Abriana Smith | Admissions Advisor

Abriana Smith | Admissions Advisor

What is your role at International TEFL Academy?

I am an Admissions Advisor and have been a part of the ITA team since January of 2023. I’m here to answer questions, share resources and help you find the right TEFL course for you. We can create a plan together to help you reach your travel and teaching goals!

What's your story?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with exploring new places and hearing the stories of people with life experiences vastly different from mine. As a child, I counted the days until family vacation and daydreamed about when I would be old enough to really get lost in a new place on my own. After high school, I moved to Ithaca, NY for college which is where my travel addiction really developed. I had no problem living off ramen noodles as long as I had enough money for flights and gas. After many road trips and vacations in Belize and India, I didn’t have a plan for post-college but I knew it involved getting out of the USA.

The day after graduation I took a backpacking trip through Vietnam where I met some other travelers teaching English there and quickly realized that TEFL was the path for me. After getting my TEFL certification with ITA, I moved to Taiwan, where I worked as an ESL teacher for a year and a half. I then spent the beginning of this summer freelance teaching ESL in Thailand before returning to the USA. Soon after coming back home, I began working here at ITA!

Where are you from and where did you go to college?

I was born and raised in Basking Ridge, NJ. I went to Ithaca College in upstate New York, which will forever be one of my favorite places.

What was your first travel abroad experience like?

I went on family vacations abroad but the first time I planned my own trip was when I decided to visit my friend in India after my sophomore year of college. India was like no where I had ever been, nothing felt familiar. As soon as I stepped out of the airport I heard yelling in a language I didn’t understand, I saw rickshaws zooming past me and cows on the side of the road. Even the crescent moon was sitting at a different angle in the sky than I had ever seen back home. I felt like I had no idea what was happening at all times and I loved every second of it.

What countries have you been to?

Aruba, Belize, Cambodia, Canada, England, France, Ireland, India, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Qatar, Scotland, Spain, The Virgin Islands, Taiwan, USA, Vatican City, Vietnam.

Where have you lived/taught abroad?

I lived and taught in Taiwan for 1.5 years. I have also taught online while backpacking in Thailand and traveling around the USA.

Best travel story?

One of my favorite memories abroad was on my last day in San Pedro, Belize. After spending the morning scuba diving I wandered into a dive bar across the street from the dock and started chatting with an older couple playing pool inside. After talking with them for a few hours they invited me over for dinner where I met their children, grandchildren, and neighborhood friends. They taught me how to cook panades and we listened to music and I taught the kids how to play card games and we all danced and had a wonderful night together. Even though I had only met them a few hours ago they made me feel like a part of their family. I was inspired by their warmth and openness and love for one another.

After the dinner party, I began to walk on the beach back to my hotel. On the walk back I saw a security guard on the beach with an angry look on his face. I asked him why he was so mad. He laughed and told me he had been working too long. Not wanting my last night in Belize to end, I offered him a beer from my backpack. I sat with him sharing stories and photos and laughs. After his security shift ended he unlocked a gate blocking off a big wooden structure that looked kind of like a tree house on stilts at the end of one of the docks and told me to climb up to the top and jump into the ocean. I decided to go for it and we took turns jumping off the roof into the ocean until we saw the sunrise over the water and I remembered I had a flight to catch in a few hours. That day taught me the importance of putting yourself out there and connecting with the people around you. I live for those unexpected interactions.

Favorite ethnic food?

It’s a tie between Indian food and Thai food, the more spice the better!

What excites you about working at ITA?

As a former ITA student it’s surreal to be working for a company that has truly changed my life. Being able to help others step outside of their comfort zone in the same way my ITA advisor inspired me is a dream come true. I’m also so grateful to work with a group of amazing humans that share that same passion for traveling and helping others.

Abriana Smith ITA Admissions Advisor
TEFL Teach English Abroad Abriana Smith
International TEFL Academy Abriana Smith
TEFL Abriana Smith
ITA Admissions Advisor Abriana Smith
TEFL Certification Abriana Smith

Meet The Rest of The ITA Crew

Meet The Team

ITA Team

Meet the ITA staff who has lived, traveled, and/or taught abroad and online extensively. We've been in your shoes so you can do it too.



ITA Professors

All of our Course instructors possess advanced degrees (Masters Degrees, PhD's or the equivalent) and at least 10 years of teaching & training experience. 



ITA Admissions Advisors

Before enrolling in a course, all students are provided with one-on-one pre-enrollment advice from expert advisors to determine how they can realistically achieve their goals of working as professional English teachers abroad & online.


Student Affairs

ITA Student Affairs Advisors

Following enrollment, students receive lifetime job search guidance through the Student Affairs Department to assist them in navigating the international job market, gaining employment, and preparing to travel and live abroad.