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.



Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Comprehensive TEFL Cert. Course for Aspiring EFL Teachers

I recently completed CIEE's online, 150-hour TEFL certification course and found it to be a truly thorough educational experience. The course content included theories, best practices, and practical tips in language teaching that every type of teacher and learner could benefit from. During the course, there was ample opportunity for putting what I'd learned into practice, to receive and give peer feedback, and to share in generating ideas with my cohort. And on top of all that, our tutor (with whom we met via video conferencing once a week - one of the course highlights for me) was extremely helpful in providing timely and relevant feedback to help us grow in becoming culturally competent educators who understand how to meet the needs and learning styles of our students. To add to it, the practicum was valuable in getting real-world experience in the classroom through observation and practice. One downside of the course for me was that it was difficult to keep up my motivation for 11 weeks working with a high volume of online presentations in the same format (it began to feel monotonous), but the weekly meetups helped. My greatest takeaway was the cache of practical skills and real examples of lessons, activities, and classroom management techniques that we could use in the EFL classroom to make for a dynamic learning environment. All in all, I feel well-prepared for my teach abroad experience after having completed the TEFL certification, which built on my previous experiences in education and working with youth.

What would you improve about this program?
I would improve the delivery of the information. The online, self-paced presentations were thorough, and the course did a good job of being interactive where possible, but it became monotonous after about 7-8 weeks. Additionally, considering the times we're living through now when virtual education is the norm in many places, moving forward, it would be beneficial to incorporate more content that addresses the challenges and possible adaptation teachers may need to face in order to teach learners virtually. The course is more geared to in-person learning.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE - Reliable & Communicative

This is my second time going abroad with CIEE and my experience with them has been nothing but positive.

I am in my first year teaching and I did not graduate with a degree in education. Moving across the country during a pandemic to step into something you've never properly done before, is a lot to handle. CIEE was very helpful and communicative with each step of the process. The in-country support is also so valuable and reassuring to have. When confronted with any issue I can go to them with trust.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


I thought this was a very enjoyable and impressive program. I completed the 150 hour certification. The course was engaging and it challenged me. I learned way more than I thought I would. The course moved at a good pace and prepared me for various classroom settings. The instructor gave great feedback and was invested. I also felt like there were good opportunities to connect with other people in the course, which can be difficult these days in the virtual world. I highly recommend CIEE for all their programs!!!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have done this program sooner! Not only did I genuinely enjoy the course but I wish I had done it years ago to travel and teach abroad.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Good program, I felt much more ready to teach after completing it.

This was a good program. It was in-depth and had useful content with lots of ideas for activities, ways to structure classes, and basic principles that can be applied all the time. There are some things that seem obvious once you learn them but are easy to overlook if you are new to teaching. I felt much more ready to teach after finishing the program and would recommend it.

What would you improve about this program?
I would add some more videos of examples of teachers implementing an activity that went very well. There were a good number of videos to critique and talk about how they could be better but it's always valuable to see that in action when things are done well. There were some but it could benefit from more. Still thought it was a great program overall.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE is worth the time and money!

I am a first year teacher with a degree unrelated to education. The program provides you with plenty of useful information that will help you build teaching skills. I was very nervous about teaching at a foreign school without any serious teaching background. I will be honest, I was thrown to the wolves my first day teaching, but the program provided me with enough knowledge to succeed. My first week was a bit rough getting used to things and the responsibility of teaching these young students. It worked out great and I've enjoyed my time in Korea. My favorite thing about CIEE is the continuous in-country support. You can definitely find cheaper ways to teach abroad but I think the extra money is well worth it. I know that if there are any issues or concerns, I have contacts here, which is important if you're going to a new country alone.

What was your funniest moment?
I would say my funniest moment was going into a library thinking it was the health center. More embarrassing than funny. However, my students give me funny moments everyday.



Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

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!