From Cairo to Germany - Still Intact, and Stronger

By: Eric Schenck 

My name is Eric, and I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life.

For almost three years, I lived in Cairo, Egypt. I was certified to teach English through International TEFL Academy in April of 2015. One month later, I graduated from Gonzaga University. Three months after that, I packed my bags, quit my job, and flew out. 

On August 11th of 2015, I arrived in the land of the pharaohs. It is now September of 2018. I write this from my new apartment in Düsseldorf, Germany. It seems like an entire lifetime of experiences has passed by in just moments.

Expect the Unexpected

By: Hannah Fox

What a wild ride the past two years have been. When I decided to quit my corporate job and move away from home in November of 2016, I had no idea that the next two years would bring so many different kinds of opportunities in so many places. At the time, I was working as a research assistant in a big, well-known policy research company in downtown Chicago. I worked in the international department and when I would tell people what I did, they would respond, “oh, cool!” But I sat most days for eight hours straight alone in my private office, working on tasks that left me wanting more. I was bored. After spending some time in France and Argentina during and after college, I knew I wanted to get back abroad but hadn’t found the right opportunity.

Best Food, Drink & Activities to Try in Cologne, Germany

By Nicola Rae

It isn’t hard to become absolutely enamored with Germany. Who wouldn’t love a country with a tradition of Kaffee und Kuchen (or afternoon coffee and cake)? Cologne just happens to be one of most notoriously friendly German cities.

During my six week house sit in Cologne, I taught English online with VIPKID, bought four dozen kiwis from the local market because German is hard, and gorged on fresh bread because I have zero self control and I can’t walk past a bakery without trying something new. "Just a small slice, please, I have six more bakeries to pass on my walk home..."

Taking it One Step at a Time - Moving to Dusseldorf, Germany

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.

Teaching English in Germany: Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall

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. 

Insider Tips for Overcoming Culture Shock in Berlin, Germany

By Tina Angok

Tina is an International TEFL Academy Alumni Ambassador who lives and teaches English in Berlin, Germany. 

Germany’s culture has small yet drastic differences from American culture. (Especially if you’re accustomed to a Midwestern way of life.) Say for example , you bump into someone in the Midwest, you can expect them to apologize profusely for being in your way. Germans would never do this, and even though I studied abroad in Berlin, I still didn’t get a full grasp of such nuances of German culture until I moved here to teach English.

Visa Know How: Germany Freelance Visa

Visas, Visas, Visas   — The topic no one enjoys talking about yet the topic everyone needs to know a lot about. Our ITA Alumni Ambassadors have been in your shoes when it comes to visas. It's a foreign topic to most, no matter how experienced of a traveler you are. Our Alumni Ambassadors have been through the visa process firsthand and Tina has been tasked with walking us through the steps she took for her Two-Year German Freelance  visa!

Berlin Neighborhood Spotlight: Neukolln

Our ITA Alumni Ambassadors are living in some of the world's greatest cities. We asked them to hit the streets and give us an inside look at their favorite neighborhoods to hang out and spend an afternoon. From the best coffee shops and restaurants, to the more off the beaten path hidden gems, our Alumni Ambassadors are on the ground abroad & ready to spill their tips!