A Day in the Life of an ESL Teacher in Milan


When someone says Italy, you automatically think of picturesque, narrow streets, great food and the bella vita.  When the same is said for Milan, people automatically think about fashion, the hustle and bustle of city life and of course the home of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous Last Supper. But what is it really like to live and teach in this cosmopolitan city? What would a normal day include? Well, here’s my experience.
Teaching Italian children will keep anyone on their toes, they are entertaining but nevertheless a rowdy bunch.
A typical weekday starts around 7am. One of the best parts of the day is waking up and opening the shutters to look over this wonderful, busy city from our balcony. After getting ready and heading out to a local ‘bar’ to have a typical Italian breakfast (consisting of a cappuccino and a brioche), I spend a few minutes at the bar, practising Italian with the friendly waiters. When the bill comes, it’s all for a grand total of 2.10. 
Next I head to the busy, commuter rush of the metro to squeeze onto the red line to meet a friend at one of our favourite spots, Milano Duomo: the beautifully grand cathedral!
Brera - via Madonnina
Photo Credit © Alessandro | Flickr
The great thing about TEFL teaching here is that you are always in high demand but work typically starts after midday, meaning you have all morning free to enjoy life in the city: from catching up with friends and having incredible Italian coffee to exploring a new area of the city and finding hidden gems off the main streets (for example the flamingo garden, or getting lost in the picturesque streets of the Brera district). The thing about Milan is you can never get bored.
After taking a stroll with a friend around the centre and walking through the Parco Sempione, the morning has now passed and it is nearly time to head to work. I hop back on the metro with my super cheap metro pass (€22 a month for unlimited travel) and I arrive at work at midday, ready to start teaching at 12:30.

Teaching Italian children will keep anyone on their toes, they are entertaining but nevertheless a rowdy bunch. However, they are probably the best and funniest children you will ever teach! Starting the day with 4 year olds singing songs and colouring in to finishing with 17 year old students taking the Cambridge First Certificate. The variety of teaching is fantastic allowing you never to get bored. After 5 lessons, of completely different ages and teaching styles, I’m ready to head home. Work is finished and it’s time to meet some friends and head to Navigli, one of the central zones by the canal for one of the many aperitifs which are available in the area.
Milan is so big, and this makes it so easy to meet new people from all over the world. People come to the city for many reasons, however they all have one thing in common: they want to have fun! The disadvantage of this is you are always waiting for your pay check at the end of the month!
Photo Credit © harmishhk | Flickr
After catching up with other au pairs, teachers, expats and filling myself up on delicious food and wine it is time to head home on the beautiful, old style trams of Milan and get ready for bed, ready to do it all again tomorrow.
Milan may be an expensive city, Nevertheless you can acquire once in a lifetime experiences which money could never buy!

Enjoy the ‘Day in a Life’ series? See what it’s like teaching in Cambodia or in the ESL Capital