A mosaic of history and modern industry, classical architecture and graffiti-lined streets, traditional Italian cuisine and a booming chocolate market: Torino is one of Italy’s most popular working cities and is an excellent place to intern abroad in Italy. With many universities and international businesses based in Torino, there is a large population of young adults who call the city home, making for a very diverse and dynamic workforce to build your resume.
Internships in Torino
Torino can lay claim to the third-largest economy in Italy and home to some of the most oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. As such, opportunities for internships in Torino are practically endless. Most internships in Torino can last anywhere from six weeks to six months, with the options of part-time and full-time, making it entirely possible to complete an internship while also studying abroad.
Admittedly, the internship pool is very competitive in Italy, as most Italian students are required to complete an internship (or, tirocinio) in order to graduate or to get a job. As is common with most internships throughout the world, it is difficult to find a paid internship, although some will offer a living stipend and accommodations. Some experience may be necessary, particularly when interning abroad in such a fast-paced metropolis like Torino.
Two particularly strong fields for internships in Torino are banking and international business. Both Italian and international banks have headquarters in Torino, allowing for many internship opportunities in finance. There are also a number of businesses in the city, such as Lavazza Coffee, Rai, Kappa, Martini&Rossi, and even Ferrero SpA – the wonderful people who bring you Nutella. All of these companies advertise and export domestically and internationally, providing international interns with an excellent chance to observe Italian business models at work in an international sphere.
With such a large concentration on Italy’s automobile industry located in and around the city, Torino is a hotspot for industry and engineering too. Maserati, Fiat, General Motors, Lancia, Ghia, and Fioravanti are just a few of the automobile manufacturers with offices in Torino. Not to mention Torino is also well-known for its aerospace industry. Italy’s cities tend to highlight the arts, but for those interested in science and engineering, an internship in Torino is an excellent way to learn about the industrial side of Italy’s workforce.
However, if you are interested in the arts, internships in Turin are ideal for those looking to explore art history and museum curating. Aside from the city’s vast collection of galleries and museums, ranging from the Etruscans to post-modern art, Torino is also home to the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Egypt. Alongside many historical museums commemorating Italian history, the city is also brimming with internship opportunities for those students or young professionals looking to launch an international career in the art and museum world.
Life in Torino
Situated in the Piedmont (Piemonte) region of Italy, Torino holds all the grandeur of a northern Italian city with the charm of a small Italian town in its historic center. Although Torino is one of Italy’s larger cities, its population is known for its hospitality and penchant for evening socialization along the riverbanks. Throughout the week, Torino’s many grand piazzas and cafes that line the banks of the Po River come alive at night.
Families and friends alike take to the streets for an evening stroll, shopping late into the night. The easy transition into Torino also stems from the fact that the city is filled with multiple universities and large businesses, drawing thousands of students, interns, and young professionals alike to its streets and forming a very young and diverse workforce that revel in the northern Italian tradition of aperitivi: cocktails and a social hour before dinner.
Torino is also especially well-known for the arts, noticeable through the music, dance, and multiple art galleries and museums throughout the city. Even the city’s graffiti and street art puts most other art museums to shame. The other two art forms attributed to Torino include wine and chocolate production, making the city truly decadent and rich with culture…and Nutella.
The sports culture is also very prominent in the Torino lifestyle, as the city is home to one of the top soccer (futbol) teams in the world. Juventus F.C. Local soccer pride is a borderline obsession for most Italians, which offers an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself amongst other Italians and one of their greatest life passions.
Traveling in and around Torino is made easy by the ease of walking throughout the city, as well as Italy’s extensive public transportation system. On the weekends, interns can reach the Alps, France, and Switzerland within just a few hours. Other regions of Italy and the rest of Europe are easily accessible via Torino’s railway system and international airport. The city is ideally situated for travel both within Italy and throughout the rest of Europe as well.
Salary & Costs
As in most large cities, the cost of living in Torino can be high. The exchange rate from Euro to other currencies also makes living and interning in Italy challenging, but companies in Torino raise their employees’ salaries to compensate for the higher cost of living (which is a great perk if you intend to pursue a full time job in Italy after your internship in Turin). Most internships in Torino are unpaid, but some may offer accommodation.
Overall, Italians live simply and once you learn to live like a local, you can as well. Open-air markets make for excellent grocery and clothes shopping, as the produce will be both fresher and cheaper, and you’ll find designer knock-offs for almost nothing. Nearly everything in the city is within walking-distance and public transportation is readily available. If you are willing to live as a local immersed in the Italian lifestyle rather than a tourist, living and interning abroad in Torino can be very affordable and manageable.
Accommodation & Visas
The most common type of housing in Torino is apartments. Some internships in Turin include housing as a part of the placement package, and this may sometimes involve a homestay. However, if you are searching for accommodations on your own, there are many resources online and within the city itself that assist newcomers in finding a place to live, including websites that can connect international interns with possible roommates. Sharing an apartment with roommates is a very affordable opportunity, and a great chance to experience Italian culture more intimately by living with local Italians.
If you are interning in Italy while also studying abroad for a time period that will last longer than 90 days, you must obtain a Student Visa. If you are completing a paid internship in Torino, you may be required to obtain a Business Visa. Procuring a Visa can be a lengthy and difficult process, so be sure to start the application as early as possible.
Benefits & Challenges
- Competitive Workplace. With the nation’s recent economic recession, competition for jobs in Torino is high, particularly amongst young professionals. It can be difficult for non-Italians to find internships in Turin that a qualified local student or worker is capable of. However, English language skills and professional experience make foreign workers invaluable in the international market in almost any country.
- A Different Lifestyle. Adjusting to the Italian way of life can require some time and effort, as the country overall moves at a much slower pace. The concept of time is flexible, so trains might be late and your Italian roommate’s invitation for “dinner at eight o’clock in the evening” might end up being at nine. However, this pace of life gives more time to take in the sights, appreciate the country around you, and to take a few more sips of that cappuccino.
- Personal & Professional Growth. Being able to intern in Torino is an excellent opportunity for both personal and professional growth, expanding experiences in both arenas. The decision to live and intern in Italy is an excellent start to an international career too. Interning in Torino, a city brimming with ancient history and modern industry, can be an incredibly life changing opportunity for you!