Meet The International TEFL Academy Staff

 

Cassie Wells

Admissions advisor


 What is your role at international TEFL Academy?

Cassie Wells, admissions advisor at ITA as well as the director of the video department. GET READY FOR YOUR CLOSE UP!


What's Your Story?

I am absolutely that girl that does something the second you tell her she can’t. Right before I left to teach abroad I became addicted to binge watching “Lost” and my favorite character, Locke, always said “don’t tell me what I can and cannot do”. So now, fast-forward some odd years, I am riddled with stories, some regrettable tattoos, and a knack for testing my free will.

Cassie taught English in South Korea

Meet your advisor cassie wells

 

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

I grew up in Valparaiso, Indiana (yep, a Hoosier) and went to school at Columbia College in Chicago. I majored in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Television and Film. I was very involved in school and when I wasn’t taking classes, I was interning. I started working the day after graduation and as every month passed, I often wondered when I would get the chance to travel. Spoiler alert: 2 years later I quit my job and left to see what this big bad world was all about!

What countries have you visited?

I personally don’t like this question. Listing countries off doesn’t mean you’ve conquered these places… it’s a bit obnoxious to me. BUT, Mexico, South Korea, Vietnam, Peru, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Czech Republic, Egypt, Jamaica, Colombia, Spain, Denmark, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Ireland, Scotland… and a handfull of exotic islands. 

What's next on your list?

1. Japan – my fascination with tea houses and I haven’t been to Japan?!

2. Mongolia – just want to stare at wild horses and write the next great American Novel.

3. India - I know traveling in India can be tough, but I also know it's the trip of a lifetime. 

Where have you lived, worked or traveled abroad long-term?

I taught English in South Korea for a little over a year. I lived in Seoul and worked at a language center, teaching elementary and middle school children. It was kinda/sorta/really awesome. Hearing little voices yell “CASSIE TEACHER!” every time I walked into a classroom somehow never got old. Pro-tip: be the teacher with candy and stickers. You will gain celebrity status overnight. True.

Best travel advice?

This probably won’t apply to everyone out there, but if you’re the person that takes a bunch of photos when you’re traveling (which I think is great), do yourself a favor and make sure you get some pictures of yourself while you’re out there. Sifting through my travel photos for this profile, I realized I’ve been to so many beautiful places, but have less than a dozen photos of myself in these places. Having my picture taken is one of my least favorite things of all time, but every now and then you just have to suck it up and say cheese. You’ll thank me later.

 

 

Reppin' ITA!

International TEFL academy

ITA Staff in Colombia

Panama Teaching English Abroad

The Thrill of Travel

Peru Teach abroad

Name some of your favorite literature & media:

Books: “Darma Bums” by Jack Kerouac, given to me by a great friend and I have since mailed the book to an ITA alumni, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” – Betty Smith, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” – David Sedaris

Website: Every time I think I have the perfect trip planned out, I post it on Lonely Planet’s ThornTree Forums and get schooled by locals and travelers with awesome advice. A go-to when trip planning! 

Music: My entire record collection… don’t worry, none of my records are cool, so it’s not pretentious (Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass...that's me). I love old school Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Francois Hardy, Bobby Womack, and I will flat out say it… disco. Soul trains are a right of passage, are they not? Music is a must when traveling. Just like the smell of cookies or fresh cut grass bringing people back to their childhoods, hearing certain songs can give me flashbacks to my best moments abroad.

What is your favorite international cuisine?

Being a vegetarian, I'm a huge fan of Indian cuisine. If we're ever at an Indian restaurant together, double down on the order of naan and back away from the table. It might get messy.

 

Why do you like working at International TEFL Academy?

ITA is like home for me. It is truly a privilege to be surrounded by such travel enthusiasts and all around good-hearted people. I’ve always known that I wanted to do something with my life that impacted others in a life changing way. I have talked to some amazing people that given the fork in the road, chose the road less traveled. It’s these people, our alumni and my coworkers, that constantly remind me to buy that ticket, take that ride, and love every minute of it. I feel so lucky to love what I do and love the ones that make up our team. Yes, we are THAT company and it is so, so good.

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

TEFL Certification for Teaching English Abroad