How do I pick a TEFL certification program?

Question Details

I've really cracked down and looked into getting certified and while I really like their tuition is half a years worth of college tuition for me. I looked into some other websites that offer certification and now I'm wondering which one to do. Anyone have any recommendations of programs to go for or steer clear from?


Hi Amanda,

You can get TEFL certification online, but it's always best to attend a course. The learning and hands-on experience is worth the investment. I used Global Nomadic to receive my TEFL certification in Costa Rica, because that's where I wanted to stay and teach after receiving my certification, but you can choose other destinations. When applying, I had financial difficulty and had to get a loan. I can honestly say that I wished at the time to have direct contact with the institution, because I thought that I'd pay much less. However, after attending the course I found out that the commission paid to Global Nomadic is not even 10% of what I was charged. In my case, it was a two month certification program with accommodation included. Looking back, it was not a high fee (I just couldn't afford it) and it was worth every penny. Global Nomadic personnel is amazing at answering every question, no matter how silly it may seem to you. They also stay in touch on a regular basis and follow up with you to make sure that you have arrived and that things are working out. They give you all the guidance and information necessary to make the travel experience as easy as possible.

If you still prefer to do an online certification, then look up University of Toronto. They offer TEFL certification for a low fee.

All the best!

Hey, Amanda!

I personally did my certification through Teaching House's CELTA course in New York. Really great but expensive.

ITA is more affordable than Teaching House, as is University of Toronto. Both are great, legit programs that provide job assistance afterwards.

One option if you're looking to save money is to do your TEFL course abroad. ITA offers on-site courses in other countries (like Nicaragua) for less than they do in the States. There are also some other great, smaller companies (like Samui TEFL in Thailand and INTESOL in Nicaragua) that offer certification programs abroad.

An additional perk: if you get certified in the country you want to teach in (e.g. you want to teach in Mexico so you get certified in Mexico), you'll be able to network through your TEFL course provider so as to better help you find a job once you're done. You'll also get training in the cultural context that you'll later teach within.

Anywho, last word of advice (which, as an employee of Go Overseas, I'm a little biased on ;D): read reviews of TEFL courses before deciding!

Personally, I did mine through the program I went through. I started with GeoVisions, which got me to Thailand, and then once I was there I was taken care of by XploreAsia. I would say taking the TESOL course once I was there was extremely helpful because they tailored the TESOL course to apply to teaching in Thailand. By that I mean every lesson was connected to things we would potentially face when we went to our placements. I felt much more prepared in that I knew more of what to expect when I would go to my own school. It was also nice in that I still felt like I learned everything I needed to if I had wanted to teach elsewhere. The principles and concepts are all pretty the same, so even if you take the TESOL course in once place, you should still be able to take what you learned and apply it in another setting.

Hi Amanda!

I taught through the Spanish Ministry of Education's Auxiliares Program in Madrid. The program didn't include TEFL certification, however it also didn't require I had any certifications to teach in the classroom. If you are looking to avoid the costs of TEFL all together, this can be a good option.

Best of luck!