I guess that the first thing that you have asked yourself before starting the research for a placement in Italy is: do I have to be fluent in Italian? Will I be able to find an opportunity even if the only words in Italian that I know are pizza and buongiorno? While many people would tell you that you have to speak Italian if you want to work in Italy, the truth is that the answer is no.
Most of the Italian companies that are looking for international candidates don't require them to speak Italian. Don't forget that one of the main reason that Italian companies are happy to work with international professionals is that you are fluent in another language, which could be English, French, Spanish and so on. Thanks to the interaction with international professionals, Italian companies can easily develop their business in new markets and also manage the current foreign customers.
Said that, learning a new language will always be great for you and if you are fluent in Italian you will be able for sure to better interact with your new Italian friends, especially if you are not working in Rome and Milan, where most of the people are fluent in English. A smart idea to improve your chances of finding a placement in Italy is becoming fluent in more than one language! In this way you will definitely impress your potential employer! Learn how to become quickly fluent in Spanish English and Portuguese
Your dream came true. You were looking so bad to have a working experience in Italy and actually managed to find a placement here. But what now? Do you need a visa to work in Italy? First of all, if you come from a country based in the European Union you are not required to apply for a visa and you don't need a visa to work and live in Italy. The European Union area represents a territory where the free movement of persons is guaranteed. The area is composed by a list of 28 different European nations:
If you are not from a country which is part of the Europen Union you may still not need a visa to work in Italy depending on the agreement that your country has with Italy ,the reason of you stay (internship or work placement) and lenght of your stay.
A quick way to understand if you need to apply for a visa, is looking at the Italian Ministry Foreign Affair and International Cooperation website. Specifically, there is a tool which is going to be very useful to better understand your situation
In the tool, you will need to select your nationality and your country of residence. Then you will need to select the lenght of your stay, if for example you plan to stay in italy for more than three months and the reason of your stay. Below you can find an example of a US citizen that will be working as an intern in Italy for less than three months:
As you can see, an American citizen who wishes to work as an intern in Italy for less than three months does not need to apply for a visa even if United States is not part of European Area. We encourage you to have a look at this tool to better understand your situation because your stay in Italy could be easier than what you think! You can find the tool at the following website: vistoperitalia.esteri.it/home/en
Helping International students and graduates to experience Italy