We train thousands of teachers every year and they have been everywhere. The demand for EFL teachers is huge worldwide and our graduates have ventured to all corners for the globe in pursuit of work, exciting adventures and new experiences.
We’ve put together a selection of student stories from the past year to help give you an insight into what it’s like to TEFL and the journeys some of our students have taken to get there. You can read many more over on the student stories section of the blog. If you have your own TEFL story to tell then send us an email – we’d love to hear about it!
Lydia and Emlyn in Thailand
Teaching couple Lydia and Emlyn completed their 150-hour TEFL course and jetted off to Thailand to work for Media Kids Academy in the north of the country. They told us what it’s like to work in a small town and how they make the most of their weekends exploring the country. Last August they took part in a video competition run by their employer and you can check out their great submissions below!
Digital Nomad David: From London to Japan
One day David decided he’d had enough and packed in his job as a personnel manager with a large retailer in London to pursue an exciting adventure travelling the world. After a year in which he visited 24 countries he knew he wanted to keep going and so he decided to take the 120-hour Premier Online TEFL course in order to teach English online and fund his life on the road.
As a frequent traveller, my goal was to teach online, to become location independent as a ‘Digital Nomad’ using various online apps such as Italki, while continuing to build my YouTube channel in addition to pursuing freelance video editing.
Once I had completed my TEFL while in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I began the long hard process of devising a plan to minimise my expenses and maximise my income from my various income streams. I always talked about becoming a Digital Nomad, or read exaggerated or unrealistic stories of beautiful, tanned blonde girls on a beach with their laptop or in a ‘co-working space’ in Thailand. I don’t like conforming to the norms or well known expectations of a Digital Nomad. The aforementioned lifestyle was not what I wanted.
Workaway (or other volunteer programmes available) is a fantastic way of minimising your outgoings while travelling. Currently, I work for 2-3 hours a day in a guesthouse/hostel in Hiroshima, Japan (I fell in love with the place on a previous visit). This allows me to film for YouTube or teach online in my spare time, thus building an income from multiple income streams, as well as experiencing the culture for a longer period and finally being able to find somewhere I belong and feel comfortable.
Six Years of TEFL and Counting: Billie’s Story
TEFL has taken Billie to 6 different countries and back to the UK, where she now teaches at the internationally renowned EF, Education First, in Cambridge. From giving a motivational speech to 8000 students in China, to being inundated with tutoring requests in sunny Valencia, over the past seven years Billie found her passion in teaching English.
Each leg of my teaching experiences has been longer than the previous, leading me to wonder where my next position will take me, and which part of the world I will get a sudden urge to see. From living in a tiny Chinese village where I was the only Westerner for miles, to teaching English to those it means the most to see a smiling face; I have felt as though I have contributed towards making a small difference to others’ happiness in my short life, and for this, I feel accomplished.
Without my TEFL knowledge and course experience, I would never have found where my passion and talents lie, and I wouldn’t have visited so many extraordinary places around the globe. I have a deep-running passion for TEFL teaching, and throughout the past 7 years, my wanderlust has thrust me into situations beyond my imagination.
From Spain to Mexico: Harriet’s Story
Harriet’s first TEFL job was with Meddeas in Spain before heading to the South East of Mexico where she mainly teaches adults. She told us a bit about the beautiful region she now teaches in and about her experience taking the 120-hour course!
The individuals in my TEFL group demonstrated to me that teaching English abroad appeals to absolutely everyone. Among others, there was a young university student with a retro style and passion for photography, a recent graduate from Aberystwyth who was too good looking for me to talk to seriously, a divorcee who was looking for an escape and a prospective primary school teacher keeping her options open. Together we formed an enthusiastic and inspirational group.
I would recommend the 120-hour course to anyone thinking of doing a TEFL. Not only are you completing the basics online but you have the opportunity to speak to likeminded people who will be the first to offer you advice, feedback and encouragement. It’s not the same as real life teaching but it’s certainly a great start!
Letters from Zibo: Tristan in China
Tristan has been teaching in Zibo, China, with a school that is part of the Aston Educational Group. He told us about moving to China and how to make the most of working as an English teacher, giving some great tips to adapting to life there. Tristan writes regularly about teaching English in China over on LinkedIn – take a look here.
I arrived here with a list of the things I was interested in, put them in a hierarchy, divided them into chunks of time and then made a plan. I am now pursuing more writing, assisting in creating content for; DailyDOOH a global blog on the digital out of home industry, Beasts of War the leading news website on the Tabletop and Board Game Industry, and hopefully soon ESL Magazine. A book is in the pipeline. I am “attempting” to learn another language. There is no other job I can think of that allows such an opportunity to develop yourself. While these interests are not directly linked to my current position, who you are is as much to do with TEFL teaching as the content itself. I have quickly learned here that the foreign teachers are a significant selling point for the school. It is why they are willing to invest in you, so I suggest you do the same.