International TEFL Academy

International TEFL Academy

About

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.

Founded
2010
Headquarters

916 W Diversey Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60614
United States

Reviews

Thea
10/10

the Czech Republic is an absolutely beautiful country so why not get TEFL certified there?? The course really equips you to teach English to any age. It is a lot of work but totally worth it! There are a ton of job opportunities and The Language House provides assistance with finding a job. They also provide assistance when looking for a place to live after the course as well! There are a ton of expats in Prague which is really awesome! Prague is a beautiful city with a ton of things to see and do and so easy to travel around Europe from. So if you're thinking about coming to Prague to get TEFL certified, DO IT!!!

Yes, I recommend
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Ashley
8/10

I had a great time in Florence while taking my TEFL course. The teachers were great at teaching and they were helpful with all my questions. The group of students was small enough that we were able to all become friends which really helped make the experience that much better. Florence is a beautiful city and was the best place for taking my TEFL course. Because of the certification that I got I am not able to teach anywhere. I am currently in Thailand teaching at an all girls school. For students trying to decide whether or not to take this course I say do it. It opens the world up to you and because it is good for life you are able to leave and come back to it.

Yes, I recommend
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Tom
2/10

I don't like posting negative reviews. Just like most people, I want to share positive news and experiences. But there's a dark problem in the TEFL/TESOL world that's not getting the attention it should and which is costing students lots of money and wasted time. I completed the ITA TEFL program with flying colors after an extended chat with their intake specialists about whether I would be a decent candidate for TEFL abroad. It was very uncomfortable having the conversation with them about race and age, but I'd done my research before and learned both from other TEFL instructors and from reading journal articles that there is gender, race, appearance, and age discrimination widely all over the world in the TEFL industry. I didn't want to invest over $1000 in schooling (after having spent tens of thousands on university education) if I wasn't going to be able to overcome discriminatory practices. ITA's staff was cooly encouraging, pointing out they had "many" successful graduates like me. I'd heard something similar from the administration where I did my graduate training and that didn't pan out, so I was nervous but decided to take the plunge.

The first problem I encountered was in the teaching material. It was dated and had the feel of a program from the 80's (graphics, layout...). And there were frequent errors throughout the material. And while I understand students need to practice to master concepts, the assignments felt like just busywork, with little rigor or actual teaching (from staff to us). Still, I completed the program with the praise of the teaching staff. Offered a chance to do a module on early childhood teaching, I couldn't bring myself to engage any more of the dated, dry learning modules so declined.

I had difficulty finding a community teaching practicum. Many of the contacts ITA provided were either dead or, when I contacted program managers, they told me they'd never heard of ITA. Finally, I arranged something awkward that satisfied (but really shouldn't have) the practicum requirements and I finished the program.

It took me over a year to get a job (China). Of course, I wanted a job with a decent enough pay for me to both survive AND keep paying my student loan bills back home. But despite my multiple degrees and lots of teaching experience in the US, I found nowhere was interested in me. I have an electronic folder full of over 200 different resumes and cover letters for many different types of teaching opportunities. I applied in Latin America, Europe, The Middle East, North Africa, and throughout Asia. Places that initially required JUST a resume contacted me the same day they got my resume to set up a Skype interview which I took very seriously, researching the company and their target audience and even renting a professional office space (day office), dressing professionally, and preparing a mock lesson. Invariably, within seconds of the interviews starting, these companies were visibly disappointed with who I am. I never heard back from any of them, though I kept (and continue) seeing their ads for instructors. I can't adequately express how demoralizing and humiliating that is.

Then there were the other ads that requested "a recent photo" or "your passport photo page." I even hired a resume company to help me craft my resume (a service ITA offers but I wanted a professional company to help me maximize my chances at getting a decent-pay job so went with a highly reviewed company that offers EFL resume help). After applying to literally hundreds of positions in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Laos... I was offered a position in the Middle East for less than half what other younger and inexperienced graduates were being offered with a company that had horrible Glassdoor reviews, including many employees' complaints about unethical treatment, contract abrogations, and payment failures. I finally got an offer from a company in Shanghai. The pay, for such an expensive city, was low, but I was just relieved to have found a job.

I accepted the Shanghai offer for one year but decided to return to the US. The management of the Shanghai company was abusive to all staff--Chinese and foreign, relying on screaming, humiliation, and other forms of abuse "to keep people in line," the words of the program director there. And they required instructors to falsify legal documents students were using to apply to US colleges. I felt very uncomfortable doing this so didn't renew my contract.

While I was in China, I applied to hundreds of teaching positions throughout the world. And until recently, I've done the same since returning home. I've even applied to teach in countries with unstable, even dangerous political situations. The evidence is irrefutable. If you're older (over 35, 40) and, I hate writing this, of African descent, especially if you're male (preference in Asia for female teachers), no matter how much experience, how many degrees, and what certification you have, you aren't likely to be a desirable candidate. Worse, because the job market for college graduates in the West is so abysmal that many graduates seek TEFL certificates simply to qualify for full-time work elsewhere while they wait for better opportunities back home, the market has been flooded with TEFL certificate graduates, both driving down salaries generally and making employers far more selective. Again, if you're the wrong type of teacher, many schools and companies have so many other candidates to choose from that you are likely to be out of luck.

I spent over $1000 for a TEFL certificate that's now worthless simply because of who I am. Never mind my experience teaching in public schools. This is a HUGE problem for the minority of TEFL certificate seekers who share my demographic. You can do the online search yourself for both popular recountings of these experiences and scholastic publications corroborating what I've shared here. TEFL certificate granting institutions should assume the ethical responsibility of having informed, frank discussions with students BEFORE we shell out money for knowledge we may never get to use due to widespread discrimination.

How can this program be improved?
Follow your own teaching material advice and recognize that tomes of dry reading materials are INeffective pedagogy. Error-check your manuals more thoroughly. Hire teachers who WANT to interact with students, rather than toss one or two shallow sentences back on assignments as "feedback." Your program could be so much more effective at teaching HOW to teach (rather than how to regurgitate material) if YOU actually taught--the way you have us memorize how to teach.

Also, be honest with students before we commit to your program about major problems in the TEFL industry. It only undermines your credibility and community trust when graduates like me finish the program very successfully but then remain unemployed due to the issues I've outlined above.
No, I don't recommend
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Jill
9/10

My husband and I had been talking about moving overseas for a long time, so when we finally settled on Madrid, the student visa/TEFL program through ITA made a lot of sense for us. It certainly isn't cheap, but they made the process super easy and answered any and all questions along the way. Just keep in mind that the people who you speak with in the states are not the people who you will be talking to here. This confused me at first, but everyone was awesome so it really didn't matter. If I could give three pieces of advice, they would be:

1. Do the one-month certification course in Madrid. You make friends, get to know your instructors, and have time to settle into your life.
2. Save more money than you think you'll need and count on making less than you're told. In Spain, there are a lot of holidays. It's nice because you get days off, but as hourly jobs often go, you don't get paid for the days you don't work. Combine this with the general flakiness of students/academies/etc... means you often don't work your full hours each month.
3. Be flexible with your living situation. Landlords here don't love renting to ex-pat teachers, so it wasn't easy for us to find a place here. A lot of people wanted us to put down a ridiculous amount (8 months in one place) because of our student visa/part-time work status. If you're coming here on your own, it can also be difficult because there are so many people looking for rooms and places.

All in all, I'd highly recommend that anyone thinking about moving to Madrid should do it. We've traveled all around Europe, made amazing friends, and had a wonderful year getting to know this amazing city.

How can this program be improved?
I would try and lower people's expectations about how much money they will make (especially in the beginning) and how much things cost. I think we were told we could make like 1600 euros/month, and I don't know anyone making that much working 20 hours. Also, it was really hard for everyone I know to find a permanent place. The program was helpful in the beginning to find temporary places, so I think I'd just make sure people knew to start looking asap for places bc it takes a while.
Yes, I recommend
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Ivan Joshua
6/10

Imagine a country full of ancient and modern history, saturated with temples, wildlife, rice fields, grasslands, and beaches. A country with friendly
people and smiling children in abundance. The country is stunning with beautiful beaches and awe inspiring temples. The food is out of this world and so reasonably priced! It’s relatively easy to get around the city ( Phnom Penh) with all the tuk tuks. I just need more time to explore .... This country is CAMBODIA!

Yes, I recommend

Programs

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International TEFL Academy
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