Teach Abroad & TEFL

CIEE Teach Abroad & TEFL


CIEE Teach Abroad offers paid English teaching positions at reputable partner schools around the world. Head out on your adventure with the peace-of-mind of knowing that CIEE provides 24/7 emergency assistance, iNext international insurance, and in-country support on all programs.

CIEE TEFL is committed to making sure you’re well prepared when you walk into your classroom. Our online TEFL-certification courses are a great way to enhance your knowledge and skills. These courses are intensive, combining theory with hands-on engagement through a teaching practicum.

A nonprofit, non-governmental organization founded in 1947, CIEE is the world leader in international exchange programs.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Program!

The CIEE program is interactive, informative, and thorough. It has taught me so much and I am so glad I decided to complete the program. The teacher is professional and engaging and all of the material is targeted and very informational. The assignments help in understanding and engaging teaching muscles and the live classes really help to cement knowledge and how to apply it.
For anyone considering teaching English as a foreign language courses, this is the one to choose. It costs less than a college class and teaches just as much if not more!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Content rich with practical application

The modules and assignments are relatable and provide practical application of the material presented. The hours and content volume descripted in the recruitment materials are accurate, yet also manageable. Your personal motivation will drive you along with the usefulness of what you are learning. I've been a secondary teacher, administrator and coach however much of what was provided in these modules differed from what was taught in our teacher induction programs. The emphasis on intercultural education is vital for ALL educators!

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No, I don't recommend this program

Sleezy Company, Not sure if they're actually NON PROFIT

So I paid the fee, I don't wanna repeat how much cause it just reminds me of what I lost. I came late because of Covid restrictions, and they literally didn't give me a single dollar for food, or hotel accommodation as promised. They didn't even recommend me a place to stay.

On top of that, I had to go to the emergency room for tonsilitis and their insurance policy has ignored me for 5 months about my reimbursement. I had an emergency and called the 24/7 emergency hotline (i mean i do pay for it) the representative picked up as if I was a burden. I wasn't even calling at a weird time it was 10am!

I got ripped off. They made me read my documents myself, do everything myself, and when
I emailed them for help, they just said "read the document".

This isn't my first studyabroad program. I've gone abroad with API, Barcelona SAE, and they were absolutely accomodating. They were helpful. Picked up the phone when I had emergencies even at 2am without complaint. One girl from Barcelona SAE helped me by just being my mentor and talking to me when I felt homesick.

I'm giving them a 5 because the people in the program are pretty nice. I'd apply through the ministry, Fullbright, or any other study abroad program.

I'll say one nice thing, but if you have never traveled abroad and want someone to hold your hand, I guess CIEE would be your last choice. There are other great third parties that will actually use your money to help you.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would apply through another company if I wanted assistance or support abroad.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A lot of content, but helpful!

It's a lot of content to cover and can seem like an overwhelming amount of information at a time, but I'm in my last semester in college during finals season and am still finding the TEFL course manageable! You not only get to learn, but can also meet others who are going through it with you. It's a way to meet cool people and even if we're not going to the same location it's helpful to know you're not alone. It also doesn't hurt that the certification goes with you on your resume as you move forward. Would recommend!

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Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Helpful with Pandemic and Managing Spanish Bureaucracy

The process of moving to Spain is confusing. Moving during a pandemic is even more complicated, with constantly changing legal restrictions. CIEE made an overwhelming process manageable by providing step-by-step guides for everything: applying for a VISA, registering as a Spanish resident, getting a residency card, etc. Additionally, they sent out periodic email updates to participants letting us know about travel restrictions and curfew changes throughout the year. CIEE does carry a hefty price tag, which is why some auxiliars opt to apply directly through the Spanish government. However, when I talked to participants who applied through the govt, I was often shocked by how little information they were provided with. They had to figure out on their own how to get a TIE card, how to renew for the next year, etc. For me, CIEE was worth it.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Arroz negro, a variation of paella that's dyed black with squid ink! Super yummy if you like seafood.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Grania Power

Grania Power

Why did you choose this program?

I knew that I wanted to get TEFL certified and try teaching abroad, and for me, it was a no-brainer to do it through CIEE.

CIEE is based in my hometown of Portland, Maine, and when I was in high school, they sent me abroad to South Korea on a pilot summer program for free! That program was extremely well-run, organized, educational, and fun, and needless to say, I've been a die-hard CIEE fan ever since.

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

CIEE provides an online TEFL course with fun, interactive modules, and a tutor who guides you through the course and provides feedback to help you become a better teacher. The coursework and expectations are very straight-forward.

It will be up to you to reach out to schools and organize your 20-hour teaching practicum. However, CIEE provides you with a list of schools that are receptive hosts, familiar with TEFL trainees. Your tutor will also be there to support you and answer your questions about finding a good host school.

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

Make sure you keep up with the modules! Do a little bit of work each day, and make sure you are on pace with the syllabus. If you fall behind in an online class, it is much harder to catch up than it is in a traditional class. You will have to wade through hours of modules, and it might feel overwhelming.

If you do fall behind, be sure to communicate with your tutor about it. They are there to help you succeed!

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

You should do at least an hour or two of online classwork each day. For me, that usually meant coming home from work and then doing about an hour of the coursework on weekdays. On Saturday and Sunday, I tried to do about 3 hours of coursework in the mornings. That kept me pretty well-paced with the class.

When it came time to study for the final exam, I recorded myself reading to my notes and listened to the recording on my commute to and from work. So even with a busy schedule, it is possible to keep up with and enjoy the course if you pace yourself in a way that makes sense for you.

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

You should do at least an hour or two of online classwork each day. For me, that usually meant coming home from work and then doing about an hour of the coursework on weekdays. On Saturday and Sunday, I tried to do about 3 hours of coursework in the mornings. That kept me pretty well-paced with the class.

When it came time to study for the final exam, I recorded myself reading to my notes and listened to the recording on my commute to and from work. So even with a busy schedule, it is possible to keep up with and enjoy the course if you pace yourself in a way that makes sense for you.

Has your training from the CIEE 150-hour TEFL certification course made a difference in your experience teaching abroad?

Yes, absolutely! The online course provided me with loads of ideas for games, activities, and strategies that I use every day. I flip through my class notes whenever I am trying to make a lesson plan because there is always something there to inspire me or help me along.

I still have a lot to learn, and a lot to improve upon, but my TEFL course gave me a great start and a great solid groundwork that I can build off of as I strive to become a better teacher, this semester in Thailand, and beyond.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Samantha Erwin

Job Title
Samantha has proudly worked for CIEE since 2017 with the Teach Abroad and TEFL department. Prior to her time at CIEE, she studied in Granada, Spain for a year, received her TEFL certification in Peru, and taught English in South Korea for two years. Samantha is passionate about helping others gain the skills to bridge cultural gaps around the world.
Samantha Erwin

What is your favorite travel memory?

That's a difficult question to narrow down to just one. At that moment, it might not have felt like it, but the best memories have been the ones where I was stuck in a tricky or awkward situation and was forced to work my way through it by stumbling on the few words I knew in that language, using finger puppets to explain things, or just going with the flow.

Those experiences really taught you to think on your feet and gave you something to laugh about looking back on them!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

CIEE gave me a job where I leave every day feeling fulfilled. It's helped me to grow as a person, learn even more about cultures around the world without having to leave the office, and given me opportunities to gain skills that will no double help me continue to succeed. I know that I'll only continue to grow!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

My favorite stories are when students are able to use the skills they've gained from our courses or from going abroad and apply them to their every day lives in their home country. It truly shows how we're helping bridge cultural gaps. We all know how we've felt from these experiences and it's exciting to connect with students over similar experiences!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would participate in our Teach in Italy Express program. I love the idea of a professional development opportunity that would allow me to travel internationally and fits within my annual vacation time. Two weeks spent helping EFL learners improve their English, learning new skills, and filling up on all that delicious food Italy has to offer - I don't see how it could get any better!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

CIEE TEFL and the entire company as a whole is built around the people that our programs serve. We're from diverse backgrounds and stages in life and all believe the same mission - to help create a more interdependent and culturally diverse world. Even better, most of us have been in your shoes. We remember the first time we went abroad and want to help others have that same experience!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

One of the biggest factors in being a successful company is listening to your peers, students, participants, etc. They are the voice of the company and their experiences and feedback are what allow us to continue creating relevant and quality programs.

It keeps us moving towards improving our programs and bridging those cultural gaps!