Receiving my TEFL certification has opened many doors for me in the world of teaching as well as becoming an entrepreneur in the expatriate world. My time during the TEFL program was challenging but also very rewarding. It gave me the exact tools needed to feel confident to teach abroad.
After graduating from the TEFL program, I continued to travel for a few months and then one week before my flight home, I canceled my return trip and decided to stay in Germany. I wasn't ready to end this amazing experience. However, after traveling for another four months, I was faced with that very scary question of 'NOW WHAT?'. I was in Germany with no place to live and not one single job lined up. This was when I really sat down and turned my daydream plans into a reality! I started my own language academy for private teaching called Speakeasy Language Academy. We assist and promote teachers to legally and professionally teach privately around the world. A few years later, my partner and I started a second company called Expat Launcher that offers full-service assistance to expats looking to move to Germany. We are truly their one-stop shop for all things abroad. We assist with services like apartment search, registering, health insurance, and visa process just to name a few.
I truly believe that if I didn't take the TEFL program, my life would have still had one amazing year of traveling the world, but I would have gone back to the states and continued in the corporate world. This would be a dream for most, but I wanted something completely different. I have been very fortunate to live, teach and work aboard for the past 4 years. The best part is that we get to help others that want to do the same.
A few things that have impacted my life would be teaching young learners. It is amazing to watch their eyes light up when they understand something you've taught them. It is a very special gift and something that I hold dear to my heart. Also, my travel adventures have made me grow as a person. In the past year alone, I've had the pleasure of 18 trips to 2 different continents, 5 new countries, and roughly over 100 cities, towns and villages that I've thoroughly explored.
Some of my favorite moments since receiving my TEFL would include traveling around Egypt for 5 weeks, scuba diving in the red sea and taking a sailboat along the Nile for 4 days. Another amazing journey was volunteering in South Africa, where I got to hold and bottle feed lion cubs and watch them as they went from drinking milk to eating meat. I walked side-by-side with elephants and lived with wild animals all around us.
My advice to anyone considering taking the TEFL program would be to do it! Opportunities will present themselves throughout your life and yet only a few people jump on them. Don't question yourself and do what makes you happy. You can always go home if teaching abroad isn't for you.