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Finding work in Florence w/ no prior experience..

 
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pogoniasis



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:36 pm    Post subject: Finding work in Florence w/ no prior experience.. Reply with quote

So.. I've just completed my degree at university studying English and Philosophy and also completed the CELTA course a few weeks ago now. I am hoping to move to Italy to teach and my top choice of location is Florence. I have been relentlessly applying to job ads on TEFL.com for any and all positions available in Italy, but only two have come back to me, one I had an interview for and then never heard from again (probably not a good sign) and another that I changed my mind about after having researched the area a little. Anyway, my question is: how easy is it to find work teaching English in Florence, or in any other desirable locations in Italy for that matter, when you are lacking in actual teaching experience? I am considering just flying over there and crashing in Florence for a while with some people I know through a friend, but I am unsure of how much this will increase my chances of finding work there? It seems like a lot of money to spend if my venture is likely to be fruitless. Any information and guidance on this would be much appreciated as my joyless search is driving me a little mad.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1201

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know anything about Florence, but I can give you some general pointers for applying for work in general...

- It's not easy when you don't have experience, but it is good that you've got the CELTA. If you're dead set on Italy (low wages - be warned) and on Florence (prepare for a glut of native speakers doing much the same as you) then why not give it a go. In any case, schools are very unlikely to hire you sight unseen - you'll have to be prepared to come over for interviews anyway. And now isn't such a bad time. Maybe a little late for some institutions, but come over, pound the streets with your CV, and you may well pick up some work.

- Let schools know that you're willing and keen to learn, and that if they give you some support at the beginning (with lesson planning etc) then you'll go the extra mile for them. You need to find a sympathetic DOS who'll be happy to take you under his / her wing and help you develop into the ideal ELT teacher. So don't try to hide your inexperience, but make it work in your favour by being the eager, enthusiastic new recruit that many schools just love. Sign up for all the classes that the other teachers don't want, ask for professional support, and pretty soon, you'll have amassed a year or so experience under your belt, at which point you'll have a completely different CV.

- Try outside Florence too. There is work in Italy - lots of it - but not all in the desirable city centres. My knowledge of Tuscany is pretty hazy geographically speaking, but try other towns around and about - Pisa, Siena, and further north too up towards Liguria, such as La Spezia.

Good luck!
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pogoniasis



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply and the advice. It's probably going to be a month or two before I can afford to go over to Florence w/o a job lined up, do you think the new year will still be a good time to find work? I am also considering other locations as well, as I have heard, as you said, that Florence is somewhat saturated w/ expats and specifically people looking to teach English. I am think also about the north, places like Vicenza, Padova and Bologna. Do you have any experience relating to this part of the country?
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1201

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes - January isn't a bad time at all. (Not the first week in Jan - wait until after Befana which is Jan 7.)

If you search back through this forum, there's someone already in Bologna - RagazzoGallese I think. You could always PM him and ask for some tips about working there. I don't know anything about Vicenza or Padova, but I've heard of language schools there, which must mean there's work. If you're thinking about heading that far north, you could also give Trieste a try. I've heard it's absolutely beautiful, but don't know anything about the work situation. There's also a university there, which might mean extra possibilities.
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