Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side - Teaching in Latin America

By Drew Randall

“The grass is always greener on the other side.” This phrase couldn’t be more appropriate for how my wife and I perceived life as English teachers would be in comparison to life as civil engineers in the US. We obtained our TEFL certifications online through the International TEFL Academy. My wife and I have been teaching English abroad in South America for 10-months; 5-months in Arequipa, Peru and 5-months at our current teaching position in Cuenca, Ecuador. Based on our experience so far, there are obvious differences, like the salary, and shocking similarities in time commitment or daily schedule.

Leaving the Classroom for Online Flexibility

By: David Peña 

Exhausted and over it, I was ready to leave my 40 hour per week classroom job for more flexibility and travel. When moving abroad to teach English, I did not expect to have such a rigid schedule, with dozens of outside responsibilities. I wasn’t just planning classes, but somehow I got roped into teaching a homeroom class and working closely with parents and school system drudgery. I was tired and had little time to travel and experience the fun and exciting parts of teaching English abroad.

Living & Teaching English in Latin America: An Incredibly Diverse Region

By: Camille Gix

Spanish. There is my list of similarities between Ecuador and Chile, and even that is debatable with the drastic change in accent. After living in Ecuador for nearly eight months teaching English, I figured the move to Chile wouldn’t be that different. I thought, “Hey! Same language, same continent, same culture right?” Wrong.

Ecuador, named for its location in the middle of the earth, is relatively warm, year-round, especially where I lived, in a small town near to the coast. Humid and hot, with a lively culture mixed with a native flair, Ecuador is what you would expect of a South American country. With a slow, smooth and song-like Spanish, learning the language was a wonderful experience. People in Ecuador are warm, family-oriented, and life in general in slower and much more relaxed than that of the United States.

Realizing You’re Gay While Living in a Religious Family in Ecuador: From Existential Crisis to Unexpected Acceptance

By ITA alumna Laurence.

Ecuador is one of those South American countries in which almost all taxi drivers in the capital have a rosary hanging from their rearview mirrors. It also happens to be the South American country where I realized I was very much attracted to people of the same gender. As an eager, non-religious, and naive North American student studying abroad for the first time, living with an extremely Catholic host family was an experience that shifted my preconceived notions of “acceptance” and taught me how to reciprocally embrace differences we are warned to be wary about.

The Process of Moving to Teach English in Cuenca, Ecuador

 By: Lindsey Ingwersen

After graduating from University in 2015 with little idea of what I wanted to do and even slimmer desire to join the “real working world”, I sought out my first international adventure to Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. Most people thought I was crazy after booking a one way ticket. After all, I had a bad history of homesickness. I was doing it for adventure, to challenge myself, and to prove to myself (and others) that I could do it. And I did, but I returned home after a short three months with no money, and a plan to work in the US for a year, and then travel again.

Lessons I've Learn - Teaching English in Ecuador

By: Shannon Etling

“The Little Engine That Could” Was Right.

When you first touch down in a new country, there are many things to adapt to and many lessons to learn. Starting a new life alone, on the ground, in an unknown place, as I did, escalates the challenge. Your life will become full of hurdles from taking the wrong bus to misconstruing some information within your school. Over time you will realize that this is normal and that it happens to everyone; just part of the process.

Life at La Mitad Del Mundo - Teaching English in Cayambe, Ecuador

By:  Jamie Belisle 

Let me begin by saying that there is never such a thing as a simple start or too small of an adventure.

Even the smallest of things can change your life forever. My name is Jamie Belisle. I'm originally from just outside of Detroit, Michigan. Currently, I'm 26 years old. I graduated from Grand Valley State University in the spring of 2010 with a teaching degree in English and History. Upon graduation, I began searching for teaching jobs. At this time, the economy had a fairly rough time, and it was difficult to find teaching jobs. I'd always wanted to travel and teaching EFL was a perfect way to see the world. I knew that there were opportunities available. I was lucky enough to have had a friend who had already taught English overseas, and through some connections, I was able to find a teaching job overseas in China.