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.

    Greenheart Travel’s program is ideal if you:

    • Want a full cultural immersion and a new Italian family of your own
    • Want to experience the true Italian lifestyle, in places tourists rarely see
    • Maybe didn’t get to study abroad in college but still want to experience Europe for 3 months
    • Can’t wait to embrace the Italian culture. Bring it on!

    At a Glance:

    • Volunteer teaching assistant positions in local Italian high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools
    • 15-18 classroom teaching hours per week
    • Placements throughout Italy
    • Accommodation with volunteer Italian host family, including meals
    • 2 or 3-month program with September, December, and February start dates
  • Program Dates

    Upcoming Dates   

    • September 21, 2024 – December 14, 2024
    • December 1, 2024 – February 17, 2024
    • February 15, 2025- May 11, 2025

    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.

  • 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, South Africa, USA, Canada, 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

    *What does it mean to be in good mental health?  

    Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful. Sending someone with pre-existing conditions on a long-term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges they were previously facing. Additionally, mental health resources are different in every country. The perception of mental health conditions as well as mental health care, support, and understanding are very different in Italy than in the USA. In order to ensure the safety of our travelers, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all applicants.

    Therefore, we may not be able to accept those who have struggled with mental disorders within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental disorder. Each person will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

    These include, but are not limited to:

    • Mood disorders
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Eating disorders
    • Cognitive and developmental disorders

    If the traveler reports a mental disorder on their application, we may ask for a doctor’s note as part of the application. While Greenheart will work hard with our partners to place you, due to cultural norms in the host country, there is no guarantee that even with a doctor’s note, you will be placed.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to make any exceptions to these requirements. 

  • Costs and Inclusions

    2024 program fee:

    2 months –  $1840

    3 months – $2150


    This program provides an incredible opportunity to live inexpensively in Europe for three months, all while having an invaluable cultural immersion experience. For about $500 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.

    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
    • Access to  Greenheart Travel Facebook groups to connect with alumni and others on your start date ahead of your program.
    • Greenheart Atlas Program 

    Our Support and Services: 

    • Extensive pre-departure advice and support from your program manager! They 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):

    • Federal background check ($20-$50)
    • Airfare to Torino or Milan ($600 – $800)
    • Personal spending money or money spent traveling on the weekends

    Payment Details:

    • $300 Application Fee is due to move onto the interview  
      • Refunded if you are not accepted 
    • $300 Commitment Payment due after acceptance 
      • Confirms your spot on a start date 
    • Remaining Balance Due 60 Days Prior to Start Date: $1190

    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.

    Wondering where exactly your program fee goes? Here is a breakdown.

  • Placements

    Teaching Assistants will be placed throughout Italy. Schools are usually located 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 country. 

    In previous years, 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!

    Click here to see a Google map where our Italian English Teachers have been placed in the past!

    Amazing placement cities throughout Piedmont, like Liz’s placement in Roletto!

  • Teaching Responsibilities

    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. 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.


  • Accommodation

    You will live with an Italian host family throughout the program. This is an amazing opportunity to truly live like 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.

    Greenheart Traveler, Mercedes, and her Italian host family.

  • Orientation

    An online orientation will be arranged at arrival. 

    During orientation, you’ll have an introduction to the region and what to expect in the classroom.

    Currently, orientation is online. We hope to resume in-person soon! 

  • 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.


    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.

    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!

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Do I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19?

    Greenheart Travel strongly recommends that travelers be vaccinated against COVID-19. That being said, a COVID-19 vaccine is no longer mandatory for placement.

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application HereYou will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application.

    2. Submit Basic Program Information: The first step in our application portal will be basic things like your chosen start date, etc.

    3. Submit your application Fee: A $300 fee is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your Application Fee in full.

    4. Complete Application & Documents: Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts. You will also submit your documents (below) within your portal account.

    5. Video Interview: Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application fee, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    6. You’re Accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    7. Commitment Payment: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment payment within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program. Once you submit your commitment payment you will unlock the acceptance portion of your portal, which includes things like pre-departure videos, travel and arrival information, the Greenheart Travel Atlas, and more.

    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to Italy!

    Required Documents

    • Signed Electronic Terms & Conditions
    • Federal background check
      • Run for free for US citizens in your application portal
      • Non-US Citizens need to upload a check from their home country
    • Resume
    • Scanned Bachelor’s Degree (if applicable)
    • Scanned Passport
  • Why Greenheart Travel?

    Greenheart Travel has been working in Italy for many years, and there are advantages of applying for this program through us:

    • 33 years of experience with cultural exchange programs
    • Friendly, responsive, and professional support from your program manager.
    • Connect with alumni and others on the program via our Greenheart Travel only Facebook forums, before you even leave!
    • Greenheart Atlas Program. The Greenheart Travel Atlas is a cultural training interactive guidebook alongside five videos where you will find three main topics covered: Personal/Professional Development, Cultural Understanding, & Environmental Awareness.
    • Our alumni recommend us! GoOverseas.com Reviews // GoAbroad.com Reviews
    • Hands-on support and personal attention every step of the way
    • 24/7 emergency phone number to reach a staff member at any time
    • Pre-departure “Culture Shock and Adjustment” Webinar before you leave
    • Discounts for future Greenheart Travel programs
    • We are a non-profit, mission-based organization
    • Continued support throughout your contract

    We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Travel teachers and alumni!

    Greenheart Grants

    Greenheart Grants are funds awarded to Greenheart Travel participants to use for community development projects in their host or home country. A Greenheart Grant is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see our past winners on our blog here.

    Greenheart Alumni Program

    We created the Greenheart Travel Alumni Program to provide resources and a community to support alumni in their advancement as global leaders, and a way to celebrate and reward our participants for being ambitious, inspiring catalysts of cultural exchange!

    Greenheart Global Leaders Conference

    Each August Greenheart offers full-ride scholarships to over 40 alumni to attend our annual conference in Washington, DC. Participants even get a chance to advocate for cultural exchange in a presentation to the US Department of State. You can see more about what GGLC is and what you could do at the conference here.

  • Schedule a Call

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

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