Jessie Smith | Head of New Product Development

Jessie Smith | Marketing Director

What's your role at International TEFL Academy?

I joined the ITA team as an Admissions Advisor in 2014 and then made the switch to the Marketing team in 2016. As of the summer of 2021, I am now the Head of New Product Development. 

What's your story?

I started traveling for the first time as a junior in college when I studied abroad in Gold Coast, Australia. I loved living abroad so much that I had to go again! I studied abroad during my senior year in southern India.

After graduating from the University of Iowa in 2012 with a BA in Journalism, I was ready to 'start my career' so I jumped into an office job in Chicago. I was bored to tears within months, shocking, I know. With student loans looming, I was looking for a realistic, affordable way to continue traveling the world.

I randomly walked into the ITA office on my way home from work one afternoon. About four months later I managed to sublet my apartment, get rid of a lot of my stuff, take the ITA Online Course, and hop on a flight to Seoul, South Korea to teach English. I eventually hopped over to Hanoi, Vietnam to continue teaching and traveling.
When I’m not working, I'm out on some sort of hiking/road tripping/camping adventure with my Goldendoodle pup, Lola.

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

I'm from the best city in the world, Chicago! I currently live in Portland, Oregon. I went to college at The University of Iowa and studied Journalism & Sport Studies.

What countries have you visited?

Australia, Fiji, Mexico, Thailand, India, South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Greece, Italy, Iceland, Ireland, Switzerland, Scotland, Austria, Slovakia, Denmark, Turkey, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Portugal.

What is your favorite international cuisine?


Best travel advice? 

When in doubt - GO. You have dreamt of getting out and going to see the world, quit over-thinking, no more worrying, quit the excuses, and go see the world.

Why do you like working at ITA?

My colleagues are some of the most interesting people I've ever met, and many have become some of my close friends. My goal is to inspire people and help them realize how accessible travel really can be. 

International TEFL Academy Jessie Smith
Teach English Abroad Jessie Smith
TEFL South Korea Jessie Smith
International TEFL Academy Jessie Smith
Teach English Abroad & Online Jessie Smith

Meet The Rest of The ITA Crew

Meet The Team

ITA Team

Meet the ITA staff who has lived, traveled, and/or taught abroad and online extensively. We've been in your shoes so you can do it too.



ITA Professors

All of our Course instructors possess advanced degrees (Masters Degrees, PhD's or the equivalent) and at least 10 years of teaching & training experience. 



ITA Admissions Advisors

Before enrolling in a course, all students are provided with one-on-one pre-enrollment advice from expert advisors to determine how they can realistically achieve their goals of working as professional English teachers abroad & online.


Student Affairs

ITA Student Affairs Advisors

Following enrollment, students receive lifetime job search guidance through the Student Affairs Department to assist them in navigating the international job market, gaining employment, and preparing to travel and live abroad.