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.
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.
By: Ana Santos
I fell in love with Turkey!
As a researcher in the tourism field, and being that Turkey is the only European country with a view over Asia, a developed country full of opportunities in all kinds of business, amazing transport connections and truly friendly people, it was obviously the best choice. Turkey is at the top of the tourism chain, ranking worldwide and it should be evident why. Turkey is a country that knows a great deal about tourism and hospitality, and I am aware I have much to learn from them. Also as a non-native English speaker, I believe I could find good arguments as a potential teacher as English is not the first language used in the country.
The director of the school in Istanbul gave me the great honor of accepting me as the only Non-native English teacher and so far, so good! Highly qualified teachers have helped give me the confidence to achieve the goals in order to become a non-native English teacher. Improving takes the guts to look for criticism as well as the courage to write, and the time and patience to voice in another language. Besides, going abroad is a great experience for any student and with such diversity and activities, as well as tourism, on offer from Turkey was certainly the best option.
By: Matthew Barge
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
This time last year, I was packing my bags, running around shopping for all the "missing last minute stuff". I did not know much beyond the fact that I was going to Madrid to teach English!!
I distinctly remember my parents telling me - "Are you CRAZY? You have decided to leave your perfectly well paying-well planned career to move to a country where you know nobody and don't speak the language?" Well, I can't really blame them for this reaction. Most of my friends also thought I was crazy.
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.
By: Hannah Fox
Well, here we go. In less than three hours, I will be on a 747 flying over the Atlantic.
In the past few weeks, I’ve experienced the entire spectrum of emotions—fear, excitement, anxiety, happiness, sadness—all in rapid succession. Quitting my job was at the same time one of the easiest and hardest decisions I’ve ever made. I had been working as a research assistant in a well respected company for almost two years that could really take me places, living comfortably in Chicago, surrounded by friends and family.
But at the same time, I didn’t feel fulfilled. After spending time in Latin America a few years back, I found myself ready to go abroad again. I was hoping that my job would allow me to travel abroad, as I was part of the international division, but after a while it, became clear that that was not going to happen. After a few life events that made it apparent that the universe was aligning for me to make this decision, as well as a daily walk down the street past an academy offering certification to teach abroad, I decided to take the plunge. I quit my job and decided to move to teach English in Germany.
By: Madelyn Harrick
Living and teaching English in Italy has been a fantastic experience so far. I love the culture and way of life. The differences between my Italian and American lifestyles can be challenging, but I try to embrace new things. Here are just a few of the things that I notice on a daily basis and stick out to me.