Though difficult, study abroad is a promising area for finding a job in Italy. There are over 100 American schools in Italy, all of which hire people to teach courses and administer their programs. Working in study abroad can be exiting, but it can also offer more stability and (possibly) better pay than other types of jobs open to foreigners in Italy.
How does one find such a job? Unfortunately, there is no standard road to follow. There are a few strategies that can lead to success, but persistence and patience are key.
- First, know the outlets for job postings. While many openings are never advertised because they are filled quickly, the best place to look is Wanted in Rome, which is an English-language magazine appealing to the ex-pat community in Italy. You can freely view job postings on their web site. Another good prospect is the NAFSA web site (the Association of International Educators), which posts many jobs in study abroad generally. The Chronicle of Higher Education’s job section occasionally posts something for Italy as well.
- Mine the AACUPI web site (the Association of American College and University Programs in Italy). AACUPI represents American study abroad programs in Italy and is recognized by the Italian Government. It has about 90 members, most in Florence and Rome, though many American schools in Italy do not belong to AACUPI. The AACUPI web site lists all of its member schools and most of the names and email addresses of the directors of these schools. Write a cover letter explaining your interest in working at a school, attach a resume and email it to a director. You might be ignored, but you may also get some interesting responses.
- You might get your foot in the door by starting as an intern, which could lead to a paying job. These positions may not pay, but could offer housing. The best way to find an internship is to email program directors and ask. Even if a school does not have an internship program, you could offer yourself as one. Study abroad programs in Italy are just coming around to the idea. It is free labor and it is legally easier to have an intern than to hire someone who may not yet have the legal right to work in Italy.
- The single best strategy to land a job in study abroad in Italy is to take the risk and go there and seek a job after you have arrived. Once you are there you can visit schools in person. Why is this the best strategy? For one, it proves to a prospective employer that you are willing to leave the comforts of home and show up at a job site in a foreign country. Finding reliable people is often difficult for a school, especially for those located outside of Florence and Rome. Also by meeting people in study abroad, you will discover things that you cannot learn from afar—such as job openings that are not advertised or how to navigate the local bureaucracy. If you make yourself familiar and available to a school, you might get hired temporarily, which could lead to a full-time job.