Meet The International TEFL Academy Staff

Clare Ling, Student Affairs Advisor at International TEFL Academy

Clare Ling

Student Affairs Representative

 What is your role at international TEFL Academy?

I'm a Student Affairs Advisor at ITA!

What's Your Story?

Though I never left the United States until college, I was always itching to do so. Thus, my very first appointment on my very first day of freshman year was with my university’s study abroad office! The fine folks there helped me go abroad first to Santiago, Chile, and then to Havana, Cuba, where I studied public health and Caribbean literature. After I graduated from college in 2018, I taught English with the Fulbright Student Program in Mérida, Mexico for nine awesome months. When I returned to Chicago in 2019, I was eager to stay involved with the world of international travel and education, so ITA was the perfect fit!

Christie Taught English in Mexico

Clare, Student Affairs Representative


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

I was born and raised in the Minneapolis area, with the Minnesota accent to boot! I went to college at Northwestern University in Evanston. There, I studied a different thing each year, switching from journalism to secondary education to public health and finally to Spanish and religious studies--which became my respective major and minor. I am the textbook example of indecision!

What countries have you visited?

Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Mexico & Cuba

What's next on your list?

Morocco, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey!

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

 I studied abroad in Santiago, Chile for five months; Havana, Cuba for two months, and I taught in Mérida, Mexico for nine months.

What was one of your most memorable travel experiences?

I hail from frigid Minnesota, so adjusting to the Yucatan’s tropical climate was no easy task. Though I eventually grew to love the sweltering temps and my breezy hamaca bed, the adjustment was certainly a struggle at first. In one of those first few weeks, after a particularly long day of sweating and errand-ing and general running around, I got on a packed bus and immediately knew my stomach wasn’t going to make it. In lieu of vomiting on my fellow bus passengers, I ubered home to get sick by my own sweet self. However, once I arrived, the owner of the house--who I had only just met days ago--took one look at me and beckoned me over to her room.

Bleary-eyed and croaking out incoherent Spanish, I laid down, signed a pair of forms (?) she had handed me, and tried not to question my life choices as she began wiggling my feet and placing heavy, rock-like objects on my legs, stomach, neck, and head. It was only later, once the heat sickness had dissipated and my Spanish was back in business, did I realize I had experienced my very first (and only!) session of magnetic therapy! Maybe it was placebo or the air conditioning or the thoughtful care of a near-stranger, but needless to say it worked like magic and I was up and going in no time!

Describe Your first experience traveling abroad:

My first stint abroad was spent in Chile, where I studied art, film, and Latin American literature in the country’s capital. It was a glorious 5-month experience in which much learning was done and much weight was gained (The avocados! The terremotos! I could not).

What is your favorite international cuisine?

Good lord, must I choose?! Ethiopian, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese...the list goes on. I am even a feign for those trendy millennial fusions like the ever-controversial sushi burrito.

Why do you like working at International TEFL Academy?

I love working at International TEFL Academy because I get to be inspired every day! Both our students and staff are passionate, brave, resilient, and armed with the best travel stories and advice out there. Needn’t say more!

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

Meet Clare, Student Affairs Representative