Teaching English in Perugia, Italy
Report submitted on 21 December, 2014 by Carole.
Teaching English in Perugia, Italy:
How can teachers find teaching jobs in Perugia, Italy?
There are many local private language schools. They don’t tend to advertise for teachers as they have a constant stream of people looking for jobs who contact them so all it takes is a phone call to the schools to express interest.
A notice in your local bar to find private pupils often works.
Word of mouth is king! Once you get started people find you out!
The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, part time English language school positions, private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.)
The language schools often give you the opportunity to work outside of the school at companies or where they get external contracts.
What are the minimum teaching requirements?
For private language schools TEFL is ok, but they often look for some sort of further education (degree level).
If you have good references and previous experience and TEFL you will find work.
To work in a state school in Italy is almost impossible as an incomer.
What teaching requirements would you recommend?
TEFL, C1 English, neutral accent, some experience
What are the levels of payment?
Terrible!! usually about €10 an hour net. If you get to work on specific programmes funded with European money that can jump to €20 an hour. But such work is rare. Most work in private schools is on a ‘casual contract’ basis. So no guarantee of hours! Sometimes you can negotiate a tax contribution from your employer which takes your gross hourly rate to about €15
How many teaching days a week is normal?
6 days per week.
How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
0-40 hours per week. Face to face teaching hours depends on part-time/full-time work – it could be anything up to 40 hours
What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
Holidays are taken by arrangement and are not paid
What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Italy to teach English?
Consider the location carefully. The north of Italy is rich, the south very poor (and I’m not just talking money!). Working in a city or working in a more rural region will give you different experiences. Outside of teaching what are your interests? Culture? try Florence or Venice …. Rural pursuits? Try central Umbria or the south.
Its easy to travel north/south in Italy. Harder to travel across west/east both on trains or roads. So position yourself where the life outside of teaching is stimulating for you.
What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Perugia, Italy?
I teach mostly adults on a one to one basis. Occasional other conversation classes or project with groups of adults so I get an insight into all areas of Italian life, education and their values. Its stimulating and challenging. I teach my mother tongue but for me teaching is very much a two way experience. I learn so much everyday! and so I receive as well as give.
What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Perugia, Italy?
Living in Italy is enthralling on a good day and the most frustrating experience on this planet on a bad day. That carries through work and living. The Italians are delightful. Their processes are terrible. Face to face with the student – great. Trying to negotiate fair treatment for yourself? Good luck with that!
What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
The challenges of teaching are the same where ever you are. Mostly I am teaching people who want to learn and who are paying for the privilege so that’s an easy situation. You need to be inventive and interesting as a person and in your teaching and need the psychology to get the best out of your pupils whoever they are.
The people I teach, even the very well educated ones (lawyers, solicitors, politicians, doctors, engineers) are in general very unaware of the world outside of Italy. They don’t travel widely (except for city culture) or read widely or consider the rest of the world. That’s challenging!! They believe (conditioned from an early age) that Italy is the best – but they don’t know what the rest of the world holds!! That’s my biggest challenge.
Living in Perugia, Italy:
Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Italy?
Europeans can live and work here. After 3 months you should become a resident … and the current tax laws mean that if you work here and live here for the majority of the year you must declare WORLD WIDE income and be taxed accordingly.
EH1C covers you for medical care for 3 months, then once a resident you should be able to access the Health Service System. But it isn’t always easy. And it is not free at point of contact like in UK. You pay a contribution for every blood test, xray etc …. and that can add up.
What is the cost of living like in Italy?
If you live a careful and simple life style it is ok. If you need a car insurance is astronomical! In general I would say the cost of living is quite high. But it depends what you are comparing it too! Compared with UK food and clothes are expensive. There are many ‘hidden’ costs to existing even quite simply.
What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
There is much accommodation to rent. The cost depends on location and standard you require. There are letting agencies, newspaper ads and often local universities or language schools have lists of possible accommodation. Again word or mouth, if you get talking in the local bar or know anyone locally…….
Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Perugia, Italy?
The challenge of living in a different country. The need to open your mind and heart and embrace your host countries way of doing things.
Access to a different culture.
Seasons! It is hot in summer and cold in winter and wet at other times.
Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Perugia, Italy?
The red tape, expense of living.
What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Perugia, Italy to live?
Don’t come here chasing a dream. If you do, you will be disappointed. And probably find yourself in a nightmare!!
Be pragmatic. Plan. Plan for the best and for the worst as you will experience both.
What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
The ease of being able to use my own language, specially when I am tired or ill.
Theatre and entertainment.
Concerts – music of all types being easily accessible
What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country (e.g. things that are difficult to get in your location)?
Other than essential personal possessions don’t do that! if you are coming here embrace what there is here!
Or have I misunderstood the question? This is Italy – mid Europe. You can get all you need, if not all you want!
What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Perugia, Italy?
I have no plans to leave Italy. I cant envisage a situation that would allow me to return to the UK
It can be wonderful, but it isn’t easy. So think hard before you make your decision. Once your decision is made throw yourself into with gusto and enjoy!
About Me and My Work:
My Name: Carole
Students I’ve taught in Italy: Pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), high school (15-18 years), university, adults, business.
Where I teach: Oxford Language School, Master School 2000, Perugia. I also teach privately – all my private students are adult, professionals, under 50 years old. Working here for 4 years.
How I found my current jobs: Oxford school had been given my name and they phoned me. Oxford School recommended me to Master School 2000.
I was recommended to private pupils via social contacts..
My school facilities: Adequate – We need to move to Digital books, avoid photocopying, need sound proof rooms and a staff room.
Teacher support at my school: Peer support / training.
Do you teach English in Italy?
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2 comments on “Teaching English in Italy – Perugia”
Hallo Carole, I read with interest your comments for Perugia and let’s say do agree with most of them especially their past pax romana centered world they believe to be true. I came to Perugia 18 months ago and passed the B1 exam in Italian with the idea of establishing domicile here.
Mothertongue English and French, I’ve worked 15 years in Germany (now fluent in German), I was wondering if I could teach English and/or French to Italian professional/business people ? Even if this means travelling to their offices or homes ? Kind Regards Steven Tel 380 209 2101
I wondered if you would be happy to correspond via email with me, as my husband and I are hoping to move to Perugia in 2019 with our 4 daughters and I have SO many questions.
We are Australian, and both work as lawyers. We don’t speak any italian but plan to learn as much as we can over the next three years. Our children will be 18, 16, 13 and 9 years old when we move.
I would love to hear from you if you are happy to answer questions about your experience.