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.

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?

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.

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.