Meet The International TEFL Academy Staff

 

Chelsea Hendrickx

Admissions advisor

 What is your role at international TEFL Academy?

Admissions Advisor - helping people get enrolled and on the path to change their lives!

What's Your Story?

I grew up in a suburban family whose vacations mostly consisted of a 4 hour drive to Disney, without much international exposure. As a young adult I realized there was a huge world out there that looked incredible, so after short stints in Spain and England I decided to get TEFL Certified and move to Japan to become an English teacher (even though I'd never been to Asia and didn't speak a lick of Japanese). It was, singlehandedly, the best thing I have ever done in my life to this date and I promised myself that once I returned, I'd work in a field where I could help others move abroad as well.

Chelsea did the JET program in Japan!

TEFL Certification Japan

  

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

I grew up in Florida and attended the University of Florida. The study abroad office at my school is what opened my eyes to travel and made me realize what was out there!

What countries have you visited?

Japan, Thailand, Spain, Italy, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, England, Scotland, Finland, Belize, Ireland, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Norway

What's next on your list?

Cuba, Belgium, Argentina

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

Back in college, I did a semester abroad in Spain, studying Spanish, followed by a semester in England where I took business courses and did an internship with a local company. Later, I moved to Japan for two years where I taught English at two rural schools and it changed my life.

What was one of your most memorable travel experiences?

When I was living in Japan, my mother came to visit me and it was so surreal to have to basically be HER mother for a few weeks. I had to order all her food, explain what it was and coax her to eat it. I found her hiding beef tongue under her rice because she didn't want to eat it and I was forcing her to. Classic.

Best travel advice?

Always be open minded, and never assume anything. Talk to as many local people as possible and don’t get all your information about a country from one person or one source. Someone from New York will have a different view of America than someone from Alabama, and this is the same for any other country in the world. Learn as much as you can!

Also, if you are being fear-mongered by friends or relatives about safety abroad, please know that all of my Japanese students were baffled that I could live and survive in America without being shot and robbed every day, so know that other countries often think where YOU are from is the dangerous part of the world. It's all relative. Be smart and make good choices wherever you are.

 

Teamwork makes the dream work!

TEFL Certification International TEFL Academy

Wandering Around Thailand

Teach English in Thailand

JET Program in Japan!

JET Japan

What is your favorite international cuisine?

I need an endlessly changing array of cuisines. Eating is one of the biggest parts of travel for me and I'll never turn down an opportunity to try local cuisine. Favorites are Cuban ropa vieja, Japanese curry (it's so thick!), and all of the cheap Mexican tacos in Chicago. I had one of the best curry soups of my life in a dogsledding hut in Norway. Just eat all of the food, everywhere. It may surprise you.

Why do you like working at International TEFL Academy?

Working at ITA is incredible because I get to spend all day talking to people about the thing I love most: travel!  I love answering all your questions and sharing my experience. It doesn't matter if you have a college degree or not, whether you are 18 or 73; our students are from all walks of life and go on to have amazing times abroad.

 

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

TEFL Certification International TEFL Academy