Personal enrichment avenues while stationed in Italy
Understanding the SOFA agreement between the U.S. and Italy will set realistic expectations for career opportunities during your time in Italy. Dependents are not allowed to work on the economy or have in-home businesses (Example: Mary Kay, Arbonne, Scentsy etc.). Job opportunities for dependents can be found on your installation. However, job openings may be limited. It is important to look for job opportunities before PCSing and soon after you arrive.
Career opportunities on installations in Italy
- NAF Positions: NAF positions support installations through services in Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) and Force Support Squadrons (FSS). Hours range from regular, full-time to flexible part-time with varying employment benefits. Federal positions are listed through the Office of Personnel Management at www.usajobs.gov with the exception of NAF positions, which are listed at www.nafjobs.org.
- DODEA-Europe: These schools offer full-time positions, substitute teachers, administrative staff and educational aids. Go to www.dodea.edu/Europe/offices/hr.
- Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES): Apply at http://odin.aafes.com/employment or through local human resources offices.
- Defense Commissary Agency (DECA): Jobs at commissaries.
- Defense Contractors: Job opportunities in technology, management, accounting and administration are available with contracting firms. Your installation’s contracting office and A&FRC or ACS office will have information about vacancies.
Note: Check websites and offices for new openings frequently – a job can be posted one day and stay posted for only 48 hours.
While many may feel more qualified to hold a volunteer title, there is so much to take away and learn as a volunteer. More often than not, this is the main avenue people take to eventually land a great job. Volunteering can help you gain experience and network to land a paid position in the future.
Start making connections:
- Visit your installation’s A&FRC/ACS, FSS/MWR, the American Red Cross and the United Service Organizations (USO).
- Reach out to various offices across your installation that align with the career field you’re interested in. You never know if they need volunteers or are willing to let people shadow them.
Taking the time to advance your education can help you excel in the future. Educational opportunities on installations in Italy come with a variety of programs at universities partnered with the DOD.
- Central Texas College Europe (CTC) - Primarily associate degrees and practical training. The Advanced Skills Education Program develops leadership qualities within noncommissioned and junior officers. Face-to-face and online classes.
- Community College of the Air Force(CCAF) - Accredited degrees and courses for qualified personnel.
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Certifications, undergraduate and graduate degrees. Face-to-face and online courses
- University of Maryland University College - Undergraduate and graduate certificates as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. Online, face-to-face and hybrid courses.
- The University of Oklahoma (OU) - Face-to-face advanced degrees available. Online and independent study options for some classes.
- Other schools: Many U.S.-based schools offer online courses or have European satellite locations, and some European universities offer programs for English speakers. For tuition assistance and financial aid information, visit www.military.com/education, www.militaryta.com or your Education Office.
Other personal enrichment avenues
- Start DIY projects you’ve always wanted to do.
- Spend time in the gym and establish healthy habits.
- Travel, travel, travel! Living in Italy means traveling between other European countries is easier than ever.
- Start a blog – whether it be travel, fitness, military living, etc. Contribute your articles to www.europe.stripes.com for a chance to get published online and in various magazines.
Find what works for your goals and dreams — whether you land a great job, volunteer with an amazing organization, further your education or find other ways for personal enrichment. What matters is utilizing your time in Italy to benefit your future to the best of your ability.