Overview

With Greenheart Travel’s Teach English in a Homestay program, you will have the chance to live and tutor in Italy, home to the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites! Participants spend 15 hours per week tutoring their host family in conversational English, while living the everyday Italian lifestyle and being immersed in the history, art, literature, and food of this dynamic nation.

Picture yourself in Italy and read our participants’ blog posts on life as an English tutor!

This program offers:

  • Volunteer tutoring position with a local host family
  • 15 hours per week teaching experience (the rest of the time is yours!)
  • Placements throughout the country
  • Accommodation with volunteer Italian host family
  • 1, 2 or 3 month placements
  • Rolling start dates twice monthly

This is a volunteer, unpaid teaching placement designed for deep cultural immersion and exchange. The homestay program is ideal for adults hoping to get their feet wet teaching English abroad, teachers traveling during their summer break, or travelers seeking to experience full cultural immersion. Looking for a more structured classroom setting? Check out our comparison with the Teach in Italy program!

 

Program Dates

Start dates are available year round. We need 8 weeks lead time to secure a host family. You are welcome to choose any of the start dates below.

Please note: August can be a challenging month to start, because many Italian families go on vacation. If you plan to start in August, please apply early to ensure sufficient time to find a host family.

Program Start Date Deadline to Apply
March 1, 2017 December 30, 2016
March 15, 2017 January 13, 2017
March 29, 2017 January 27, 2017
April 12, 2017 February 10, 2017
April 26, 2017 February 24, 2017
May 10, 2017 March 10, 2017
May 24, 2017 March 24, 2017
June 7, 2017 April 7, 2017
June 21, 2017 April 21, 2017
July 5, 2017 May 5, 2017
July 19, 2017 May 19, 2017
August 2, 2017 June 2, 2017
August 16, 2017 June 16, 2017
August 30, 2017 June 30, 2017
September 13, 2017 July 14, 2017
September 27, 2017 July 28, 2017
October 11, 2017 August 11, 2017
October 25, 2017 August 25, 2017
November 8, 2017 September 8, 2017
November 22, 2017 September 22, 2017
December 6, 2017 October 6, 2017
December 20, 2017 October 20, 2017

We’re flexible too, so if you are unable to start on these given dates, please contact Greenheart Travel directly to see what we can do.

Eligibility

No previous teaching experience or certification is required. We are looking for participants who are open-minded and flexible, as well as meet the following requirements:

  • At least 18 years old – retirees welcome!
  • Be a native English speaker
  • Be a citizen of the EU, USA, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa or Canada
  • Must be a high school graduate – college students and graduates preferred
  • Must have the ability to prepare a private tutoring lesson plan
  • Be in good mental* and physical health

I don’t have teaching experience. How will I know what to teach my host family?

The English lessons tend to be informal and conversation based. There is no pre-determined curriculum; however participants should be prepared to put together a lesson plan for each tutoring session. Greenheart Travel will provide you access to a library of resources to help you develop ideas for the lessons.

Typically families are looking for you to speak English with them over dinner or for a certain amount of time during the day.

Usually you will teach the children in the home but occasionally an adult will request lessons as well. The level of English will vary depending on the host family but most will be at the beginner level and will only have basic knowledge of English.

Costs

Program Fees

  • 1 month: $1,510
  • 2 months: $1,670
  • 3 months: $1,820

Please note, all prices are listed in USD

What’s Included:

  • Host family search, screening, and placement process
  • Single room accommodation with carefully screened host family
  • Three home-cooked meals a day for duration of program*
  • Local office support
  • Comprehensive medical insurance
  • English as a Second Language Teaching Resources
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Culture & Etiquette Guidebook
  • Resume-enhancing experience as a Private Language Tutor
  • Learn a new language through immersion in a different culture and county

What’s Not Included:

  • Flight to Italy
  • Meals eaten outside of the host family home
  • Spending money for personal purchases, tourism or optional activities

Wondering why you have to pay for a volunteer teaching program?

Greenheart Travel is a non-profit organization, and the program fee for this volunteer teaching project covers the cost of placing you in the program. These fees also aid in providing accommodation, meals, insurance and pre-departure & in-country support to homestay teachers.

 

Accommodation

Homestay participants live with a local host family during the program. Host families apply in a similar way to participants and Greenheart Travel will match you based on living preferences and personal interests. Host families are not compensated for hosting and host only in exchange for the English lessons.

Prospective host families undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify as a host family, the prospective hosts must:

  • Successfully pass a criminal background check
  • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
  • Agree to and pass a home inspection

Participants will have their own private room but may share a bathroom and living areas with the host family. Host families also provide three meals per day except on when going out to restaurants. As an English teacher in a homestay, you will be warmly welcomed into a host family’s home, while having the opportunity to explore the region on your own.

What are past participants saying about their accommodations?

My experience in Sicily was transformative and it is, without a doubt, the best experience I have had in my life thus far. I was not prepared to be embraced so fully by my host family and their friends. They took me on every outing, and I celebrated their birthdays, and other special occasions with them. Everything about my time spent there exceeded my expectations and I returned to Canada firmly believing that the world is full of wonderful people and that traveling is the best way to learn about ourselves and the world around us. Greenheart Travel not only gave me an experience to travel, to meet new people, to teach English and to learn another language–you also gave me, in a way, another family half a world away that I will cherish always.” – Emily McCarten, Teach in a Homestay Italy Alumna from 2015

live-with-a-host-family-in-italy-as-a-tutor

Placements

Homestay participants live with a local host family during the program. You will receive your host family’s contact information prior to departure. Aside from the 15 hour per week teaching commitment, the rest of the time is yours to explore the language, culture and history of Italy.

A large percentage of the host families live in small towns outside of major urban areas, and they are located throughout the country. It is very important to be flexible in your placement location, as great families are located all around. Although we cannot guarantee placement in a specific city or area, you will rank the following regions and we do our best to get you placed in one of your top two choices:

  • Lombardy
  • Emilia Romagna
  • Lazio
  • Sicily

Check out our map of Italy to see where other Teach in a Homestay participants have been placed!

map-of-italy-placements

Placement FAQs:

Can I choose where I will be placed?

No. You can choose your destination country, but you must be flexible about where you will be placed within that country. We can never guarantee placements in any specific city or region and we match based on compatibility with the host family.

Will I be placed in a city?

No. It is very unlikely you will be placed in a city. A majority of our families live in small to medium sized towns outside of major cities, and it is important you be open-minded to small town life.

Once I receive my placement, can I request to change it?

No, we do not change host families based on preferences or location. If you request to change your host family after you have been placed, you will forfeit your $500 placement deposit.

What if I don’t like my host family? Can I request a new one?

No. We do not change host families based on preferences or location. If concerns arise one you are in country, we handle them on a case-by-case basis and do our best to resolve issues amicably.

Can I be placed with my friend/spouse/significant other?

No. We are not able to place more than one person with a host family. It is okay to apply with friends and family; however, you will be placed in separate homes and we cannot guarantee they will be in the same city.

 

Application Process

Complete the Online Application

 There are 5 short steps in the application process, which are outlined below. The whole process takes about 30 minutes and can be done in stages.

  1. Select the APPLY NOW button on the left side of the program page. You will receive a link to fill out the first portion of the application, which asks for general information about you.
  2. Once you complete part 1, you will be emailed Greenheart Travel’s Terms and conditions. Please read through them and sign.
  3. Next, you will pay a $250 deposit to hold your position in the program. It is very rare that our homestay applications are declined, but if you are rejected from the program, you will be refunded the $250 less a $75 processing fee. Otherwise, it is deducted for your overall program fee.
  4. Now, you will complete a second application form that includes more detailed information about yourself (such as education background, experience, medical history, host family preference, etc).
  5. In order to finalize your application, you will need to complete a 15 minute interview via Skype with the program manager.

Additionally, you will need to upload the following documents:

  • 1 letter of recommendation (can be personal or professional)
  • A “Dear Family” letter introducing yourself to your homestay family
  • Copy of your passport
  • A completed background check. If you are a US citizen, Greenheart Travel provides you a free, online background check service which you can access during the application process. If you are not a US citizen, you are required to submit your own background check from your local police station.

Review your Application

Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 business days to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.

You’re Accepted – now what?

Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. If accepted, you will receive an orientation packet via email, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program.

Before we begin the host family screening and placement process, an additional $500 payment toward your program fee is due. This payment is required a minimum of 8 weeks prior to your departure.

A visa may be required for a tourist stay of up to 90 days depending on the destination country. Greenheart Travel will provide you information about applying for a visa, but please check with the embassy of your host country to verify, as visa requirements may change.