Alumni Spotlight: Mike Smilder

Smart Traveller.
Loves to dance.
Loves to spend time abroad.
Loves to read at night.
Loves to meet new people and enjoy life.

Why did you choose this program?

Because it is a committed program, a small school and they offer personalized attention. It may seem obvious, but it is not. People here care about your progress; they are professional but friendly and always willing to offer help.

The program may seem to be expensive but it is not because you get much more than a TEFL certificate: you get life experience.

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

I had to organize on my own accommodations in Buenos Aires and my travel budget, of course.

I had saved money to come down to Latin America, take a TEFL course first, learn Spanish, which comes really useful and hopefully travel, teach and earn my own money.

Afterward, I received the right leads and will be able to start working soon, thanks to the school.

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

I would recommend seeing Buenos Aires first, allowing time to rest and enjoy the city before the TEFL course, which is very intensive and will not let you commit to any other thing possible. If it is possible for you, maybe add another great Argentina scenario before the TEFL, like Salta or Bariloche, in order to make sure that you have had vacations before the TEFL.

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

8:00 am - Get up.
8:30 am - Have breakfast.
10:00 am - Ready for school.
11:00 am - Attend methodology classes.
6:00 pm - Hang out with friends.
7:00 pm - Study and work on lesson planning.
8:00 pm - Cook dinner, buy groceries at local vegan shops and specialized products in order to prepare low calorie but great food with nourishing ingredients.

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

I was afraid of not finding any work in Argentina since the country has lots of social problems and, of course, after reading information online, I was afraid but I also received the right support from the school and job guarantee, and also the course director wrote a great letter for me, which I will use of course for any future teaching job.

Would I be able to secure employment after the TEFL?

Yes, of course. My advice would be to go to all the interviews that the school offers to connect you with and then decide what is best for you, what works out better for you in terms of time and money and to be able to commit to working in Argentina in reality.