Why teach English in Italy?

Italy is a wonderful country with great food, lovely people, spectacular beauty, architecture and a rich history.  Nothing is ever plain sailing though, take a look at Danny (an i-to-i TEFL teacher) and read about his experience teaching English in Italy.

Why Teach English in Italy?

The coffee

Plain and simple, I love the coffee in Italy.  It seems an obvious one but you can go to the little bars and get a great cup of coffee for about €1.20 away from the tourist areas.  When I go for a coffee back home in England it is always of inferior quality and several times more expensive.

The sunshine

The weather in Italy, especially in the south, is absolutely magnificent.  I once spent over 6 months without once wearing anything on my feet except sandals, even to work!  Being English, I was at the beach at every opportunity from around mid-March, the other English teachers probably thought I was mad; but even the cold blooded Italians, who wear coats in 25C degree heat, are there by the end of April.

The long lunches

Most people living in southern Italy have a lunchtime that begins around 1pm and can end as late as 5pm.  It really breaks your day up and although everything is closed except the supermarket and the gym, and people are home with their families, it does give you a great opportunity to chill out, have plenty of time for a long lunch and have a little nap.

The piazza culture

Most evenings Italians dress up and go to the local square.  They take the kids along and stand around chatting to friends, moving slowly around the different bars, and maybe taking a little stroll around the town centre; and it’s a fantastic way of getting to know everyone, and if you’re teaching English in the area you’ll run into loads of your students, who then introduce you to half the town, and before you know it you are saying hi to people every time you walk down the street.

The Southerners

The people of southern Italy are the friendliest, most down-to-earth people imaginable . They make you feel like a member of the family when they have only just met you! I have been all over the world and met lovely people, but southern Italians are up there with the nicest.

Like what you see so far?  Take a look at our guide to TEFLing in Italy for more information!

Things you’ll need to get used to if you’re teaching in Italy

If you go to the beach in summer, you quickly realise Italian men have never heard of shorts.  Every one of them will be wearing speedos, which is fine except when they invite you to play volleyball or beach football with them.

 Patronising waiters

As a TEFL teacher in Italy I really tried to get to grips with the language as I wanted a real cultural experience: English in the classroom but Italian outside it.  So as you can imagine it really irritated me when waiters insisted on speaking English to me despite my replying in Italian, especially when I was a beginner because I just wanted to have the chance to practice.

 Graffiti in Rome

I have no idea why Italian youths would want to spoil one of the most beautiful cities on the planet by daubing graffiti all over it.


It takes ages to get anything done when it comes to paperwork.  My employer was very well-connected and as such, was able to cut through a lot of red tape, but it was still difficult to register for the doctor, get a codice fiscali (tax number), set up a bank account and other bits and pieces.  It must be terrible for those from outside the EU, having to deal with the visa problems too.

Always being late

It is just a consequence of the laid back lifestyle, but having lived in Japan it irritates me greatly when you make an appointment or schedule a lesson with someone and they are invariably late.  You find yourself deliberately turning up late for things, only to find they come even later – Ii just introduces so much dead time to your working day, and takes quite some getting used to!

Thanks Danny!  Fancy your own adventure teaching English in Italy? Are you teaching there already?  What do you love most about teaching there?


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    If I am eligible for teaching according to my resume so give me a chance to make my future bright thanks alot

  2. Cody

    I am an Australian citizen and I would like to teach English in Italy. Is this a possibility despite not having completed a degree or having an EU passport?

    • Elle Pollicott

      Hi Cody, thanks for your comment. Yes, it is possible – you are able to teach in Italy without a degree, and although there may be more paperwork involved for employers as you won’t have an EU passport, it’s still possible to teach there. You’ll have a better chance of securing a position if you search for a job in-country where you can attend a face-to-face interview. I’d suggest you have a read of this article here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-blog/teaching-english-europe/tefl-job-italy/ – it’s by one of our TEFL grads Erica, who has set up her own school in Italy after having taught English there. She provides a lot of advice about finding work in Italy, and has even included her email address should you wish to ask any more questions. If you want any further information, feel free to give us a call on 1300 88 42 70 and one of our expert advisers will be happy to answer any more questions you may have about getting TEFL qualified and teaching in Italy. Hope this helps!

  3. Vivian Sanchez

    Hello Erica. I am a US citizen. I’ve been teaching English in Prague for three months now. I am an alumni from TEFL Worldwide Prague. I graduated in August 2015. I am very interested in working as an English teacher in Italy, but my concern number one is the visa and my second concern is my short experience teaching English abroad. Would you be so kind to give me your opinion? Best regards, Vivian

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