TEFL stand for “Teaching English as a Foreign Language.” It can be a great way to see the world.
How I got into it:
After getting bit by the travel bug and exploring my travel options, I decided to teach English as a foreign language. My first step was researching TEFL schools. The International TEFL Academy seemed to be the best fit for me. As I was already teaching at a school in the States, I decided to do ITA’s hybrid course, where I would do online coursework and document some of the work I was already doing at my school. After completing the course I wanted to move to Europe and began explore job opportunities there. I wanted to be somewhere relatively warm that I could use as a travel base to see other places in Europe, and, after speaking with an ITA advisor, Spain seemed to be the best choice. I had opportunities to work with some organizations in Madrid and in Extremadura, but I chose to work with the Conversation Assistant Programme for Schools (CAPS), as they could place me in a beach town within an hour train of Barcelona.
What I did:
I had 25 scheduled teaching hours throughout each weak. I worked with ages five through eighteen, and saw each student for one hour per week. The class sizes were in the mid twenty’s. Depending on what was appropriate, I would either co-teach the entire class with the local English teacher, teach half the class by myself, or teach small groups of students. I would also do some one on one lessons.
Where I lived:
I lived with host families during my first year teaching English as a foreign language. I would eat breakfast and dinner with the host family, and lunch at school. Some TEFL companies offer housing, some give a stipend so you can find your own housing, and others set you up with host families. I would recommend staying with a host family (if possible) for a first year TEFL teacher as it provides an authentically local experience.
My favorite thing:
My favorite thing about teaching English as a foreign language is the opportunity to travel and experience new cultures and meet amazing people along the way. It is also very rewarding to see my students improving their English language levels.
My least favorite thing:
My least favorite thing about teaching English as a foreign language is the logistical part. Paperwork and visa applications can be very time consuming and stressful. You have to meticulously make sure everything is submitted in the correct format and at the correct time, and you need to practice patience once everything has been submitted.
Who is TEFL right for?
If you like helping people, teaching, working with kids, experiencing new cultures, and traveling— then teaching English as a foreign language might be a good fit for you.
Welcome to the Healthy Explorer Blog. If you like travel stories have a look around my blog and check out my podcast— maybe you'll find an extra spark for your own adventures.