is not the best place for beginner teachers to find work, especially because finding a job will require some legwork. A skill you most certainly would have perfected after spending some time as an ESL Teacher.
However, just like any teaching destination, there are jobs for all levels of qualification. The most important thing to have is an accredited TEFL certificate from a reputable institute. Many language schools and teaching centers require a BA degree and one or two years of teaching experience.
In Italy, there is also the opportunity for more senior positions and business English classes. These positions will most definitely require experience and higher qualifications.
Where Is the Best Place To Teach English in Italy?
Starting with the largest cities, Rome and Milan, both have plenty of academies as there is a massive influx of students living in the larger metropolitan areas. Milan is also the country’s financial capital, meaning lots of opportunities to teach business English.
Naples is the largest city in the south and the city is overflowing with university students. Bari is one of the more underrated cities in the country but there are several great language academies in this beautiful city. Both Florence and Turin also have high concentrations of language schools.
How Do You Find Work as an English Teacher in Italy?
The first place to start is by referring to job postings by the company you do your TEFL qualification through. These companies always have their finger on the pulse of the newest opportunities across the world and signing up with a company that assists with job placement will get you off to the best possible start.
Read more: Teaching English in Italy: Ultimate Guide – 2021| TEFL Org
Forums and online groups for teachers already in Italy are invaluable resources. Teachers often share jobs at their own centers or help find replacements for themselves. This is also a helpful place to pick up some tips and tricks about life in Italy.
There are tons of small language academies all over the country and you should absolutely put in some effort to reach out to them individually. Send out your CV to as many companies as possible for the best chance of landing a job.
Once you are settled in Italy, you can also start branching out to get private students. There is a big demand for private lessons and this is a great way to become an independent earner.
Do You Need a Visa to Teach English in Italy?
If you are a non-EU citizen, you need a visa to teach English in Italy. Italy is notorious for its thorough legislation so there is no way around this – don’t even try!
Getting a work permit for Italy also means you will already need a job offer on the table. So start early with your job search to be ready with your papers when the academic year starts in September.
How Much Can You Earn Teaching English in Italy?
Teaching English in Italy is not one of the most lucrative jobs out there. In exchange for a high standard of living and being surrounded by all the wonders of Italy, you will face lower salaries than that on offer in Asia and the Middle East.
Most language centers offer around 25-30 hours of work per week with a salary of around $1,312 – $1,531 per month. This is a livable wage but you won’t be able to save much.
Getting private students could help you bump up your income significantly and you can charge anywhere from $13 to $25 per hour. There are also summer schools that pay around $275 per week.
What Is the Cost of Living Like in Italy?
Most ESL teachers opt for co-living in Italy as rent can be quite steep. This still beats prices in northern European countries like Germany and France, but the average rent is around $600 or more for a shared space. If you want to rent on your own, you are looking more in the $1000 range.
However, these prices are the average for big cities like Rome and Milan. The north and the south of Italy are notoriously divided and the cost of living in Italy drops as you move south.
Here you will find many more small towns with rental prices much more in an ESL teacher’s budget. In Naples, you can get away with paying $300 in a shared place and even less if you live in a town outside the city.
If these prices scare you off, don’t fret. You can still buy pizza for only a couple of dollars so you won’t be going hungry!
Teaching English in Italy might not be the most lucrative ESL job in the world, but you will be rewarded with cultural and social treasures beyond your wildest imaginations.
Italy’s treasures go far beyond culture and gastronomy and you will never regret spending time as a teacher in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.