Italy is exploding with history. From the Grand Canal in Venice to the Duomo in Florence, there’s a walk through time around every corner. Whether you’re drawn to teach in Italy by the romance of Tuscany, the style of Milan, or the canals of Venice, the demand for English teachers is high, as are the number of available teaching jobs in Italy. International teachers who choose to teach abroad in Italy can experience working in an international environment and living the Italian lifestyle, while expanding their professional skills in teaching English.
The most popular locations for teaching abroad in Italy tend to be the larger cities, like Rome, Florence, Naples, and Milan. Contrary to popular belief, they can actually be affordable places to live too!
Rome is at the heart of Italy’s history, reflected by the dense concentration of historical sites, like The Colosseum, the Forum of Caesar, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Mountains, beaches, and lakes are all within easy reach too, and although the city is slightly infamous for its extreme traffic these destinations are well worth it.
Teaching jobs in Florence offer teachers the opportunity to teach abroad amidst an unrivaled piece of the Renaissance Era. Florentine dishes will secure a special place in your heart among other italian cuisine too.
While larger cities in Italy contain a vast array of teach abroad opportunities, as well as access to a hub of resources and entertainment, smaller cities come with a lower cost of living with similar salary offerings.
Smaller cities, like Bassano del Grappa, Cagliari, and Udine (all with populations under 500,000), offer a very different Italian experience for teachers. English teachers in these cities will have a chance to escape the crowded metropolises and see the quieter side of life in Italy. Teachers can sip a caffè with the locals and enjoy prime views of the Italian countryside between teaching lessons.
The majority of placements teaching in Italy are provided at private language institutes or international schools, as public institutions prefer to hire teachers who speak Italian or are citizens of the European Union.
Most teaching jobs in Italy require a TEFL/TESOL certificate or equivalent CELTA certification, and typically also a Bachelor’s degree. If you aren’t certified, consider a certification program in Florence. In many cases, schools will also prefer that you have some proficiency in the Italian language, and it certainly serves as an advantage in navigating the job market in Italy. For those without an undergraduate degree or related experience, there are more informal opportunities to teach in Italy, such as living with a homestay and teaching English lessons to them in exchange for accommodation.
International schools in Italy have started to offer full curriculums taught in English due to dissatisfaction with the ESL curriculum found in traditional Italian schools. As a result, teaching jobs in Italy in subjects beyond English are also available. Perhaps you have a desire to coach sports, teach theater, or conduct math and science lessons, there are special interest teaching placements in italy for you too!
Other short-term opportunities with summer camps or through private English lessons are a great way to supplement income or allow for greater flexibility while teaching abroad. Teaching English in Italy privately can earn you up to $40 an hour in some cases, and working at a summer camp can provide room and board. These placements rarely require more than a tourist visa, and the pay range will vary.
Keep in mind, that unless your teaching placement is secured directly through a program provider or a legitimate employer, a lot of the teaching opportunities in Italy will come from on-the-ground interviewing as many language schools seek to hire locally.
Salaries & Costs
The average salary for teaching in Italy ranges from about $1,200 to $3,000 USD a month, varying based on placement. This affords teachers a comfortable life in Italy as the average cost of living is around $1,000 USD per month.
In larger cities, the cost of living can be quite a bit higher due to the more competitive job market. If you’re looking to save up money, teaching in Italy might not be the best for you. On the plus side, work-life balance is great because teachers typically work for only about 25 to 30 work hours a week.
Accommodation & Visas
Teaching in Italy can require finding your own housing in local flats once you arrive. However teaching opportunities through homestay placements obviously provide accommodation in return for language lessons.
If you’re interested in teaching abroad in Italy, you will quickly find that work visas can entail a lot of red tape for non-European Union citizens. If you do go the route of applying for a work visa, it can take several months. The majority of foreign teachers choose to obtain a student or tourist visa instead. It’s technically legal to teach under a student visa if you’re enrolled in coursework approved by the government, but illegal with a tourist visa. While not condoned, teaching with a tourist visa is fairly commonplace in Italy.
Benefits & Challenges
- Job Market. The turnover rate of foreigners teaching English in Italy is high, so there’s always a demand for new teachers.
- Explore! On the weekends, visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, throw a Euro in the Trevi Fountain (it gets thousands a day!), or critique Michelangelo's David. Teaching in Italy also provides for easy access to the rest of Europe for any free weekends or holiday breaks.
- High Demand. English has become an added skill many Italians are looking for as it sets them apart as a candidate when applying to jobs within a tough Italian job market.
- Challenging as an American. Unfortunately, some schools will steer clear of hosting non-European Union citizens as teachers.
- Ask for Help. When compared to teaching in other European countries like Spain or France, Italy will be a bit more a challenge if you try to work out teaching placement on your own.