Admissions Advisors:
Our Role & Commitment

An Admissions Advisor is the first point of contact for learning about your options for TEFL certification and teaching English abroad.  All of the ITA Admissions Advisors have spent time living, traveling and/or teaching abroad.

Your assigned advisor will work with you throughout the research and enrollment process. ITA Admissions Advisors are rigorously trained to answer questions on up-to-date teaching market information, hiring procedures and timelines, average salary and living costs, education requirements, visa eligibility, and more.

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Provide personalized information regarding hiring procedures, international English teaching job markets, and timelines

  • Assist students with creating plans of action to accomplish their goal of teaching abroad

  • Offer realistic expectations for what teaching English abroad will be like

  • Inform prospective students on TEFL course framework and responsibilities

  • Explain TEFL certification admission requirements and registration procedures

To learn more, read:  Why You Need to Speak with a Professional TEFL Admission Advisors if You Want to Teach English Abroad (and do it right).


Meet our Advisors

Meet Your Advisor, Ahmad

Ahmad Al-Ashqar

Admissions Advisor

Ahmad is a Kuwait-born Palestinian from the south side of Chicago, and after college he moved to Dubai to teach high school English. Ahmad has a B.A. in English Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing. Learn More About Ahmad

meet your admissions advisor, shay

Shay Ames

Admissions Advisor

Since becoming disillusioned and bored with his old corporate job in Chicago more than five years ago, Shay has made it his life's work to help others travel the world by teaching English abroad. Learn more about Shay.

Matt Birgy - International TEFL Academy Advisor

Matt Birgy

Admissions Advisor

Originally from a small town in Michigan, Matt first lived abroad in Germany to learn the language. He later spent two years teaching English in Seoul, South Korea, traveling the region and visiting countries like Japan and India  Learn more about Matt.

International TEFL Academy - John Bentley

John Bentley

Admissions Advisor

A lifelong traveler who grew up in Cairo, Egypt, John Bentley wrote for the Egypt-Israel Edition of the famous Let’s Go! guidebook series during his student days at Harvard and has worked in the fields of international travel, education, and journalism ever since. Learn more about John.

Felicia Braverman - International TEFL Academy Advisor

Felicia Braverman

Admissions Advisor

After graduating from Texas State with a Teacher Certification, Felicia Braverman taught English in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Taipei, Taiwan. She has always been an avid traveler, hopping the pond to England or finding herself wandering down the cobblestone streets of Tel Aviv. Learn more about Felicia.

International TEFL Academy - TEFL Certification for Teaching English Abroad

Ian Davis

Admissions Advisor

Since his first trip to Europe as a teen, Ian's passion for travel & adventure has continued to grow. Our most senior advisor, Ian has helped hundreds of people live their dream of teaching English abroad. Learn more about Ian.

International TEFL Academy Staff

Liz Dellapenna

Admissions Advisor

From China to Denmark, Liz is an avid world traveler who has lived abroad extensively and traveled to over 50 countries. Liz left her job in the film industry in Los Angeles to come join the team at ITA! Learn More About Liz.

Meet Your Advisor, Sarah

Sarah Grace Gleisner

Admissions Advisor

Sarah grew up in the Wisconsin countryside and taught English in Japan. Sarah has an extensive background in the field of international education. She worked for the University of Illinois study abroad office, the Institute of International Education in Washington D.C., and worked on the Fullbright Program. Learn More About Sarah

Meet Your Advisor, Chelsea

Chelsea Hendrickx

Admissions Advisor

Chelsea grew up in Southern Florida and attended the University of Florida. Following graduation she hopped on a plane to Japan and participated in the JET program for two years. Learn more about Chelsea.

international tefl academy staff- andrew hines

Andrew Hines

Admissions Advisor

Born & raised in Chicago, Andrew is an International TEFL Academy grad and taught English in South Korea. When he's not working, you can find him hanging around the lake with his pup!

Meet your Advisor, Ashley

Ashley Houston

Admissions Advisor

A true Midwesterner at heart, Ashley studied abroad six times and has traveled to 45 countries! She has 10 years of experience in International Education, a BA in Japanese, and an MA in Intercultural Relations. Learn more about Ashley.

International TEFL Academy - TEFL Certification for Teaching English Abroad

Lindsay Campher Krasinski

Admissions Advisor

From Uruguay, Ecuador & Argentina to South Africa, Japan & Iceland, Lindsay has literally lived all across the globe. Combined with her Master's in Education and her zest for life, Lindsay's background makes her uniquely qualified to help others achieve their goal of teaching English abroad. Learn more about Lindsay.

International TEFL Academy - TEFL Certification for Teaching English Abroad

Michael Kunik

Admissions Advisor

In 2009, Michael became TEFL Certified and moved to Madrid, Spain to teach English. Invariably, whenever asked how he feels about the time he spent living and teaching there, his answer is the same: “Next to marrying my wife, choosing to move abroad was the best decision I have ever made in my life.”  Learn more about Michael.

International TEFL academy leader in TEFL Certification

Paige Lee

Admissions Advisor

Born on a snowy Rocky Mountain-side but reared in the Chicago suburbs, Paige has lived and worked in Shanghai, China where she taught English and explored the Asian continent, as well as the "Land Down Under" in Australia. Learn more about Paige.


Danielle Lupo

Admissions Advisor

Born & raised in the Chicago area, Danielle lived abroad in Italy for 3 years & has traveled exstensively all over Europe. Learn More About Danielle.

International TEFL Academy Staff

Erica Overbeek

Admissions Advisor

Erica was raised in a small town in Michigan, which inspired her desire to discover what the rest of the world had to offer. Erica spent over 4 years living abroad all over Spain! Learn More About Erica.

International TEFL Academy - TEFL Certification for Teaching English Abroad

Jeff Penick

Admissions Advisor

Prior to joining ITA in 2011, Jeff spent two years teaching English in Seoul, South Korea. He used the money he saved while teaching in Korea to fund a year of travel in Asia and South America. Here in Chicago, Jeff can always be counted on to make a strong showing in ITA’s annual Halloween costume contest. Learn more about Jeff.

International tefl academy staff - amanda saccaro

Amanda Saccaro

Admissions Advisor

From the Chicago burbs, Amanda taught English in Yantai, China, for two years. Prior to working at ITA, she was a teacher in downtown Chicago.

international tefl academy staff- britton

Britton Schaude

Admissions Advisor

California-born, Minnesota-raised - so needless to say Britton is super chill and way too nice. He went abroad for the first time ever to teach English in the Czech Republic!

meet admissions advisor, Jessie

Jessie Smith

Admissions Advisor

Born & raised in Chicago, and a journalism major at the University of Iowa, Jessie took the ITA Online TEFL Course and taught English in South Korea & Vietnam before joining the team. Jessie is one of our top writers and also works on the ITA Marketing team. Learn more about Jessie.

meet your advisor, Kari

Kari Svendsen

Admissions Advisor

Kari is from Minnesota and holds a M.A. in Comparative and International Development Education. Kari studied abroad in Argentina and also taught English in Quito, Ecuador. Learn More About Kari

International TEFL Academy - TEFL Certification for Teaching English Abroad

Doug Waxman

Admissions Advisors

A native of St. Louis (and an avid Cardinals fan), Doug has worked, traveled, and studied on 6 continents. When not helping others teach abroad, Doug can often be found on the stages of Chicago’s hottest bars and clubs playing guitar in the rock group, Band Called Catch. Learn more about Doug.

meet advisor cassie

Cassie Wells

Admissions Advisor

A Midwestern girl from Valparaiso, Indiana, Cassie had never been abroad until she quit her job as a television producer on her 24 birthday to teach English in South Korea. One of ITA's most senior advisors, Cassie is also head of the ITA Video Department.  Learn more about Cassie.

International TEFL Academy Staff

Joe Yoon

Admissions Advisor

From the Chicago suburbs, Joe decided to teach English in Korea because his family are originally from Daegu, South Korea. Joe also holds a MA in Educational Administration. Learn More About Joe

Meet Your Advisor, Robert

Robert Zappa

Admissions Advisor

Robert is from the Chicago suburbs and earned his B.A. in Linguistics from Southern Illinois University. Robert worked abroad in South Korea and Spain, and he also taught English Online with students in China. Learn More About Robert

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