Professional experience in Italy

Italy, Prato

New meets old in Prato as you find yourself surrounded by the impressive stonewalls and buildings of a medieval city, but only a stone's 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: 8 January - 1 February 2020
  • Who: Pre-service teachers in early years, primary and secondary courses
  • Cost: Approx $4800 - $5200 and spending money ($500-$1000)

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.

Please note: the finer details will be finalised before the trip, and might be subject to change.

What's included in the cost

The cost includes:

  • Round trip airfare to Italy
  • Accommodation
  • Language and cultural program – three language lessons and cooking class

Items not included that students need to budget for:

  • Transport from/to Italian airport to Prato
  • Meals
  • Transport to/from school
  • SIM card
  • 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.

See Applications, selection process and cancellations for more information.

Who to contact?

Academic questions
Dr Sarah Rutherford

Logistics/Financial Questions
Ms Rochelle Mayer, IPE Coordinator

Moments from previous trips