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Teaching jobs in Bologna

 
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anyoneforpimms



Joined: 27 Mar 2010
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:23 pm    Post subject: Teaching jobs in Bologna Reply with quote

Hello everyone

Probably unwisely, given some of the horror stories I have heard, I have decided to venture to Italy to find a teaching job. I imagine that places like Rome and Florence are already saturated with English Teachers, which is why I have decided to try my luck with Bologna. Does anyone happen to know of any good schools there ... or bad ones, so that I know which ones to avoid? Or perhaps, trying to find a teaching job in Italy is a lost cause and I should abandon all hope now? I am a native English speaker, with a Celta, experience and an intermediate knowledge of Italian, so I'm hoping that something should stand me in good stead Confused

Any advice/warnings/disapproving comments/suggestions would be greatly apprectiated.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1212

PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what horror stories you've read, but I think Rome would be a good place to start. Florence is a lot smaller, and possibly more saturated.

Bologna is a lovely city, with a lively uni population. I'm not sure how much work you'd get there, though.
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anyoneforpimms



Joined: 27 Mar 2010
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the reply. The "horror stories" mainly involve teachers being put on dubious contracts, not being paid properly ... that kind of thing. I guess that can happen in any country though. I hadn't considered Rome before but I will now, so thank you for the tip.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1212

PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's always a good idea to check the contact thoroughly. You might not get holiday or sick pay, for example, and your contract might only last a few months - or until the project ends.

In my experience here, companies are more likely to pay promptly than state schools, but do also check how often they pay, whether or not you'll need to issue an invoice, and so on.

Don't forget: you'll need a codice fiscale before you can get paid, and a partita IVA if you ever invoice an Italian company. The codice fiscale is easy: just go into your local ministry of finance office. The P Iva will require more jumping through hoops - best left for later when you know whether you want to be freelance or not.
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ragazzo gallese



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 47
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bear in mind that Bologna is not a cheap city to live in, and acommodation is very expensive.
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acmurray



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is probably too late for you, but in case anyone else clicks on the thread--yes, Bologna's accomodation is expensive relative to its size, but it's not nearly as bad as Rome. If you live in the prima periferia in Bologna you're already looking at better rents (300-400 for a single) and only a 15 minute walk/5 minute bus ride from the center, whereas the periferia in Rome means at least an hour's commute and the rents are still astronomical. And work's pretty good here. If you come in September (or maybe even January/early February) you can quite probably land a job at a school, and if not you can even just about make it teaching private lessons in the interim if you charge 20 an hour and advertise heavily on bakea.it and kijiji.it. If you're willing to teach children you're even better off. And best of all if you're an EU citizen to cap it off. (Though I wasn't for my first years and still made it okay.)

I haven't had any real horror stories here. My first job only paid 11 an hour which wasn't really enough looking back, but it was enough to keep mind and body together for my first year before I got savvier. You've got to stay flexible and open-minded. But Bologna is gorgeous and lively and a really manageable size--I wouldn't live anywhere else!
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acmurray



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, I've found everywhere that teaching English at private language schools is a very by-the-hour kind of job--I don't know anyone who gets paid for sick time or vacation time. Think wages, not salary. And if someone did offer me a salary, I would probably be even more suspicious, as it might mean that they're planning to get their money's worth--for example, a school that offers 1400 a month might seem like a godsend, until you realize that means they can demand 35 teaching hours a week from you, which is way too much (for me anyway) and works out to being a pittance per hour (compared to the 14+ an hour that schools in Bologna should offer).
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BootOfTheBeast



Joined: 13 May 2009
Posts: 45
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just read another post by the PP on another thread - there is an atypically rosy picture of the Italian job market being painted here which I must investigate... it's the optimist in me.

acmurray - could you give us an idea of what your gig is like? Are you buzzing around doing corporates all over the place, or are you in one spot? A lot of university-aged students? Seems like a good place for public transportation/walking.

Bologna's certainly a beautiful city. What's the reality of life there? Any bad points? How's the entertainment, and do you think it's a decent place to learn the lingua?

Most importantly, is there a living wage to be found, or are you having to sell blood (or any other fluids) to make ends meet? How far does 1100Euros get you in Bologna?

Thanks in eager anticipation,

Boot
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acmurray



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in one spot--I'm doing about 20 (often more, depends upon how many private students have a lesson in any given week) hours a week for my private language school in the historical center, which is great because it's minimal travel time. 14 hours of those are group classes, though last year I had as many as 19 hours of classes a week, the rest are individual students arranged through the school. My pay started around 13.50/hr for one-on-ones and is now 14.50/lesson for classes, which is a bit low but not as low as my first job (11/hour) and I've gotten three raises since then. I'm also teaching 3-4 private students on my own terms for 20 an hour, an hour or hour and a half each per week.

That comes up to a tidy sum in the full months--typically November and March or April and May. The only problem in several other months that are interrupted by holidays (December, whichever month Easter falls in, January), the months during which the courses start or end (October, September, June, February) I make considerably less. And in July and August you make very little through your own private students.

1100 every month would come out being comfortable--but ideally you would make more than that in the on months and unfortunately less than that in the off. For that much you wouldn't be able to afford a studio apartment by yourself, probably, and you'd have to keep your rent low--probably no more than 350 a month, 300 would be better (singles go for at LEAST 500). You can find singles for that much, but generally outside the city center. Look in the areas just outside the walls, which is an easy walk into the center but significantly cheaper. You'd want to be careful with groceries, stick to pizza when eating out, avoid the more expensive bars, and watch out for that gas bill in Jan/Feb (another reason to live with roommates). But yes, you can make ends meet. Bologna's cost of living is infamously high--but Italians are usually comparing it to other small-ish cities like Ferrara, Padova, Rimini, etc. while expats are generally considering it as opposed to Rome, Venice, Milan, and Florence, and it's not more expensive than those cities (at least in terms of rent).

Apart from the cost of living, for me it's an ideal city. Good size--entirely walkable--yet with a pretty comprehensive bus system with buses that are generally pretty timely. Every kind of bar you could possibly imagine (picturesque enoteche, little funky alternative bars, pubs, chic nightclubs, dirty nightclubs, etc.), lots of places with live music, and the food is fantastic--apart from the to-die-for local cuisine, it also has a decent selection of ethnic food (for Italy)--lots of Chinese, sushi/Japanese, Indian, Greek, Palestinian. There's one (sometimes two) English-language cinemas. The bad points are probably the high rents (easily 400-450 for a single in the center), and sometimes the university-aged students can get obnoxious (if you live in a tiny alley off a street with lots of bars, prepared to have your doorstep treated like a urinal. gross.).

For learning the language...hmm. If you want to learn from ground zero, or very low, you might have difficulty. Many many people under 40 speak English okay and are excited to practice (for free), and in general I've found that social interactions default to the highest common denominator (i.e. if they speak English better than you speak Italian, everyone ends up speaking in English). But if you've already got some Italian, it's a good place to improve it and make friends, as it's not as provincial as many cities. There are lots of southern and middle-region Italians in Bologna, and displaced people tend to be more enthusiastic about making new friendships than people who have their entire social network from birth present (though most of my friends happen to be Bolognesi).

Wow, this ended up longer than I meant! Hope it helped, let me know if you want any more information.
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newtoefl2011



Joined: 17 May 2011
Posts: 29
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

acmurray wrote:
I'm in one spot--I'm doing about 20 (often more, depends upon how many private students have a lesson in any given week) hours a week for my private language school in the historical center, which is great because it's minimal travel time. 14 hours of those are group classes, though last year I had as many as 19 hours of classes a week, the rest are individual students arranged through the school. My pay started around 13.50/hr for one-on-ones and is now 14.50/lesson for classes, which is a bit low but not as low as my first job (11/hour) and I've gotten three raises since then. I'm also teaching 3-4 private students on my own terms for 20 an hour, an hour or hour and a half each per week.

That comes up to a tidy sum in the full months--typically November and March or April and May. The only problem in several other months that are interrupted by holidays (December, whichever month Easter falls in, January), the months during which the courses start or end (October, September, June, February) I make considerably less. And in July and August you make very little through your own private students.

1100 every month would come out being comfortable--but ideally you would make more than that in the on months and unfortunately less than that in the off. For that much you wouldn't be able to afford a studio apartment by yourself, probably, and you'd have to keep your rent low--probably no more than 350 a month, 300 would be better (singles go for at LEAST 500). You can find singles for that much, but generally outside the city center. Look in the areas just outside the walls, which is an easy walk into the center but significantly cheaper. You'd want to be careful with groceries, stick to pizza when eating out, avoid the more expensive bars, and watch out for that gas bill in Jan/Feb (another reason to live with roommates). But yes, you can make ends meet. Bologna's cost of living is infamously high--but Italians are usually comparing it to other small-ish cities like Ferrara, Padova, Rimini, etc. while expats are generally considering it as opposed to Rome, Venice, Milan, and Florence, and it's not more expensive than those cities (at least in terms of rent).

Apart from the cost of living, for me it's an ideal city. Good size--entirely walkable--yet with a pretty comprehensive bus system with buses that are generally pretty timely. Every kind of bar you could possibly imagine (picturesque enoteche, little funky alternative bars, pubs, chic nightclubs, dirty nightclubs, etc.), lots of places with live music, and the food is fantastic--apart from the to-die-for local cuisine, it also has a decent selection of ethnic food (for Italy)--lots of Chinese, sushi/Japanese, Indian, Greek, Palestinian. There's one (sometimes two) English-language cinemas. The bad points are probably the high rents (easily 400-450 for a single in the center), and sometimes the university-aged students can get obnoxious (if you live in a tiny alley off a street with lots of bars, prepared to have your doorstep treated like a urinal. gross.).

For learning the language...hmm. If you want to learn from ground zero, or very low, you might have difficulty. Many many people under 40 speak English okay and are excited to practice (for free), and in general I've found that social interactions default to the highest common denominator (i.e. if they speak English better than you speak Italian, everyone ends up speaking in English). But if you've already got some Italian, it's a good place to improve it and make friends, as it's not as provincial as many cities. There are lots of southern and middle-region Italians in Bologna, and displaced people tend to be more enthusiastic about making new friendships than people who have their entire social network from birth present (though most of my friends happen to be Bolognesi).

Wow, this ended up longer than I meant! Hope it helped, let me know if you want any more information.


ACMURRAY, my girlfriend and I are looking to teach in Bologna from September. We'll both have TEFL qualifications but only she has a degree. We don't have much experience but we do have a basic knowledge of Italian. Are we likely to have any difficulties finding teaching work?

I'd really appreciate any advice you could give!
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BootOfTheBeast



Joined: 13 May 2009
Posts: 45
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

acmurray,

I'm afraid my initial thanks for your fantastic post got lost in the e-ther, so to speak. Try again....thanks!

I'm planning a mission to Bologna this September. Do you still miss the place? And to the PP, did you make it there, and make it work?

Salud

Boot
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