Sevilla vs Roma: a TEFL perspective

Sevilla vs Roma: a TEFL perspective

When perennial Europa League winners Sevilla take on José Mourinho’s AS Roma in Budapest on the 31st of May, it’s sure to be a clash that’ll fascinate supporters and neutrals alike. With both the Andalusians and Romans arguably under-performing domestically but doing the business on the European front, it may not be the Champions League, but it’s a tie to whet the appetite of any football fan.

The background of both teams is fascinating. Over the last 20 years, Sevilla have dominated Europe’s second-biggest prize, using a combination of home-grown talents and some of the best scouting in European football. Roma, on the other hand, may have continental charm and an incredible history, but they’re a combative force, with spikey, argumentative manager José Mourinho prowling the dugout. 

You might be wondering what TEFL has to do with any of this. Firstly, the ascent of ‘The Special One’ Mourinho is a testament to what’s possible if you have English skills - the man originally known as a translator for English managerial icon Bobby Robson has had quite a career in his own right. Secondly, it just so happens that Sevilla and Roma are both located in cities that are incredible places to teach English as a foreign language.

While we can’t play out the fixture on a blog - the game’s not played on paper, nor a screen - we can compare the two and pick out a winner. So, let’s do just that!

The players are ready, the referees have done their checks, and the crowd (you!) is in place. Let’s kick-off.


Rome, the Eternal City, really does speak for itself. Once you’ve had an empire in your name, one that changed absolutely everything for a substantial length of time, you’re pretty much guaranteed a reputation forever. Modern Rome looks to both the past and the future; of course, the Colosseum still dominates the skyline, the Pantheon is remarkably preserved and utterly stunning. However, there’s also fantastic transport, the food and drink are beyond compare, and even in the crammed train stations, there’s always time for bruschetta and espresso. 

Rome doesn’t really need to sell itself. By rights, Seville shouldn’t have to either, but suffice it to say that the Andalusian capital isn’t as well known as it should be. There is a LOT more to Seville than oranges.

Melding futuristic architecture seamlessly with breathtaking, historic structures, Sevilla needs to be visited to be believed. Take, for example, the Metropol Parasol, built in 2011: the look is extremely modern, yet it fits perfectly into the landscape. For more historic fare, you’ve got the 16th Century Casa de Pilatos, Seville Cathedral and Basilica de la Macarena. 

Weather is a moot point here. Both have hot summers and long, gorgeous evenings. In terms of places to go and teach English, they’re both awe-inspiring. However, the first goal in this particular tie is scored by Roma: Sevilla is undoubtedly incredible, but Rome’s fame and history have the edge here.

Sevilla 0-1 Roma!

Rome during sunset

Requirements to teach English

So, what will you need to teach English in either Seville or Rome? 

We’ll go with our current scoreline leaders Roma first: to teach English in Italy, you need a TEFL certification ( at least 120 hours ), while a bachelor’s degree (not always required in a related subject), two years of teaching experience and a teaching qualification from your home country are very much preferred. That said, there are plenty of entry-level jobs, where you won’t need a degree or teaching certificate. 

Similarly, in Spain, you don’t need a degree or experience to get started! Instead, a TEFL certification will do the trick for plenty of jobs. That said, better-paid TEFL jobs will require qualifications and experience, especially in bigger cities like Madrid, Barcelona and, indeed, Sevilla. 

So, they’re essentially the same set of requirements. Who gets the goal here, though? Well, it’s Sevilla. There are more lenient rules for student visas , as well as more internships, with programmes like Meddeas helping thousands of TEFL teachers to get started.

We’re calling this a goal for Sevilla. 1-1!


We couldn’t talk about football without mentioning salaries, could we? We all have to make a living. 

In Spain , the average salary for full-time teaching jobs is around €1,200 – €1,500 (£1,053 – £1,317 / $1,300 – $1,623) per month, with private classes normally costing €25 up to about €50 (£22 – £44 / $27 – $54). 

In Italy , meanwhile, it’s harder to calculate averages due to the freelance nature of a lot of TEFL work. However, a typical full-time average monthly salary is €1,000 – €1,500 (£860 – £1,280/ $1,025 – $1,530), with private classes normally running at €25 per hour.

Obviously, salaries can vary wildly depending on your qualifications, experience and where you’re teaching, either geographically or in terms of the institution. However, going on averages, it’s a goal for Sevilla.

And they sneak ahead 2-1 ! Could Sevilla clinch yet another hypothetical TEFL Europa League title? Time will tell!

Cost of living

So now we know about salaries, how do Seville and Roma stack up in terms of cost of living?

Using Numbeo , we can compare the following: a month’s rent in the city centre (one bedroom), a pint of beer and a month’s utilities. You know, the important stuff.

First up is Rome. A hugely popular place to live, you might expect Italy’s capital to be prohibitively expensive, but it’s nearly 20% less expensive to live in than London. So, a month’s rent in the city centre with one bedroom will cost about €1,060, equivalent to £922 ($1,140). A month’s utilities, meanwhile, costs €211 (£184/$227), and a pint of beer will set you back €5, which is £4.25 UK and $5.39 US.

Strong stuff; how will Sevilla answer back? A month’s rent in the city centre of Seville (one bedroom) costs a mere €652 (£567/$702), while a month’s utilities require a spend of €128 (£111/$138). The all-important pint of cerveza? €2.50! You don’t need us to tell you that compares well with Rome, but just in case: £2.17/$2.34.

José Mourinho, The Translator himself, is looking fuming on the bench because Sevilla have galloped to a 3-1 lead here!

A river scene in Seville

Sevilla v Roma: How do they stack up?

Through our somewhat limited criteria here, Sevilla have beaten Roma 3-1. It’s yet another Europa League/TEFL comparison victory for Los Rojiblancos (The Red and Whites)!

However, comparing two amazing TEFL cities isn’t as easy as that, we’re afraid to say. While yes, there are objective ways to look at certain things: the cost of living and salaries, for example, the fact is it’s more about what you feel. The incredible history, culture and pace of life within either of these great cities are enough to inspire anyone to move over and teach English as a foreign language.

The demand is certainly there. While it can be harder to find jobs in Rome, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Italy’s English Proficiency is surprisingly low, even in the incredibly modern and international capital. Seville, meanwhile, doesn’t perform as well as other Spanish cities for English proficiency, lagging behind the likes of Barcelona and Madrid, as well as - somewhat surprisingly - Vigo.

There’s so much more for a TEFL teacher to consider, but above anything else, which lifestyle appeals more? It’s not as easy as imagining it as a football match!

Check out our TEFL Org Guide to Italy and TEFL Org Guide to Spain !

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