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.


916 W Diversey Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60614
United States


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Yes, I recommend this program

I just graduated college in May of this year and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do for the short term. I noticed a lot of my friends had applied to fellowships to either do research or teach abroad, so I figured "well, why don't I look into teaching abroad"? Ultimately, I stumbled upon ITA through a simple, but fateful google search. Next thing I know, I'm wrapping up my course and organizing plans to move to move to Spain! Although fed up with taking classes ITA's course was different in that it allowed me to put to practice what I learned by giving me assignments that I'd actually do as a teacher. I was actually able to step into the role of a teacher through them, and now I feel prepared to go make a life for myself as a budding professional. T'was a smart move indeed, one I have no absolutely no regrets in making.

What would you improve about this program?
I have no improvement suggestions; I am completely satisfied with this course.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I did my research and spoke with several schools. I 'm happy I chose ITA. I feel I've received a very through training. The instructors and resources were easy to follow.

The use of in class videos as well as additional lectures added to my training. I used resources outlined in the text to complete assignments. I was also able to find additional resources on my own.

The activities and assignments were in keeping with the lessons. With the available resources, I could complete assignments on time. In addition I liked that I as able to find new resources as I do not like to "reinvent the wheel!"

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Yes, I recommend this program

Travelling the world and experiencing different cultures has always been a dream of mine but always seemed so distant. Travelling can be expensive and overwhelming to plan - I could never find the right time. Having the opportunity to do the ITA online TEFL course has not only improved my CV, it has also opened so many doors for me for travelling. The course has taught me how to be an effective ESL teacher and I'm excited to put all this knowledge into practice. Enrolling in any online course or programme can be a huge risk - you can only rely on reviews and you want the best possible experience. With ITA, they provided really helpful advice over email/skype and gave me consistent support throughout the entire course. I would recommend it to anyone who would like to travel.

What would you improve about this program?
There's nothing I would improve - it's all really good!
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Yes, I recommend this program

I'd never taken an online course before and decided to try it after much research with the International TEFL organization. They were extremely helpful right from the very beginning. They offer a ton of information about how to choose a good institution for getting your TEFL certification. I knew immediately that they were legitimate when I read that it was required to speak with an adivsor before you signed up for anything. They have a lot of articles not about themselves, but about what makes a good certification course and what you should look for/be wary of. I liked that they didn't promote themselves, but genuinely wanted to be helpful for those new to this process. It becomes especially confusing with all the different types of certifications out there. I also was drawn to the fact that they offer job assistance afterwards. This isn't some "easy-A" type of online certification. It requires time and effort. They really want you to be the best you can before you go teach. They are an accredited organization and strive to be the best. My instructor made herself easily available via email or online office ours/forums. Would definitely recommend it to others!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish they gave you more time for the teaching practicum hours at the end. I think two months is kind of short especially if you work full time and have other extracurriculars.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I decided to get my TEFL certification after teaching ESL in Vietnam. I went through ITA because I've heard how great of a program it is, and it really is an awesome program. You can tell that the teachers love what they are doing and they really want their students to be the best ESL teachers that they can be. The course work can be difficult at times, but that's good because it will only make you a better teacher. I also really like how ITA provides their graduates with a life time of job search guidance. The student affairs team is really helpful and will even look over your cover letter and resume for you. If anything, that was probably what really made my decision. If you want to get your TEFL certification do it through ITA it's the best.

What would you improve about this program?
The one thing I would improve is maybe there being more speedy responses from the student affairs team when sending your resume and cover letter for them to look over.
Response from International TEFL Academy

Thank you for writing this review, Mills! Glad you're enjoying the lifetime job search guidance and that you've had a great experience. If there's ever anything we can do to help you out, don't hesitate to get in touch! - ITA


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Alumni Interviews

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

Ambrosia Maddox

Ambrosia has taught English as a TEFL teacher in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. Whenever she isn’t booking a flight for her next great adventure, Ambrosia may be found exploring the outdoors of her current city of residence, snapping photos with her GoPro, or learning something new about world history. She is also a fan of five-dollar Tuesday at her local movie theater in Chicago.

A woman and a young girl.

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.

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Staff Interviews

Staff interviews 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?

Volcano in Nicaragua

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.

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