Lo Stivale, the boot of Europe, Italy is one of the most exquisitely beautiful countries and cultures of the world, home to the floating city of Venice, the ancient sites and architecture of the Pantheon and Piazza Navona in Rome, and the grand historic religious buildings and statues of Vatican City; Italy has 44 UNESCO World Heritage sites scattered far and wide, more than any other country in the world. This culturally rich and cosmopolitan nation is also home to one of the world’s most cherished art scenes and a cuisine exported to every far corner for the globe. Historians and art lovers head here in as almost many numbers as beach-going holidaymakers, and many leave a gastronomy connoisseur, after experiencing the finest pizzas and pasta dishes to be found on the planet.
Along with Italy’s booty of art treasures and ancient relics, you’ll find an equally rich and fruitful landscape, including the glorious Alps and its many popular ski resorts, the well hiked hills of the dolomites, the active and volatile volcanoes of Sicily, and the golden coast and diving resorts of Sardinia. However, it’s the people and lifestyle which is the major selling point of Italy. Italians can be boisterous, passionate and emotional, but above all they are friendly and warm-hearted, valuing family and friendship above all else. Living the true dolce vita means enjoying a cold beer or warm coffee in a cafe terrace, lapping up the warm Mediterranean sun, dodging through mad traffic on the back of a Vespa in your finest chinos, or bar hopping through tiny back street watering holes and trendy bars, enjoying a fresh salad for lunch, or a rich pasta and wine with friends in the evening.
Teaching English in Italy
For those who dream of teaching English in Europe, Italy is more often than not, the preferred destination, but despite having a large number of teaching position available throughout the country, and so many schools and universities constantly on the lookout for experienced and well qualified native-speaking English TEFL teachers, it should come as little surprise that jobs are still hard to obtain, with competition for all levels of teaching positions being fierce.
Good TEFL teachers should not be put off by the competition for jobs, opportunities are constantly there, and the TEFL job market in Italy is one that is on the increase. Though Italy is a powerful European and world nation in terms of business, economy and industry, it still remains behind neighbouring nations in terms of English fluency, and more and more Italians are seeing the need to improve their English in order to better their job prospects. Those TEFL teachers who are hard-working, committed and willing to prove it, will always stand a chance of finding work here.
Wages and the cost of living
Don’t expect to make your fortune teaching English in Italy, TEFL teaching wages should afford you enough to live on, with a reasonably active social life, but life in the bigger cities can be expensive, and wages in the small towns can be low. For examples, a full-time TEFL teacher with 1 to 2-year experience, should expect to earn around €900 per month in Naples, and around €7 per hour for private teaching, whilst the cost of a nice studio room not too far from the city centre might cost you around €350 per month. In Milan, your monthly wage might be as much as double, with an hourly rate of €20 to €25 for a private lesson, but an apartment not too far from Milan city centre is likely to cost you anything from €750 and up, with food and drink also higher than many places further south.
Where to teach in Italy
The TEFL teaching jobs of Italy are spread amongst the many cities and towns, with each location offering a unique taste and twist on the Italian lifestyle. Here are a few of our recommendations:
The eternal city, Rome is perhaps the jewel in Italy’s crown, and one of the must-see tourist destinations of the world. As well as a wealth of sights, sounds and tastes to experience, Rome is also the country’s political and cultural centre, with numerous language and education institutions making it one of the natural choices of TEFL teaching destinations.
Milan is one of Europe’s main industrial and business centre, the home of Italy’s stock exchange, and at the heart of the fashion and motor vehicle industries. It may not be the most culturally dense Italian city, but with its standing as Italy’s economic powerhouse, there are plenty of TEFL jobs to be found here, as well as some exciting nightlife.
Bari is a much less talked about City outside of Italian circles, and often referred as being a bit of a secret in terms of tourism. Locally known as ‘Paris by the sea’, Bari, although not as breathtaking as Paris, is an attractive city, built upon a proud Catholic culture, a well-preserved history and unspoiled architecture, set on the shores of the Adriatic. Bari is also a university city, with some good English teaching opportunities for those with experience.
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