Meet The International TEFL Academy Staff


Havvah Holl

Student Affairs Representative

Alumni Department

Charity Department

 What is your role at international TEFL Academy?

I work in the Student Affairs department which means I’m responsible for helping students through all the in’s and out’s of finding a job abroad, as well as a lot of behind the scenes stuff that to keep everything humming along! I also work in our Alumni and Charity Departments. Last but not least, I'm a two-time ITA Thanksgiving Throwdown Champion! 

What's Your Story?

I grew up in middle of nowhere Nebraska, and moved to Iowa to study English at Drake University. I always wanted to travel outside of the US, and my opportunity came when I applied to teach English in China after I graduated from college. In the summer of 2007, I packed up my meager belongings, and bought a one-way ticket to Kunming, China. I had never heard of it, I knew nothing about it, and I cried the whole way through the security line. I had no idea what to expect, I didn’t know if I could make it through a month there, much less the full year I was supposed to teach, or really what I had somehow gotten myself into. Three years later, after teaching countless classes to pretty much every age group, and travelling throughout China and Southeast Asia, I would finally make my way back to the States.

Now that I am the States, I like to spend my time travelling (obviously), cooking, gardening, playing bocce ball, biking, exploring Chicago, and planning my next international adventure.

Havvah taught English in China!

Meet Havvah!


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

I'm from Nebraska and went to school at Drake University.

What countries have you visited?

The Netherlands, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, and Colombia.

What's next on your list?

My next top destinations include Spain (tickets booked!) and Tasmania


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

I taught English in China for three years. 

Why is Travel Important?

Travel is especially important to me, not just because of the new experiences, sights, sounds, etc., but also because it is a constant challenge. Whether I’m trying to communicate in a language I’ve never spoken, or trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B on my next adventure, I find myself in situations that continue to

Best travel advice?

Don’t forget your sunscreen and bug spray…ever! Nothing ruins a trip faster than a sunburn and bug bites.



Having fun in Nicaragua!


ITA Charity Department Looking Fierce

Teach English Abroad International TEFL Academy

The Thrill of Travel

Teach English Abroad Nicaragua

Name some of your favorite literature & media:

Book: 1Q84 – Haruki Murakami – at 1000 + pages, it is long enough to get you through a lot of time spent in transit.

Food: All of it! Seriously there are very few foods I’ve met that I don’t like…

Website for travel: Any local expat site for the place I’m travelling too, like or


What is your favorite international cuisine?

I will eat anything. 


Why do you like working at International TEFL Academy?

My favorite part of working at ITA, besides the great people, spontaneous fun events, and free food, is knowing that when I am talking to our students, I’m talking to people who are just like I was all those years ago. Each of the students that I get to talk to is getting ready to take a huge leap, and embark on their own exhilarating/harrowing experience abroad, and it’s great to get to be a part of that.

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

TEFL Certification International TEFL Academy