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Question re winging it in Italy - need advice!

 
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MRamosDC



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:59 am    Post subject: Question re winging it in Italy - need advice! Reply with quote

Online friends--

I was thinking about simply visiting Rome/Venice/Florence/Milan/Naples/Torino for about 2-3 weeks, and pretty much simply going from school to school to drop off my resume and trying to speak to someone about my strong interest in teaching there.

Can someone tell me how realistic it is that I actually get hired by a school? I am TEFL certified and a U.S. citizen living in the States.

-Mike in DC
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9495
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's how it's usually done in the region. The problem is that if you are the owner of only a US passport, none of the language schools in this region can give you a legal working visa.

There are many threads on this forum discussing the EU member citizen only hiring laws that apply to English language teachers in Western Europe.

If you're up for working illegally, you'll want to google Schengen zone and be sure you understand where and what the risks are.
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MRamosDC



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. It certainly doesn't seem too promising considering that I'm not an EU citizen. Hmm...
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MilanTeacher



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a US citizen winging it is impossible. You will need a visa before you get to Italy if you plan on staying more than 90 days. The risks of overstaying include a 10 year ban on the Schengen Zone and/or up to 10,000 euro in fines. Work visas are nearly impossible to come by, and not given to TEFL teachers (they have to prove that no one else in the EU can do the job- hard to do for English language teachers...)

If you want to teach in Italy I would suggest enrolling in an accredited university or language school to get a study visa, which will allow you to work for 20 hours a week.

FYI- any school that hires you illegally (and there are some who would) is not a place you want to work. I know people who have done this, and ended up getting fired with no notice when inspectors were scheduled to show up, and lost pay they had no recourse to get- because officially, they didn't exist.
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MRamosDC



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate the great advice - thank you very much! (sigh) It seems like the only way I can stay in Italy is to either do what you mentioned and sign up with a university, or go find someone Italian to marry - quick! LOL
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MilanTeacher



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, unfortunately that is the reality of the situation, unless if you find out you qualify for ancestry citizenship somewhere Sad I did the study visa thing for a year and a half. If you really want it, you can make it work!

If you are interested in TEFL, I would recommend checking out Asia and Latin America, where visas are not only possible, but your standard of living (salary vs cost of living) would be far higher than in most of Europe!
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acmurray



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my fellow co-workers was able to enroll at the University of BO on a single-class basis which seems like it would be ideal. You need to have at least B1 or B2 Italian ability though, I think, and you should be aware that you need to first collect apostilles from the state capital of where you went to both high school and college--and that all needs to be turned into the consulate by the end of May or beginning of June for the following fall semester. So the paperwork begins early.

I and several others got a student visa through my own English school that also offers Italian courses for foreigners. That might not work everywhere (I think my school is registered on some American education board) and you do need to have at least three weeks in the States to visit the consulate and do the paperwork. It was a little harrowing, but better than being illegal.

And as for being illegal--not to encourage it, because it does has risks, but I'm not sure I agree with the blanket statement that schools that hire illegal students are bad schools. Both schools that I taught at during my own...um, pre-legal phase were both (otherwise) entirely honest, decent, and fair. I still work at the one. That's not to say you shouldn't be on the lookout for red flags, but that goes for no matter where you work.
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