Personal enrichment avenues while stationed in Italy

Personal enrichment avenues while stationed in Italy

by Stripes Europe Staff
Stripes Europe

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
  • DoDEA-Europe: These schools offer full-time positions, substitute teachers, administrative staff and educational aids. Go to
  • Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES): Apply at 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 AFRC 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 AFRC/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.

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 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. 

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