Italy is a beautiful country full of culture and history. The people are stylish and passionate about life. It is a proud country; the home of Ferrari, Armani, pasta, and God! And, for me, it is the perfect place for a newly qualified English teacher to take their first steps into the world of TEFL.
Of course, there must be many different ways of finding work and hopefully you’ll find TeacherHit to be just as useful in your search for teaching jobs in Italy. All of the most prominent and important companies advertise teaching jobs on those sites but they are also the go-to sites for small academies looking to tap into the enormous database of teachers who regularly look for work in Europe.
In my Italian experience it was one of those smaller companies who I found a job with. The school was a small one and so was the town. In my opinion this is the best way to feel your way into this whole “Teaching English in Italy” world.
In a small town, like the one I first worked, Civitanova Marche, the demands on a teacher are less intense than those asked of you if you work in a fast-paced, cosmopolitan city. The school and also the students place more value just on you actually being there. It is quite an event for them to meet a foreigner and, if you are as lucky as I was, they will be much more inclined to bring you into their community circle. They do this mainly out of altruistic hospitality, but also because it gives them a great opportunity to show off their country to somebody from the outside.
Small schools will also usually provide you with accommodation, the cost of which is deducted from your monthly pay. In my case, I shared a huge flat with one other teacher that was on the same street as our academy. The rent was extremely reasonable (prices will usually be much cheaper in small towns than big cities) and we were right in the centre of the town.
One note of caution, always ask that the water, gas and electric readings are actual not estimated ones when you move in. We had the very nasty surprise upon leaving our flat of having to pay the owner’s suddenly updated bill when we left. I lost nearly my entire end of contract teaching bonus because of this, and this is not an isolated incident. It is a small thing to check on upon arrival and could save you hundreds later on.
This little unexpected surprise was the only negative I have from my time in Italy. I arrived in the winter on a six month contract. I had the beach and the Adriatic Sea just outside my balcony and the Apennine mountain range an hour’s drive in the opposite direction. I saw snow, a beautiful spring, and then parties on the beach before I left.
The Italian train services at that time were excellent and I took advantage of my free weekends to visit Florence, Venice and Rome. And, as I believe is the case with many small academies, my school had contracts with local primary schools which meant that in a normal working week I drove off three or four times towards the mountains to teach local children in the tiny hillside towns which you are unlikely to find in any guide, but which are beautiful and add further to the authenticity of the experience.
Maybe I was lucky, but I know of many people who have taken a similar route in their first steps into English language teaching. An experience like this gets you used to the day-to-day demands expected of you as a teacher, but in an unhurried way that allows you to learn your craft properly and without undue pressure. I jumped from Civitanova Marche to the big city experience of teaching in Barcelona. I never regretted my decision, but I also know that I will always look back fondly on my small-town life in Italy.
This teacher-contributed post from Simon F. about teaching jobs in Italy was originally published on www.TeacherHit.com – your source for great teaching career opportunities in Europe.