Working Abroad in Italy
Living and working abroad in Italy is a great experience that can provide both a resume builder and a life-changing experience. It is also becoming a popular destination for professionals to get gainful employment during the recession. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Italy’s unemployment rate was 1% less than that of the United States in 2010, These employment numbers and the fact that Italy has great weather and a rich culture lead to the country being an ideal destination for international travelers. It is popular with individuals whether they are teaching English, were transferred by their company or are just taking a new job with an Italian company. However, there are things international workers need to know before they start living and working in Italy.
Italy uses the Euro for its national currency along with most of the countries in the European Union. You will not have to exchange currency unless you travel outside of any of the European nations, with the exception of the United Kingdom. Credit cards are not as widely accepted in Italy so it is wise to have cash in case of an emergency.
Stores are open at very different hours in Italy. Stores are usually open in the morning until about noon. They usually reopen at 3 p.m. and stay open until 7:30 p.m. Most clothing stores are closed on Monday. Most groceries are closed on Monday and Wednesday afternoon. It is important to be aware of the local shops in your area where you live and their business hours.
Italian food in Italy is much different from the Italian food in America. Restaurants also have longer meals with more courses. Try to stick to restaurants where most of the locals eat. They are usually more affordable than the restaurants geared towards tourists.
Tipping is not customary in Italy. Gratuity is included into the meal price at Italian restaurants and with most other services in Italy. Most Italians will turn down any tip offered to them in alignment with this custom.
Working abroad can be a welcoming change of pace and a chance to start over for anyone in the workforce. Italy is one of the most popular nations in the world for international travelers and workers. Before moving to any new country, it is imperative that the customs, culture and laws of the land are fully understood.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/fls/country/italy.htm. (Accessed 9/29/2011).