"Detroit, Michigan is having a hard time economically at this point in time. Jobs aren't as readily available as they were even five years ago. International TEFL Academy is a sure bet in this economy."
So says William Butler, a 29-year-old from Michigan, who graduated from International TEFL Academy's Chicago TEFL Certification Course in July, 2012.
Below is a reprint of an entry from William's journal posted on Sept 10, 2012, that details his experience taking his TEFL class and landing a job teaching English in Korea.
This has been a pretty rough year for me considering all that has happened. I lost my job and with that I lost everything that I know. I have been applying for jobs for about the last year without any success. I rarely got interviews and when I did they were flooded with other candidates with the same credentials as me.
Over the past year I have applied to hundreds of jobs and continuously received rejections, most of them without even having an interview. The same is true for most of my peers my age. It's just a point in time where jobs are hard to come by, especially professional ones that I went to school for or have experience in.
My decision to take a TEFL course in Chicago with International TEFL Academy was kind of a last hope of finding something that will help me to stand out in the work force, plus give me the opportunity to travel. Some of my friends and family were a bit skeptical about me going to school and paying cash for a class that didn't guarantee me employment, but I saw the future benefit of obtaining this certification.
The TEFL course was very comprehensive and very informative. The practicum sessions really prepared me to teach in the real world. The staff at the school was very insightful and helpful in anyway necessary to make me feel more comfortable in obtaining the certification, but also in the job search. I was waiting to start applying for the EPIK Program in Korea, but the start date wasn't until February. Bruce Jones the company president advised me that this wasn't wise and that there were plenty of other work opportunities in Korea.
After completing the TEFL Course I reluctantly started my job search. I was used to having the rejections that I have previously experienced when applying for jobs here in the states. I was nervous about having my first interview on Skype. I wasn't sure what to expect. Once I started the interview and the interviewers were asking questions about my experience I was able to relate to all of the questions because of my student teaching practicum.
Within the first week of interviewing I had received five job offers. I was ecstatic. I initially did not find many jobs in Korea, but I found a wealth of English teaching jobs in China. After I considered many positions in China, the interviews for South Korea started to come in overwhelmingly. I was able to pick the job that best suits me as a teacher and I also had several different offers to choose from.
My friends and family are amazed that in less than a week I will be moving to Korea. The job includes an apartment, flight there-and-back, an end-of-contract bonus and benefits. Going to International TEFL Academy in Chicago was one of the best decisions that I have made in my life. I have a few friends that are also considering taking the course and setting sail to teach English in a different country.
Considering that I was out of work for a year and within two weeks of completing the course I have had multiple jobs offers this is something that everyone that is out of work should consider. I have kept in touch with my classmates over the last month. Most of them have jobs already in the country where they wanted to teach in. It's amazing because I spent four weeks in Chicago with my classmates and now I personally know at least 10 people that are in different countries around the world.
I am proud to be a graduate of the International TEFL Academy. The skills and the knowledge that I have received have been amazing. The Job Search Guidance department is very helpful and thorough. Karen, Christie and Tim helped to turn my dream of living and teaching abroad into a reality and I will forever be in debt to them for helping me throughout this journey.