Professional experience in Italy

New meets old in Prato as you find yourself surrounded by the impressive stonewalls and buildings of a medieval city, but only a stone throw from a vibrant multicultural community. Spend the day teaching in a 15th century monastery before feasting on authentic dumplings in Chinatown in the evening!

Program overview

  • Where: Prato, located a short distance from Florence
  • When: November/December 2016 (Group 1) and January 2017 (Group 2)

In true Italian fashion, early starts and long lunches  are commonplace in local schools! You will no doubt enjoy this, but you will also enjoy the diversity that comes with undertaking your professional experience in Prato. Some schools start early, others start late. Some mentor teachers work a whole school day, others work in shifts. Some schools provide staff with lunch, others have fantastic  cafeterias and coffee bars.

Cultural  diversity characterizes all settings – early learning, primary and secondary –  with a fast growing Mandarin speaking population because of the textile industry living alongside Italians who have generation old associations with the region. A fascinating fusion!

Another aspect of diversity is the range of additional programs and activities available to you in local schools, such as  music, drama and English language lessons to name a few. While no two Prato schools are the same, similarities include generally traditional approaches to teaching and learning, limited access  to technology and, almost certainly, language challenges. But it is facing up  to these situations that generates lateral, creative and resourceful thinking, which is part of what makes this placement so beneficial.

Costs

Approximately $3800 and spending money ($500-$1000).

What is included in program cost:

  • Round trip airfare to Italy
  • Accommodation – private  room with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities in local hostel, including daily breakfast
  • Language and cultural program – three language lessons and cooking class
  • Group dinner at the start and the end of the program

Items not included that students need  to budget for:

  • Transport from/to Italian airport to Prato
  • Meals (other than breakfast)
  • Transport to/from school
  • Telephone
  • Toiletries and personal items
  • Tours and local travel
  • Vaccinations
  • Spending money

See what Financial support is available to you.

Opportunities to explore

After school hours and on weekends, you will have an opportunity to:

  • Immerse yourself in beautiful Tuscany, the region in which Prato is located, by enjoying landscapes and towns rich in culture and history;
  • Jump on a local train and find yourself in a variety of vibrant cities, such as Pistoia (5 minutes), Florence (15 minutes), Lucca (45 minutes), Siena (60 minutes) and Pisa (90 minutes) in no time flat;
  • Simply enjoy the medieval walled city of Prato with its own museums, galleries and markets by walking, biking or grabbing a bus;
  • Eat your way around a region that is famous for its fabulous fresh produce and traditional cuisine; and
  • Venture further a field to Rome, Venice or Milan, all possible day adventures if you use the incredible fast train service.

How to apply?

Recruitment for overseas placements runs from March to April and July to August each year depending on the location. Applications are open to eligible pre-service teachers across early years, primary and secondary courses.

See Applications, selection process and cancellations for more information.

Who to contact?

Prato Placement Coordinator
Dr Michael Phillips
Michael.Phillips@monash.edu