Bus rides, Blisters and a Touch of Magic: My Experience with an On-the-Ground Job Search in Colombia

By: Rebecca Sirull

I’ve actually gone through two different English teaching job searches in South America, and had two extremely different experiences. When I first left the US, I was enrolled in the onsite TEFL course in Arequipa, Peru. The institute where I was certified also offered English courses, so it was an easy transition from student to teacher, with almost no job search effort required on my part.

How Do You Say Spanish in Chinese?

By: Jessica Stanton

So Jess, what’s next? That’s the question everyone seems to ask as soon as I’ve gotten completely comfortable with what’s now. I’ve gotten so used to saying “I don’t know” it spills out of my mouth even when I do know sometimes.

Once I decided to change careers from medical assistant turned hairstylist & bartender to teach English abroad, I knew I’d end up teaching English in China. During my online TEFL course at ITA, my cultural sensitivity essay focused on just that. What I didn’t know was that my road to the Far East would begin in South America.

Living a Memorable Life: My Teaching Journey from Latin America to Spain

By: Laura Hoppe

La vida no es la que uno vivió, sino la que uno recuerda y cómo la recuerda para contarla. Gabriel García Márquez (known as “Gabo”), one of Colombia’s most beloved authors, once wrote this very sentence. “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”

 

Moving Past Day #365: What to Do After Your Year Teaching Abroad

By: Olivia Flores

I think a lot of U.S. Americans see teaching abroad as a young-adult, one-year phase. You go, take pictures, relax, and reluctantly post about coming back to the “real world.” And although teaching abroad may very well include a lot of those things (especially way too many pictures), it shouldn’t be something we discredit as frivolous or irrelevant. Teaching abroad is an investment in yourself and your community--a valuable experience not to be taken lightly. However, with most of my friends graduating from medical school and getting accepted to PhD programs, it was difficult even for me to feel like I was moving forward, taking real steps towards a worthwhile future, while abroad and away from my community in Chicago. Without the security of a new degree title and even a steady American income, I admit I was worried to continue living abroad. But I had more compelling reasons to stay.

A Special Kind of Crazy Teaching English in Latin America

By: Rebecca Sirull

About one year ago, I hopped on a plane to begin the adventure of a lifetime teaching English abroad. I showed up in a country I had never visited before, where I didn’t know a single person, and didn’t have a job or a place to live. Somehow all the pieces fell into place and I set up a life for myself in Arequipa, Peru. Then, six months later I packed it up and started all over again. I’ve now been living in Bucaramanga, Colombia, for about four months and am loving my second move abroad.

I decided to get TEFL-certified and move to Peru right after I finished my college degree. Like many international English teachers, I wanted to travel the world, see amazing sights, meet new people, and immerse myself in a different culture. I also wasn’t too thrilled to jump into the 9-5 office life that so many of my peers were heading towards. Teaching English seemed like the perfect way to support myself while also exploring a new country.

Opening a Restaurant in Nicaragua

By: Trevor Vilsack

On April 18th 2016 I started an adventure of a lifetime when I moved my life from the United States and relocated to Leon, Nicaragua, to get TEFL certified. Upon graduation I quickly received a job at one of the Universities here called UCC as an English professor. I spent almost a year in Leon teaching at this University and it was an incredible experience. After this year I then moved to Bogota, Colombia, where I continued to teach English, this time online, and also worked at a family owned furniture store while living with this family. The purpose of moving to Bogota was to get fully immersed in Spanish and become fluent in the language, which had always been a goal of mine when moving abroad. The six months that I spent in Colombia were amazing, and when the six months had finished I decided to move back to Nicaragua. When I arrived back to Nicaragua, I continued to teach English online at first, but also started the process of my next dream, to open a restaurant!

Firsts: Adjustments to life in Colombia as a New English Teacher

By: Sara McKinney

Well folks, this week concludes my twelfth week in Colombia, tenth week in Cali, and my ninth week teaching English. I’ve been on a giant learning curve in regards to creating a life here for myself with a lot of firsts. I’ve miraculously and successfully completed my first solo apartment hunt, though it took about four weeks to finally find a place that met my needs (furnished, good area/location, good price. Pictures to come.) I have begun to establish myself in my school as a new teacher, equipped with the practical knowledge I gained from my online TEFL certification course for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) through the International TEFL Academy.

Is Colombia Safe? Tips for Staying Safe & Making the Most of Your Experience in Medellín

 By: Jessica Stanton

Is Colombia Safe? How To Survive Medellín. So...you binged watched Narcos, and now you're an expert on Colombia, especially Medellín. Maybe you've thought about teaching English in the salsa capital of the world, but some antiquated information about murderers and drug cartels has turned you away. Well parcero, you may not have realized that was over 20 years ago. Things have changed drastically in the Medallo City. This is no longer a drug filled war zone. It's now a bustling city full of art, innovation, and fun!

After completing my TEFL certificate online at International TEFL Academy, I moved here in July 2016 with an open mind, not knowing what to expect. In the almost four months I've been here, I've never seen a drug cartel, any act of violence, or even the white powdery substance that was once synonymous often with this country.