i-to-i and LoveTEFL
85% Rating
(21 Reviews)

i-to-i and LoveTEFL

Founded in 1994, i-to-i are the world’s leading TEFL course provider having trained over 182,000 TEFL graduates and helping them get overseas to fulfil their dreams. Their English-government regulated courses are endorsed by language schools across the world meaning you’ve an excellent chance of securing the best jobs!

Offering both classroom and online training, you’ll learn all the skills and knowledge you need to start teaching English abroad. The courses are packed full of practical information and teaching methodologies to help you become a great TEFL teacher.

And it doesn’t stop there, i-to-i also offer organized and supported paid TEFL placements in China, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam alongside their very own Jobs Board with over 600 live TEFL positions across the world.

Take a look at their fantastic range of courses and trips by clicking the link above to find out more about what it means to get TEFL-qualified with i-to-i!

Most Recent Program Reviews

Default avatar
Laura
Female
25 years old
Hanoi, Vietnam
University of Glasgow

An excellent introduction to teaching and living in Vietnam

9/10

i-to-i’s Vietnam internship is a great introduction to working and living in Hanoi. I’ve no complaints from sign-up to pairing with their in-country partner, ELC, and the included 120-hour TEFL course is bolstered with 20 hours of classroom training.

Vietnam also offers the best rates of pay and the cheapest living costs, so you make back the fee and leave the internship with a nice travel package.

I had every weekend free and used these to either explore Vietnam’s capital or travel the country; Hanoi is a great base.

Accommodation is basic but fine - and mostly importantly free including all bills. Electricity is the most expensive commodity here and there are no hidden fees. There is a bit of variation between the shared houses, some are better than others, but that's the same anywhere with any kind of student accommodation, and once you finish the internship, rent is super cheap in Hanoi.

BME is the English centre we worked for, teaching in public schools around Hanoi. They ferry you door to door by car taxi, a frustrating mode of transport in my opinion, and are at times unreliable, but they do try to make the experience a good one for you, something which is quite clear by the large community of teachers who either still work for BME (myself included) or still live in Hanoi. I bump into people all the time who started on this programme who are a great support network. BME pay on time every month and make sure that every teacher is working and living there legally: this means visas, work permits, foreigner residency, etc.

Life and work in Vietnam is not going to be the same as what you’ve experienced before. Communication lapses and miscommunication via language and cultural barriers are rife, but you will learn to adapt, teach, work and succeed in any and every environment.

How can this program be improved?

Training essentially. The August intake gets two weeks to settle in, train, etc. whereas the January intake has only one. The TEFL course (both online and classroom) itself has some interesting ideas to keep in mind, but a lot of it is not helpful when you start teaching in Vietnam. In Hanoi, your class can contain anything up to 60 little babies squeezed into bolted-to-the-floor desks - and you may rock up to a school where the power is out and has no sign of coming back on! BME do offer initial lesson plans and some amount of training, but be prepared to independently learn day by day.

I use a lot of songs in my younger grade lessons, it's a great, fun way to teach and learn that they can do from their seats. I would have found and introduction to this in the training very helpful indeed.

Default avatar
Rebecca
Female
25 years old
Norwich
University of East Anglia

Valuable experience with appropriate support

9/10

My experience with i-to-i TEFL was fantastic, communication was good and explained everything I needed to know about the internship. I was offered a discount as I already held my 140 TEFL course, and had the chance to do another 20 classroom course during orientation which was good (although not specific to the teaching we would be doing in Hanoi). ELC who run the internship were very informative and supportive whenever I had any problems. BME the education company who we worked for in Hanoi were, majority of the time, quite unorganised, I do not know if this is a Vietnam thing or just for the company, but be prepared for things not to go to plan sometimes! The overall experience was amazing, the opportunity to see Vietnam and use my TEFL with the comfort of the support from the internship is definitely worth paying for.

How can this program be improved?

More classroom based training relating the teaching in Vietnam (ie large classes, limited space etc)

Default avatar
Samantha
Female
23 years old
Ireland
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology

TEFL in Hanoi, Vietnam

8/10

Overall I really enjoyed the programme because it gave me the opportunity to move abroad with a certain degree of hand holding. I had some issues with the package I purchased. I had already completed my TEFL studies which I was told was no issue and I would finish the 2 day class training once I reached Vietnam. However when I sent on my certificate I was informed that I-to-I did not work with this company and I would have to complete 120 hours of TEFL in less than a month. The companies in Vietnam can be difficult to work with and at times manipulative but the help with Visas and housing etc was useful.
The package is good if not a little pricey.

How can this program be improved?

Limit materials. Too much content that isn't necessarily relevant.

Default avatar
Sarah
Female
24 years old
Florida
Other

If you're serious this is Perfect

10/10

The courses offered with i-to-i are amazing, I had the honor of taking the IELTs coach, Young learners, teenage learners and the main 160 hour +20 in class hour courses. These courses go in-depth in the areas you will you need to know and practice when going out to teach English internationally. The grammar lessons proved very practical, the extra material offered to buy also helped out greatly(teaching guides). You can't just choose the course and think you can rush finish it. Its gonna take time, and the amount of time you invest into it, will be well worth it in the end. Taking notes through the course, I look back and there was never a chapter that did not have information needed. The safe are also very helpful in and throughout the course, trying to help boost your confidence and guide you on the right path. I greatly encourage you to try it. On the plus side, it is a lot cheaper and I believe more fun then the oxford courses.

How can this program be improved?

More grammar courses

Default avatar
Jamie
Female
25 years old
Bangkok

AWFUL COMPANY DONT GO NEAR

3/10

From the very beginning you get ripped off (scammed in my opinion). You get charged an application fee to sign up to the initial internship with I-to-I, thinking oh this isn't too bad? Wrong. 6 months later I still feel like I’m paying for everything myself.

You get introduced to the Thai company that are running the internship. They pay you a low monthly salary in my opinion. As well as this, your contract is on an hourly rate so if you miss any classes due to public holidays, you are obliged to work these on your days off (Saturday's) otherwise you lose your pay.

If you go to Thailand without an agency, there’s a chance you’ll get higher pay (a whole lot more, and sometimes more with a degree).

Speaking of degrees, the partner organization takes your ORIGINAL degree certificate and transcripts so I found it difficult to leave the internship. As well as demanding a lot of fines and charges if you do leave them.

In terms of communication they do not care, we have went weeks without receiving email replies from them.

When asking why we get underpaid, I felt we received a disrespectful answer.

They pay for our accommodation but we pay for bills. And the landlords go to any cost to keep your accommodation deposit.

Upon arriving you’ll have to pay out of pocket for for visas and work permits. We did not receive our visas to stay in Thailand until December after being there for two months, and we had to pay overcharges as a result. (They also pulled us from school for this, so we were deducted pay from school). As well as this we did not receive our work permits until February -- a week before the internship finished.

The schools themselves, we did not get allocated a school until almost a month of being in Thailand. I was moved from place to place by the partner organization with no permanent job. I moved from Bangkok to surin and then got moved all the way down south after some miscommunication and told I was working up north. It wasn't until the end of November (after having to use my own savings to survive as I was depending on a promised job) that I was allocated a school. For the selection process, there was 8 of us and we had to line up in front of 200 Thai teachers as they all analysed our appearances and bidded on who they wanted at their schools. We were then sent to each school after the partner organization told them we were all qualified and experienced teachers from England! When specifically the internship said that we did not have to be qualified to do the internship. So all the schools assumed we were amazing enough to run our own English courses.

I did not receive pay slips. I got underpaid each month. They do not reply to emails. Proceed with caution.

We did not receive a finish date and upon asking about a finish date since December we were ignored.

We were also told by I-to-I and the partner organization to not book flights home on the 31st of March when the internship ended. So everyone booked a few days later. We then asked about our visas, and the partner organization told us they would only pay for our visas until the 31st.

We worked 7am-16:30pm every day. But only got payed on the hours that the teachers actually signed our lessons for. It is advertised as a 5 month internship but we only got paid for 4 month, and one of those months was only half a month worth of pay.

You could go to Thailand, go to any school with a degree of any kind and be on a comfortable monthly salary and pay for a nice apartment with a bit of a spending cushion.

Beware and proceed with caution.

Response from i-to-i and LoveTEFL

Hi Jamie, we are very sorry to hear that you feel this way about your Paid Thailand TEFL Internship and hope that we can resolve this as best we can.

Firstly, the application fee covers your accommodation, TEFL course (if you weren't already qualified), support from i-to-i and all the work that our in-country partners do. This includes assessing your application, supporting you throughout the internship, finding and placing you in a school, helping organise your visa and work permit and conducting your orientation - just to explain why this is charged.

Secondly, the money earned is a living allowance rather than a salary as is the case with most internships, TEFL or otherwise. Internships are generally paid lower than permanent positions as they form training in your field of qualification and help you gain experience for a future permanent position. For this reason, you would likely earn a higher wage if you were to get a permanent job in Thailand, rather than taking part in an internship but the internship is intended to give you teaching experience and a taste of TEFL life before you make the decision to apply for full-time roles.

Regarding the pay conditions (hourly rate, working back public holidays), these are laid out by the schools and the Thai government. We appreciate that this may be different to other countries and cultures but unfortunately, it isn't something that we have any control over and we can only comply to the law in Thailand.

If you wanted to leave the internship early, this would cause issues with the school as this would mean that they would need to advertise for and hire a replacement teacher part way through the term. This can also damage the relationship between the school and our partners as they rely on them to provide teachers who are willing to stay for the full term. In addition, the partners would need to keep your degree certificate on file for the entirety of your internship for the authorities to verify you and ensure that you could stay in the country if this was ever under question.

In terms of landlords, this again is something that we have limited control over. Our partners do their best to place our interns in accommodation which is clean, comfortable and in a good location, within walking distance of their schools. Private landlords are not working with us or our partners, they expect rent to be paid every month (from our partners) and can withhold deposits if they believe that damage has been done to the property. Our partners will help out with this as much as they can if any interns feel that this is being unfairly charged.

Regarding you being moved around schools, this does appear to have been a communication issue between the schools and our partners and we can only apologise on behalf of them. You are correct in saying that you don't need experience to partake in the internship so it shouldn't have been claimed that you were experienced, apologies again if this was the case. However, during the internship, the school you are placed in will expect you to hold your own lessons and this is what the TEFL training course is designed to prepare you for.

Furthermore, quick and informative communication is something that we pride ourselves in here at i-to-i and our Customer Team will do their best to respond to emails within 2 working days of receipt. They are also immediately contactable by phone during (UK) office hours. Apologies if our partners were not as quick with their responses, this is something that has since been improved upon.

As of May 2017, we have changed the partners that we work with in Thailand but we are still running a Paid Thailand TEFL Internship successfully and we have taken on board all of the feedback given by previous interns to improve on it as best we can.

We really appreciate you taking your time to raise this feedback and we sincerely hope that this reply has gone some way to explaining the issues presented.

Kind regards,

The i-to-i team

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