Meet The International TEFL Academy Staff


Shay Ames

Admissions advisor

Business to Business Department

 What is your role at international TEFL Academy?

Admissions Advising – I help future travelers put their success plans together before they embark on their adventure abroad, from covering country options, visas, hiring seasons, salaries, interview procedures and more. It is truly a pleasure to educate and assist future ITA alumni, from when they first realize the tremendous opportunity that awaits them abroad to the realization of their dream that once started as a simple conversation.

Business Development – When I put this hat on, it is with the goal of helping even more students achieve their goals of living overseas by strategically partnering with top study abroad, volunteer abroad, internship abroad organizations, and the like, which routinely are how many people first become addicted to traveling. I enjoy providing those addicts with a pipeline to further their journeys around the world and help even more people abroad, but this time getting paid to travel as a professional teacher. 

Also in the Charity, Video Department and notably a 3 time ITA Thanksgiving Throwdown Champion!

What's Your Story?

The country boy that always wanted to be ‘on the go’. Rural Pennsylvania provided me the ideal environment to grow: rich with loving family, close-knit friends, community and the omnipresence of nature. I would have it no other way. Those surroundings also sparked my intrigue to explore, whether it was through the literal miles of untouched forest that is my backyard, to the distant, multi-faceted cultural centers abroad, far from my quiet pocket of PA.

My view of traveling embodies plenty of dimension, however predominately strikes me as a necessary education in and of itself.  It is the opportunity to build perspective, a broader vision and global awareness. Beyond all of the amazing things traveling provides a traveler, including all of the aforementioned benefits, I believe in what we do, because it is requisite experience living in the ever-globalizing world of today.      

Shay also works in ITA's business-to-business department

international tefl academy staff


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

Chicago, by way of “the sticks”.   

What countries have you visited?

Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Zambia, Zimbabwe  

What's next on your list?

Vietnam, Ecuador

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

I have traveled as a performer and actively participated in community service projects, later as an informal private English language tutor and a tourist, all the way to filming a television pilot and on business with ITA.

Best travel advice?

My simple travel advice is: get involved. You may never have the same moment, opportunity or be in the same location with the same people ever again, so get in the arena and engage yourself in the experience.



Having fun in Colombia

Teach English in Colombia

Shay Enjoying Costa Rica

Teach English in Costa Rica

Shay in South Africa



What is your favorite international cuisine?

Anyone that knows me, knows that eclectic eating is not my prime motivation for travel, however sushi has changed my life.  I could also eat the wild game I had in Africa on a daily basis.  

Why do you like working at International TEFL Academy?

Just as my truly inspiring colleagues have undoubtedly echoed, ITA allows me to feel great about what I do. Helping people achieve their dreams of living abroad as they in turn help more people through professional and meaningful service? Yeah, I like that. Having had my fill of the corporate grind to compare, working at ITA is tremendously rewarding.  

I would like to add that my lovely wife, Kristin was a co-founder of ITA and English teacher in Spain and Italy for multiple years.  Our cat, Sushi also approves of my line of work and colleagues, which is a tough stamp of approval to get!   

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

meet your advisor, Shay