Alumni Spotlight: Ryan Franco

Why did you choose the International TEFL Academy?

Ryan: The International TEFL academy had good prices and good reviews. It had the program that allowed me to complete it from Santa Barbara my final quarter, since I graduated one quarter early and the counselors were very helpful.

How did the course prepare you for teaching abroad?

Ryan: I had a decent amount of teaching experience before this as a TA and Personal Trainer, but teaching English was a new topic. The TEFL course helped me brush up and review where I needed to. The preparation for abroad manual was very thorough and helped me a lot! The best way to learn is just throwing yourself into the classroom and going for it with the honest intention of doing well for yourself and your students.

Describe your day to day activities as a teacher.

Ryan: Well, everyday was different. I flew to Madrid without a visa or an apartment. Getting up and running was a little challenging but once I did I managed to construct a very happy and successful life over there. I taught Mon-Thursday at my language school, "The English Group". Monday's and Weds were long, Tuesday's were average, and Thursdays I only had 2 classes. I also had a few private students which were awesome and I formed great relationships with them!

How has this experience impacted your future?

Ryan: I have more confidence, assertiveness, resourcefulness, and overall a better self evaluation as a result of my trip. I moved there with one suitcase, and a child's level mastery of the language. I learned to live with close to no possessions, to speak the language, to adjust to a vibrant culture, and to dance until 7am regularly. I think everyone gains different things out of trips like this, but I got exactly what I wanted out of it and even more. I could go on and on, but if I could summarize my trip as briefly as possible I would put it as so: See for yourself!

What is one piece of advice you would give to those thinking about pursuing a TEFL certificate?

Ryan: To just do it! People around the typical age to do this all have so much social pressure to get a job or to start a career. Quiet frankly, there is no better time to do something like this, it is socially acceptable to be broke, traveling really helps put things in perspective, it educates us, you meet so many interesting people, you find new stores of energy within yourself you never knew you had. It teaches you so much about yourself that you will never know unless you go for it!