Cinque Terre in Italy
Cinque Terre in Italy. Photo ©

Babelphotography, licensed under CC0 1.0 and adapted from the original.

Applications for the 2019-20 English Language Assistants programme are open now.

Why choose Italy?

The diversity of Italian cultural heritage, its scenic beauty, fantastic food and modern cities make Italy a fascinating place to live. From the historical sights of Rome to the picturesque lakes, you’ll never be short of somewhere to spend your free time.

  • There are around 60 posts a year available in schools across the country.
  • The majority of posts are in secondary schools, although a small number are available in primary schools.
  • You will be in post from 1 October 2019 to 31 May 2020 and work around 12 hours per week.

Am I eligible?

To be a language assistant in Italy, you must:

  • fulfil the general eligibility criteria
  • hold a UK or Irish passport (other EU passports are not eligible)
  • have B1-level Italian.

We prioritise applications from undergraduates who are studying Italian at a UK university and for whom it is compulsory to spend a year abroad. However, we will also accept applications from final year undergraduates and graduates. Competition for posts in Italy is high. It is therefore unlikely that we will be able to confirm any posts for final year undergraduates and graduates before July.

You are likely to be asked to provide a medical certificate upon starting your assistantship in Italy. This is a requirement of our partner organisation. Once your post is confirmed, we will provide a template for your medical certificate. All you will need to do is go to your GP in the UK before starting your assistantship and ask them to certify your general health. Some GPs may charge for a full examination if they deem this necessary.

Where can I go?

Assistantships are available in the following regions of Italy:

  • GROUP A: Trentino-Alto Adige - Basilicata - Calabria - Molise - Sardinia - Sicilia - Umbria
  • GROUP B: Abruzzo - Campania - Friuli - Marche - Piemonte - Puglia
  • GROUP C: Emilia Romagna - Lazio - Liguria - Lombardia - Toscana - Veneto.

If you wish to express an area preference, you must choose one region from Group A, one from Group B and one from any of the three groups. We recommend you research possible destinations thoroughly before applying.

The number and location of posts available vary each year, and we cannot guarantee that there will be posts in each of the regions above. Applicants must therefore be flexible and willing to accept a placement in regions they have not listed.

Emilia Romagna, Lazio, Lombardia and Toscana are the most popular first-choice regions, so competition for these locations is high.

Posts in the Trentino-Alto-Adige region can be located in either the province of Alto Adige (a predominantly German-speaking region), or the province of Trentino (a predominantly Italian-speaking region). We usually have ten posts in this region. These are spread across German-speaking, Italian-speaking and Ladin-speaking towns. Candidates studying for a joint degree in German and Italian will be given priority over other candidates for these posts. Please clearly indicate in the section 'Reasons for your preference' whether you are applying for a post in Trentino or Alto Adige.

How much will I be paid?

You will earn around €850 net per month. Some schools may offer meals and accommodation, with salaries adjusted accordingly.

What is the application timeline?

  • February-April: some candidates may be contacted during this time if we need clarification on aspects of their application, or if a language test is required.
  • April-May: candidates find out if their application has been forwarded to our Italian partner organisation.
  • May: candidates find out whether they have been allocated to a country or have been placed on a waiting list. 
  • June: candidates find out the region they have been allocated to.
  • July-August: candidates are contacted directly by the Ministry of Education in Italy regarding the location of their post and school(s).

Successful candidates take up their posts in October 2019.

For more information, download our English language assistant lifecyle (PDF, 800KB).

Will there be an induction course?

You may be invited to an induction course in Italy (to be confirmed for academic year 2019-20), which in previous years has been held in Turin. If not, the British Council will provide a pre-departure briefing, either in our UK offices or via webinar.

I'm currently a language assistant in Italy – can I apply again?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to stay for a consecutive year in Italy. Current language assistants in Italy are welcome to apply for an assistantship in any other country for which they meet the eligibility criteria. Please submit a new application using the online form.

Back to the main English Language Assistants page.