What Are the Requirements to Teach English Legally in Italy?

The food. The architecture. The history. The breathtaking landscape. Italy is a culturally rich country and teaching English there can be a great way to experience all the wonders it can offer.

Italy is a popular destination for teaching English in Europe, therefore you may find yourself up against some fierce competition. Don’t let this put you off – the demand for English teachers is high. You just need to make sure you’re committed to doing the legwork to find your ideal job.

One of the first things you need to do is read up on the requirements you must meet in order to get a job teaching English in Italy.

Requirements to Teach in Italy

  • TEFL Certification
  • Bachelor’s Degree in any subject (this is not absolutely necessary, but would be beneficial)

TEFL Certification

A recognized and accredited TEFL/CELTA certificate is an essential requirement to teach English in Italy. While there may be some schools who are more relaxed on this requirement, you will still find yourself in competition with teachers who are qualified and you run the risk of earning less money.

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In addition, previous teaching experience is not necessary but would give you a good foot in the door.

Bachelor’s Degree

It is a strong preference by schools in Italy to hire teachers who have a bachelor’s degree. Typically, the degree can be in any field or subject – so if you’ve got a BSc in Paleontology, don’t let this stop you from considering teaching English in Italy. If you do have a degree in English or education-related subject, it may improve your chances. While it is possible to get a teaching job in Italy without a degree, it does give you an advantage if you have one.

Private Language Schools vs Public Schools

The main difference in the requirements to teach English in private language schools and public schools is that most public schools require you to have a good command of the Italian language. Public schools also typically hire teachers who have some previous teaching experience. Both are pretty insistent on TEFL certification and prefer you to have a degree.

To find out how much you can earn as a teacher in Italy, read up on our salary section.

EU Citizens vs Non-EU Citizens

The legal requirements for teaching English in Italy for EU citizens vary from those for non-EU citizens. Let’s not beat around the bush – it will definitely be easier to secure work in Italy if you are an EU citizen. Without EU citizenship, legally obtaining an English teaching job can be a daunting task and will vary depending on which country you’re from. It’s certainly not impossible, so don’t give up all hope yet, but you may wish to consider other countries as options too.

Although there are many stories about how to ‘get around’ the legal system in Italy, it is highly advisable, and in your best interest, that you acquire the correct legal documentation. The visa requirements fall into two categories:

  • EU citizens – you have legal working status. This means you can work in Italy without a visa or work permit. You are required to apply for residency if you’re planning on staying for longer than 90 days.
  • Non-EU citizens – you will need a valid working visa/work permit to teach English legally in Italy. You are also required to apply for residency.

For more information on visas/residency check out our section on how to get a work visa in Italy to teach English.


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