Teach, Learn, Travel - Repeat

By: Rachel McCarthy

In my senior year before graduating university, I decided to enroll in ITA’s online course. I knew that I would be traveling the whole next year (at least) with some goals; surfing and improving my Spanish being two among them. I am a planner; I like pretty defined outlines, allowing for some flexibility of course. Getting certified to teach English presented itself as gaining a skill set that could be applied anywhere in the world, which sounded good to me. I decided on Central America as my destination, specifically, Nicaragua. I did not start out teaching ESL. I worked for a few months as a receptionist. While I received a few offers to privately tutor, I was working very full time already, so I never did.

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.

A Tale of Two Schools in Honduras

By: James Hogan

It was the same country but worlds apart. Throughout the course of last year, I frequently couldn’t help but compare the school where I worked to the school in the city only a two hours drive to the west where I had worked the two years prior to that. Everything from the buildings to the quality of materials to the students themselves was very different. And yet I know that my life was the better for having had such varied experiences. I had first gotten a taste of what it was like to teach English abroad when I spent three months as a volunteer in a school in Romania. Through a series of circumstances, I found myself teaching English in a rough neighborhood in the capital city of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. I had visited the country twice before but only for several weeks. I soon found out that daily life in a third-world country was to be very different than several weeks spent visiting one.

How Teaching English Abroad Helped Me Figure Out My Career

By: Aimee Lam

Coming back was hard. After teaching abroad for a semester in Ayutthaya, Thailand, I was not only experiencing culture shock but also homesickness for a place that wasn’t home anymore. In fact, I no longer knew what home was. Earlier in the year, I had been taking the online course with International TEFL Academy and making plans to teach abroad. I had been living in New York City and was so done with it. When I got hired to teach in Ayutthaya, I saw it as an opportunity to start over and turn a new leaf. I left my job in book publishing (with high school textbooks) and sublet my Manhattan apartment in the hopes of a fresh start.

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.”


Bem vindo ao Brasil - Welcome to Brazil

By: Cody Perenchio

Cosa Fai?  O que você faz?  ¿Qué haces?

What do you do? Well, I do a lot of things. I am an English teacher. I love to teach. I love teaching because I like to learn languages. Most importantly learning languages teaches you how to fail and fail again. Call me "Captain Fail.” I bet I will help you fail and fail until we both succeed together. Let’s talk a bit about my story.

Follow the Thread

By:  Michelle Moon

I stepped into the warm night air off the bus from the airport. It was around Saturday midnight at downtown Southern Cross Station. I had finally arrived in Melbourne, Australia. I was dazed for a moment. Why was it so quiet and clean? There were straight lines and cold concrete architecture. For some reason, the stillness and rigidity of the city was unsettling. I had taught English for three years in Seoul, South Korea. After my third contract had ended, I traveled around Asia for three months with Nepal being the last stop before jetting off to Melbourne under a working holiday visa. Thamel, Nepal was the complete opposite to Melbourne from what I could see; Thamel was dusty, loud, chaotic, crowded with narrow roads. It was a living river of sounds, sights, and smells, and I had loved every minute of it.

Maybe Taiwan

By: Nate Tyler


It’s been a little more than six years since I left my first and only position teaching English abroad. I was in Taoyuan City, Taiwan, and my contract was only for one year. Since that time, I’ve traveled through Europe, returned to Minnesota, had many different—often horrible—jobs, started woodworking, got married and had a kid, built a pottery studio, and started a writing business. A lot has obviously happened. So why, then, am I writing about transitions when it’s been so long since I was teaching in Taiwan? Well in many ways I still haven’t left Taiwan. And I’m still transitioning out of that first teaching role.

Why I Am No Longer Teaching

By: Tatianna Peckham

Where My Journey Began

I found my passion for teaching by a very strange turn of events. A truly “Sure why not?” method, one could say. It all started with a ring when I was in the midst of deciding whether or not to leave my university in Manhattan, New York after only one semester.

Soul Purpose: Realizing My True Calling

By: Chrystal Smith

For one year (September 2015 to September 2016), I lived and taught English in Heredia, Costa Rica. This cultural immersion was an exciting year of teaching, learning, self-discovery, and transition to the person I am today. During my time abroad, I learned to be flexible with day to day life, welcome the unexpected and gained an understanding that we have great things in store for us when we remain open. In my willingness to seek a life outside of my comfort zone, I became more in tune to an authentic and consciously aware version of myself. I expanded my lens of the world and looking beyond a life of privilege gave me much more respect and appreciation for perspectives other than my own.