International TEFL Academy

International TEFL Academy


International TEFL Academy is passionate about two things:

1. Providing the highest quality TEFL certification classes.
2. Ensuring all of our graduates find professional, paid English teaching jobs abroad & have a wonderful experience overseas.

All of our staff at ITA have worked, lived & traveled abroad extensively. We "get it," and we're passionate about helping you have a great international adventure like we did.

Based in Chicago IL, ITA is a worldwide leader in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad offering accredited TEFL classes in 25 locations worldwide & a state-of-the-art Online class. We certify 5,000 people per year to teach English abroad and we have graduates teaching in 80+ countries.

In addition to earning an accredited teaching qualification recognized worldwide, all of our students receive lifetime job search guidance & access to a full array of alumni services and networking opportunities.

ITA has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Rewarding program and experience

What an incredible experience and an enriching way to experience living and working abroad. The instruction was well thought out and provided the perfect start to living in Thailand. I made friends that 8 years later I am still in touch with, I learned teaching skills that I still use today, and most importantly I gained a deeper appreciation for my own strengths by stepping out of my comfort zone. I was placed in rural Isaan which gave me a community that I will always treasure and allowed me to teach such motivated and intelligent students who were eager to gain English language skills that would further their education. I highly recommend this program!

What was your funniest moment?
Getting caught up in a local parade, joining in the fun and ending up on the cover of the local newspaper in my town!
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No, I don't recommend this program

Neutral review

This company and program is 100% legit with efficient advisors, teachers, workers, etc. I should have done deeper research before signing up for this program because the course I took can be provided by other companies at a reduced cost. The course I took was the 11 week online TEFL course, and it cost a total of $1,099 after discount. Being fully honest, I was quite disappointed with the quality content of the course based on how much I paid. I was required to read textbooks 85% of the time, 5% videos, and the rest being class discussions. One thing about this company that stands out from others is that they help you find a job after completing your course. I am not too sure how helpful they are when it comes to job searching, but I have read both positive and negative reviews on this. If you are considering to sign up for this program, do your research first and know what you are signing up for. My review on International TEFL Academy is neutral.

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No, I don't recommend this program

read before you enroll!

This is a legit TEFL course program, BUT it's one of the most expensive out there.
They are quick to respond to your questions, and they will be there to help you out even once you are finished with your course.
I wouldn't personally recommend using enrolling because there are several courses with the same information that costs less.
Some of the course videos are outdated, but other than that, the course itself is legit.
If you are going to sign up for this course, you don't need to buy the textbook they encourage you to purchase.
Ashely, my TEFL advisor was super quick and informative when we called. There were some misunderstandings and conflicts that arose, but International TEFL Academy was quick to resolve this for me.
Also, I may be wrong, but international TEFL might have some sort of agreement with gooverseas (this rating site).

(I rated 5 for all because I felt neutral about the program)

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Yes, I recommend this program

ITA Chiang Mai course

I went during Songkran of 2019 and it was amazing (I highly recommend doing so because they may also be running a special at the same time)! Songkran is like their New Year's and it's this HUGE water fight and all types of festivities. I've never been that far out of the country and this was a very pleasant first experience. The staff were from all over the world just like the coursemates you have which adds to the experience (strangely though in my course that specific time there were a lot of Americans, the teachers found that odd as well).

They gave us language and cultural awareness classes and excursions along with our TEFL classes to aid in mobility around the country. They assisted with opening bank accounts, job search assistance during and months after the course while also assisting in searching for housing and even dental work! If you were to teach in Thailand literally the head of the ministry of education is one of your instructors and gives you a stamp of approval if you really need it (no pressure!)

The course itself was quite rigorous given the fact that it's just a month and if it was longer it would not feel as taxing. You feel rather bombarded after the first week and the end of week 3 and start of week 4 feel like pure chaos but that's because you've never made a lesson plan/taught before. Once you have it's beyond smooth sailing. You may get a psudeo-coteacher to help with some kids so that is also nice plus the kids can really take a liking to you rather quickly which makes your job that much easier.

Also for anyone else who is black in the diaspora (I'm African American) I was one of three in the course and to my knowledge the instructors did not make us feel unwanted or incapable of completing any tasks or any feelings of targeted discrimination (subtle/coded or otherwise); any feelings of doubt were coming from the course load itself. Final point on this, I speak AAVE (first) and SAE (second) and re-learning how to "properly" speak English in it's standard British or American format can make you feel as though there is no way you can feasibly teach English because you're default is already strongly dialectal borderline second language. However, I promise if you are someone who can/do already code switch habitually you will be fine and complete the course no problem; code-switch back when you're not at work!

Taking this course has given me friends from all over the world and those from the country I taught in. It has truly transformed my life for the better and has opened doors to opportunities I had not idea existed; also lasts a lifetime. The job search assistance and onboarding and personalized help is still going on with this company and I can still communicate and get proper documentation with my instructors in Chiang Mai still to this as well. I personally recommend this company and hope this review can give you a little more honest insights into the course!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Literally google maps is such an amazing tool when you don't know much already; use it. Get a lay of the land before arriving and search for at least 2 week accommodation before you arrive so you can plan accordingly.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome Opportunity

I've been teaching with an online company for a few years and haven't had much experience with live students. Lauren did a fantastic job setting me up with a great company here in Taiwan. She streamlined everything and was able to get me in touch with some of the best schools. I'm extremely grateful for her professionalism as well as being a FREE resource. I only wished I would've found this website sooner. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.Thanks, Lauren and Go Overseas for this amazing opportunity.


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Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

I chose the program offered by International TEFL Academy (ITA) because the course was available at a classroom location in person as well as online. The ITA website provided a wealth of information regarding tuition, course dates and availability, the length of training, class locations, job search guidance, accreditation, and numerous other topics.

I phoned the contact number on their website and spoke with an ITA adviser who answered my remaining questions and helped me select an online class that worked well with my 40+ hour work week. He also set up a payment plan so I was able to pay the tuition in a timeframe that worked well for me. It was evident from the start that the ITA staff really wanted me to succeed in their TEFL program, and that played a major factor in my positive first impression of the program.

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

ITA’s descriptive website provided me with the knowledge I needed to select a TEFL course, and the adviser assisted with enrolling me into the course. The instructors lead the 11-week course that resulted in my becoming more culturally sensitive and an overall better TEFL teacher for my students.

The ITA website also has job guidance advice, and there are numerous social media platforms with ITA groups where alumni offer tips and suggestions on finding work after completing the TEFL course. I’ve even seen alumni offer other prospective teachers a place to stay while they find a place to live once they’ve arrived in their country of choice. There’s a great support system with ITA, and I haven’t felt alone in organizing anything so far.

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

A piece of advice I would give to someone going into my program: do not procrastinate on the readings and assignments. The workload may seem heavy at times, but the instructors provide a syllabus and a course calendar prior to the start of the class so students are able to prepare a plan for completing the work by the deadlines. All of the assignments are relevant and beneficial to someone with the desire to travel to a different country and become a TEFL teacher, so it’s important to complete all of the work and do your very best.

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

For a participant of ITA’s online TEFL program, the course runs for 11 consecutive weeks and includes an additional 20 hours of in-person practicum teaching. Students are provided with a syllabus at the start of the course as well as the textbook so they are able to plan accordingly. At the start of each week, assignments are posted to the online portal for students to complete prior to the weekend. Assignments include chapter readings, quizzes, a discussion board, course projects, and various other activities that transform students into well-equipped TEFL teachers.

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 not succeeding. It was extremely intimidating to travel to a different country on a different continent where I didn’t know anyone or the language. I wanted to be a great teacher for my students but the road to achieving that goal seemed so uncertain.

I overcame my fear by not expecting everything to go perfectly and having a backup plan if “plan A” didn’t follow through. Traveling overseas to be a teacher required me to “roll with the punches”, and I quickly realized that the unexpected twists of the journey made the entire experience even better.

Do you have to be rich to become a TEFL teacher?

No, you don’t have to be rich to become a TEFL teacher. I was fresh out of college when I first went abroad as a TEFL teacher to China; I paid around $950 for a one-way flight to Shanghai, and then I had around $500 left in my pocket. The school I was working for had on-campus apartments for teachers, so I didn’t have to pay rent or utilities, and I had no additional expenses upon my arrival to China.

I was able to save a few thousand dollars during my first year of teaching in China, and that allowed me more financial freedom for the next year. There are different opportunities available, and it’s important for prospective TEFL teachers to find the position that is the right fit for them. I recommend saving as much money as you’re able to prior to embarking on your new adventure. You don’t have to be rich to take that first step.

Staff Interviews

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

John Bentley

Job Title
Senior Admissions Advisor & Head Writer
A lifelong traveler who grew up in Cairo, Egypt, John Bentley wrote for the Egypt-Israel Edition of the famous Let’s Go! guidebook series during his student days at Harvard and has worked in the fields of international travel, education, and journalism ever since.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Having grown up overseas in Cairo, Egypt there are too many to count - from camping & fishing on desert islands in the Red Sea to exploring ancient monasteries in the Sinai and visiting the Berlin Wall at the end of the Cold War in 1989. Our high school in Cairo even had our high school graduation at the Great Pyramids of Giza.

But really the most rewarding moments of travel are the small ones you experience when immersing yourself in a foreign culture: strolling through a market in Saigon, riding a train through the countryside in India, interacting with the locals at a coffee shop in Cairo or a pub in Liverpool. These are my favorite travel moments.

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

One of the great aspects of working at International TEFL Academy is that we are constantly encouraged to learn as individuals, as team members, and as international travel experts.

We are constantly receiving new training and updates on all aspects of teaching English abroad.

From work visas in Poland to hiring requirements in South Korea, we are constantly getting updated on job markets and TEFL course options to provide the best information to our students & graduates.

Personally, I have also been able to learn a ton to enhance my skills in areas like writing, blogging, personal communications, and social media.

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

There are too many to count, but certainly the most rewarding aspect of working at International TEFL Academy is seeing the people you work with realize their dreams of living, traveling, and teaching English abroad.

I love following my students' blogs, photos, articles and videos after they've gone overseas to teach English, especially for those for whom teaching English abroad is their first international travel experience.

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

I would take my TEFL class online or in Chicago and then teach English somewhere in East Asia like Japan, South Korea or Vietnam, though it would be hard to pass up an opportunity to live and work in a tropical country like Nicaragua, or even a class European country like Italy.

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

The passion of our team for helping others realize their dreams of teaching English & traveling abroad. International experience is the number one requirement to work at ITA so each member of our team understands personally the challenges and rewards of living and working overseas.

We also do our best to provide the most comprehensive and realistic information possible about teaching English abroad - this is why have more than 600 blog articles, FAQs, alumni interviews & videos on our website.

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

Passion for what we do and providing the best possible experience to our students so that they can realize their dreams of living, traveling and teaching English around the globe.