Venice is a city of romanticism. A cluster of 117 small islands connected by an intricate system of canals and bridges on the Venetian lagoon, Venice is widely known as one of the most beautiful cities, as well as one of the most impressive man-made feats, in the world. From long walks along the cobbled streets to dreamy gondola rides through the city’s sprawling waterways, daily life will not fail to inspire teachers coming from all over the world to teach abroad in Venice.
Teaching in Venice
Venice is actually a major hub of international higher education in Italy, boasting a wealth of prestigious universities. However, unless you possess the credentials to begin teaching in a university position, then it is more likely you will be teaching in Venice below the university level, such as at primary schools through high schools.
There are a decent amount of private international schools located in or around Venice which look to hire foreign teachers, but these might be in different locations than the city of Venice itself (such as the International School of Treviso or International School of Padua, both located on the mainland). On the other hand, unless you are fluent in Italian, then finding a teaching job in Venice at a local public school will be challenging.
The easiest placement to find are those which revolve around teaching English in Venice. Italians notoriously have one of the lowest English speaking proficiencies in Europe, so there is plenty of room for international teachers to help bring the population up to speed. Language academies, tutoring, and teaching at private companies are all potential institutions where ESL teachers can find jobs teaching English in Venice.
Most jobs focused on teaching English in Venice will require a TEFL certificate or other such teaching certification to show that you have undergone the adequate training needed to successfully teach English as a second language. It is also possible to find a TEFL/TESOL program in Venice that will combine the one month training period in Venice with the possibility of securing employment teaching English in Venice upon completion of certification courses.
Life in Venice
The defining characteristic of life in Venice is that there are no automobiles allowed on the city’s roads – in fact, it is the largest urban car-free area in all of Europe. Local Venetians instead take to walking in most cases when it is convenient, and there is also a good system of waterway taxis and buses, which will help you traverse longer distances. Gondolas are certainly a romantic notion and will be worth at least one trip for the experience, but these are typically much more expensive than other forms of transport.
Although Venice has a long history as an economic center of Italy and one of the most important ports in all of Europe, today it thrives mostly as a center of arts and culture. Many famous Venetians, from Marco Polo to Giacomo Casanova to Antonio Vivaldi, have helped the city build a reputation as such. In modern times the city is known primarily for its highly skilled artisan craftwork, primarily in glass blowing and mask making. You will come by many market places and small stores. where such objects of artistry are on display, that will blow you away with fine creativity.
Life in Venice moves at a relaxed pace, however in peak tourist seasons the city can become quite crowded, as it is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. While teaching abroad in Venice you will have the benefit of experiencing life as a local in the city, and this includes learning how to spot tourist traps and seek out the cool offbeat areas. Explore as much of the city as you can, and when teaching in Venice, live like the Venetians do!
Salaries & Costs
Since Venice is such a popular tourist destination and such a desirable location to live, the cost of living can be quite expensive. You will earn a decent amount of money teaching English in Venice, usually between 1,000 and 2,000 euros a month, but it is safe to say you won’t be making enough to dine on the patios of Piazza San Marco every night. Your exact salary will depend on the type of teaching job you secure, so consult different schools and programs about their rates of pay and other included compensation, such as food, housing, and transportation.
Accommodation & Visas
Accommodations within the actual city of Venice are hard to come by and rent prices are high. Even though Venice is a popular place to visit and work abroad, there remain only 60,000 permanent inhabitants in the historic city itself, which gives you some idea about the scarcity of available housing. While it might be worthwhile to search for options in the six sestieris of the main city, you will have much better luck securing affordable housing in the nearby mainland areas, such as Mestre or Lido.
If you are coming from outside of the European Union, then you will need to obtain a visa with the endorsement of your employer to teach abroad in Venice. You can teach in Italy for up to 90 days freely coming from most Western countries, but as most teaching placements last longer than three months, you will want to get on the ball early applying for the right visa. You can check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for information on the Italian consulate nearest to you.
Benefits & Challenges
Teaching abroad in Venice is a leap of faith well worth the taking. Most people never experience the city beyond a brief stay perusing the tourist sites, so as an international teacher in Venice for an extended period of time you will gain access to the authentic Venetian culture which lies beneath its surface charm. What you will find is a thriving city with friendly people and an aesthetic beauty which never wears thin. Teaching abroad in Venice is your opportunity to give something valuable back to this great city!