Learn how, by choosing ITA, you are contributing to helping those in need locally & around the world.

Making a Difference at Home
& Abroad, Together.

International TEFL Academy believes it is our responsibility to leave the world a better place than how we found it.  Our staff, instructors, and students are Global Citizens, and we realize how fortunate we are to travel and live abroad.  We have a commitment to make an impact on the world, both large and small, by direct involvement or by simply spreading the word on what each one of us can do.

When you enroll with International TEFL Academy, you choose a TEFL Certification Provider that commits a portion of its profits to international and local charities every year, and provide free ESL lessons to our local community in Chicago.  We also hope to offer guidance and suggestions to others on how they can make a difference in the lives of others around the world. 


Total Donations Made So far
by International TEFL Academy


Total Charitable Organizations
Helped by ITA


Non-native English Speakers who took free classes at ITA in Chicago


2020. Where do we start, honestly? In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, we've dedicated a great portion of our 2020 donations towards supporting COVID-19-focused relief funds & organizations. So far, we've helped the following organizations:

World Central Kitchen | Chicago COVID Response Fund |  Environmental Defense Fund | Navajo Nation Relief Fund

Following the tragic events of George Floyd's death, we've decided to do our part to stand against racism and fight racial injustice & inequality in Chicago, in the U.S. and worldwide. In addition to donating to several organizations, ITA also matched any donations made by our employees to support equality, diversity, acceptance and love. So far, and altogether, we've supported the following institutions:

Chicago Freedom School | National Bailout Fund Network/Collective | Campaign Zero | Black Fem | Black Lives Matter Chicago | Black Visions Collective | Reclaim The Block |  Black Youth Project 100 | Chicago Community Bond Fund | Girls For A Change | American Civil Liberties Union | Color of Change

Finally, after almost a decade of being involved in charitable causes, it is worth noting that we have finally reached a major milestone in 2020: over $100,000 in total donations made by International TEFL Academy.

Other Organizations we've supported this year:

Reading In Motion | Fraser | ROMP | WWF | RAINN | The Rotary Foundation | Beirut Disaster Relief Fund - Beit El Baraka | Lebanese Red CrossDignity Period | Hand to Hand Charity Myanmar | Wolverine Human Services/Core Orchards | SocialWorks | World Vision | Greater Chicago Food Depository | World Food Program | Vocel


In 2019, The Bahamas were hit by Hurricane Dorian and we donated to Chef José Andrés' World Central Kitchen as a result. We also supported major organizations that inspire our staff members every day. For instance, we supported Out Our Front Door, a Chicago-based organization that was founded by Student Affairs Advisor Glenn Schneider. Its mission is to immerse, educate, and preserve the history, culture, trails, and native habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area through exploratory adventures. Finally, we supported a mix of international and local organizations:

World Central Kitchen - Bahamas Relief | Chicago Public Library Foundation | OpenLands | Food not Bombs | Rainforest Alliance Network | Out our Front Door | Rotary International | Inner City Muslim Network | The Night Ministry | Hostelling International Travel Scholarships | Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary | Almost Home Chicago | IRC | The Foundation for Learning & Youth Travel Education (FLYTE) | Reading In Motion 


In 2018, we supported two organizations that promote travel opportunities, HI Chicago travel scholarship and Now Boarding. We also launched our first Pride month and partnered with our alumni to support organizations focused on the LGBTQ+ community both locally (Project Fierce and Equality Illinois) and internationally (ILGA). Additionally, we donated to another mix of international and local organizations - whether it was to help fight against bushfires in California, help Syrian refugees, or preserve The U.S. wilderness:

All Hands Disaster Relief | Hi USA | Now Boarding | IRC - Syria Relief | ILGA | Project Fierce Chicago | Equality Illinois | National Park Fund | Openlands | Conservation Lands FundReading In Motion 


In 2017, we started working with Refugee One. This local organization works with our online practicum students in the Chicago area and supports new refugees in Chicago. Several of our staff members went on to volunteer with them as well! Additionally, we reiterated our support and ongoing partnerships with the following international and local organizations in the field of education, environment, and local and international aid:

Refugee One | ACLU | IRC | Mujarave | WITS Chicago | The Heartland Alliance | The Night Ministry | Rainforest Action Network | National Park Fund | Clean Water Action | Rationall | Trek to Teach | Reading In Motion 


In 2016, we were able to support a cause with a personal connection as Hurricane Matthew spread all the way to Houston, TX, where ITA Admission Advisor Felicia's family is from.

We also connected with Mujarave, a charity based out of Guatemala that focuses on empowering and improving the lives of Guatemalan women. Our donations helped install new stoves in homes that improved hygiene and cut down on illness in the home, as well as toward building a greenhouse to help the community grow more food to support themselves and to sell at the local markets.

Additionally, we supported a mix of international and local organizations:

Unicef - Ecuador Earthquake Relief | Charity Water | Pencils of Promise | Mujarave | Huilo Huilo Foundation | DevelopEd | Unicef - Hurricane Matthew Relief | Oxfam | The White HelmetsReading In Motion 


In 2015, we worked to support local Chicago organizations focusing on refugee support (Heartland Alliance) and homelessness (The Night Ministry). We also supported relief efforts after the disaster in Nepal, where ITA Student Affairs Advisor Christie volunteered a few years ago. Additionally, we donated to a mix of international and local organizations:

Emergency donation to Nepal Relief | Heartland Alliance | Amnesty International | The Night Ministry | Oxfam UnwrappedReading In Motion 

2014 & BEFORE

ITA was founded in 2010. It was clear from the beginning that giving back was at the core of our company. Between 2010 and 2014, despite being busy starting a company off the ground, we made a point to donate to the following international and local organizations:

Hostelling International - Chicago | Mama Hope Project | Charity Water | Bachpan Bachao Andolan | Malala Fund | Haiti Relief Funds | Donations to American Red Cross | GoAbroad Foundation Relief FundReading In Motion

It's also worth mentioning that Mama Hope Project was our first Charity suggested by an ITA alumn, Annemarie Catenzaro. They were raising money to build a school in Tanzania, and we chimed in as part of our ongoing commitment to supporting our alumni in giving back globally.

Charities We Support

ITA Student Highlights

Whether at home or overseas, ITA alumni are deeply vested in making a difference and helping out their local communities. Here's a quick shoutout to a few of them, and the incredible work they're doing:

2nd Annual Alumni Giving Campaign

Giving back is a major part of who we are as a company and as an Alumni Community.  Therefore, each year, ITA puts a call out to alumni for charities that mean a lot to them.  After receiving a number of heartfelt & compelling submissions this year, 2 finalists had the chance to pitch their charities live to the ITA staff to receive respectively $1750 and $1250. We invite you to learn more about the organizations they are involved with, and to donate to their causes as well. And keep you eyes out for next year's Alumni Giving Campaign so you can submit your charity of choice for consideration. 

🥇Dignity Period

Dignity Period

"Dignity Period is incredibly dedicated to supporting young women throughout Ethiopia by providing them with free, reusable menstrual pads. They also accompany menstrual hygiene product distributions with comprehensive student training regarding reproductive health, which inform students of the changes that will occur in their bodies in order to best prepare for their health."

Read More: ITA alumna Heleen Bennett's involvement with Dignity Period.


🥈Core Orchards Detroit

Core Orchards Detroit

"The mission of Core Orchards is to plant the seed to empower children and communities through education, partnership, and caring. By building an orchard and urban garden on Detroit’s East side, Core Orchards provides organic, nutritious foods to an area that otherwise lacks access to fresh produce."

Read More: ITA alumna Victoria Williamson's involvement with Core Orchards Detroit.


🥉Hand to Hand

Hand to Hand

"This organization provides free summer school classes to local children in the village of Nyaungshwe. They accept English-speaking volunteers and emphasize English learning and practice. They also lean heavily on environmental education and how the children can implement sustainable, responsible habits in their homes and community."

Read More: ITA alumna Charlotte Cathey's involvement with Hand to Hand.


Please check back again regularly - we will highlight more of the amazing submissions we've received to support our Students' causes & initiatives.

More Initiatives From Our Students

Jack Ross

ITA alumnus, Jack Ross, talks about how he's committed a portion of his earnings as a teacher towards One Tree Planted - a non-profit that aims to fight climate change “one tree” at a time.

"I find it extremely gratifying to help in any way possible with whatever amount I can contribute. After all, it’s the least we can do to save Earth."

Check out Jack's amazing story in his article.

MaryAlice Skidmore & Katie Gettys

MaryAlice & Katie are best friends. After getting TEFL certified with ITA, they took their friendship to the next level and now volunteer teaching at the Wildflower Home in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Watch their video & see what their daily lives in Thailand look like!

Magda Ksiazak

Magda Ksiazak is an International TEFL Academy graduate who, after getting her TEFL certification in Chicago, went on to volunteer teaching in Dharamsala, India.

"I met some truly amazing people and learned SO much from my students, many of whom I keep in touch with."

Check out Magda's amazing story in her Q&A.

{% set criterion_match_29069808527 = get_criterion_match(29069808527, [29069808528, 29069370273]) %}{% if criterion_match_29069808527 == 29069808528 %}{% do widget_data.targetedMatchedDefinitions.addWidgetDefinitionMatch(convert_to_widget_definition_match(29069808527, 29069808528, 3)) %}{% do widget_data.targeted_content_type_used.add(convert_to_smart_type(3)) %}

Chat with your advisor,

Take advantage of the one-on-one guidance provided to you by an expert in the field of TEFL.
Your advisor has taught English abroad or online and lived overseas.

{% elif criterion_match_29069808527 == 29069370273 %}{% do widget_data.targetedMatchedDefinitions.addWidgetDefinitionMatch(convert_to_widget_definition_match(29069808527, 29069370273, 3)) %}{% do widget_data.targeted_content_type_used.add(convert_to_smart_type(3)) %}

Want Your Charitable Initiatives to Be Featured?

{% else %}

Let's make a difference around the world together

Choose ITA & contribute to helping those in need locally & overseas.

{% endif %}
{% set criterion_match_29069370262 = get_criterion_match(29069370262, [29069370263, 29069370288]) %}{% if criterion_match_29069370262 == 29069370263 %}{% do widget_data.targetedMatchedDefinitions.addWidgetDefinitionMatch(convert_to_widget_definition_match(29069370262, 29069370263, 3)) %}{% do widget_data.targeted_content_type_used.add(convert_to_smart_type(3)) %}{% elif criterion_match_29069370262 == 29069370288 %}{% do widget_data.targetedMatchedDefinitions.addWidgetDefinitionMatch(convert_to_widget_definition_match(29069370262, 29069370288, 3)) %}{% do widget_data.targeted_content_type_used.add(convert_to_smart_type(3)) %}

Get In Touch!

{% else %}Get In Touch!{% endif %}

ITA Staff Highlights

The ITA family is comprised of very unique & thoughtful people. Our staff cares about you and your teaching career overseas as much as they care about the world they live in.

Dignity Diner

On February 4, 2020, a few of us at ITA volunteered with our neighbors at the Holy Covenant United Methodist Church to provide a free dinner for the hungry, homeless, and people seeking community in the neighborhood. Guests are served a three-course, sit-down dinner. The church has been doing this every Tuesday since 1992.


Meet ITA Advisor, Glenn

Student Affairs Advisor Glenn loves exploring the beauty of the Midwest, and does a lot of bicycling and camping to get to that beauty.

He suggested that ITA donate to the organization Openlands because he sees them as one of the premier nature conservation organizations in the Chicago region.

Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region.