Teach Abroad & TEFL

CIEE Teach Abroad & TEFL

Why choose CIEE Teach Abroad & TEFL?

CIEE Teach Abroad & TEFL will support you through every step of your English teaching adventure, empowering you to explore new cultures, meet amazing people, and make a lasting impact on the lives of your students!

CIEE TEFL's online courses will teach you everything you need to know to be a successful English teacher, from how to plan and deliver effective lessons to how to manage a classroom full of students. CIEE TEFL courses exceed international standards and are recognized by the US Department of Education, so you can be confident that you are receiving the highest quality training.

CIEE Teach Abroad will help you find the perfect teaching job for your interests, and we'll be there for you every step of the way, from expert visa assistance to 24/7 in-country support.

Since 1947, we have been dedicated to our mission of promoting intercultural understanding. We're ready to help you learn, grow, and make a difference in the world!



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Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience!

As someone who decided to take career break and explore teaching English, this course was the perfect place to start. In addition to the course being organized and engaging, CIEE provides excellent guidance and resources along the way. My instructor was professional, experienced, and provided great feedback. The assignments allow you to be creative and challenge yourself, which helped me feel confident going into my first teaching job. I would highly recommend this course and CIEE's programs to anyone who is eager to teach abroad.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you're nervous about taking the leap into teaching English abroad, just know that CIEE helps you feel confident through quality instruction, community building, career guidance, and a wealth of resources. I would recommend taking advantage of everything the program has to offer.
  • Great instructors
  • Engaging and practical course material
  • Additional benefits for alumni
  • Course is entirely online. A consideration for those who prefer in-person learning.
Response from CIEE Teach Abroad & TEFL

Thanks for the amazing review, Jack! We're so glad our TEFL course helped launch your teaching career abroad. Your success is our reward! :)
Best of luck in your new adventure!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Do This

I had an amazing 2½ months doing this program. Making friends at orientation day was awesome and working at my school was a great learning experience. Having the flexibility to travel on weekends was a huge perk as well. If you're looking for a way to immerse yourself in Spanish culture and language, travel a bit, and get some experience with teaching without wanting to commit to too long away, this program is perfect for you. I recommend especially if you're a recent graduate, because based on my experience that might be a lot of your fellow volunteers :)

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Leaving the school at break every day at midmorning to go to a bar and have a coffee with the teachers was an unexpected part of the routine at my school. I miss it already!
  • Spanish immersion with host family
  • Make a difference to students
  • Opportunities to travel
  • Small town for me meant few other young people
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Yes, I recommend this program

Overall Good

It is wonderful to be exposed to a different culture here in Spain, as well as have an opportunity to learn and use a different language. CIEE was very helpful throughout the entire process of getting here; staff was very communicative, several webinars were held before and during my time here which were great resources of information. Most notably, CIEE was extremely helpful with the Visa process, which can be complicated. I feel the biggest area of improvement would be for CIEE to update their data for the expected cost of living in Madrid, as the housing rental market prices where much higher than what I anticipated.

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Yes, I recommend this program

My Time in Spain

Being placed in Madrid through CIEE has been the best experience I’ve ever had. I’ve made some of my best friends for life at orientation and was given all the information I needed to feel confident in a classroom at my school placement. If you have any hesitations on if you should do it or not, I suggest that you do. Truly won’t regret the beauty of Spain, kindness of the people of Madrid, and chance to say you lived in Europe as a young adult.
What is also great, is that CIEE allows you to join in January so if doing a full year seems like too much, January is an option to come till end of June. 11/10 experience!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice would be to not have a plan. Spain has something going on everyday and truly use this time to let yourself be free. Our work schedule allows for activities after school and long weekends to travel. Take advantage of it!
  • Friends
  • Educational Orientation
  • Cultural Exchange everyday
  • Being away from home
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Yes, I recommend this program

Helpful for Pre-Departure Processes

Going through CIEE made the pre-departure process a lot easier! To have the visa guides and the orientation course on Canvas was very helpful. The private health insurance seems to cover more things than the public health insurance that auxiliares get through the ministry of education.
After your on-site orientation, CIEE gets more hands-off. For example, they don't organize social events for the Teach in Spain participants. I bring that up as an FYI, not necessarily as a con; it makes sense given how many of us there are. They do send weekly emails with updates about things like the renewal process, but I'm not renewing, so I haven't hopped on the webinars that they provide about that.
All in all, I'd say it's worth it, because CIEE was really good at providing information that made all of the pre-departure stuff seem less overwhelming.


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Alumni Interviews

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

Rachel Dietz

Rachel is a Minnesota native who is passionate about multiculturalism and international education. As a CIEE Teach Abroad participant, Rachel was able to live in Madrid, Spain and loved teaching English to students of all kinds. During her time abroad she really enjoyed things like trying all different types of Spanish cuisine, traveling to various cities within Spain and all over Europe, and increasing her vocabulary in Spanish.
Rachel Dietz


Why did you choose this program?

I chose the CIEE Teach Abroad program in Madrid because I really wanted guaranteed placement in that region of Spain as well as support with the moving process (like the visa assistance). Additionally, I was traveling alone so I wanted to be connected with other people who were going to teach abroad making the in-country orientation another important factor so I could meet new people right away.

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

CIEE assisted me with the visa application process and helped guide me to get all my paperwork in order before leaving the US. After arrival in Spain, I attended orientation with CIEE Staff where they covered information like what to expect for the teaching position, how to get your residency and metro cards, insurance and safety information, as well as planned cultural activities. Throughout my 2 years teaching in Madrid I was also invited to various events with CIEE staff. I didn't have to organize much on my own- CIEE was great about keeping me informed each step of the way on the tasks I needed to complete to successfully teach abroad in Spain. The most work I did was to find housing once I arrived in Madrid, but CIEE did offer advice to help me navigate that process as well.

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

One thing I would tell people that are going to teach abroad in Madrid with CIEE is to do your research and plan your trip with adequate time. The earlier you apply to the CIEE program the better, as it allows for more time to save money, apply for your visa without stress, and to be able to source information about Madrid that will make your time in Spain easier. The research process should be thorough- what are the different neighborhoods and what do they offer? Where is your school placement and how would you get there on public transportation? What are the biggest national holidays and what are the local customs? What are cultural differences between US and Spanish schools? These are just some examples, but they are things that are important to know beforehand so that you can show up to your first day at work cool, calm, and collected.

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

When I was teaching in Madrid I worked Monday-Thursday and I had 16 classes (all 1 hour each). I was usually at school from 9am-3pm and when I wasn't in class I was either prepping class materials in the staff lounge or in the cafeteria having a coffee and tostada with the other language assistants and the teachers that I had befriended at the school. After school I usually gave private tutoring lessons to make some extra cash and then weekends were for going out with friends, traveling throughout Spain and Europe, and time to relax.

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 when going abroad was about being able to make friends. Having been abroad before, I knew that having a good support system of friends is important to avoid being homesick and to really make the most of your time living overseas. To overcome this fear, I decided to go through a program like CIEE because I knew that they would connect me with others who were going to teach in Spain. And from there I tried to take advantage of every opportunity I had to meet new people: I went to a meet-up in my hometown in the US with people from CIEE who I met on the CIEE Facebook group, I made plans to go out for drinks with people at orientation in Madrid, made sure to friend/follow people on social media to stay up to date, made an effort to get to know the other language assistants and teachers at my school placement, and attended all the events that I was invited to throughout the year by CIEE and other organizations.

What is the most important skill to work on if you want to be successful when teaching English abroad?

The most important skill is to be proactive. The process of moving abroad requires you to pay very close attention to various tasks and not doing so can delay or even terminate your plans to move abroad to teach English. Once you arrive, it's really important to be proactive about integrating into the culture and into your job, because you are a visitor, not the protagonist. This means you need to be the one to initiate learning the language, the cultural norms, the social interactions to help build trust, etc.- all of these things can help you to give a good first impressions and set the tone for a positive experience.

Staff Interviews

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

Alissa Malbrough

Job Title
Senior Coordinator
A high school trip to Italy first sparked Alissa’s interest in living abroad. Since then, she has studied in Argentina and taught in Ecuador, Spain, and South Korea. As a previous CIEE participant, she is excited to help others explore teaching abroad.
Alissa Malbrough


What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory is from studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I spent a week backpacking through Patagonia with friends. I went ice trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier, explored Los Glaciares National Park, and hiked for the first time in El Chaltén. This trip really cemented my love for travel and adventure.

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

In the time that I have worked here, I’ve become more knowledgeable on how to provide solutions and offer support for teachers. It’s important to take the time to listen and respond to requests in a timely manner. I really enjoy being able to share my own experiences teaching abroad and hope it encourages other teachers as well.

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

I enjoy hearing stories about CIEE Alum who choose to continue teaching abroad; whether renewing their contract or teaching abroad with us in another country. Having taught abroad in Spain and South Korea, I understand the excitement of wanting more time abroad. I also enjoy hearing about teachers who have met their partners while teaching abroad!

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

If I could go on any program, I would choose CIEE's Teach in Thailand program. I have always wanted to travel to Thailand and learn more about Thai culture. I like that the program has a one-semester option and includes housing. Also, I’d love the chance to take Thai language lessons and meet other teachers at orientation.

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

One aspect that makes our team unique is first-hand experience teaching abroad. I think it’s important to offer teachers an authentic perspective on what it’s truly like to live and work abroad. For me, I participated in our CIEE Spain Volunteer program a few years ago. My experience in this program led me to continue teaching abroad for the next few years.

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

I believe the biggest factors of success for a company are directly attributed to its values, leadership, and culture. Encouraging collaboration and responding with integrity creates a healthy work environment. I am glad to be a part of the CIEE Teach Abroad & TEFL team and to work with individuals who truly enjoy what they do.