Teach English in Italy

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  • Overview

    Do you dream of living in the land of pasta, gelato, wineries, and endless history to explore? This is your chance to live in Italy for 3 months and experience the culture with full immersion, by living with an Italian host family. Spend your weeks at a local school teaching English and learning about the local culture, and spend your weekends exploring Italy and Europe.

    At a Glance:

    • Teaching assistant positions in local Italian high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools
    • 15-18 classroom teaching hours per week
    • Placements throughout the Piemonte (Piedmont) region
    • Accommodation with volunteer Italian host family, including meals
    • 3-month program with September or February start dates
    • Read more about the financial and personal benefits of this program

    Have questions for a program manager? Email us at travelapplications@greenheart.org

    Learn all about Italy and 5 Tips to Know Before You Go:


  • Program Dates

    Upcoming Dates   

    September 25, 2019 – December 12, 2019 (Deadline: May 31st)

    February 2020 — TBD

    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 why European visa regulations can make it difficult for North Americans to be paid for work in Europe and why it’s worth it to pay to teach in Italy.

  • Eligibility

    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
    • Must be open minded, flexible, and adaptable
    • Must be prepared to make your teaching placement and getting to know your 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!

  • Reviews

    “I learned a lot during this experience. I had lovely host families, I especially bonded with the first family and I already miss them so much! I always felt very welcome by the families, neighbors, teachers, students and everyone else in the small town I lived in…”

    – Cassie Porritt

    “The best part of the program for me is being around other teaching assistants. Almost everyone in the program is in the Piedmont region, with Turin being the central city. Although we are all spread out, most of us have no problem getting into Turin for drinks or dinner, and many of us have done traveling together. It’s so reassuring to know that there are others you can call on if you have questions or concerns, or just want to vent about the things you miss from home…” – Anna Gill

    Read more of our reviews on GoOverseas.com

  • Costs and Inclusions

    Program fee: $1050 USD

    This program provides an incredible opportunity to live inexpensively in Europe for three months, all while having an invaluable cultural immersion experience. For about $350 a month, all of your living expenses are covered – insurance, meals, and accommodation are provided on the program. For North Americans, paid teaching jobs in the European Union are extremely rare so this is a chance to live in Italy with minimal costs.

    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. This program allows you to live in Europe for a much cheaper price tag you’ll find anywhere else.

    Packaged into the Price:

    • Guaranteed teaching placement in Italy
    • Arranged accommodation with your volunteer host family
    • International Medical and Accident Insurance for the full duration of your program
    • Airport pickup and transfer to hotel in Torino
    • 2-3 Day Arrival Orientation in stunning Torino (check out some photos here!)
    • Hostel accommodation and meals provided during orientation in Torino
    • Access to Greenheart Travel Facebook groupsto connect with alumni and others on your start date ahead of your program.
    • Greenheart Atlas Program 
    • Greenheart Travel T-shirt & Greenheart Stickers

    Our Support and Services: 

    • Extensive pre-departure advice and support from Savannah, your program manager! She has visited the program herself and will be able to answer all your questions and tell you what teaching and living in Italy is like! She will be with you from your first inquiry, all the way through preparing to leave and your arrival in Italy.
    • Online webinar logistical orientation before you leave
    • Highly experienced team of in-country support staff members
    • 24-hour in-country and emergency support for the duration of the program, including 24-hour emergency phone numbers to reach a program manager at any time.
    • Opportunity to apply for a Greenheart Grant to give back to your community at home or abroad

    Additional Expenses You’ll Need to Cover (Estimates):

    • Airfare to Torino or Milan ($600 – $800)
    • Transportation to Torino if flying into Milan
    • Personal spending money or money spent traveling on the weekends

    Payment Details:

    • $300 Initial Deposit due to move onto the interview  
      • Refunded if you are not accepted 
    • $300 Commitment Deposit due after acceptance 
      • Confirms your spot on a start date 
    • Remaining Balance Due 6 Weeks Prior to Start Date: $400

    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 orientation, logistical support, and insurance. Read more here.

    Host families on the Teach in Italy program are volunteers and do not receive a payment or stipend to host teaching assistants. Host families are interested in the cultural aspect of the program and are excited to host you for that reason.


  • Placements

    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 usually located all throughout the beautiful Piedmont region 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. 

    Teachers have been placed at a wide variety of placements, from downtown Torino to beautiful farmstead/wineries in the hills of the Piedmont region. Read more about potential placement cities here.

    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 Piedmont region in the Lombardy, Veneto or Friuli regions.

    Click on the map of Italy to see where our English Teachers have been placed!

    map updated

    Teaching Responsibilities & Expectations

    While you will arrive with a group of fellow teachers, it’s likely that you will be the only foreign teacher in your school and town. While you can meet up with your friends from orientation on the weekends, you must also be independent and open to being without other assistants at many times. 

    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.


  • Optional TEFL Course

    While no certification is required for this program, an education in ESL teaching methods is extremely helpful in your classroom experience!

    Therefore, we are excited to offer a special discount on the Online TEFL Certification Course. This will allow our teachers to get formal ESL training alongside the hands-on experience of their teaching program. Alumni of the online course receive lifetime job placement assistance, opening up great opportunities for future teaching positions around the world.

    Adding the 170-hour online course is perfect if you want:

    • To teach abroad in a school again in the future
    • To save time – the 20 practicum hours required by the course are fulfilled by your teaching program
    • A flexible course designed to fit around your schedule

    As a Teacher in Italy, you’ll get $100 off your course! Read more about the course here!

  • Accommodation

    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

    Veronica with her host brothers, family and fellow teachers.

  • Orientation

    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.

    Orientation in Torino!

  • FAQs

    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!

    Our teachers do travel on some of their weekends, however, and visit places all around Europe like Paris, Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre, Prague, and more. This is a great program to have a group of friends to explore Europe with. Check out some of our travelers in Italy through the eyes of their travel photos.

    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 and we, therefore, cannot honor specific placement location requests. Applicants must be willing and able to be flexible about their placement location. Each placement has its own unique features. Past participants have lived ranging from downtown Torino to smaller towns on beautiful hilltops, to host families with wineries!

    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?

    This program is designed to provide local schools with foreign language teachers that they otherwise would not be able to afford.

    Additionally, 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, Ireland, etc. 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. 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, we are unable to extend the program any longer than three months, due to the 90 day restriction on the EU 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?

    This completely depends on the placement, but most people have friends or other English teachers close by. Remember that everyone is placed in the same region of Italy. There will not be more than one teacher per school, however. We are trying to impact and provide this service for as many schools as possible. If you are in a larger town or city, it is possible that there may be other teachers in the same city. In general, the region is relatively small. 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.

  • Application Process

    1. You can start the application here: Greenheart Travel Application. This first step includes things like your name, address and chosen start date and should take around 10-15 minutes to complete. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.
    2. Sign our online Terms and Conditions Document. These are our basic policies like cancellation policies, deferral policies, etc.
    3. Submit your $300 deposit. A deposit is required in order to move on to the second round of applications and is subtracted from your total program fee. We only have the resources to interview serious applicants for this program, which is why we require the deposit ahead of the interview. We get thousands of applications each year, and while we wish we could meet everyone, we only have the time to interview those who are committed to participating. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full. 
    4. Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. Links to this part will be emailed to you. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts.
    5. Submit your required documents (below) at the link provided.
    6. Schedule your video interview! Once you have submitted your online application and paid your initial deposit, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.
    7. You’re accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within a 1-2 weeks of their interviews.
    8. Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment deposit within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program.
    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to Italy!

    Required Documents

    • 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).
    • Resume
    • Scanned Bachelor’s Degree (if applicable)
    • Scanned Passport
  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk to the program manager, Savannah? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

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