Florence, Italy is synonymous with romance, art and culture. Imagine strolling down winding cobble stone paths, locals sipping coffee in cozy street cafes, and the smell of pastries drifting through the air as you walk to class. Florence is called the “Cradle of the Renaissance” and it is ever apparent in the architecture and the ambience. Joining a TEFL certification program in this history-rich city seems natural.

Photo Credit: Katherine Knecht

Florence, Italy is a spectacular city to receive a TEFL certification as options abound. If you are looking to book a specific time, make your reservation at least two months in advance as programs do fill up. Program costs generally only include course fees and books with flights, visas, housing and personal expenses up to the individual. Many require students to be 18 years old, have a High School diploma or GED, and be a native English speaker or have near-native English competence. Check each program’s requirements thoroughly before making any deposits.

Four-week Intensive Courses

Four-week courses are the most common to be found throughout Florence and Italy as a whole. Classes generally start every month and with the abundance of programs, it would not be difficult to find one that fits with any schedule. With most programs, classes are Monday through Friday, six to eight hours a day incorporating both class time and practice teaching. Although short, these intensive courses should still include at least 100 hours of classroom instruction and 20 hours of classroom practice teaching. The International TEFL Academy offers courses like this in Florence.

Online + Weekend Course

Some people can't take a month off from life to get their TEFL certification. This is why the 140-Hour Blended Learning TEFL Certificate from Teaching English in Italy was created. It is a great option for those who want the hands on experience of teacher training in idyllic Florence, but cannot stay an entire month. Students can take the 120-hour online, five module course at their own pace before or after their time abroad. On-location 20-hour weekend classes are offered on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, seven weekends out of the year. The program costs an average of $550 USD, an unbeatable price for a TEFL certificate with applied teacher training. Teaching English in Italy also helps find hotel accommodations upon request.

20-Hour Weekend Course

For those truly pressed for time or just looking to dip their foot into the TEFL pool, there is the stand alone 20-Hour Weekend TEFL Course provided by Teaching English in Italy. Set in Florence, classes take place over a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday but are only offered seven weekends out of the year, so be sure to sign up in advance. Students taking this course bolster their English teaching knowledge, meet with experienced trainers, and receive advice regarding teaching English in Italy and abroad. At about $270 USD, Teaching English in Italy’s 20-Hour TEFL certificate is a great way to start a journey with TEFL certifications.

When and Where to Look

Bursting with TEFL programs, Florence has TEFL certification courses to suite every learner. With so many options, students can find a class starting nearly any time of year. It is best to enroll online in advance, as classes do fill up. To find the best fit, check out International TEFL Academy, ITTT, Teaching English in Italy, Via Lingua, and Bridge TEFL for lists of TEFL certification programs in Florence.

Qualifications

Each program has slightly varied prerequisites to enroll. Some require students to be 20 years old, others age 18 if special consent is obtained. Most desire a high school diploma or GED. Individuals staying less than three months in Italy as tourists or students do not need a special visa, just a passport stamp at the airport. For individuals staying in Italy longer than three months, a visa is required. It is important to note, an entrance visa must be issued by an Italian consulate before arriving. The process takes several weeks and must be completed outside of Italy.

Individuals already in Italy need to leave and come back to become a resident. After entering the country, a Permit of Stay is required from a designated National Post Office, which is then brought to any local Vital Statistics Bureau to receive a Certificate of Residence. Be sure to check the US Embassy website for up to date information about Italian visa requirements.

Post-TEFL Resources

Nearly every major program has ongoing job placement assistance for students after graduating. Part of the teaching curriculum is instructing students how to highlight their resumes, write a CV, and advise on finding jobs in Italy or elsewhere after the program. In addition, larger programs such as International TEFL Academy and ITTT have databases, directories and contacts at schools to assist graduates in the search for teaching positions. For those looking to teach in Italy, school usually begins in September, but it is best to start looking in February. When selecting a job, be sure to ask about salary, classroom supplies, and what school assistance is provided for teachers before making any commitments.

Cost of Living

While most four-week programs help organize accommodations for students, the cost is in addition to the course fee. Usual options include a shared apartment with a fellow TEFL student, a shared apartment with an Italian student, a studio apartment or an Italian family homestay. Choosing to live inside the city center can place rent at nearly $850 USD while outside the city center lowers to around $650 USD. As with any city or country, the cost of living depends on where within it an individual resides. Numbeo.com is a great resource to use whenever determining costs in another country. In Italy, a monthly public transport pass is close to $50 USD, an inexpensive restaurant meal could cost around $15 to $20 USD and a beer is about $6 USD.

Contributed by Alecia Weaver

Programs

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