Teaching English In Italy - Requirements & FAQs [2022] (2023)

So you’re ready to jet-set to the land of the ancient Romans for gainful employment teaching English in Italy – but you’re not sure of the best strategy. Here’s how to do it right.

About Teaching English in Italy

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As far as richness of culture and history goes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a superior ESL destination – on the European continent or elsewhere. The food is pretty legit also (more on the perks of being a teacher in Italy in the “What’s It Like” section below).

We’ll explore the details of teaching English in Italy as a foreign guest in-depth below, but here are a few highlights:

  • Contracts generally run between September/October through May/June (9 to 10 months) with opportunities for summer camps in the off-season
  • General requirements include native speaking status, 4-year degree, and an accredited TEFL course certification*
  • A standard salary is in the €1,000-€1,500/month range (about $1160-$1740/month). Upper-tier schools pay more but those positions are harder to come by

If you don’t already have a TEFL certificate, consider enrolling in an affordable ($99) 120-hour online TEFL course from TEFL Hero. Study at your own pace with a fully accredited and internationally recognized provider.

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(Video) Teaching English in Italy in 2022 | Salary, Work Hours and More!

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What Are the Requirements to Start Teaching English in Italy?

The requirements to teach English in Italy are pretty standard, albeit more rigorous (given its inclusion in the EU) than in some areas of Eastern Europe, South America, Asia, etc.

The hiring schools (and governing authorities) are likely to require the following from applicants to land the job and get the necessary visa:

(Video) Day in the Life Teaching English in Verona, Italy with Renee Lawrence

That said, many of these conditions are flexible. An individual school may be willing to nonetheless hire a candidate they like even if he or she doesn’t meet all of the above criteria – so if you see a job you like, apply anyway. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, as Wayne Gretzky said.

Don’t have a degree? Teach in Thailand! Find out how to teach English in Thailand without a degree.

What Visa Do You Need to Teach English in Italy?

Good news/bad news situation here: if you’re a passport holder of an EU member state and thus within the Schengen Area, you enjoy visa-free access to Italy. As a result, the bureaucratic hoops to jump through are fewer. If not, the process is tougher.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • EU citizen: no work visa or work permit required, just legal working status under EU laws (super easy, one of the perks of political integration)
  • Non-EU Citizen: Unfortunately, as most of our readership is North American, British, or Aussie/Kiwi, chances are you’re going to need a visa to visit and work in Italy.

Let’s assume you’re coming from the UK or US (or anywhere outside of the Schengen Area). To legally work in Italy as a non-EU citizen, you’re going to need a work visa. Here is what you need to bring with you to successfully apply:

  • The work contract (drawn up by the hiring school)
  • One original and one copy of your Nulla Osta (work permit) – your employer will assist you in obtaining this after you get hired
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  • Receipt for pre-paid visa fee
  • Your passport (valid for three months minimum AFTER the expiration of your visa and w/ at least two blank pages – so plan ahead accordingly if your passport expiration date is upcoming)
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • Any supporting documents of financial resources from home (like bank account statements) – not necessarily required by helpful to have on hand
  • Proof of accommodation (apartment or house rental contract)
  • Diploma
  • TEFL certificate

Given the infamous machinations of Italian bureaucracy, you would be wise to cross all your t’s and dot your i’s by rounding up all of the above before you visit the office. Bringing a translator/local navigator with you is also a good idea, especially if you are applying outside of the major cities (Rome, Milan, Naples, etc.)

Types of English Teaching Jobs in Italy + Salaries

A cornucopia of different types of ESL jobs are available in Italy, often with different requirements, salaries, and relative advantages/disadvantages.

Here, we’ll take a survey of several varieties of jobs with real-world examples of such advertised positions.

ESL in Italy Option #1: Language Schools

If you’ve spent any time in Asia, you are undoubtedly familiar with the “language school.” These institutions are known by various names (“cram schools” in Taiwan, “eikaiwa” in Japan, etc.) but they all pretty much do the same thing: supplement English education at “regular” daytime school with private after-school and weekend instruction.

In the ad below, Naples language school Speakeasy is looking for a teacher to help with test prep – a common focus for many students hoping to land a spot in an international school of higher learning abroad and adults in need of English certification for their careers.

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The summary of the job specs (which are par for the course with these types of jobs):

  • 25 hours per week
  • “After-school” hours (3-8 pm or so)
  • €1,269/month*
  • Ages 6-adults
  • Preparing for the Cambridge English exams
  • Majority of lessons held at language school but some are offered in partner public schools or online
  • TEFL/CELTA certificate, minimum 1-year teaching experience required
  • 3-bedroom shared apartment offered for free
  • Saturday and Sunday off

*Salary notes: The gross figure is €1269/month. After taxes, you can expect to keep about €1,000. You also get 12,50/hr ($14.50/hr) for each extra hour beyond 25.

And here’s a similar ad for British School Group in Melfi (with a lower pay rate of 900/month and only 18 hours/week):

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Generally speaking, language school gigs are the most visible, the easiest to land, and the most plentiful in Italy. The pay, as you can see, isn’t super great. Accordingly, especially if you’re in a major city, you’re going to be pretty near subsistence-level without a huge opportunity for savings (unless you are extremely thrifty).

(Video) Family Guy: Italian Teacher

Look for perks like free accommodation, free transportation, and, sometimes, free meals to supplement the relatively meager income.

ESL in Italy Option #2: International Schools

International schools are, by far, the highest-paying ESL jobs in Italy. The students typically come from higher socioeconomic backgrounds and pay higher tuition rates. However, the premium salary comes at the cost of more intense competition for these jobs and more rigorous hiring standards.

Here is a posting from Milan International School:

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The salary isn’t listed here (these schools are often discreet about advertising teacher pay) but you can expect to earn at least €1,500/month and often much higher. In virtually all cases, you’ll need a BA/BS, a TEFL certificate, and, often, a teaching license.

ESL in Italy Option #3: Summer Camps

As we explored earlier, the Italian school year runs from roughly September through May, leaving about three months of downtime for both teachers and students in the summertime.

Like in other parts of the world, parents often enroll their kids in summer learning programs to keep their skills sharp over the holidays.

These summer camps range from local, ad hoc ventures that rely on local ESL teachers and informal networks for teacher recruitment to multinational companies organizing camps across borders.

The good news is that getting onboarded with an ESL summer camp is easy. The bad news is that, unless you’re already plugged into a personal network, the vast majority of ads you encounter online will be volunteered (no pay).

English Camp Volunteering in Italy: Is It Worth It?

If you’re interested, you might consider volunteering with an outfit like The English Camp Company, which is already actively recruiting for Italian summer camp positions (as well as for similar programs in Austria and Germany) in 2022.

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Although these types of positions are not paid, they do have some benefits worth considering:

  • Free meals, accommodation, etc.
  • Chance to gain valuable, hands-on experience (especially beneficial if you are a new teacher without a ton of teaching hours under your belt)
  • Chance to network with other ESL teachers and industry professionals
  • Very lenient requirements (18+ years of age + native speaking status)

How to Find an English-Teaching Job in Italy

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Knowing where to look for an English-teaching job in Italy is half the battle; the other half is executing a strategy to get your resume in front of a pair of interested eyes, book an interview, and secure the position.

Here, we’ll break down both portions of the process.

Where to start

Where you start looking for jobs depends on whether you are currently inside Italy (or in another EU member state with easy travel access to Italy) or outside of the country.

If you’re outside of the country, landing a job from afar via the web is possible. Peruse the most popular job boards with regular ESL in Italy postings such as:

If you’re inside the country, your best strategy is a dual online/in-person approach. Keep up with internet job postings via the sites listed above and simultaneously hit the pavement. The primary benefits of physically knocking on schools’ doors in Italy are:

(Video) Class #1 | The Road Map To Unlock Your Advanced English Level

  • Provides access to schools (especially public ones) that do not recruit online/have an online presence
  • Demonstrates your work readiness
  • Shows you are already physically present in the country, which eliminates any anxiety on the school’s part over importing their new teacher
  • Displays your eagerness (most teachers wouldn’t bother physically visiting a school in the internet era; you will)

How to Get Hired

Identifying the job you want, as we said, is half the battle. Now it’s time to make an impression with the right people and get the ball rolling. To do so, follow these practical tips:

  • Identify the actual decision-maker at the school and contact him/her directly. All too often, teachers with impressive resumes waste their time sending their CV to an administrative assistant or someone else who may or may not pass on your info to the right person. Cut out the middle man.
  • When making contact via email, include every relevant document upfront to streamline the process. This includes your complete resume, headshot, copy of the first page of your passport, TEFL certificate, and diploma (if applicable). The same principle applies to visiting a school in-person: make sure you come equipped.
  • When attempting to make initial contact with a prospective employer, don’t be shy about following up after a week or two if you haven’t gotten a response. Oftentimes, the hiring manager you are attempting to reach isn’t ignoring you; he or she may have just overlooked your initial email or lost it in a flooded inbox.
  • Follow up every interview with a brief thank-you note for the opportunity to talk. Never underestimate the power of this gesture for hiring managers who may be on the fence about your application.
  • Apply to multiple places at once. The more schools you send your resume to, the better your chances of getting hired. The brutal reality is that the majority of schools you apply to will not hire you and may never even reply to your application. Ignore the failures and press forward. Set a quantifiable goal for yourself: for example, at least two new applications each day (whether over the web or in-person) until you find the right school.
  • It goes without saying that Italian fluency could be a huge benefit. Learning just the basics with a free online course will help you build rapport with a potential employer.

What’s It Like Being an English Teacher in Italy?

Whether you come for the fine art, the food, or the beautiful people, a year (or more) spent teaching English in Italy is sure to leave a mark on your heart. It is among our list of the 6 Best Places to Teach English in Europe for 2022.

American expat Molly describes her experiences and offers an insightful breakdown of a typical day spent teaching in a big city like Rome or Milan.

Renee Lawrence, teaching in a smaller city in the north called Verona, takes a reality-based look at some of the benefits and potential pitfalls of teaching English in Italy.

FAQs about teaching English in Italy

Do you need to speak Italian to teach in Italy?

No, but it helps, especially with making headway into public schools with Italian-speaking staff.

Do you need a degree to teach in Italy?

For most positions, yes, you need a degree to teach in Italy.

Do you have to be a native speaker to teach in Italy?

Not necessarily, but it’s usually preferred for many positions in Italy.

Do you need a TEFL to teach English in Italy?

Most language schools list TEFL certification as a requirement.

European Alternatives to Teaching English in Italy

Teaching English in Spain

Teach English in Poland

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Teach English in Portugal

Teach English in France

Teach English in Germany


What are the requirements to teach English in Italy? ›

To teach English abroad in Italy you will need a TEFL or TESOL certification. A 4-year university degree is preferred but not always required. Native English language proficiency is also preferred. The average salary for an English teacher in Italy is about $1,200 - $2,100 USD per month.

How to get a teaching English job in Italy? ›

To teach English in Italy, you'll usually need a 120-hour TEFL certification and some previous teaching experience. A bachelor's degree isn't a prerequisite, but many schools do prefer to hire degree-holders.

What are the qualifications to be a teacher in Italy? ›

In Italy a university degree in primary school education (Scienze della formazione primaria) is a requirement for obtaining teacher qualification at the primary and preprimary levels. The degree may be completed in five years and includes 600 hours of internship, beginning in the second year of the course.

Can I teach English in Italy without knowing Italian? ›

Long story short, YES, you can make a comfortable living teaching English in Italy. Question 4: Do I need to know Italian? Answer: No but it can certainly help.

Can you get a job with just a TEFL certificate? ›

In many countries, having a TEFL certificate and being a native-English speaker are enough to get a job teaching English abroad, no degree required. You do not need professional teaching experience, a teaching license, a degree in education or even a college degree to teach English abroad.

What is the best qualification for English teacher? ›

How to Become an English Teacher
  • Earn a bachelor's degree in English or a related subject that includes a teacher preparation program.
  • Complete a student teaching internship in English and related subjects, such as reading and literature.
  • Take your state's required tests for teacher certification.

How long does it take to get a TEFL certificate? ›

How long does it take to get a TEFL certificate? Not everyone will earn their TEFL certificate in the same amount of time. Some students take intensive courses to get TEFL certified in as little as 1 month. However, most students should plan to set aside about 4 to 6 months to complete their TEFL course.

Is it easy to get a job teaching English in Italy? ›

Work visas are hard to come by for Americans and other non-EU citizens looking to teach English in Italy. Americans and other non-EU citizens should expect that some language schools may not hire you because you do not possess EU citizenship or some other explicit legal right to work.

Who is eligible for TEFL certification? ›

TEFL course is basically open to all. There is no particular requirement of any special eligibility criteria. Any graduate in any discipline with basic knowledge in English makes one eligible to pursue professional TEFL course.

How do I get an Italian teaching certificate? ›

Obtaining Certification
  1. Potential teachers need to complete a bachelor's degree, usually from a regionally accredited college or university, with a major in Italian. ...
  2. Some states require a specific grade point average (GPA) in an aspiring teacher's college transcript.

What is the minimum qualification to become a teacher? ›

In India, a Bachelor of Education is a minimum qualification required to be appointed as a pre-primary or primary school teacher in any Government or Private School. To move the level up to secondary and professor positions, one must complete one or more of the courses which are mentioned below: Bachelor of Education.

What is the minimum qualification of a teacher? ›

As an aspiring teacher, you may choose one of two study options, which include: 4-year Bachelor of Education (BEd). 3-to-4-year Bachelor degree, followed by 1-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Is there an Italian proficiency test? ›

If you're learning Italian, you can demonstrate your knowledge by passing an Italian proficiency test, namely CILS, CELI, CIC, PLIDA, or IT. These proficiency examinations are well known throughout the world.

Can I teach English without qualifications? ›

It is possible for non-native English speakers without a degree to teach English online, but it can be more of a challenge. Non-native English speakers will be expected to prove their proficiency in English.

How long does it take for an English speaker to learn Italian? ›

You can expect to need between 24 and 36 weeks of lessons to get that far. So, that's six to eight months to learn Italian from zero to working-in-an-office level.

What happens after I get my TEFL certificate? ›

As soon as you have finished your TEFL course you can start looking for jobs, with there being two main options: applying for jobs online (in which case, check out the i-to-i jobs board!), or in-country.

Can you fail a TEFL course? ›

It is possible to fail a TEFL course. If you have a degree already and are a native English speaker, you will absolutely be able to handle the course load.

Do TEFL qualifications expire? ›

TEFL qualifications are valid for life; they do not expire. We'd recommend using your TEFL certificate within two years of course completion as it may throw up some questions during interviews why you have not used it since completing your course.

What certifications do I need to teach English? ›

To teach English abroad, you will need an ESL teaching qualification like a TEFL certificate and a valid passport. Though some programs require a bachelor's degree, many countries hire English teachers without a degree or teaching experience as long as they speak English fluently and have a TEFL certification.

What is a degree in teaching English called? ›

Master of Teaching and Learning

A few colleges offer graduate degrees in teaching and learning that can prepare students for working with those studying English in high school. Students can often complete one of these programs in as little as 12 months.

What is the highest qualification in English? ›

It is our highest-level qualification – proof that you are a highly competent speaker of English. A C2 Proficiency qualification shows the world that you have mastered English to an exceptional level.

What is the passing score for TEFL? ›

70% is considered a passing grade. The certification is awarded only if you receive a passing grade, so once you achieve 70% you will achieve a TEFL qualification. You will receive regular grades on assignments and tests, you must get 70% on each one.

Are TEFL exams hard? ›

You might find a TEFL easy or difficult, depending on your current level of English. If you still struggle with English, maybe because it is not your first language, you might find that the course material is more difficult for you than someone who speaks English fluently.

How long is the TEFL final exam? ›


Which country has the highest demand for English teachers? ›

Here are the top 5 most lucrative countries to teach English Abroad in 2023.
  • South Korea ($1,150-$2,650 USD a month)
  • China ($1,200-$2,600 USD a month)
  • Japan ($1,700-$2,600 USD a month)
  • Taiwan ($2,000-$3,000 USD a month)
  • Gulf Arab States ($2,000-$5,000 USD a month)
  • Honorable Mention: Vietnam ($1,500-$2,000 USD a month)
5 Dec 2022

Which country is in high demand for English teachers? ›

The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Generally speaking, the highest-paid ESL teaching salaries globally are found in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the two biggest cities in the UAE.

Which country is best for English teachers? ›

Article Contents:
  • Best for job availability: China.
  • Best for job benefits: South Korea.
  • Best for professional development: Japan.
  • Best for teaching and traveling: Vietnam.
  • Best for non-native English teachers: Thailand.
  • Best for country infrastructure: Taiwan.
  • Best for work-life balance: Spain.
5 Oct 2022

What is TEFL syllabus? ›

A TEFL course covers topics including teaching language skills, grammar, lesson planning and classroom management. A TEFL course will teach you how to: Teach English Language Skills. Teach the five major elements of language learning: reading, writing, speaking, listening and pronunciation.

How much is a TEFL certificate? ›

You know you need it, but how much does TEFL certification cost? Prices vary depending on some key factors, but expect to pay about $200 for very minimal online certification and closer to $400-$500 USD for online certification of enough hours (at least 120) to qualify for most TEFL/TESOL jobs.

Which TEFL certificate is best? ›

Best TEFL Certification Programs of 2022
  • Best Overall: International TEFL Academy.
  • Best Online Program: Premier TEFL.
  • Best Budget-Friendly Option: ITT.
  • Best for Student Support: TEFL Org.
  • Best Hybrid Program: ITTT.
  • Best for Specializations: Teach Away.
  • Best for Overseas Job Placement: TEFLPros.
  • Best for Online Teaching: i-to-i.
25 Oct 2022

Which certification is best for teachers? ›

20 Best Certifications For Teachers
1Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)BLI
2Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE)Microsoft
3Child Development Associate (CDA)CECPR
4First Aid, CPR and AED InstructorNSC
16 more rows
9 Sept 2021

Can I teach without a qualification? ›

To become a teacher, you'll need qualified teacher status (QTS) and to obtain QTS you must have a degree or a qualification equivalent to a UK degree.

Which Italian language certificate is the best? ›

The CILS Certification of the University for Foreigners of Siena is one of the most requested Italian language certifications.

What is the maximum age to become a teacher? ›

KPSC Age Limit and Age Relaxation

To apply for the teacher recruitment exam, a candidate must be between 21-42 years.

What is the highest qualification in teaching? ›

Doctoral Degrees in Education

Teachers who wish to increase their skills for advanced certification requirements or other professional objectives can complete a Doctorate in Education or Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction to help them achieve leadership roles and earn higher pay.

How long does a teacher qualification take? ›

Full-time courses usually take three to four years, while part-time courses take four to six years. If you have undergraduate credits from previous study, you might be able to complete a course in two years.

Which subject is best for teaching? ›

Best Subjects to Teach in the Classroom
  • Art.
  • Biology.
  • Chemistry.
  • English.
  • French.
  • Health & PE.
  • Mathematics.
  • Music Education.
21 Dec 2021

What is teacher dress code? ›

Traditional dress code teachers

Business casual attire applied to all teachers and they were expected to wear the following: Button-down shirt. Wool pants or slacks. Sport coat.

What are the requirements before a teacher is hired? ›

Requirements vary by state, but at the bare minimum, teachers need to have a bachelor's degree, have experience teaching (usually accomplished through student teaching), and hold a valid teaching certificate in their state (more on how to become certified below).

How hard is B1 level Italian? ›

The Italian B1 level language certification is at an intermediate level. This means that you are proficient enough in the Italian language for everyday interaction, making integration much more straightforward if you choose to live, study or work in Italy.

Is IELTS required for Italy? ›

Tuition fees are meager, and many universities do not require language tests (IELTS/TOEFL). So, you can study in Italy without IELTS.

What is B2 level in Italian? ›

A B2 level of competency (according to the Common European Framework of Reference, or CEFR) means that you can understand the essence of complex Italian texts and interact with native speakers with a certain level of fluency without being too much of a burden for them.

Can I teach English in Italy without a degree? ›

Can I teach English in Italy without a degree? Although it may open up your chances to more job opportunities, you can teach in Italy without a college degree. If you don't have a degree, make sure to have a teaching certificate such as a TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA.

Can I get a TEFL certificate without a degree? ›

Yes, you can teach English online without a degree! While some of the major online teaching companies require a degree, there are many that don't. A TEFL certification can provide you with the training and qualifications that you need to get a job teaching English online.

What is A2 level Italian? ›


Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has.

Can I be fluent in English in 3 months? ›

You will not be able to speak English perfectly after 3 months. But, it's likely you won't speak English perfectly after 3 years, or even 30 years, either. After 3 months, you should expect to make mistakes, but you should be confident that you will be understood.

Can you learn Italian in 3 months? ›

While you can certainly learn the Italian language faster than 3 months, you will get better results by taking your time and making sure that you are putting in the effort. The best way to learn Italian in 3 months is to find a program that is designed to teach you Italian and speak like a native speaker.

How much do English language teachers make in Italy? ›

Salaries for English teachers in Italy vary greatly depending on the type of school, location etc. However, a typical salary for a full-time position is around €1,200 to €1,400 (£1,054–£1,229/$1,312–$1,531) per month.

How much do you get paid to teach English in Italy? ›

The average monthly salary could range between €900-€1,600 ($1,000-$1,800) per month.

Is it hard to pass TEFL? ›

Generally speaking TEFL is not hard to pass. Face-to-face courses generally have interviews and strict admission requirements so if it is not likely to complete or pass the course, they will not be admitted in the first place.

Can you fail TEFL? ›

It is possible to fail a TEFL course. If you have a degree already and are a native English speaker, you will absolutely be able to handle the course load.

Which European country pays English teachers the most? ›

Which European country offers the highest salary for English teachers? The highest-paying ESL jobs tend to be in the Western destinations with higher rates of economic development. France and Germany tend to pay the most.

How much is rent in Italy? ›

Rents in a provincial city will range from about $400 to $700 for a furnished apartment. In small towns you can find rentals from $300 and up.
Here's a sample of regular monthly expenses for two people and some prices on staple items:
ExpenseU.S. $
Rent (two bedroom apartment)$650
8 more rows

Are teachers paid well in Italy? ›

An early career High School Teacher with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of €21,750 based on 6 salaries. An experienced High School Teacher with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of €29,661 based on 7 salaries.


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