Alumni Spotlight: Haley Horvath


Haley is an English teacher to children of all ages in South Korea, through an online classroom setting. She loves Korean food, culture, and language, as well as building connections all around the world.

Why did you choose this program?

ITT TEFL was an exciting, fast, and convenient program opportunity that allowed me to take the next practical step towards becoming an ESL teacher. Upon graduating with a BA of Humanities, I desired to complete a TEFL certification in time to begin applying for ESL jobs in the summer. ITT TEFL offered that chance by providing a high-quality, expedient online program.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Through ITT TEFL's certification program, I was provided with all the basic information needed to begin successfully working as an ESL teacher. The program's information about classroom management, lesson planning, and interacting with ESL learners was relevant. Although not specific to a certain culture, the techniques taught through ITT TEFL's program could be applied to any global classroom.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Every student is different, and flexibility to effectively meet your class's unique needs is absolutely vital. Be willing to think outside of the box and outside of any information or expectations that you have absorbed. Also, enjoy your students' culture! Know that there will be differences, but there will also be so many commonalities between your students' culture and your own. Enjoy both of these, and use them both as means for building an interesting and dynamic classroom relationship.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

ITT TEFL's program is self-paced, which means that participants can complete it at the times of day that are best suited to their individual schedule. Program participants are expected to submit quality answers to assignments sent to them via email and communicate with their course supervisor via email in order to best utilize the effective assignment feedback that ITT TEFL's program provides.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

As I starting teaching students in Korea, my initial fear was that I would never be able to learn enough about their culture and language to build a meaningful relationship and do my best job as a teacher. One thing I wish I would have figured out sooner is that students can be amazing teachers! If there's something you don't understand about their culture...ask! These moments can spark some of the best conversation opportunities. A willingness to learn is something that I believe to be the greatest asset for any teacher.

How should a future ESL teacher choose their destination country?

I would say go with the country that interests you the most, and be keep an open mind. However, don't forget to use caution and carefully research the country of your choice. As interesting as you find a particular region, it might not be a good fit for you to live there. Do your research!