Meet The International TEFL Academy Staff


Ashley Houston

Admissions advisor

 What is your role at international TEFL Academy?

I'm an Admissions Advisor & have spent time as the Partner Relations Strategist on our University Relations team. 

What's Your Story?

From the age of nine, I grew up attending language and culture immersion programming. I developed a love and curiosity for foreign people and places from a very young age. After studying German, Chinese, and Norwegian, I finally settled on two languages--Japanese and Spanish--to focus on during the school year and summers. I incorporated study abroad into my academic plans as much as possible, studying abroad in high school, in between high school and college, and all four years of college.

After graduating with a B.A. in Japanese, I worked as an Academic Advisor for Master's programs at Capella University and then took a round-the-world voyage on the Peace Boat, a Japanese NGO. I then decided to pursue an M.A. in Intercultural Relations out in Cambridge, MA. While in grad school, I worked as an RA for a Japanese women’s university satellite campus and pursued my love of yoga.

Following my graduate program, I helped start-up Yoga Travel Tree, worked in a marketing and outreach role for, and then joined IES Abroad as their one-lady PR show. All of my diverse experiences brought me to International TEFL Academy, where I am proud to help others work toward the wonderful adventure of teaching English abroad!

What's next on your list?

Switzerland (my great-grandma came over from there to start a cheese factory in Wisconsin) 

What is traveling the world important to you?

Travel is important to me personally and professionally because it not only helps us understand others, it helps us to better understand ourselves. Travel reveals more similarities across people than it does differences, and it allows us to appreciate and learn from the differences. Outside of the power intercultural competence and discovery hold, we live in an increasingly globalized world and travel enables us to communicate more effectively across cultures.  


I studied abroad in Japan (twice), South Africa, Thailand, and New Zealand. I taught English in Costa Rica.

Best travel advice?

Plan to an extent, but leave plenty of room and openness for spontaneity and last minute adventures. It’s okay to rip up the plan!



Meet Admissions Advisor, Ashley!

Meet Your Advisor, Ashley


Where are you from, where did you go to college & what did you major in at college?

Wisconsin born, raised in the Chicago burbs, and educated in Minnesota and Massachusetts. I graduated with a B.A. in Japanese from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, and an M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I have also spent time living out in the wonderful sunshine and mountains of Colorado and the rain and greenery of Portland, Oregon!

What countries have you visited?

Austria, Barbados, Belize, Canada, ChileChina, ColombiaCosta Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, JapanJordan, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Poland, Puerto Rico, RomaniaRussia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela, and Vietnam

Enjoying a Cuban in Havana

Meet Your Advisor, Ashley

Cruising Around in Vietnam!

Teach English in Vietnam

Just hanging on the Equator, no big deal!

TEFL certification South America

What is your favorite international cuisine?

Mexican, Japanese, and Greek

Why do you like working at International TEFL Academy?

Everyone here is truly an expert advisor when it comes to teaching English abroad. I love learning from and hearing the stories of my colleagues, and sharing my experiences with them. A day doesn’t go by without learning something new, and we know how to have a lot of fun and laugh in the process.

"I’m happy to share my story in hopes of helping other
International TEFL Academy students connect to the world."

TEFL Certification International TEFL Academy