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Teaching Italy:about teaching and about homophobia in Italy!

 
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nagel5



Joined: 08 Dec 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Teaching Italy:about teaching and about homophobia in Italy! Reply with quote

I am a recent graduate of University and a CELTA qualified teacher. I would very much like to teach in Italy, and plan to move there early this coming January 2010.
I have several questions:

1) I have been told by several teachers in Italy that moving there (and applying for jobs) would be better than applying for jobs whilst in England, since Italians prefer face-to-face contact! Is this true?

2) I want to learn Italian, but I am scared that I won't have time to balance learning Italian with teaching English. Should this be a concern, and if so, how can I deal with it?

3) I am concerned with the possible homophobia I may encounter in Italy, being a gay man. I have been told that Rome, Milan and Bologne, as well as the big cities, are fairly gay-friendly. However, I am also aware of a recent spate of homophobic attacks in Rome, and am aware that homophobic violence seems to be a problem in Italy- at least a greater problem than here in the UK. Can anyone tell me whether I should worry about this? Should I take this into account in deciding where to teach in Italy? Can anyone also share their experiences of living openly gay in Italy?

4) I would particularly like to work in Bologne, but am not sure there are many jobs in language schools available there. If I move to Bologne in early January, how can I make money?

5) Is it unusual for language schools or other bodies (whether individual or not) to advertise jobs or need language teachers in early January?

I would be very grateful if someone could answer some of my questions!

L Smile
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) I have been told by several teachers in Italy that moving there (and applying for jobs) would be better than applying for jobs whilst in England, since Italians prefer face-to-face contact! Is this true?

Yes. People like to see you, get to know you, establish personal contact etc.

2) I want to learn Italian, but I am scared that I won't have time to balance learning Italian with teaching English. Should this be a concern, and if so, how can I deal with it?

Do you speak French or Spanish? If so, you probably won't find Italian too difficult. Make sure you get out and about, practise what you can (Italians are completely cool with foreigners botching their language). Make friends in bars, cafes, shops... Relax, don't take it too seriously, and you'll be fine. Much more of a hassle is dealing with the bureaucracy, but even here most Italians are patient and will find a way of communicating with you.

3) I am concerned with the possible homophobia I may encounter in Italy, being a gay man. I have been told that Rome, Milan and Bologne, as well as the big cities, are fairly gay-friendly. However, I am also aware of a recent spate of homophobic attacks in Rome, and am aware that homophobic violence seems to be a problem in Italy- at least a greater problem than here in the UK. Can anyone tell me whether I should worry about this? Should I take this into account in deciding where to teach in Italy? Can anyone also share their experiences of living openly gay in Italy?

Stick to the big cities if you want to avoid homophobia. People won't necessarily say anything to your face, but your social / romantic life is less likely to be limited in larger towns and cities. I didn't think that hate crime was a particularly large % of overall crime here, but take usual safety precautions and I don't think you'd be in much danger. I always felt much, much safer in Rome than I did in London - less alcohol-fuelled violence if nothing else.

4) I would particularly like to work in Bologne, but am not sure there are many jobs in language schools available there. If I move to Bologne in early January, how can I make money?

Tough qu to answer. Make a list of lang schools, contact them now, ask if they have vacancies in Jan. Or alternatively, go to a place with a lot more turnover (such as Rome) to pick up hours here and there, then aim for Bologna for September.

5) Is it unusual for language schools or other bodies (whether individual or not) to advertise jobs or need language teachers in early January?

Some schools always look for teachers. Sometimes this is because they're terrible employers whose teachers leave at the first opportunity, but also schools pick up clients throughout the year and need to get the staff.

My work exp in Italy has been limited to Rome, and rural Marche. I live quite close to Bologna but can't say I know it particularly well. It's a lot smaller than other cities, with a huge uni population. If you went there with some savings, and were willing to build up a client base, you could probably do well. But to start off, I'd advise a bigger city such as Rome or Milan. My personal pref will always be Rome - more sunshine, better food, cheaper bars / nightlife, and a bit more relaxed. But work opps are just as good in Milan, and wages higher.

Sorry to ramble on, but one other thing has just struck me. If you're a new teacher, you might actually do better in a larger organisation that can offer ongoing training / mentoring. You're more likely to find these in larger cities, I imagine. You probably won't get anything in the way of structured feedback / personal learning plan (Italians work long hours, have little time left over for luxuries) but do ask about this sort of thing when you interview at schools. It also shows you're keen to learn and progress, that you take your teaching seriously, and that you'll be an enthusiastic (and available) teacher. Don't underestimate the effect this will have on DOS's.
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nagel5



Joined: 08 Dec 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your advice: it's very kind of you.

I was attracted to Bologna partly because I heard it was a very gay-friendly city. Is that correct? I know Rome is fairly gay-friendly, I just get the impression that Bologna is more so! Am I correct?

Also, I'm not quite sure how long I want to be in Italy, so I'm not sure whether to tie myself into a contract. I do want to be in Italy till about August, but I am applying to do a post-grad course which would start in September, so I could do a 5 or 6 month contract. What is the average length of contracts for teachers in Rome?

Since you've worked in Rome, I'd be grateful if you could recommend any schools to work in there, whether on this forum, or by sending a message to my account.

L
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't really compare the two cities in terms of how gay-friendly they are - I don't know!

Re contracts. You'd be more likely to get something like a contratto di progetto (contract for the duration of a project, rather than for say, x months or years.) Most schools will work up til mid / end July, leaving you unemployed in August. Do be upfront with schools that you're only around for a few months, but I doubt many would have work during the summer anyway - certainly not teaching in the corporate sector.

If you're serious about Rome, I'll contact a friend of mine who's a DOS there. She might have some work, or know of other schools that do. Let me know, anyway.
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nagel5



Joined: 08 Dec 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very helpful of you.

Yes, I am very serious about Rome, and would be very interested in working there. If you could contact the friend you mentioned, I'd be very pleased.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will do! Is there any way of contacting you? Do you have PM facilities??
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nagel5



Joined: 08 Dec 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes,

I've just sent you a PM with my details.
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nagel5



Joined: 08 Dec 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:02 pm    Post subject: Ooops Reply with quote

You should have received it now- I had troubles sending my first PM!
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your pm - did you get mine?
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nagel5



Joined: 08 Dec 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I did. Thanks for your help.
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La_Magica



Joined: 13 Nov 2009
Posts: 5
Location: Canada/Italia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest joining a facebook group that caters to gay folk in Rome... if you search for "Gay Rome" in facebook groups you'll be sure to find some there. Ask in the forum and I'm sure that you will get some informed opinions.
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