Oh, Travel Tuesday, I have missed you. I might not have been writing many travel pieces
lately, but I can’t stop thinking about my next getaway, wherever that may be. This fall
season kind of got the best of me and I was never able to go away for my birthday like I had originally planned to. At this point, I probably won’t be able to take my next trip until
January or February. I think my next stop will be several places in Italy (Venice, Rome,
Positano, Florence) or Spain (Barcelona & Madrid). I still have some places to visit in
Europe before exploring other parts of the world. Did I tell you guys that my goal is to visit 40 countries by the time I’m 40? Let’s just say, I’ve got a lot of travel to do.
You might remember when I posted about taking an online course to get certified for my TEFL (teach English as a Foreign Language) back at the beginning of the year. It’s been quite some time since I first enrolled and shared that news with you all, so I wanted to give you an update on where I’m at and what my future plans are since I am getting closer to the finish line. If you follow me on Snapchat, then you’ve definitely seen me talk about this course several times before. I actually got a lot of screenshots and messages about the website when I created a story on this a month or so ago. I was amazed by how many of you are interested in potentially getting certified as well! It seriously is such an incredible opportunity to take advantage of at any point in your life and it’s a wonderful way to do some solo travel too. I’ll make sure to touch on some more aspects of the website along with some other details that are good to know.
What Is TEFL
Getting your TEFL certification means that you will be able to teach English as a Foreign Language anywhere in the world, as long as there is a position available. It’s a lifelong
certificate, so you will have the ability to use this at any point, whether now or in the
future. You don’t need to have any prior teaching experience, although some places might
prefer it. There are two ways to take the course. You can either do it online or take it in
person. I decided to enroll online as this would be much easier for me. There are many
different places and sites to take the course, so if this is something that you choose to do just make sure you do a little research first.
Where/How I Enrolled
I enrolled online with TEFLEN because their prices are really affordable (70% off), I was recommended to them by the girl I met in Galway and I read several reviews about other people’s experience with the course. There are 4 different courses that you can choose from: 40 Hour, 60 Hour, 120 Hour, 150 Hour. I decided to do the advanced 120 hour and definitely recommend doing the 120 or 150. I’ve read that most places prefer at least 100 hours. Each course gives you a year to complete. I have to be honest. My main issue with taking an online course has been dedicating the time to actually do it. In the beginning I was so pumped that I dived right into the first 2 modules. Then several months went by, ok more like 5 or 6, without me ever logging back into the course. I think it took me weeks to finally get through module 3. I minored in English, but there is honestly so much that I have forgotten. Teaching in general is a new world for me so there has been a lot to learn. Once I knew that I was halfway through the course, I got that motivation and excitement back to stick with it. I think the thought of actually doing this is becoming more real to me. So now, I have just completed module 5 and I’ve got one more to get through plus a lesson plan assignment. This whole time I thought I had until January, but I actually only had until
December 2! [true procrastinator over here] I enrolled in December, but didn’t start the course until January. I was freaking out that I was not going to get this completed and then I would have to start all over again. I messaged my teacher and he gave me an extension until March 2. Phew! I still plan to complete by January though.
The course layout is really easy to follow as it’s separated by different modules. Each
module is then separated into different sections/topics. Be prepared to read a lot. You can
totally go at your own pace though. Each module has a multiple choice test at the end and it gives you 3 attempts to pass. There is also an assignment to complete and hand in to your teacher. There are tons of resourceful links, examples and videos. I have been taking a lot of notes to study and refer back to. I haven’t been in school since I graduated in 2006, so it’s definitely been information overload and with my creative ADD, I admit it’s been hard to focus 100%. Thankfully I’ve got coffee for that. 😉 Watching the video clips gives you a peek into the classrooms of different ages and levels. It allows you to get a more visual idea of how the teaching process works along with the different techniques that each teacher uses. This was really helpful for me.
The site gives a ton of employment information on each country including contract length, peak hiring seasons, salary and interview process. It lets you know if the position provides housing, airfare reimbursement and what the start up costs would be. Typically start up costs cover you for the first 6 weeks of living until you receive your first paycheck. There are 49 countries to choose from across Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East. There is also a job board listing available positions and these are just the ones listed on this particular website. I love that they have all of this as it’s super resourceful. I’ve been
looking into each country more and more trying to get a better idea of where I could
potentially see myself teaching. I think that as of now South America is a top contender for me. I’ve been thinking a lot about Asia, but most countries there have a 10 month
contract. That might be something for me to consider later on. I’ve also thought of a few places in Europe as well, although the cost of living is higher there. There are a lot of
factors to consider and I am going to keep an open mind.
What This Means For Me
As some quick background info in case you’re a new reader, I made the decision to do this after my first solo trip to Ireland last November. I was just so inspired at the thought of
living in a different country and teaching English to the kids over there. It made me feel as though I could really make a difference in their lives and have them make a difference in mine. It would also give me the opportunity to travel solo to a new place and also be paid for doing it. I’ve always had this need and desire in my heart to live someplace far away from here, even if only temporary. Taking a teaching job for 10-12 months or even 3-6 months would be an amazing way for me to do this. I could possibly even volunteer for shorter lengths of time to test the waters and see how I feel. I saw on the job board there is a position for camp counselors to teach English for one month in Italy this upcoming
summer. Some contracts don’t have the option to renew, so I could continuously teach in
different countries if I am at a place in my life where I can make that happen so frequently. I have zero idea what the future holds for me. I am not sure if I will ever get married and have children. It’s not that I don’t want that for myself, but I do have such a deep desire to keep traveling solo. I can’t explain it, maybe it’s the free spirit in me. Having a structured life has never really been my thing. I just think that I need to do this for myself and I need to do it sooner than later. Initially when I enrolled, the idea was to just keep this in my back pocket as an option for the future. Then the more I thought about it I put it into my 5 year plan and then after my solo adventure to London and Paris, I came back with such a strong feeling that I knew this was something I wanted to do within the next 2-3 years. I think that once I complete the course and receive my certificate, everything else will start to fall into place. The beauty is that there is no rush to teach, but I do have the opportunity to take advantage of this sooner if that’s what I choose. All I know is that this will completely take me out of my comfort zone and would be such an incredible experience.
If you’re interested in getting your TEFL certificate, then I hope that this post was helpful for you. If you never thought about it before, then I hope I was able to give you some insight into a potential opportunity. Either way, thanks so much for reading and I look forward to sharing more of this journey with you!