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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 as we did.

Based in Chicago IL, ITA is a worldwide leader in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad offering accredited TEFL classes in 20 locations worldwide & award-winning online TEFL classes. 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.


This image is a tribute art piece of the late mangaka, Kentaro Miura, and of his main character, Gatsu, from my favourite manga titled "Berserk". One of the themes in Berserk is that no matter how hard everything may become, we push and struggle forward towards our goals and dreams.
Yes, I recommend this program

Among the Best TEFL Programs

During my research of choosing which TEFL program that would be the best for me to attend, International TEFL Academy (ITA) was one of the schools that I knew had an established and successful reputation. I have so much to say in few words.

I'm grateful that I had chosen ITA because for starters, the recruiters and admissions , they do not try to pressure you. They make themselves available and answered all of my questions. My instructor was very knowledgeable, motivating, and has a passion for their job. The instructor was always available to guide me through success of the course. The materials, books, and tools that were provided were informative, up-to-date, and stimulating. The school also offers optional assistance with finding a Practicum and with job assistance and preparation after completion of the program.

With ITA, you know who's rooting for you in your corner... steps closer to your dreams. Thank you ITA.

  • The school has one of the best ITA programs.
  • The instructors are phenomenal and legitimate.
  • They genuinely want to see you succeed.
  • It isn't cheap. Yet, none of the best schools are. In the end it's worth investing into your future.
Response from International TEFL Academy

Hi Nashwah,
Thanks for taking the time to write a review and sharing your experience taking ITA's TEFL course - we really appreciate it. Please get in touch with any questions or concerns and to get any needed assistance you need with your job search or other matters. Our team is here to help!

Cheers - The ITA Team

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No, I don't recommend this program

Safety Concerns

I attended the in person class in Barcelona and was very uncomfortable nearly the entire time. One of the other students in my class was a registered sex offender that had committed crimes against children and this person was my partner in the class. TEFL organizes student teaching at a language school for children, yet they don't require any sort of background check to ensure they aren't aiding a sex offender to work with children. When brought to the schools attention, they merely said that it is the future employer who is responsible to do background checks not TEFL's responsibility. The entire experience was draining and uncomfortable. They wouldn't even take our groups picture at the end because they didn't want the sex offender featured on their website. I would not reccomend it.

  • None
  • Uncomfortable experience
  • No background checks
  • Allows sex offenders
Response from International TEFL Academy

Hi K Baker,

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. We’re truly sorry that you were put in this position and had to deal with this unfortunate situation. Since this situation occurred 4 years ago, we have taken whatever steps we can to ensure that no children are placed in any practicum classes taught by somebody with such a background. The Barcelona course no longer has young learners in their practicum classes. Also, we want to assure you that the person in question did not receive a certification from ITA.

ITA offers TEFL courses in countries worldwide, and laws can vary regarding the information we can obtain about our students. The student in this case was enrolled through the TEFL course in Barcelona. The TEFL school in Barcelona does not have the ability to require background checks as part of the European Union's GDPR privacy protection.

The TEFL school in Barcelona contracts with a language school to provide free English language classes where TEFL students can complete their practice teaching. When teacher training organizations - like TEFL schools - partner with primary and secondary schools to organize practice teaching, the primary/secondary schools set the requirements of screening for any participants in student teaching. Student teaching is always supervised by a trainer. As much as ITA or any other organizations wish to screen the students, each organization is bound by the laws of the country they operate in.

Note: To clarify, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the EU law, which governs data protection and privacy in European Union (EU) nations, which includes Spain.

It should be pointed out that as a training school, we do not hire our students, and in most cases, it is the legal responsibility of schools that actually employ teachers to run background checks as required by law in that country.

We take these situations very seriously, and if we receive any information regarding a teacher or student that is such an offender, we do not work with them to obtain employment or allow them to receive our certification. We always work to improve our courses and the experience of our students and we will do everything we can to ensure such a situation does not occur in the future.

Again, we’re sorry you had to deal with this situation. Please get in touch if you have further questions or want more information.

Regards – The ITA Team

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Yes, I recommend this program

International Tefl Academy

I would highly recommend International Tefl Academy because of the quality of their program. Their program surpassed my expectations and really prepares you for real life situations.
I also found the staff very approachable and their communication skills excellent. The response rate at getting back to you asap was reassuring and so helpful.
In addition, the staff gave ongoing support and help after you have qualified. I found this invaluable knowing I had their support and guidance after I qualified while trying to secure experience. This is what helped me get experience and subsequent employment during and after the pandemic.
They are truly a great place to start your Tefl journey.

  • Quality program and teaching
  • Great communication
  • Support after you become qualified
Response from International TEFL Academy

Hi Bernie,

We really appreciate you taking the time to write this review. Your positive experience can help others take the initiative to begin your own personal journey of getting TEFL certified and teaching English abroad or online. Please do not hesitate to reach out for job search guidance or if you have any questions. Our team is here to help!

Cheers - The ITA Team

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Yes, I recommend this program

Changed my life forever!

I searched many programs and this program seemed to be the most legit. I was totally happy with the program's experience. The material was easy to understand without it being too simplified. I was able to learn things at a decent paste and I felt I was getting my money's worth. It felt like a college course and I was able to receive grades and feedback from the instructors of ITA. It's great for those who know nothing about teaching and for those who may need a refresher. Although, the actual real experience will teach things as well, this program helped me add more to the classrooms that I have taught.

Response from International TEFL Academy

Hi Pasqual,

Thanks for sharing your experience and your experience - our team truly appreciates it. We also love the photo! Please remember to get in touch at any time to access job search guidance resources and assistance. Our team is committed to your success!

Cheers - The ITA Team

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Yes, I recommend this program

ITA's online course

I'm delighted I took the online course and highly recommend it to anyone that is interested. It qualified me to teach abroad, which effectively changed my life. The people I met and my experiences abroad reshaped the world in my view. Even though I'm considered 'mature', my recommendation is for all ages. The world is a fascinating place with many things to experience. ITA's online, or in-person course will open up the possibility of working as you travel the globe. Whether you decide to live in one country abroad or more, you will be forever changed.

  • Meeting people from all over the world
  • 'Tasting' the culture and cuisine personally
  • Traveling
  • Ageism in hiring
  • My foreign language skills were lacking
  • n/a
Response from International TEFL Academy

Hi Jean,

Thanks for taking the time to share your positive experience taking ITA's Online TEFL Course. We love to hear from more "mature" students like yourself because folks who are a bit more advanced in life often think that teaching English abroad is not for them, even though that is not the case! We're glad to hear that taking the course positively impacted your life and helped you enjoy a life-changing experience teaching English abroad. Even though you completed your TEFL course in 2019, please remember that you can always get in touch for job search guidance if and when you decide to pursue new opportunities. Our team is here to help!

Cheers - The ITA Team


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Alumni Interviews

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

Jonas Hudnall

Jonas is an online TEFL teacher from Nashville, TN living in Corvallis, OR. He graduated in Wildlife Biology in 2017 where while working at one of his many jobs, he learned about the world of TEFL. He decided to go all-in and get his TEFL in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2019 and has been teaching online ever since.
Jonas Hudnall standing in front of the Olympics sign

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I wanted something that was short-term and that had lots of assistance along the way; it being during Songkran was a bonus! I looked around at a lot of TEFL courses and this one stuck out to me with the amount of extras and benefits you got for the amount of money you were spending.

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

They assisted me with a lot actually. One major thing was obviously some onboarding and visa information as well as numerous email threads and phone calls where needed; vaccine information, country/city information, etc. They connected me with the on-site director, who also gave me information on things I may need or recommendations for accommodation in the area.

I did not take their specific recommendation, so I had to look for my own accommodation. I also obviously had to coordinate getting the visa they told me I should get as well as doing a currency exchange.

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

Looking back on it I wish I had joined a group chat beforehand so that I could've had understood the various modes of transportation better; even some phrases. If I had done this earlier it would have saved me A LOT of walking and sweating, but that also is a highlight of my trip as well. So I'd advise you to get into some group chats and connect with the alumni network if you can, and JUST GO!

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

The average day consists of you showing up to the learning center building and having a light conversation than starting the day's lesson. You'll have handouts and various other lessons and break-out sessions to try and aid and hone your skills. The week is usually set up that way and then towards the end of it, every day is out getting practical in-person experience.

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

I believe my biggest fear was just jumping into it as well as being alone after I arrived. I never really got over the first fear, so I just had to tell myself to do it and get it done. There's only so much "prep" you can do to where you could potentially psych yourself out, and it becomes overwhelming, or all you do is prep. The fear of being alone went away after I began classes, but it was nice for a little to experience this new place on my own without having anyone else with me. I wasn't afraid something bad would happen, just knowing that the festivities would've been better with a friend.

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.