Why should I choose your program in Florence?
Our school is dedicated to the concept of intercultural exchange through language with the intention to provide deeper cultural understanding and awareness through our teaching. Therefore, we are committed to offering a range of services that encompass our vision. We believe that language teaching, learning and cultural understanding go beyond the textbook and the classroom. We seek to provide authentic experiences that will impact individuals as students, future teachers and world citizens. Our goal is to install a capacity for cultural sensitivity that transcends individuals' experiences. Our hope is that this will become and remain fundamental in many aspects of their lives, including career, relationships, travel, and understanding of their individual role in a global society.
How hard is it to get a visa to enter Italy for non-European native-English speakers and for non-Europeans who are non-native English speakers?
Our center can write the students a visa letter to obtain a visa and it is fairly easy to get one. Plus, the students can work for up to 20 hours per week, legally, with a student visa! In order to get the visa letter, they will need to pay for the entire course beforehand and provide a series of paperwork to their Italian consulate. We will help when you get to that point.
How can I see my own country's requirements for an Italian visa?
You need to contact the Italian consulate in your country since each consulate is different and the requirements may change slightly. As a rule, your need to submit the following: Paid invoice for entire course Proof of health insurance Proof of address or at least expect accommodation address in Florence Invitation letter and certificate from our school (after paying the full fee)
What are the requirements to teach in Italy? Is it required to have a BA or just TEFL certificate?
It depends, but even teachers without a BA can find jobs easily if they have a TEFL certificate.
How difficult is it for a non-European to teach in Italy?
If they have a visa, it is no problem at all (see above info for student visas). If they don't, then it is a bit more difficult, but schools may often sponsor their teachers as students in order to maintain their student visa status.
Do you or employers assist with work permits or is it more common for graduates to just teach with their tourist visas?
While it is very common for students to teach with their tourist visas, it is better to get the student visa (see above).
How much is the taxi transportation from the airport to the school?
It is about 20 Euros. Our students go directly to their accommodations, and it should cost around 20 Euros as there is a flat rate from the airport. They need to ask the driver before departing, though.
Do you have a pick-up service or any connections to a local taxi service? Can people book a taxi pick up in advance?
Yes, they can book a taxi but it is very easy to get the bus to the city center or a taxi directly from the airport.
Which is the airport they should arrive to?
Florence is the best. Pisa is also good. Rome, Milan, and Venice work, too, but it is much easier to come into Florence or Pisa.
How far is the airport to the school?
About 10-15 min from the school and the city center.
What is the difference between a TEFL, TESOL and TESL?
TEFL, TESOL, TESL are virtually the same, just variations on wordings. These certifications are all dedicated to teaching English as a foreign or second language.
TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Second or Other Languages) and
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) are standard terms for
English language teaching in non-English speaking countries.
TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and TEAL (Teaching English
as an Additional Language) are normally related to English teaching
among immigrant and refugee communities in English-speaking countries.
TEFL and TESL are more frequently used in Europe as acronyms while
TESOL and TEAL are more commonly used in North America.
The idea of moving abroad kind of scares me. What advice can you give me?
This is completely normal. Most of our graduates experience some anxiety with the idea of moving abroad and beginning a new career. Understand that there have been hundreds of students that have gone through the same procedure that you are doing right now. For most of them, teaching was a recent idea and not something they had planned their whole life.
Why is it recommended to have a B.A. or work experience?
Simply because the course is demanding, applicants with a good work ethic and/or experience with studying long hours should not have a problem. People without work or college experience may find the program too stressful or difficult and are more unlikely to successfully finish it. If you feel you can handle the course, contact us for an evaluation.
What should I bring with me?
Clothes for warm and cold weather are a must. During the program, students are expected to look and conduct themselves in a professional manner, and it is actually a part of their grade. So bring a set of clothes for work. Other important information on what to bring can be emailed if requested. All students who apply for the course receive extensive arrival information about 4 weeks before their course begins.
How early should I apply?
You need to sign up at least 2 weeks before a course session. If you need to change your date later on, simply let us know.
I do not have any teaching experience. Is this a problem?
No. As long as you have the interest and motivation to become a good teacher, you will not have a problem during the course or in your teaching career. Our school will send you a list of recommended readings and other useful information upon receiving your application.
I have a lot of teaching experience. Will the course be worth it?
Yes it will. Having experience is not the same as being properly trained. Many of our students have been teaching for years, and they have all found the course to be worth it. Being trained will make teaching much more enjoyable for you and your future students. Also, having a 4 Week Certificate will open up many doors in terms of jobs and further teaching education.
How will I get around the city? Will I need a car?
Absolutely not. Due to the city's excellent public transportation, which consists of buses, subways, and street trams, it is extremely easy to get around the city.
How much money do I need?
It is highly recommended to have the equivalent of at least $2500 in savings to cover extra expenses for a period of six months to a year. You may never need this money, but it's nice to be able to travel, eat out, go to concerts and really enjoy Florence. The biggest complaint that many people have is that they wished they had brought more money with them so they could see and do more things. Also, remember that it will cost money to get your own apartment after the course, as well as living expenses during the course.
Do you accept non-native English speakers? If so, is there a pre-screening process that they should go through?
Yes, we accept non-native English speakers. Before enrolling they need to send a 300-word essay stating why they wish to take the program. Then, we will schedule a Skype interview.
Do I need a visa for Florence?
Every country has different visa requirements. Please contact the Italian embassy in your country. All US, Canadian passport holders can take our course with only the tourist visa, so that is no problem. The tourist visa is valid for 90 days but it does not allow the students to work legally in this country. If you would like to stay and legally work for up to 20 hours per week, then we can write them a visa letter which they then have to submit to the Italian consulate in their respective countries. We can write the letter that would give them up to 6 months to complete the coursework. After that, they would need to leave or find a way to extend the visa.
How many hours a day is class?
School is from Monday to Friday and is approximately six to eight hours a day.
How many students will be in the class?
We limit the number of students per course to 14. Most of the time there will be 6-10 other students in the class with you.
What materials should I bring?
All teaching materials are provided for you except for things like pens and notebooks. These are easy to buy here, but you can bring your own if you like. It's also a good idea to bring English materials e.g. newspapers, magazines, music ... etc. The use of authentic resources, as you will learn, is often more effective than using a textbook.
Where and with whom will I be living?
All apartments are centrally located in Florence with two to three trainees sharing an apartment. They are pretty nice. Each person gets his/her own room. You will live with other students taking the course.
What if I have some problems or there is an emergency and I cannot attend the course?
Our school is very understanding about the problems that can occur while living abroad. If there is a serious problem, efforts will be made to resolve it as fairly as possible. What is nice about our school is that you can always forward your one-time deposit to a later or earlier month without any kind of fee. If you are sick during the course, you will have to make up the work.
What if the course is too hard and I don't pass?
Yes, the course is difficult, but our staff is more than willing to help students individually in whatever areas of the course they are having trouble with. Motivation and the willingness to improve demonstrate a lot and are highly regarded.
Has anyone ever failed the course?
No, but keep in mind that our school is in no way a TEFL mill and an automatic pass is one thing that they do not do. While they will do everything possible to give you the best training and attention, there have been students who have not passed. Most of the time, this is due to a lack of professionalism on the part of the student. Our school demands a lot from you and it is unethical for us to pass a student who does not care about teaching or conducts themselves in a negative way. Not attending class, showing up late, being disrespectful and showing disregard for the course is a sure way to fail. If you are not interested in working hard during this month, it would be better to take another course with a different provider.
I am more interested in working in another country. Do I have to work in Florence?
Of course not, many graduates are interested in other countries and only take the course in Florence as a starting point.
Will I get a job after I graduate?
Yes. We will assist you with job guidance, job contacts and direct job offers worldwide. The highest qualifications you have the easier and faster you will be able to find a teaching position. Finally, there are available positions in Florence provided upon graduation. If you are not a native speaker, you will still find work, but it might take more time.
Will I earn enough money?
If you work a standard 20-25 hours a week you will have enough money to live on, but you probably won't be able to save anything. However, this statement depends on a lot of things. If you find private students outside of a school, you can make more money. You can also work more. It's better to save up before you come than it is to try to save here. This allows you to have more fun, and fully enjoy your experience abroad.
What about a work permit?
Your employer will help you get a work visa when you start working. You may start working on your tourist visa but be sure to ask your employer for assistance.
Is there a dress code?
Always look professional. Always! Some clients will be business-related, and it's always a plus. This doesn't mean you need to wear a suit, but a collared shirt, slacks, and a tie for men, and equally nice presentation for women. This dress code applies during the TEFL program as well.
Where will I stay after the course?
After the course, you will have to find your own place to stay. Finding an apartment in Florence is quite easy, and, as long as you do not wait until the last minute, you will not have a problem at all.
Which age group will I be teaching?
You will be teaching students of all levels and all ages.
Do the private and language schools pay a little more than the public ones?
Yes. Our teachers are paid for every hour they teach. Moreover, working for language schools allows them better flexibility: they can take courses according to their time availability, which is not possible as a teacher in public school.
Are there some medical facilities with any English speakers?
There are some clinics where the staff speaks English.
Do you know if there is a lot of crime in Florence?
Florence is a very safe city. You can freely visit Florence without having any concerns. Of course, you must keep in mind, homeless people are here as in every other big city. Also, it is not recommended to leave your personal belongings unattended.
Are there any major safety concerns I should have?
Do you know if there's a way to renew your USA driver's license and passport over there or if you have to fly home?
You can renew your passport at the US Embassy in Italy.