Alumni Spotlight: America Rodriguez


America is a photographer and certified English teacher with a TEFL. She has traveled Southeast Asia teaching English and shooting photography.

Why did you choose this program?

TEFL was recommended to me by other travelers overseas. Many people stood behind what an easy and thorough online program it was. I found it was so easy to navigate, print, and study. It was so easy to do homework from any destination I was at. There were many resources that were given, and that helped me out so much. TEFL gives you up to six months to finish the certification but I didn't actually need that long – which reduced any pressures I was worried about!

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

I didn't need to organize much. That's how great the program is. Had I needed any tutoring, there was tutoring available. Anytime I sent an email with any concerns, I would get an immediate response. It was pretty much self-explanatory, and that was the best part about it. In the past, online classes were a bit intimidating to me, but not the TEFL. Easy breezy!

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

The only thing I wish I had known was that TEFL even existed; I would have done it sooner! TEFL has changed my life. I’m always telling people to look into getting certified. There are so many freedoms and opportunities that go along with it. Life is too short. It has allowed me to travel and take control of my finances. Go get it!

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

Daily living abroad is amazing. It’s much more relaxed and enriching. It’s truly fantastic to live in a beautiful location and work fewer hours. I was able to work less hours in a day, and do my photography and other artsy projects I had going on. Life for me was fuller. My week was filled with creating value and creating art. Couldn't ask for more!

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

My biggest fear traveling abroad was that I wouldn't be “employable”. However, once I found out about this program, I felt hope. I applied for jobs immediately after starting the program. So many companies were ready to hire me. I was automatically put at ease and knew I could travel freely and not be concerned about money.

Weren’t you scared traveling?

People usually want to know the dangers of traveling. I traveled with a group so I felt "safer". However, if I had the chance to do it differently, I would have traveled alone or just with one person. Traveling in a big group had proven to be difficult.

I was timid at first but realized that most locals are very welcoming because they really want to learn about the western culture.