Alumni Spotlight: Reka Tapster


I am a naturalised British citizen, born in Romania, to Hungarian-speaking parents. As a result, I am fluent in English, Romanian and Hungarian languages alike.

Why did you choose this program?

I work as an interpreter and I am in daily contact with people from other countries, who would like to learn English or improve their language skills. In addition, I am hoping to complement my extensive childcare experience with teaching skills and start an English preschool in a foreign country. I have been collecting children's books and teaching material for a long time and I look forward to putting them to good use.

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

The TEFL course has provided me well-structured lessons, ongoing exercises to embed new knowledge and plenty of teaching resources for the future. The course work often tasks you with overcoming practical issues you are likely to come across in language teaching, to make you contemplate how you would manage it for best results. As a result, the TEFL course provides practical skills to deliver well-designed language lessons and meet the identified needs of your students.

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

The most important piece of advice I would give those who are considering the TEFL course is to put in the necessary work. You have to do the reading, the exercises and complete the assignments. If you are willing to do the work, the course provides you everything else you need to pass and obtain your certificate.

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

The beauty of the course is its flexibility. I was able to continue working during my studies, as long as I set aside enough uninterrupted hours each week to complete a Unit, with additional time allowed for the assignments. Admittedly, I reduced my working hours to accommodate 7-10 hours of weekly study, some of it over the week-ends. However, it was well worth the effort. I am very pleased with my results.

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 always was and always will be not living up to my students' or their parents' expectations. I want to do something worthwhile and see my students make progress as a result of my teaching. At the same time, I want my classes to be fun and enjoyable for all of us. The course has ensured my awareness of the different teaching styles used in different countries and it prepared me to accommodate it.

What does it take to stay safe during your travels?

A lot of it is "common sense": plan your adventure carefully, use reputable organizations as your intermediary, carry out your own research of the country, documentation and vaccination requirements, access to embassies and always have your return ticket prepaid, in case things don't work out.