Find Your Dream TEFL Job

Quick Facts

  • Degree Required

    Bachelor’s Degree

  • Salary

    $1,050-2,150/month

  • Visa

    Work Visa in advance / EU passport holders

  • Age

    21-60

  • Contract

    10+ months

  • Cost of Living

    $1,000+/month

  • Typical Students

    Business Professionals, Children

  • Interview

    Phone / Video call / In person

What Kind of Teaching Jobs Are There In Italy?

The most popular type of work for TEFL teachers in Italy is at private language centres. Unlike some other TEFL destinations in Europe, there aren’t any government-sponsored programmes to place teachers in public schools. Furthermore, if you want to teach in a public school, you’ll be expected to speak fluent Italian and have an EU passport.

Teaching at private language centres in Italy

Working at a private language centre is the most popular option for teachers in Italy. English centres usually operate at the weekends and on evenings, outside normal schooling hours.

Children in primary school and high school sign up to these classes to improve their English language skills outside of the state school curriculum. Bearing this in mind, classes are often more hands-on and games orientated than public schools.

Some private language centres have contracts with public schools and may ask you to work at a public school occasionally. This kind of work would obviously take place during the day on a weekday, instead of in the evening or at weekends.

There are also language centres that cater to university students and adults. In these kinds of jobs, you may be asked to teach clients at their places of work rather than at the language centre itself.

Finding a job

Lots of English language centres in Italy prefer to interview candidates face-to-face, so it helps to be in the country around hiring time. However, many candidates apply online and do their first interview via video call. In some cases, teachers receive a job offer before arriving in the country, but a face-to-face interview will probably be necessary to seal the deal!

When to apply

The best time to apply for work is in September, just before the new term starts after the summer holidays. Though, you can start looking for work and applying for English teaching jobs in Italy as early as February or March.

Teaching hours & Class sizes

Teaching hours tend to be between 20-25 hours per week, not including the time spent preparing for your lessons. Bear in mind, that means you’ll likely spend more than 25 hours at your language centre, but you’ll only actually be paid for the hours you teach – this is common practise in Italy. In terms of class sizes, you can have up to 15 students in a class, or you might be asked to teach one-on-one.

Salary & Bonuses

As a teacher at an English language centre, you can earn $1,050-2,150 depending on how many hours you work and where in Italy you teach.

Completion bonuses aren’t usually offered for teaching jobs at private language centres. However, if you’re short on cash at the end of the school year, most language centres will offer you work at a summer camp over July and August.

Vacation

You may not be offered any official vacation as an English teacher at a language centre, and it’s very unlikely that any vacation you’re offered will be paid. However, you’ll have time off whenever the language centre is closed, and you’ll usually be able to ask for unpaid time off if you make the request in advance.

Pros

  • Lots of jobs and a relatively high demand for English teachers
  • Enthusiastic, energetic students
  • Generally good teaching resources

Cons

  • No paid-for accommodation
  • No flight reimbursement or completion bonus
  • Difficult to get a working visa as a non-EU passport holder
  • Some teachers report difficulties getting paid on time – or even the full amount!
Teach in Italy

Other types of teaching work in Italy

Lots of TEFL teachers in Italy earn extra cash by doing private tutoring. Teachers can earn $16-33 per hour for private tutoring.

Another option is teaching English as a summer camp during the summer break. Language centres normally prioritise teachers who have worked for the company throughout the rest of the year for these roles. However, there are always a few extra positions going!

Am I eligible to teach in Italy?

To teach in Italy, you’ll be expected to have a TEFL certificate, and candidates with a degree are highly preferred. Native-level English speakers will find it much easier than others to find work here, especially those with an EU passport.

There’s a high-demand for American English speakers but there’s very few schools willing to arrange and sponsor American candidates for the working holiday visa. This means that you’ll probably be asked to work illegally, or ‘under the table’. This is pretty common in Italy, but make sure you know the risks before signing up to working this way. Keep in mind, it could make it difficult to get paid, get a legitimate working visa in the future, or to get a rental agreement without a proper working visa.

Finding teaching jobs in Italy can be quite competitive, so it’s worth doing a 140+ hour TEFL course, particularly one with in-class learning. You’ll also be at an advantage if you have prior teaching experience.

How can I get a visa?

If you have an EU passport, you can live and work in Italy without a visa. If you don’t have an EU passport, you’ll have to obtain a working holiday visa. This can be a bit of a tricky task but it’s not impossible with help from an employer or through a teaching scheme.

Depending on your nationality, you may be able to apply for a working holiday visa through the Italian consulate in your home country. At the time of writing, Italy has bilateral agreements with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea that allow passport holders from these countries to apply for working holiday visas. There are some stipulations in place, including being under a certain age – under 30 for Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, and under 35 for Canada – and having enough money to fund your time in Italy.

You may still be able to apply for a working holiday visa if you’re not a passport holder from one of these countries. However, in many cases you’ll need to have a job offer from a company who is willing to sponsor your application.

Where can I teach English in Italy?

Rome is perhaps one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world as well as a great location to teach English. The city is the cultural and historical hub of Italy, with a growing number of English language centres. Milan is home to world-famous fashion design, major film festivals and the Italian stock exchange. Bari is a lesser-known teaching destination, an urban and liveable university city located on the coast, looking over the Adriatic Sea. Although these are perhaps the top three teaching destinations in Italy, there are opportunities all over the country in cities and towns both large and small.

What are the challenges of teaching English in Italy?

One challenge of teaching in Italy is initially setting up. Although your teaching wage should be enough to live comfortably and make some small savings, you’ll need to have enough money to survive your first month or two in Italy. You won’t have reimbursed flights or an accommodation stipend, so you’ll need to cover these costs yourself. If you plan to search for work on the ground, it’s especially essential to have some savings set aside.

Another challenge of teaching in Italy is the students – who are notoriously loud and full of energy! A big part of your job as teacher will be classroom management, keeping students engaged and stopping them getting out of their seats constantly. If you have previous experience working in a country where students are extremely studious and have great respect for teachers, Italy could be a little bit of a shock!

Cost of living in Italy

Italy neither offers particularly high teaching wages nor is cheap to live, with accommodation usually being the biggest expense for most teachers. It tends to be cheaper to live in the South of Italy in places like Amalfi Coast, Bari or Naples – though teaching wages are slightly lower too. More expensive TEFL destinations include Milan and Rome – but arguably, spending a bit more to live in these ancient, history-packed cities is worth every penny!

In Rome, a monthly pass for public transport costs about $45, a monthly gym membership costs around $50, a local beer cost up to $5 and a cappuccino is about $2. On the whole, it’s cheaper to live in Italy than it is in New Zealand or Australia, but it’s more expensive than living in the UK or the US. Though, obviously the cost of living varies from city to city!

If you choose to shop locally and cook at home, food isn’t a large expense. Local markets are a great place to stock up, offering fair prices for fresh ingredients. However, eating out and nights out can quickly add up, especially if you head out to some of the more luxurious areas or tourist spots.

About Italy

Italy has some of the most incredible history and culture in the world – much of which you’ll probably have heard of already! The Sistine Chapel and the sculpture of David by Michelangelo, the Roman Colosseum, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, the archaeological areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, and the Amalfi Coast to name a few. Not to mention numerous famous castles, cathedrals and historic city centres.

On top of that, Italy is home to incredible food – think indulgent carbonara, classic pizzas, and refreshing gelato, it’s full of show-stopping fashion – particularly in chic Milan, as well as boasting a pleasant climate and incredible scenery.

Italian culture

In Italy, it’s all about La Dolce Vita, or ‘the good life’. Italians are passionate, family orientated, and love good food and wine! Mealtimes play an important part in Italian culture, often turning into long, social gatherings. But despite famously delicious wine, it’s all about the food and Italians generally aren’t big drinkers. They are also notoriously late for social events, so don’t be surprised if everyone turns up 30 minutes later than agreed!

Italians are known to care about their appearance, as well as that of others. So, it’s really important to dress nicely when you want to make a good impression. And Catholicism also influences the country, with more Catholic churches per capita than anywhere else in the world, and a patron saint associated to every day of the year.

Italian cuisine

Italian food is one of the most famous cuisines in the world, served in different styles in countries everywhere. However, the worldwide versions of Italian food are hardly representative of the variety of meals the Italians have to offer. You’ll likely be most familiar with Italian food from central Italy, such as pizza and spaghetti. Whereas the North of Italy generally serves lots of rice, potatoes, fish and pork. And the South of Italy has lots of dishes that use artichokes, capers, tomatoes and olives. Though, one thing you can be sure to have in every part of the country is plenty of cheese and delicious wine from a local vineyard. The Italians are not only responsible for making lots of cheese and wine but consuming lots of it too!

Teach English in Italy
Culture in Italy

Accommodation in Italy

English teacher’s in Italy don’t usually have accommodation provided as a part of their contract. However, lots of schools will help you find somewhere to live or give you assistance with your rental agreement.

If you live in one of Italy’s major cities, it’s not uncommon to live in a house share to cut down on costs. You can find adverts for house shares online, or you can ask people at work if they know anyone looking for a housemate. Lots of teacher’s in Italy live with other teachers who work at the same school – which is great for both saving money and making friends!

The price of accommodation varies between cities and suburbs. One-bedroom apartments in Rome’s city centre tend to cost around $650 per month, though they can be as much as $1,100 per month. And a one-bedroom apartment outside of the centre costs about $500 per month. Whereas a room in a city centre house share could cost $250-400 per month.

Accommodation is likely to be your largest expense as a teacher in Italy – and bills can be expensive too. If you live by yourself in the city centre of a major city, you’ll probably spend about 60% of your wages on accommodation and bills. So, if you’re willing to live on the outskirts of the city or live in a house share, this can really help save some pennies!

Weather in Italy

The weather varies considerably between the north and south of Italy, with slightly colder weather in the north. Located in Western Europe, next door to Austria, France, Slovenia and Switzerland, the country sees four distinct seasons. There are hot, sunny summers across the board, whereas winters are more varied, sometimes seeing a difference of over 20°C in different cities.

Located in the north of the country, Milan sees some extreme variation in weather. It is both one of the hottest cities in Europe while also seeing one of the highest number of days at sub-zero temperatures. On top of that, it is one of the rainiest cities on the continent! So, it’s safe to say if you choose to teach in Milan, you’ll need to bring clothes for every kind of weather.

In central-western Italy, Rome enjoys a Mediterranean climate with slightly cooler weather than the South of Italy. Summers in Rome are hot and dry with an average temperature of 25°C in the hottest month of July. Winters are relatively mild with temperatures rarely lower than 8°C. And the city sees very little rainfall throughout the year, peaking in December at just under 100mm of rain throughout the month.

Naples is only two hours south of Rome and also boasts a Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers of up to 30°C. Winters are mild and the temperature during the day is rarely lower than 9°C.

Please note: The information in this guide is accurate as of the time of writing. However, the laws and requirements to teach abroad can often change. Make sure to check the latest advice from the local authority of the country you plan to work in.

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