Karen Grant | Co-Founder 

Karen Grant

What's your role at International TEFL Academy?

One of the company founders, I was the longtime Director of Student Affairs and Operations.

What's your story?

My “how did I decide to live overseas” story?   Well, it’s a simple one and it starts with me sitting in a bar in Portland, Oregon on a, most likely, cold, dark, rainy night.

So there I was sitting in the Cheerful something in SE Portland drinking a “mancran” with my friend Darin and a random guy talking to us about coffee plantations in Central America. Before this coffee conversation started up Darin and I filled out a Keno ticket and watched the balls drop on the Keno screen out of the corners of our eyes. Next thing you know we won the jackpot, which honestly wasn’t that much money, but nonetheless we won!

We cashed in our winnings the next day at the Oregon Lottery Office and drove off with a car filled with balloons (apparently this was a big deal to them) and our winnings. Well, I assume you can guess where the story goes from here…I took my cut of our winnings, signed up for a four-week TEFL class in Chile, told my parents I was moving overseas, listened to their advice, got rid of my things, bought a plane ticket, and, as someone once said, “the rest is history.”

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

I’m originally from Long Grove, Illinois where we “raised” sheep, cats, horses, chickens, rabbits, a dog, and a goat named Curly. But, after years of spending their lives dealing with cold Illinois winters, my parents eventually moved us out to Arizona where they traded in a backyard full of animals to a backyard with a pool. I got my BA from Portland State in Oregon prior to heading overseas to get TEFL certified & to teach English in Chile.

What countries have you visited?

Australia, Fiji, Mexico, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Panama, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Belize, Guatemala, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia.

Top 3 on your list?

In no particular order – Morocco, Vietnam, the whole world.

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

I worked as an English teacher in Chile for 2 years. I spent the first year and a half teaching adults in Santiago working at different language schools throughout the city. For the last few months I was in Chile I taught English at a copper mine in northern Chile in the middle of the Atacama Desert close to a town called Iquique. 

Best Travel Advice? 

My best advice for anyone going to live abroad is to learn about the country and the people where you’re going to be living before you move there – read books on its history, culture, etc. and be able to have conversations with the locals and your students about their country.

Favorite: literature/media/music

Books: Really depends on the mood – right now I’m reading “The Wright Brothers” so I guess my current mood is flying.

Films: Can never go wrong with a scary movie.

Music: Give a man a guitar and I typically like the music.

TV: The Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy (yes, it’s still on the air and yes, I still watch it)

What is your favorite international cuisine?

 Mexican… I can literally eat it every day. 

Why do you like working at ITA?

Because we’re constantly motivated to work out to burn off all the cake that the president of the company constantly brings to the office.

Karen Grant ITA Director of Studies
Karen Grant International TEFL Academy
Teach English Abroad Karen Grant
Karen Grant ITA Founder
Karen Grant International TEFL Academy
ITA TEFL Karen Grant

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.