ITA Alumni Ambassador, Ryan Cook, shows us what an adventure-filled weekend you can have while teaching English in Czech Republic.
By: Hannah Fox
I couldn’t believe it. Amidst a heavy slew of German words, I realized that my visa application was being accepted. Here we all were, smiling in this small, sunlit office, me now ready to navigate the professional world as an official, legal employee in Germany. There were moments during the meeting when I was certain my application would be rejected. I hadn’t filled out the correct immigration form; the health coverage I had purchased was too short-term; yet, I could see smiles on the faces of those in the room. My world was effectively draped in silence, as all the words I could hear were straight gibberish. When I left the office with my visa officially stamped in my passport, I couldn’t believe my luck.
By: Jacob Arthur
If I hadn’t taken my Online TEFL course with the International TEFL Academy, I might still be working in a restaurant in Virginia, and I wouldn’t have had the possibility to land a job in Berlin, Germany. If I hadn’t taken the chance to move to Berlin, I never would have had the opportunity to teach and get to know so many people who lived behind the Berlin Wall. The Wall was the concrete manifestation of the Iron Curtain between the East and the West during the Cold War. Before moving to Berlin, it was a chapter in a history book to me. But what about the people who lived on the other side of it?
Never did I think that I would get to know these people, countless, wonderful people, who lived for decades behind that wall, and who have experienced life in very different ways than I have.
I was getting close to the end of my college career and did not really have an idea what I was going to do with my life after I had graduated. For the past four years I had been studying art as well as working towards a history minor. I had not even thought about the idea of getting paid to teach English in a foreign country. This period of my life came shortly after a four month experience studying abroad in Thessaloniki, Greece, and I was really missing the experience of traveling and often wished I were living abroad again. I remember there were times I would be trying to work on an assignment and would often get distracted researching ways I could get out and explore more of the world.
By: Rhea Baliwala
As a citizen of a country that is not a member of the European Union (EU), I was initially concerned about finding enough work teaching English in Spain without a work visa. I took the face-to-face International TEFL Academy course in Madrid, which provides the opportunity to enroll in a year of part-time Spanish classes. That enabled me to get a Student Visa so I could work legally for 20 hours on a contract with a language school without any issues. However, being on a contract means your hourly wage is reduced by tax and social security payments and hence is generally lower than what you can earn teaching private English classes. So I needed to balance those hours with some private teaching hours.
The following details the means by which I found private students for teaching English in Madrid. It is by no means exhaustive, but I’ve found that there is such a high demand for English teachers that it wasn't as difficult as I anticipated it would be.
By: Rhea Baliwala
Coming from a country where every region has a different variety of food to offer, food was naturally an important part of growing up. So, when I first moved to Madrid by taking the International TEFL Academy Madrid course in January 2016 , I decided that I had to learn everything about Madrileño food culture - the Tapas, the Tinto verano, The Tortillas de patata, the Croquettes, the Chorizos, the Lenteja - all of it.
But after three months of exploring amazing Spanish food, I realized that Madrid, being a multicultural city, has a lot of amazing restaurants from the other parts of the world as well.
Living and teaching English in Ankara, Turkey as a woman wasn't that different than living in Europe or the USA. I lived in a middle-upper class area, working with professionals (doctors, lawyers, university professors, government officials, engineers, etc.), many of whom had traveled internationally and, of course, were highly educated. On the surface, they seemed to be western in many regards. Having said that, they were, at the same time, fiercely patriotic and had so much pride in their culture and its traditions. It’s incredible to experience centuries-old traditions. But at the same time, parts of society and social norms tend to be..... a bit old-school. To be honest, sometimes those old-school mentalities were a bit hard to swallow for me, an independent woman from the west...
One of the most challenging aspects of moving to a foreign country is leaving the comfort of your friends and family. You know these people, relate to them, share interests, talk with them – all comforts we usually take for granted but quickly learn to appreciate when separated by distance. This can be one of the strongest mental roadblocks to making the switch to a job overseas. I struggled with this very problem before making my move to Spain; I didn’t want to let go of what I had become comfortable with.
Traveling in Europe doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket, especially not in Spain. After living in Spain for six months and traveling extensively around the charming country, I figured out just how affordable it can be by Western standards. If you’re traveling on a budget, your first instinct might be to shy away from metropolitan capital cities like Madrid. However, there are plenty of fun activities in Madrid that are very reasonably-priced or even free. Whether you’re just passing through or making the city your home, there are countless opportunities to create memories without breaking your bank.
I don’t like being the center of attention. I don’t like being at the head of a crowd. I don’t like a room full of strangers looking at me. Basically, I have stage fright. I thought that maybe going through the TEFL process and moving to Europe might help me get over it, or I thought that I would just have to suck it up because living in Europe would be worth it. No one told me that there would be a good way to avoid the problem altogether.
My boyfriend and I hatched a plan to move to Italy and teaching was the only way we knew we could make a living, so we signed up for an online certification class through the International TEFL Academy.