Teaching English abroad is an extremely rewarding way to broaden your experience of a foreign culture while earning a good living and having a great quality of life. As a native English speaker your skills and knowledge are highly prized by students and adult learners all over the world so why not make the most of it and teach in Italy?
While you’re working as a teacher in Italy you’ll have plenty of time to immerse yourself in the local community as well as explore the art, culture and major tourist attractions at your leisure.
Living the expat life and working in Italy is a completely different experience to visiting as a tourist because you really do get to know the city or area that you’re staying in. Not only will you quickly make friends with your fellow teachers but you’ll also be in a unique situation to learn Italian yourself!
IMPORTANT: In order for you to teach English in Italy legally, you have to get the work visa from the Italian government. It is not an easy to get such a visa. Many English teachers in Italy who are from non-EU nations are working illegally.
English Teachers Are In High Demand In Italy.
English is considered to be a valuable language to learn in Italy as well as the rest of the European Union. For Italians, learning to speak English can open up new opportunities in their careers and help them progress on the international scene. Being able to speak English also plays a role in the elusive concept of ‘la bella figura’; which roughly means making a good impression on people.
Italian schools do teach English as part of their curriculums however the results are very poor and often leave students speaking to a very low conversational level. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for you to work in private schools, International schools, summer schools and even as a personal tutor.
It’s not only young students who study English in Italy. Of course, the demand for English teachers is the greatest in school settings, however many professionals learn English to get a promotion or to further pursue their career overseas.
For instance, corporations and companies will often pay for their staff to take part time English classes while in other cases professionals take it upon themselves to learn English in their free time. In other cases, Italians who already speak fairly good English will want to take conversational classes to improve their fluency and increase their vocabulary.
So whether you want to teach children, teenage students or adults and professionals, you can find a teaching role in Italy that will suit your personality and ambitions.
English Teacher Salaries In Italy.
Your earnings will vary depending on the setting in which you are working. For example, if you work as an adult English teacher for a financial corporation then your wages will be significantly higher than if you work as a summer school teacher.
Of course, if you’re teaching finance professionals English you’ll have to have a good knowledge of financial and economic vocabulary in English and be able to clearly explain some pretty complicated terminology! On the other hand, if you are teaching students at a summer school the vocabulary will be fairly simple but you’ll have to be able to present it in a fun and engaging way.
Generally speaking though, if you are working in a private English language school then you’ll be expected to work around 25 hours a week and will be paid between 1,200 Euros and 2,000 Euros per month, depending on your past experience.
You can also work over-time hours if you want to increase your paycheck, although most teachers are happy to work part time hours so they can enjoy the Dolce Vita in their ample free time.
Summer school teaching roles tend to pay a little lower, at around 250 Euros per week, but you usually get free accommodation and meals during your time with the school. This means if you want to teach for a few months over the summer before traveling around Italy this is a great way to set yourself up in the country when you first arrive.
Salaries for English teachers tend to be a little higher in the North of the country although this also depends on what kind of institution you are teaching in. No matter where you work in the country you can always supplement your income by doing private tutoring. Private tutors often charge anywhere from 25 to 50 Euros per hour, depending on their experience and the clients they are working with.
Requirements For Teaching English In Italy.
To teach English in Italy at any school or institution you will need to have a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) qualification.
Alternatively, you can use a CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) qualification to get a job in Italy. The CELTA is a more intensive ESL training course than the TEFL or TESOL which was designed by Cambridge University and is considered by some to be the most prestigious teaching award in the industry.
You can study a TEFL or TESOL course online but it’s always better to attend an in-person class. In-person classes are more expensive than their online alternatives but will serve you much better in the long run. The CELTA course can only be studied in-person.
However, regardless of which qualification you have you will be able to get a job in Italy. Of course, you should also be able to speak English to a fluent level.
As well as having a basic teaching qualification it’s a major advantage to have a Bachelor’s Degree under your belt. Although this is not essential it is something that many employers do require from their teachers. This is particularly useful if you want to work as a private tutor because most families or adult professionals will look for a teacher that has an academic background as well as a basic English teaching qualification.
Do You Need A Visa To Teach English In Italy?
If you are a citizen of the European Union then you do not need a Visa to live and work in Italy. However, if you are from outside the European Union then you do need a Visa to legally live and work in Italy.
To teach English as a non-EU citizen you will need to apply for a Work Visa. You must obtain your Work Visa before you move to Italy, after you have confirmed your teaching job in the country. For your Visa to be approved your future employer must fill out parts of the form so you can only apply once you’ve been offered a teaching job.
Documents Needed To Apply For Your Work Visa.
When you’re offered a job as a teacher in Italy your future employer will ask to see proof of the following documents to fill out your Work Visa application form:
- Proof of residence contract.
- Financial proof that you can fund a return trip.
- Proof of your teaching qualifications and a copy of your resume.
Best Locations To Teach English In Italy.
No matter where you work in Italy you’ll have a wonderful experience but some of the most popular locations include:
- Adriatic Coast.
- Puglia. Calabria.
Cost Of Living For An English Teacher In Italy.
If you’ve ever visited Italy as a tourist then you might have got the impression that it’s an expensive place to live however this couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, Italy is one of the cheapest places to live in Europe, especially if you live outside of the major cities such as Rome and Milan.
The salary that you earn as an English teacher will more than afford you an excellent quality of life and leave you plenty of money to visit galleries, museums, eat out at restaurants and buy tickets for special events.
Of course, if you want to keep your expenditure down then you should avoid the touristy restaurants and shops. Instead, you should get into the habit of living like the locals which means shopping in markets, cooking at home and visiting the restaurants and bars that the Italians frequent!
A Quick Overview Of Prices In Italy.
The prices in Italy will vary based on the location, your living situation and your lifestyle. The following is a rough estimate:
|Item||Cost (Euros Per Month)|
|Accommodation||500 – 1500 per month|
|Utility Bills||50 – 75 per month|
|Health Insurance||25 – 75 per month|
|Public Transport||30 – 50 per month|
|Eating Out||50 – 150 per month|
|Beer||3.5 to 5|
|Milk||1 – 1.5|
|Groceries||100 -150 per month.|
It’s always cheaper to live in a small town or a rural part of Italy but even in the big cities you can live on a relatively frugal budget.
Don’t forget you can always ask the other teachers at your school or your new employer for some advice on the best ways to save money in your daily life. Another popular option for teachers in Italy is to share an apartment together. This will significantly cut your rent and you’ll also be able to make friends with your new housemates.
Teaching English Is The Perfect Way To Relocate To Italy.
Italians are famously friendly and hospitable. Once the locals find out that you’re an English teacher you’ll soon be receiving invites to join their social networks and even have lunch with their families on the weekends!
The local Italians will really appreciate you bringing your skills to their community and teaching their children so they’ll share their food with you and give you tips about the best places to see and visit.
While you’re in Italy you’ll also be able to learn a bit of Italian, even if you never become fully fluent. Once again, the locals will always be happy to help and correct any mistakes you might be making.
As a teacher in Italy you can make a good income while getting a unique insight into the land of the Dolce Vita! There are few better ways to discover the country than by teaching English so if you’re wondering how to relocate to Italy then it’s something you should certainly be considering.