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CELTA but no degree or experience. Italy in Jan advice?

 
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williamwalrus



Joined: 08 Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: CELTA but no degree or experience. Italy in Jan advice? Reply with quote

Hello all,

I'm a 22 year old EU passport holder with CELTA but without a degree, I may get some voluntary classroom assistant work here, Edinburgh, soon but still waiting to hear. Not really got any useful experience outside of CELTA to speak of. From highschool Italian I can still remember how to sing Fratelli D'Italia but that's where it ends, will get Michel Thomas beginner tapes.

I've been thinking about heading to Italy in January, which I've read is the next best time of year to jobhunt, to circulate my CV anywhere and everywhere. I realise there are no set answers but any advice or tips would be gratefully received.

- How quickly/likely is it I'd get a job doing this? Money is a concern and I'd rather not try private tutoring till I have more experience.

- Is it advisable to concentrate on just one city, is Rome my best bet? Outside of Rome and Milan is there much work to be found in other cities, or is it more a matter of chance?

- I've read that being in the right place at the right time is more important than being a degree holder but I'm concerned no degree combined with no experience could cause difficulties, anyone able to shed any light on this?

- Do most schools offer new teachers a little support to begin with?

Hope all that text doesn't scare everyone off. I've had a good look on the forum so hope it's not a pest to have another 'what's the score?' discussion but there's a lot of conflicting advice on here. I'm concerned about squandering my cash on a potentially fruitless trip!
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1214

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi William

Not so long ago I replied to someone else thinking of coming over in Jan - and that advice still stands.

Most hiring takes place in Sept, but there are opportunities through the rest of the year - especially when teachers leave suddenly.

Not having a degree will put off the more "serious" employers - particularly since having a degree is considered pretty normal for many positions in Italy - and a requisite for state school teaching. But I know of teachers in Italy who haven't done a degree, so it can certainly be done. The biggest hurdle is likely to be no degree and no experience, but there and again you've got a Celta - your chances could be worse!

My advice:

- get as much teaching exp as you can now, then talk up both that and your Celta on your CV

- focus on one place when you come over. You can't possibly target the whole of Italy. But I'm not sure that this place should be Rome. There's a lot of teachers in Rome, most of whom are likely to have degrees and experience. Maybe your better bet would be in a location where there are lots of schools in and around. Perhaps somewhere north like a satellite town of Milan. There you've got lots of smaller towns, all with their own language schools, so plenty of local demand for teachers.

- be clear with schools that you'll need support at the start. Most schools will want you to be successful for the sake of their students.

- bring enough money to tide you over. You'll need to pay rent for somewhere, plus living expenses. Count on at least 500 for rent per month, then all your utilities on top (say another 100) then food, travel etc - another 100 per week minimum. You'll need at the very minimum two months' living costs, then more to tide you over for the third month on when you might not be earning a full wage. Also bear in mind you won't be earning much (if anything) over Easter and summer, so you'll need to put some aside for the four months of the year that you won't earn money teaching.

This is worst case scenario - you may pick up a job immediately and start earning immediately, but I like to err on the side of caution when it comes to money.

Good luck!
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williamwalrus



Joined: 08 Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:46 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply!

In that case I should probably save a bit more money, I'm pretty bored where I am so was getting impatient enough to try a sort of last gambit. The classroom assistant work is going ahead and there's (hopefully) the possibility of a few shifts with kids classes soon so that'd build up the experience but would make my arrival later. I'd heard people don't return to jobs after Christmas sometimes so January was a good but if I save enough money to look a while then I'm guessing I could find a job late winter/spring.

I've read the demand is large now in Italy the country over, people saying try rural areas too but I was wondering if some of the slightly smaller cities, Florence or Bologna say, happened to have good demand. Or are they still popular destinations for teachers? Teacher in Rome perhaps you won't have an answer for this one, but any thoughts?

Another thing, does this list - http://www.eslbase.com/schools/italy - seem a fair indicator of the actual number of schools in Rome? I thought maybe small, private schools can't afford much advertising so there's more than the list suggests.

Cheers.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9446
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm guessing I could find a job late winter/spring


Actually, I suspect it could be tough in that time period. Most work contracts for the region are Sept/Oct through the end of June, with little work outside of a few summer camps in July and August. With the above plan, you'd be proposing to come in for two or three months at the end of the normal contract period, then you're facing a couple of months of little/no work, before the regular season begins again.

I think you might be most likely in this time period to find a few little part-time gigs you'd have to cobble together to get yourself through until September.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1214

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've read the demand is large now in Italy the country over, people saying try rural areas too but I was wondering if some of the slightly smaller cities, Florence or Bologna say, happened to have good demand. Or are they still popular destinations for teachers? Teacher in Rome perhaps you won't have an answer for this one, but any thoughts?


I live in a rural area now (no longer in Rome) and local places definitely want teachers. There are (part-time) openings for mother-tongue Cambridge examiners here, plus teachers for state schools, in private schools etc etc. But they all want degree-holders. One of the problems with rural areas is that schools tend to be small, with less support for inexperienced teachers. It's expensive to live (as expensive as cities very often) and you'd need a car to travel to the other places where you'd be freelancing. It's not impossible, but it's a bit tough.

I don't know about Florence or Bologna. I'd say Bologna would be a better bet (and it's a great uni city with lots going on) while Florence is more likely to have lots and lots of competition from other native speakers.

If you could hold out til Sept you'd have more chances, especially as you're currently getting experience - and it would make finances less tight. But I'd hate to stop you from giving it a go now if you're really desperate to leave! One thing I say to a lot to people is that there are no hard and fast rules in Italy. Luck plays a big part, as does good timing. Hard-working, open disposition, with friendly handshakes is also as important. Sounds stereotypical, but it's true. If people like you, they'll bend over backwards to help you or to bend the rules. I'm just saying that a bit more preparation might take some of the stress off a move.
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1214

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That eslbase list looks out of date to me. But schools are forever opening and closing. And you're right - there are far more smaller schools that might advertise locally. It's depressing to see the number of inlinguas and wall streets, but there are many, many more. Try tefl dot com which send out a weekly newsletter of global jobs, or even companies like saxoncourt in the UK which will set you up with a contract.
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williamwalrus



Joined: 08 Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Apologies for the late reply, I've been madly job hunting for both menial and tefl stuff!

Thanks a lot for the information. For the moment I'm going to sit tight, save and apply here and there on tefl.com. If nothing turns up or I get too bored to hack it any longer, hopefully I'll have the money saved to make a go of it!

Anyhow, thanks again and hope you're enjoying la dolce vita!
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**beer-goggles**



Joined: 18 Mar 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes they all seem to want a degree but they generally don't want to pay you adaquately or more to reflect your qualification. I have worked in 4 schools in Napoli and in truth it makes no difference whatsoever if you have a degree or just a plain TEFL/CELTA. You all get paid the same.

An English degree would be invaluable when doing PON especially if you are self employed Wink
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