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How should I prepare for finding work in Italy

 
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darkray16



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:14 pm    Post subject: How should I prepare for finding work in Italy Reply with quote

Hello,

I am a teacher in Korea and wish very much to work in Italy teaching English. Could you guys give me some advice on how I should prepare.

This is the relevant personal info:
I'm an American citizen
4 year degree in Italian
I can still speak Italian, but I graduated last year and slowly it's getting worse
I have a TESOL cert.(I'm aware it may not be worth much in Italy)
I have 1 year of teaching experience, and plan to teach in Korea another year or two.
I am willing to work anywhere in Italy
I would prefer to have some savings left over

So what do you guys think I should do to prepare? I am still considering whether I should do a masters degree in TESOL right after Korea.

I'm grateful for any advice you guys can give.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you get European citizenship? (i.e. do you have a parent / grandparent born anywhere in the EU that you can use to get an EU passport?) Without this, your options are much more limited. But as you have the advantage of a degree in Italian, you could sign up for an advanced Italian course at one of the universities that take foreign students. With this student visa you can work up to 20 hours a week to support yourself. John Cabot University (Rome) and Universita degli Stranieri (Perugia) offer advanced language courses to non-Italians. There's also one in Milan, but I don't know the name.

Most employers want the CELTA. but nothing is black and white here. If you can back up your qualifications with relevant, useful experience, then you should get an "in" somewhere. If you apply to language schools, remember that they might send you into a range of different environments: YL, state school English language support, corporate training... A range of experience will therefore stand in your favour.

If you read back in these forums, you'll see a fair amount of warning about working illegally. While it might be possible to get a job without papers, you do run risks of deportation (at worst) not being paid by unscrupulous employers (could happen) but in general, not being able to get health coverage, bank account etc. The current government is leaning pretty hard to the far right on issues of illegal immigration, so best not take too many chances.

Good luck!
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darkray16



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't get a european citizenship.

How much does a CELTA program usually cost?
Do Italian employers only want CELTA cert taken in Italy, or can I do one in the USA with the same results?

Thanks
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No idea on the current costs of a CELTA here. You'll need to do some research: google CELTA in Italy and you'll get some idea of where / how much.

In theory it shouldn't matter where you do the CELTA - you should be covering the same syllabus. Some of the teacher training institutions in Italy will tell you that they can get you work placements though, and being in the same country as where you want to end up working obviously has benefits. But I used to get inundated by CVs from American teachers, all from same institution, all saying same thing, but seemingly none aware that they couldn't legally work in Italy.

As I suggested before, it may be worth your while investigating the student visa option allowing you to work legally 20 hours a week. Don't count on a language school going through all the hoops to get you a proper working visa - they just don't have money / time to do such a huge favour when they already have a large pool of teachers already here who can start work immediately.
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darkray16



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You said that there are so many people who can start work immediately in Italy. How is it they got in that position?

I have a year or two before i leave Korea so I want to get started on preparing to work in Italy if possible.

I will look into getting a CELTA and where would be the best place to take it for me.
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stillnosheep



Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Posts: 2068
Location: eslcafe

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've missed the main point. Without EU citizenship it is very difficult for a US citizen to get a work permit to teach English in Italy. Without it, unless you can afford the fees to study in Italy and manage to find a little teaching work on the side, you have only the option of working illegally at a dodgy school for low wages, with no rights nor protection, in danger of arrest and/or deportation - a bit like being an illegal immigrant in the states. Is that really what you want?

The large pool of teachers already able to start work immediately teaching English in Italy are English speaking EU citizens.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9132
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stillnosheep's right. Without a citizenship from an EU country, your chances of landing legal work are effectively nil. Well, not just yours, of course, but anyone in your position.

It's not a matter of quals or experience - it's a matter of legalities.

I have a good friend, also a US citizen. She has an MA TESL/TEFL and a Phd. in Italian Studies. She went to Rome back before Jan 2009 when the laws against 'illegal' work tightened. She spent 2 years working under the table, trying every way possible to get some legal loophole. She finally had to give up - too much uncertainty every time she went thru airport security or got sick....and that was before the authorities tightened the nets.

Simply, it's not recommended.
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darkray16



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I guess it sounds like I will probably have to sign up for one of those courses and teach under a student visa.

So, most of the people on this board teaching in Italy is an EU citizen?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9132
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes they are EU citizens - and it's the same in France, Spain, Greece, etc.

There are simply many, many qualified British citizens to do the jobs in this region.
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Rob Aston



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I am an EU Citizen (British) and I would really love to know the answer to the original question. I am currently teaching in China with several years experience both in China and the UK.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How you should prepare for working in Italy:

- have all the necessary paperwork (EU passport, recognised qualifications such as CELTA)
- shortlist schools / insitutions you would like to work for
- ideally have an idea of where you'd like to live and work (north? south? city or town?)
- be prepared to fly over and interview in person. Mid September is best.
- have copy of your CV (English fine), degree and certification to back up your application

People do get hired sight unseen, but it's not the best scenario. If you can, aim to come over, soak up the atmosphere a while, to get a better idea of whether you'd enjoy working here. Be prepared for long hours, not so great pay, rising cost of living, little English spoken though this is changing. Be prepared to learn Italian.

A contract is almost always best at the beginning, because that way you'll be covered for health insurance, and your tax will be paid. After you've been here a while you'll be better placed to go freelance, find an accountant to help you do your tax returns, and so on. At the beginning you'll need a codice fiscale (tax number, easily obtained from the local finance authorities once you show your passport) and a bank account. You'll also need somewhere to live, but many schools can give you help with all this.

What have I missed out?
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