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To teachers in Rome or Milan: what's your commute like?

 
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EvilTwin2000



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:22 pm    Post subject: To teachers in Rome or Milan: what's your commute like? Reply with quote

Clearly Rome and Milan are the two places with the highest concentration of ESL teaching opportunities in Italy. But what are the ESl *living* opportunities like? Are you living anywhere remotely near where you work? If so, was this possible when you first started out?

I sure don't want to dismiss these two cities out of hand. But as a newbie, I wonder if I could actually afford to teach in them without a two hour commute to some place I could also afford to live. So the game plan is to focus my job search on smaller cities in the north (Trieste, Bologna, Padva, etc.), unless I hear otherwise. I'm not looking to reside in a stately pleasure dome, just a humble apartment I wouldn't have to share. And maybe even this is unrealistic. Please share your informed opinions. Thanks.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't live in Rome now, but when I did, I had a 45 min commute to work on the other side of the city. (I worked in one place, so didn't have the running around that characterises many teachers' lives there.) It is not pleasant to have to use public transport in the summer months, and if you've got classes in different places, then you'll be doing a lot of travelling. Obviously schools try to offer blocked hours in one place, but it's inevitable that this doesn't always happen - especially when there are less hours to go around.
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EvilTwin2000



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks--any idea how far outside of Rome or Milan I'd have to live to find a humble one-bedroom apartment for 500 Euro/month (or thereabouts)? And what percentage of a newbie salary would that likely be?

It's my distinct impression that these cities aren't newbie friendly--given the realities of what you're likely to get paid and what living expenses are likely to be. Or am I just being paranoid?

Of the two, I'd be leaning more toward Rome--more miracles of human endeavor per square kilometer. But as a newbie in Italy, I suppose I'll start by going wherever a job is offerred--provided I can afford to live where it's offerred.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love Rome, but it's not easy to find a cheap place to live. You could probably get a shared flat for 500 pcm, but not central or semi-central, unless you're really lucky. This means a lot of commuting, but as you meet other teachers, frequent teacher hang-outs and so on, you could probably get wind of better places to live.

To reiterate, I haven't lived in Rome for four years, but I doubt much has changed pay-wise. If you do a lot of hours in good months, you could take home perhaps 1500-2000. But you need to save for the months that you won't be working:
Mid July - mid Sept
Easter (at least 2 weeks)
Christmas (mid Dec to second week Jan)

Something you could think about for when you first arrive and you're looking for a place to live / some decent work, is to sign up for one of the tour guide jobs. Hang around the Vatican and chat to young Americans (mostly) who do these jobs. They know lots of other Americans / Brits and you'll meet people and find out about flats and work. You might also end up becoming a tour guide (good money from what I heard)!
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EvilTwin2000



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow--I would love being a tour guide! But the folks where I'm getting my more general info--at Expats In Italy--say the field is tightly controlled and licensed and even involves passing a test (presumably in Italian) at the very head of the class.

Some people move to Italy for love. I'm moving cause I love "the stuff"--there's just nothing old enough for me here in the states. I just want to live walking distance to some miracle of human endeavor instead of a Kentucky Fried Chicken So I think I could be as enthusiastic a guide as I could be a teacher. But you and the Expats In Italy can't both be right. Unless you're suggesting something a bit under the table, but the Expats in Italy folks have gone so far to say there are substantial fines if you are caught guiding without a license.

Arrgh, conflicting info, does not compute!

Sad to hear I'm way off on that "mother tongue" issue. I wonder if I heard that over at Expats in Italy. Or maybe I dreamt it. Oh well...

So: in your educated and esteemed opinion, language schools are the only place for a newbie to look because placement in other schools will depend more on who you know? That's almost a relief--less work than tracking down every darn school in the country. On the other hand, it makes me wonder how long I'll be in Italy before I'm living under a bridge. And I hear there's lots of newly vacated space in the sewers under Termini Station....

I'm really grateful for your help. Thanks.
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kingbee2009



Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about Rome, but as a newbie in Milan you'll be working for a chain school and using the underground to travel from job to job to job (you get the picture!) pretty much all day, and then lessons at the school in the evening.

N.B.: Milan is also very competitive ESL-wise, so having a TEFL certificate will help to get your foot in the door somewhere....then it's upto you to prove yourself as a teacher!! Sink or swim time.....!!
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tour guiding wasn't that tightly controlled four years ago, when Americans were working in nero etc. Certainly no language test either, so maybe the situation has changed in that time. Lots of things are "shady" here legally speaking, but it doesn't mean they don't happen! There were a couple of tour guide organisations that I knew of, but I can't remember their names. In any case, have a look at the wanted in rome website which also has jobs listed to see what's on offer.
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