For those who dream of teaching abroad, Italy is often the first country that comes to mind. Beautiful, historical, and surrounded by a sense of romance, Italy is a dream for most Westerners who plan on traveling for a career.
It should come as no surprise, then, that English teaching jobs in Italy are somewhat difficult to obtain. There's a lot of competition and a lot of applicants, and if you're hoping to secure a position you should be prepared to prove yourself.
In order to teach English in Italy, you'll need to obtain TEFL certification. This will qualify you to teach in a classroom setting. TEFL certification is easy to get, and is often offered as a post-graduate class at college for those planning on teaching abroad. Those without TEFL will have an extremely difficult time getting hired.
One thing that sets Italy apart from other foreign countries is the fact that in order to get a teaching job, a personal interview is a must. You will be required to sit down with your future employers and meet them in person before you are actually hired. This means you should plan your time- and your budget- around making a trip to Italy for interview purposes.
If you're adventurous, you can always move to Italy before you begin searching for jobs. But if you have any doubts about getting hired, or if you want to make sure everything is lined up before you actually move abroad, you should plan on a few trips back and forth.
You'll also need to obtain an Italian work visa. As in most countries, this is a long and sometimes difficult process. Be prepared to provide any and all documentation of things like marriage, citizenship, and graduation from school. It's best to start this process as early as possible so that your future plans aren't held up by the bookkeeping.
Where to work?
Once you decide to teach English in Italy, you'll find various types of employment available. The most common, of course, is teaching in schools. English in Italy is not as widespread as it is in other countries like Mexico or China, so it is not necessarily taught in elementary schools; however, it is extremely popular in universities and other high level educational institutions.
One huge market for English teachers in Italy is the area of private schools. If you can get hired by a private school, you'll find yourself in an excellent position. Private schools offer the best pay by far, and provide a certain amount of job security not found elsewhere.
It is also possible to get hired by a company or language institution, where you'll be teaching conversational English to adults. Since English is the accepted language for many forms of global communication, adults in Italy are very interested in learning it- and are sometimes required to do so by their employers. Some businesses will hire English teachers to train their employees in English. You'll also find an abundance of evening classes that are open to the public.
The overall experience
Lots of people would love a chance to teach English in Italy. As far as TEFL positions go, Italy is one of the most coveted countries- and for good reason. Italy is a beautiful country, rich in heritage and history. The experience of teaching English in Italy is completely worth the effort it may take you to secure a position. So if you're planning to teach English in Italy, you should prepare yourself for some competition... and the possible experience of a lifetime.
By Michelle Simmons