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!

Paving My Own Road While Teaching Abroad

By: Maylin Enamorado

When offered a chance to teach in Italy this summer, I immediately said yes. I had been living in Los Angeles at the time in an attempt to live what I thought was my American Dream.I had finally grown tired of people telling me that living abroad was “unsustainable” and that I should be pursuing my artistic passions at home in the U.S. where I supposedly had a real chance of getting ahead. I returned home after teaching at a university in Nicaragua for a year, full of expectations for my literary career. I began searching internship opportunities in New York, LA, and Miami. I sent my resume to nearly 100 different publishing and production companies, and I waited. A month into being home, I could barely remember why I had left my old life or understand why people believed that life was automatically better here. Still, I held out hope that I had made the right decision by coming back.

Strung Together: What I Gained from My ITA Nicaragua TEFL Course

By: Maylin Enamorado

When I first arrived at the meet and greet for International TEFL Academy Course in Leon, Nicaragua, I was a nervous wreck. I felt too young, wildly inadequate, and unprepared. One by one, I met my future classmates. They were all older than me, educated, and very intelligent. They had all led interesting lives prior to arriving, whilst mine was supposed to start when the course did.

The Manhunt: How I Got My Students to Actually Come to Class

By: Maylin Enamorado

I looked around at the empty classroom before me. There were about seven students in total, all staring at me nervously. I checked my attendance list once again, thinking I had made a mistake. On a single sheet of paper, I double-checked the class period and saw that there was no error. I was supposed to have 28 students this period. As I took attendance, I must have had a nervous look on my face because one student got up and put her hand on my shoulder and said, most students dont come to English classthey just dont really care about it, ya know?

A Day in the Life of the ITA Nicaragua Hybrid Program [With Video]

By: Chelsea Johnson


Participating in the hybrid program with ITA in León, Nicaragua, was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career. I had taken the online TEFL certification course, which worked really well for me because I was able to get TEFL certified while also working and saving up money to move to Nicaragua. One of my favorite parts of the course was the 20 required practicum hours, which I had to complete by observing, tutoring or student teaching. I completed my practicum hours in Fort Collins, Colorado, by observing several different ESL classes as well as designing and teaching my own class for two Saudi Arabian children who were in the U.S. for a month.

Even though I completed my required practicum hours in the U.S., when I found out about the hybrid program in León, I knew it would be right for me. I had already been planning on moving to León, so it was perfect that that’s where ITA NIcaragua (ITAN) is located. It was added practice with real EFL learners in Nicaragua, and I would receive feedback and assistance with my teaching. Also, it was something to do for my first week all alone in a new country where I didn’t know anyone or have any plans. In the end, it turned out to be all of those things and so much more!

Teaching English Abroad - Is It Really Worth It?

By: Kaitlin Emmons 

Don’t fight it. No goodbyes, only see you laters. Rip the Band-Aid off and coast.

I can’t tell you how to adjust to life abroad; all I can do is share my story with you. Everyone has their own routines on race day. Maybe you have heartfelt farewells with every human you know, or maybe you leave without saying goodbye, whatever works for you. I’ve lived abroad on five separate occasions and the worst part is the two weeks before leaving. Without fail, every single time I am devastated, I convince myself I am going to die. I don’t pack until the day before and I sob hysterically when I have to say goodbye to my dog. It’s to the point now where my parents just laugh at me when I cry at the airport.

And then suddenly it dissipates. As abruptly as the eff-it moment when you click the confirm flight payment button, the anxieties vanish. Bare feet shuffle into the daunting body scanner in airport security. The whirligig spins and I am free.

How Teaching English Abroad Jump-started My Career

By: Chelsea Johnson

Besides having traveled with my family, my first experience abroad was when I studied in Bilbao, Spain, for a semester of my junior year in college. I loved everything about it, and when I got home, I was itching to go abroad again.

I signed up for a three-week program in Chile through my university and earned a scholarship to participate. After studying abroad twice, I worked for the College of Business promoting education abroad in my peers. I loved encouraging other students to step out of their comfort zone and study abroad, but after a year, I was starting to get a bit envious! After graduating with two degrees and honors in December 2013, it was obvious to me that my next step would be international. Everyone around me in the business school would be joining corporate America, but I started waiting tables to save money and figure out how to get myself on a plane.

International TEFL Academy staff heads to Nicaragua for one of the biggest meetups in ITA history!


It was quite the party with over 40+ attendees, amazing food, open bar, and a jumping dance floor. Things got kicked off around 8 pm on January 22nd at La Olla Que Mada, a popular restaurant/salsa bar frequented by locals and expats alike in the heart of Leon, Nicaragua. ITA alumni were able to meet and greet with fellow teachers and the ITA staff, all while enjoying the free flowing drinks and a delicious buffet of savory Nicaraguan food.