Interning While You Study Abroad in Rome? How to Understand Italian Work Culture

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Italy is an incredible place to live and work in. It is the world’s 8th largest economy with a GDP of $2.18 trillion in 2018, and there is no shortage of opportunities in a variety of sectors. For students studying abroad at John Cabot University, the Center for Career Services can help connect you with an internship opportunity in your field of study.

An internship is a great way to enhance your studies and integrate yourself while you study abroad. However, if you’ve never lived or worked in Italy before, you might need to adapt to its business culture. Read on to learn a bit about Italian business etiquette so that you can get the most out of your internship in Rome.

Business Culture in Italy Can Be Quite Formal

In many places in Italy, the business structure can be very traditional, formal, and hierarchical. As an intern, you should make sure to address your superiors respectfully using “Signor” or “Signora” rather than using first names unless told otherwise. If you speak Italian, be careful to use the more formal ‘Lei’ for ‘you’ rather than the informal ‘tu’. It’s better to play it safe and be too formal, rather than to accidentally offend by being too casual. This will help you to succeed in your internship and leave a lasting, positive impression.

The Value of Networking is Immeasurable

Italians place a lot of value on personal relationships with friends, families, and colleagues. For this reason, networking in Italy is extremely important

While you study in Rome, you will benefit from networking with other students and colleagues. If you’re interning, it’s a good idea to get involved and converse with your colleagues. You will find that there is a lot to learn from these conversations.

John Cabot in Rome

Networking is important if you want to get ahead in business in Italy

As well as this, it is common for Italian workers to take their lunch breaks together. Often times, they will avoid talking only about office matters during this time. This is a great opportunity to form bonds with your colleagues outside of work by learning about their families, hobbies, and interests, rather than just how good they are at their job!

Dress to Impress

After a few weeks spent studying at college in Rome, you may notice that Italians are nearly always well dressed and the workplace is no exception.

In Italy, the way you dress is an important reflection of your personality. Try to take the time to make sure that you look professional every day. As with any new job or internship, take note of how other people dress every day and try to mimic this. If you work in the creative sector, it might be acceptable to dress slightly more casual.However, if you’re in finance, appropriate attire may be more formal. Be aware that Rome can get very hot in the summer, so opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like linen to avoid getting too hot in the office!

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The way you dress is an important part of business culture in Italy

Do you want to find out more about attending John Cabot in Rome?

Contact John Cabot University to find out more!

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