Now, the moment you've all been waiting for - the virtual crowning of our 2020 Teach Abroad Film Festival winners! Sit back, grab some popcorn, and watch Shay, our emcee, announce our 2020 winners!
Thank you to all ITA alumni filmmakers who entered this year's Film Festival and shared their experiences teaching English abroad & online. Congrats to our winners & finalists!
The Teach Abroad Film Festival's goal is to celebrate the work of incredible English teachers abroad who help make a difference through international education & cultural exchange. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this edition of the Festival is fully virtual.
🥇First Prize Winner | Film: Empty Spaces
Steven takes home a $2,000 USD cash prize.
Steven grew up on the West Coast of Scotland before leaving for the University of Mount Olive, North Carolina to study English on a Men’s Volleyball Scholarship. After graduating in 2014, he was offered a position at his alma mater dealing with international student recruitment. After spending almost five years working in an office, his will to live was rapidly deteriorating, prompting him, and his girlfriend Jessica to enroll in ITA’s online TEFL program in 2018. One year later, they left the US, teaching English online, to travel the world.
After six months on the road, they have spent time in China, Mongolia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, & the Philippines. They currently have no set plans but anticipate about 2-3 years of traveling.
🥈Second Prize Winner | Film: Peace, Love & Indonesia
Courtney takes home a $1,000 USD cash prize.
While earning her Biological Anthropology degree, Courtney was bitten by the travel bug during a study abroad program to Israel in June 2015. After graduating from The College at Brockport in December 2015, she moved to NYC and worked in Student Affairs at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. She knew she wanted to travel more and also encourage others by leading the way. She completed her TEFL certification from International TEFL Academy in February 2017 and went on to teach English online and tutor in a summer program until June 2019, when she quit her jobs and moved back home to Western NY.
In August 2019, she applied and was accepted to work at EF English First Indonesia where she currently lives and continues exploring South East Asia.
🥉Third Prize Winner | Film: The Other Side of Fear
Kenny takes home a $500 USD cash prize.
Kenny Nguyen has been traveling since he was a little boy. His parents would frequently take him across the world during summer vacations. After graduating Columbia College Chicago in 2016, everyone expected him to join the corporate world, everyone except himself. In college, he made promises to himself that he would live in Asia for at least two years. This part of the world, specifically Vietnam, fascinated him. Kenny has many family members in Vietnam, some whom he had never met or didn’t know well.
Before entering into the corporate world, he knew he had to make up for lost time with his family so in 2017, Kenny got TEFL certified and went on to teach English in Japan and Vietnam, also known as “the motherland”.
🏆GoOverseas Choice Award Winner | Film: Traveling Internationally for The First Time
Jonas takes home a $200 USD cash prize.
Jonas moved to Corvallis, OR from his hometown of Nashville, TN soon after he graduated from Mississippi State University in May 2017. He graduated with a degree in Wildlife Biology and never thought he would be teaching English to people from all over the world. This new move really opened his eyes to the abundant possibilities this world has to offer and decided to get his TEFL certification in Thailand. This experience really changed him and has inspired him to see more of the world and bring others along with him.
He's currently teaching English online with two different companies but soon that experience will springboard him into his new life as a world traveler and educator.
Ryan Thompson | Film: Life's Cross-Training
Ryan teaches English in South Korea
Benoit Potvin | Film: Make. Great. Memories.
Benoit teaches English in China
International TEFL Academy is proud to join forces with LEAP Innovations (LEAP) as our 2020 Film Festival charity partner. LEAP is a dynamic organization on a mission to catalyze learning innovation by creating access to equitable, high quality personalized learning experiences for all learners, particularly those in underserved communities. No longer satisfied with incremental change, LEAP aims to dramatically increase student achievement by improving teacher practices, increasing student agency, and fostering student-centered learning environments.
Note: 100% of ticket proceeds from the 2020 Teach Abroad Film Festival were supposed to be donated directly to LEAP.
Due to COVID-19, and the event having to go virtual, International TEFL Academy is stepping up to donate $1,500, and invite everyone to donate to LEAP Innovations now: