How to Find English Teaching Jobs in Italy & When to Apply
The Italian lifestyle is desired by many, and for that reason, Italy pulls English teachers in from all over the world. Luckily for those of you who are interested in pursuing the Italian dream, the job demand matches the popularity. Jobs are widely available, and although competition is fierce, with perseverance and a world-class CV, you should be able to land yourself a job.
Check out the requirements and visa regulations to teach English in Italy to ensure you are prepared before you set off to find your first teaching job in Italy. If you don’t meet the teaching or legal requirements, your job search will be considerably more challenging and opportunities will be much slimmer.
When to Apply
Hiring seasons are pretty critical, so you should time your job search well. A great time to apply for a teaching English job in Italy is from mid-September into early October. This is when many schools are recruiting new teachers. Another major hiring period begins the second week of January. Although you may find employment during other times in the year, these periods are when the job market is buzzing.
You can apply from overseas for jobs or from being on the ground in Italy. If you are a non-EU citizen seeking a work visa, you will need to find employment before going to Italy in order to obtain your visa, so you will need to apply from overseas. Looking online at job boards will be a good starting point, and we will cover more on this below.
If you are able to be on the ground in Italy when applying, it is highly recommended that you do this. The vast majority of teaching jobs are gained by searching and interviewing for positions in-person in Italy. Just remember to time your arrival in Italy to fit in with the peak hiring seasons. Although the prospect of heading off to start a new adventure in a foreign land without having a job offer may seem pretty daunting, rest assured that it is very doable and is typically the most successful way of finding a job. You do have to take the initiative, be well prepared and persevere, but the job demand is high.
Schools like to meet prospective teachers in person, so the most effective method is to go door to door handing out your CV and cover letter, and inquiring about teaching opportunities. This will also give you a chance to check out a potential school and get a feel of the place, see if it is somewhere you can see yourself working. If you can, it is recommended that you have your CV and cover letter translated into Italian, although this is not essential.
What Is the Application Process?
So you have arrived in Italy during peak hiring season and gone door to door handing out your CV to every language school, meeting and greeting every person in Italy in charge of hiring English teachers, what happens next? If your CV meets the requirements and you’re legally employable, enjoy a glass of local Italian wine and wait for the invitations to interview to come your way.
Remember, it is completely normal if it takes a few weeks and visits to multiple schools before you find a job. Perseverance is key. Just going to one or two schools wilI limit your chances – make sure you drop your CV off at as many schools as possible. Job demand may be high, but so is competition.
Once you have been invited to an interview, your next step is to make sure you are prepared for the interview:
- Dress well and look professional.
- Bring your TEFL certification and sample lessons plans with you.
- You may be asked to teach a mock lesson as a demonstration so be prepared for this.
You nailed the interview and have been offered a job! Brilliant news! What now? Read through you contract and check you are happy with the role. Be prepared that many schools will offer part-time hours to begin with (around 5 – 10 hours a week). Don’t take this personally, they may want to see how you get on within the job or they may only have a few classes a week they need teachers for. It is recommended to take the part-time hours. Many teachers find they end up working part-time at more than one school and it is very common for teachers to supplement their hours with private tutoring. Find out how to increase your salary here. Full-time hours may come your way once you have proven yourself at the school. Also, be prepared to work evenings and weekends. The more flexible you are with the hours you teach, the more work you will find. Expect to begin teaching immediately after you get offered the job as schools typically hire teachers when they have an immediate need.
For those of you applying for English teaching jobs overseas before you head to Italy, you will find the process slightly different. The application will be sent online and the interview will likely be over Skype. Most Italian schools typically employ their teachers in person, so you may find that you need to apply to numerous schools and be prepared that it can take time to land a job this way. If you are able to seek employment once in Italy, your prospects will be increased.
Where Should You Start Looking for Jobs?
Job boards can be a great place to start, especially if you want to secure a job before going to Italy. Check out Glassdoor, ESL cafe and our international TEFL job board. Even if you plan on finding a teaching job once you are on the ground in Italy, it is worth researching schools in the area before you arrive. Locate and discover local language schools in different Italian cities using the Italian Yellow Pages.
It can be worth contacting schools via email around 2 weeks before you will be in Italy to show your interest. You may not hear back but they may remember you when you arrive in person a few weeks later. Make sure to attach a cover letter and CV and let them know when you will be in Italy.
You’ve done your research, you’ve prepared your top-notch CV (maybe even had it translated into Italian), you’ve checked you meet the legal requirements, you have booked your flights around the peak hiring season and you are ready to jump into your Italian adventure. Next step is landing your first job. Remember to persevere, visit numerous language schools with your CV and prepare for that interview. For those of you getting a job before you go to Italy, keep an eye out on those job boards!