Teach English in Italy
Work as an English teacher in Italy for 3 months while living with a host family.
Is your dream to live and work in Europe? Teaching English in Italy is a unique opportunity to make an impact in a classroom while living with a volunteer Italian host family abroad. This 3-month teaching program involves 15-18 hours per week of classroom hours as an English teaching assistant, and accommodation and meals are provided by a local volunteer host family.
This is your chance to experience true cultural exchange while you work as an ESL instructor, live like a local, enjoy delicious cuisine, and explore the Italian region of Piedmont.
This program offers:
- Teaching assistant positions in local high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools
- Online Italian language course before your program
- 15-18 classroom teaching hours per week
- Placements throughout the Piemonte (Piedmont) region
- Accommodation with volunteer Italian host family
- 3 month program with September or February start dates
- Incredible online community of fellow teachers and travelers you can meet before you head abroad
- Read more about the financial and personal benefits of this program
There is a shortage of foreign language teachers in Italian schools. As a native English speaker, you will offer an important component to learning the English language by conversing with students and sharing information about your home country.
Here’s a sample of life on this program, from alumna Tara Henry!
February 7 – May 5, 2018 (Deadline to Apply : October 15, 2017)
Applications are processed and accepted on a rolling basis. Apply earlier to receive your acceptance decision sooner.
Please note that this is a volunteer program, and these positions do not include a monthly salary or stipend. Learn about European visa regulations for North Americans and why it’s worth it to pay to teach in Italy.
Before applying, be sure that you meet the eligibility requirements below. No Italian language or teaching experience is required.
- Native English, German, or French speaker
- Citizen of the EU, UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, or Australia
- Ages 19-35
- Be in great mental and physical health
- No criminal record (with the exception of traffic or other minor violations)
- Teaching experience not necessary, but helpful
- Must be open minded, flexible, and adaptable
- Must be prepared to make teaching and time with host family a priority
Unfortunately, we are unable to make any exceptions to these requirements.
Older than 35? All ages are welcome on our Teach in a Homestay in Italy program!
Program fee: $950*
Please note, all prices are listed in USD
This program provides an incredible opportunity to live inexpensively in Europe for three months, all while having an invaluable cultural immersion experience. What essentially works out to $400 per month, your program covers 3 months of your living expenses – insurance, meals and accommodation are provided on the program.
For North Americans, paid teaching jobs in the European Union are extremely rare. This program is a chance to get that teaching experience! Read more here
Rent alone for an independent traveler in Italy can average from $600-$1200 per month. Hostel accommodations at $25 per night would work out to over $2,200 for 90 days.
- 3 month teaching placement in Piemonte (Piedmont), Italy
- Pre-departure support and orientation
- 2-3 day arrival orientation in stunning Torino
- Airport pickup from Torino airport
- Accommodation with volunteer host families
- 2-3 meals per day provided by host family
- International Medical and Accident Insurance
- Local support and supervision
- 24/7 Emergency Line
- Italy Culture Guidebook
- Greenheart Travel “Travel for a Change” T-shirt
*Program costs do not include the airfare to Italy or free time/travel spending.
Wondering why you have to pay to teach?
Greenheart Travel is a non-profit organization, and the program fee for this teaching project covers the costs of organizing your placement and support on the program. Your program fee helps cover the pre-departure & in-country support staff. These fees also aid in providing an orientation, logistical support, and insurance.
Host families on the Teach in Italy program are volunteers, and do not receive a payment or stipend to host teaching assistants.
Learn the art that the Piedmontese have mastered: savoring the simple pleasures in life.
Teaching Assistants will be placed throughout the Piedmont region.
Schools are located all throughout the beautiful Piedmont region usually in small to medium sized towns.* We have found that these placements provide the most impactful immersion experiences to learn about real Italian life, and participants have wonderful experiences being placed throughout the region.
We cannot guarantee any type of school and we cannot accept location placement requests. Applicants must be flexible and open minded about where they are placed, and willing to be placed anywhere in the Piedmont region at any age level.
The distance from your home to the school will vary. Some may be within walking distance or a short public transit commute. There is a great public transportation system, and you can purchase a monthly pass for about 38 Euros. If you have a student or teacher in your family, you may be able to catch a free ride to school each morning!
In rare cases, teachers will be placed outside of the Peidmont region in the Lombardy, Veneto or Friuli regions.
Check out the map of Italy to see where our English Teachers have been placed!
Teaching Responsibilities & Expectations
While you will arrive with a group of fellow teachers, this program should be viewed as an independent immersion program. It’s likely that you will be the only foreign teacher in your school and town. These types of placements are often the most life changing, as they allow for a deeper cultural and language immersion experience.
You will be working alongside an Italian co-teacher, assisting with English conversation skills. The program is designed for people who don’t have teaching experience. You will not be expected to lead a class on your own, but you will be asked to prepare and lead lessons or discussions with your students. You will teach be 15-18 hours per week. This will typically be evenly distributed throughout the week, meaning you’ll work about 3-4 hours per day. Note that this may be spaced out based on your class schedule, so you may be at your school more than 18 hours per week.
You will live with an Italian host family throughout the program. This is an amazing opportunity to truly live as an Italian!
Here are a few things to know about host families:
- Volunteer host families are unpaid – they do not receive a stipend to host you. They are hosting you because they are interested in welcoming you into their home, learning about you, and participating in a cultural exchange experience.
- Host families are carefully screened through background checks, reference checks, interviews and home visits.
- Host families come in all shapes and sizes! A host family may be a traditional nuclear family. Other times, it could be a single mother with kids, or a retired couple.
- You’ll be matched with a host family based on your mutual preferences and interests.
- Host families are typically selected by the schools, and often times they are a teacher or student at the school.
- In some cases, teachers may be placed with two separate host families during the program because Italian homes are smaller than those in the US or Canada. We want to give as many families as possible the chance to experience cultural exchange, even if they are unable to host for 3 full months. Most will switch about halfway through the program.
In rare cases, accommodations may be arranged in a private boarding school dormitory, or an independent apartment, if the typical host family accommodation is not available.
What Greenheart Travel alumni Say About their host families:
“My experience has been so amazing so far. I love my placement! The students are bright and interested in my lessons on English speaking and American culture, which is great. I really couldn’t have asked for a better host family. My host brother has already booked his ticket to visit me in California this summer! I’m so excited to show him America like his family has showed me Italy. I think this is a great program for intercultural exchange. I’m literally having the time of my life here. Thanks for being part of the team that made my travel dreams come true.” – Greenheart Travel English Teacher in Italy alumnus, Veronica Pantaleon
There is a 2-day orientation upon arrival in Italy. You’ll arrive on the same day as the rest of the new teachers participating in the program. You’ll be met by program staff at the airport in Torino, and then taken to the hostel to settle in before a walk around the city and a group dinner.
During orientation, you’ll have an introduction to the region, staff will prepare you for what to expect in the classroom, and you’ll get to meet your host family. Meals and accommodation in a Torino hostel are included.
Wondering what life in the Piedmont region is like?
Often overlooked, this stunning and unique region of Italy is often described as Tuscany without tourists. Piedmont is bursting with stunning landscapes, castles, cuisine fit for foodies, and fabulous wines. The capital of the region is Turin (Torino), which you might remember as the host of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Located in the northwest of Italy, the Piedmont region shares a border with Southern France, and is surrounded by the Alps on three sides.
Can I talk with alumni or current teachers from the program in Italy?
Of course! Please join our Facebook community specifically for teachers in Italy, or check out our reviews on GoOverseas! For even more insight about what life is like on the program, check out our Teach in Italy teacher blogs.
Can I travel during the program?
Yes, you are welcome to travel on the weekends as long as it doesn’t interfere with your school schedule. The program should be viewed as a teaching and cultural immersion program first. We ask that teachers are respectful of their schools and host families. Host families should not be used as a “bed & breakfast”. Families are voluntarily opening up their homes to our teachers. Participate and engage with your family! Cook dinner together, watch football together, and accept any invitations to outings!
As in any country, many families and schools are located outside of major cities and surround areas. Teachers should be prepared for the possibility of being a couple of hours outside of Torino or Milan, and know that travel could require several modes of transportation. For this reason, teachers should not expect to be able to travel into the city during the school week or just for the evening.
Can I do this program over the summer?
Because this program involves teaching in Italian schools, program dates are limited to the regular school year semesters when school is in session. We also ask that applicants commit to the entire program length. If your availability is limited only to the summer, or you can only spare a month or two, check out our Italy Teach English in a Homestay program. With host family accommodations, flexible start dates, and various program length options, this program is a fantastic alternative.
Can I choose where I am placed?
Placement matches are made based on a variety of factors, including the shared interests, needs and desires of the schools, host families, and teachers. Schools all throughout the Piedmont region need teachers. This means that while there are some placement in Torino and the surrounding suburbs, there are also placements in many other locations. We cannot honor specific placement location requests. Applicants must be willing and able to be flexible about their placement location.
Can I apply with my friend or significant other?
Yes, you can certainly apply for the program together. However, we cannot place friends or couples together. There will be only one teacher per school, and host families cannot accommodate more than one person. Friends or couples applying together must be willing to live and work separately. We will do our best to place you relatively close to each other, but cannot make any guarantees.
Why isn’t there a salary or stipend for this program?
There are a couple of reasons for this. Italy’s economy is in bad shape right now, and for that reason, there are not many paid teaching positions available. Schools and/or the government cannot afford to pay teachers a salary. There is a shortage of foreign language teachers for the schools in Italy. This program is designed to provide local schools with foreign language teachers that they otherwise would not be able to afford.
Additionally, when there ARE teaching jobs, it is very difficult for US citizens to obtain work visas in the EU. It’s extremely difficult and expensive (lots of red tape) for an employer to sponsor a US citizen for a work visa, so schools in the European Union are not typically willing to do so. This is especially true because native English speakers from the UK can come and work anywhere in the EU without a work visa.
This program was created in coordination with the local Ministry of Education to fill a need – the schools need foreign language teachers, but they are unable to afford them.
Instead of a salary, all of your expenses in country are covered – international medical and accident insurance, accommodations, and meals. Essentially, you’re living in Italy for about $400 per month, which is pretty unheard of!
How much extra spending money should I plan to bring?
While most of your living expenses are covered on this program, you’ll still want to bring money for going out, traveling on weekends, and incidentals. Teachers in the past have recommended bringing anywhere from $850 – $3000 extra for the duration of the program. The lower end of the scale would be for those who do most of their activities with the host family or the school, and who don’t do much travel during the program. The higher end would be for those who are doing bigger trips frequently throughout the program. You should expect to spend about $150-400 per trip. It’s always best to plan to spend more than you think you will – this way you don’t have to turn down any once in a lifetime opportunities that could come up!
Do I need a special visa for this program?
Nope! You’ll enter on the standard tourist visa, which allows you to stay in the country for up to 90 days. You will not need to apply for your visa beforehand.
Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders are eligible to apply for a “Working Holiday” visa in Italy, which will allow a stay in Italy for up to one year. U.S. citizens do not qualify for a Working Holiday visa and must enter on the 90 day tourist visa.
Can I extend my program for longer than 3 months?
Unfortunately, at the moment we are unable to extend the program any longer than three months, due to the 90 day restriction on the tourist visa.
Once the program is over, is it possible to stay longer in Italy or travel around Europe?
Your 90 day tourist visa for Italy allows you to travel freely around the “Schengen Area” for up to 90 days. The Schengen Area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
This means that you can only be in the Schengen Area for a total of 90 days within a 180 day period. During each 180-day period, you will have 90 days of visa-free travel within the Schengen area. When you leave the Schengen area after 90 days, you must wait another 90 days before you can apply to enter the Schengen area again without a visa.
The program comes right up on that 90 day mark, so you technically cannot stay in Italy or any other Schengen area country once your initial 90 days are up, or travel in these countries before the program begins. However, you could travel to a non-Schengen area country in the region if you’re hoping to stay in Europe longer. Non-Schengen area countries include: Ireland, United Kingdom, Romania, Bulgaria, and Cyprus.
Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders who have obtained a “Working Holiday” visa may stay for up to one year. You must apply for this visa before departing for Italy.
Do I need to speak Italian?
No, but this program is a great way to learn! While Italian language skills are not required, it is highly recommended that you learn some basic Italian skills before you arrive in Italy. People rarely speak English in smaller towns, so learning some basic Italian will help you meet locals.
Oftentimes, if your host parents don’t speak much English, the children in the family will have an English foundation from school and will be able to communicate on a basic level. Of course, English levels of your host families, students, and co-teachers will vary based on your placement.
Will my host family speak English?
This will completely depend on your placement. Some families speak very little English, while other have one or two family members that are fluent in English. You’ll be amazed how much you can still communicate without a shared language!
Will my students speak any English?
Again, this will vary by your placement. The English level will vary based on your students’ age and education track. Most students start studying English at an early age, but as in any foreign language classroom in the world, some students will be more advanced than others.
I don’t have any teaching experience. Will that be a problem?
Not at all. While the focus of this program is the teaching experience in the classroom, the program is designed knowing that its teachers are not trained or experienced teachers. Many of the students will have a foundation of the English language, and you will not be expected to design your own lesson plans or lead classes on your own. You’ll always be working alongside an Italian teacher, and you’ll mostly be acting as a tutor and assisting with English exercises, pronunciation, and conversation skills. If you have a background of other special skills or expertise, your school may also ask you to assist with those subjects.
Will there be other teachers placed in the same town/ at the same school?
There will not be more than one teacher per school. We are trying to impact and provide this service for as many schools as possible. While the program is still small, this means that teachers will be the only teachers at their assigned schools. If you are in a larger town or city, it is possible that there may be other teachers in the same area. In general, the region is relatively small. Depending on your placement, transportation will be easy for some, and more challenging for others. You’ll meet all of the other new teachers during orientation, and then you can plan trips to meet up on the weekends.
Is there a dress code in the schools?
This will vary by school. To err on the safe side, it’s best to bring some conservative and business casual options. Some schools will be more casual than others, and you’ll get a sense of what is the norm for your specific school once you begin your teaching work.
You should plan on completing the online application in one sitting. The sooner you submit your application and deposit, the sooner we can start reviewing your application, set up your interview, and hear about your acceptance. With your application and deposit out of the way, you can start planning your upcoming adventure!
- Select the APPLY NOW button to the left. You will be sent your unique link to your online application immediately via email.
- Using the unique link emailed to you, fill out the general information application. This includes things like your name, address and chosen start date. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.
- Once your Terms and Conditions are completed and signed, you’ll submit your $300 application deposit (non-refundable). A deposit is required in order to interview and to reserve your spot in the program. It is subtracted from your total program fee, not an additional fee. Only if we are unable to accept or place you for some reason, we will refund your deposit. Once the deposit is submitted we can begin preparing you for your adventure abroad.
- Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. Links to this part will be emailed to you as well. In this section, you’ll tell us about your medical history, your motivation for joining the program, and your host family preferences.
- Schedule your Skype interview! Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application deposit, you will be asked to schedule a Skype interview with a Greenheart Travel representative. If you do not have a Skype account, please be sure to create an account before the date of your interview.
- Submit your required documents at the link provided.
- Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment deposit to confirm your spot on the program.
- Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure!
- Signed Electronic Terms & Conditions
- Background Check (Securely run by Greenheart Travel for US Citizens. Non-US Citizens must obtain their own National Level Background Check and submit it to Greenheart Travel prior to acceptance).
- Scanned Bachelor’s Degree (if applicable)
- Scanned Passport
Reviewing Your Application
Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 weeks to confirm your acceptance. This can only be done after we have all of your required documents, so please email those documents to us as soon as you have them. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. In some cases if you apply very early, it may take longer to obtain an acceptance decision. We will keep you updated in these situations.
Still looking for more info on the program? Check out these great resources!
Join our Facebook group to talk to past, currents, and future teachers
Read more about the financial and personal benefits of this program.
Read our reviews at GoOverseas.