Smaller Earth

Smaller Earth

About

Ready to work abroad? If the thrill of earning a paycheck and traveling at the same time is enticing to you, then welcome to Smaller Earth.

Smaller Earth has been sending individuals on work and travel programs since 1999. What started out as a one-man shop (aka the spare bedroom of our founder's parents' house) now sends over 6,000 people around the world each year. Join the movement (and the fun) by signing up to one of our many programs.

From being an Au Pair in China to working in the Outback of Australia or getting your TEFL certification in Prague, we are the leaders at what we do.

Founded
1999
Headquarters

3300 N Interstate 35
Austin, TX 78705
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Roisin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure China was life changing. The support I received was incredible, they went above and beyond to make sure I felt prepared and ready for my trip. The Adventure China team even came out to China to catch up and check in with us.

I wouldn't have had the courage to travel China by myself, but always dreamed of going. This was my first step and I'm so happy I came across this program. Not only is it incredibly cheap but I felt fully prepared and ready to travel. It made me feel so at ease to know I had a great company behind me to sort everything out!

They even organised a prep weekend where I got to meet everyone else I was going to be working with and flew in the Camp director from China too. We did workshops on camp life, china, camp games, and sorted out all our documents etc. It was so nice to meet all my colleagues and I made some life long friends and we started making travel plans for after camp! China is such a magical place. I had the time of my life and I can't wait to return next year.

I can't thank the Adventure China team enough!

Default avatar
eric
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As we began our decent into Prague airport I was worried this whole thing of getting certified for tefl was a mistake. i have been proven wrong greatly. this has been a great learning experience and it has prepared me for success. such an activating experience. the knowledge and background of the staff are giant, they know just about all the answers to questions you may have. the decorum and presentations was always professional. i feel like the quality of teachers

What would you improve about this program?
yoga before each class, daily
Default avatar
florence
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I highly recommend taking this TEFL course! Martha, Becca, and Ashley are all AWESOME and SO HELPFUL! I genuinely cannot say enough positive things about the staff at Hello Academies and the course in general. They help you every step of the way and teach you everything you need to become a successful teacher. They are also great at helping you find a job and making sure you can do everything easily. As an added bonus, Prague is awesome and a beautiful city! This TEFL course is literally worth every penny - JUST DO IT!!

What would you improve about this program?
NOTHING ITS AWESOME :)
Josie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you are considering doing a TEFL course, definitely put this one on your list! With 120 hours in class teaching, 6 hours of student teaching, and several hours of observation in addition to the fact that it's in Prague, you really can't beat the experience! Additionally, the fact that housing is included for the duration of the class makes this program a lot less stressful than many others. I feel 100% more confident in my skills as a EFL teacher than I ever imagined I could.

What would you improve about this program?
One big thing that was an issue during my month was the consistency of the lessons the instructors were teaching. Overall, they were all great and knowledgeable, however occasionally they would teach things in direct contridiction with each other and that made things confusing at times. They were always willing to clarify though!
Lucas
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hello Academies is one of the premier TEFL Certification Programs in Prague. The materials provided prepare you to jump directly into the amazing world of teaching English abroad. The instructors are great and are always willing to help. Furthermore, the smaller class size of this program ensures that the program feels more like a family. There are a handful of events throughout the course, and you are connected with Hello Academies Alumni so that you have a great network of English-speaking expats right of the bat. On top of a great community aspect, the program offers gret suport in getting a job after finishing the course - I was employed by a language school that presented at Hello Academies within a week of graduating. Overall, Hello Academies provides an awesome balance between preparing you to succeed as an English teacher as well as making the experience totally enjoyable.

What would you improve about this program?
One tricky part about moving to Prague is finding a flat afterwards. The program helps by finding flats on certain websites but it does take a certain amount of initiative to find a great spot - especially in September or October when there is a huge influx of Erasmus students and demand for houses is really high. As long as you are willing to seek help from Hello Academies employees, they are always willing to help.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Ella Haslett

Originally from Dublin, Ella has lived in Brisbane, Australia for the past 3 years where she completed her high school education.
She decided to return to Europe this year and will study Human Biology at the University of Glasgow.

Ella had 9 months between finishing high school in Australia and starting university in September, so she decided to do the TEFL course at smaller earth in Prague. She is currently teaching English in Prague.
Ella Haslett

Why did you pick this program?

I chose to do the TEFL course at smaller earth Prague to meet like minded people who share a love for travelling and to experience studying/working in a foreign country.

I also thought having these 9 months between high school and university was a fantastic opportunity to travel and a perfect amount of time to have an insight on teaching English in a foreign country.

What is the most important thing you learned abroad?

"From living in Australia for almost 3 years and Prague for 5 months I've had fantastic experiences learning about other cultures. If you really want to discover foreign cultures and traditions I have realised that you will definitely have the best experience by living and studying/working in the country, rather than visiting for just a few days.

I have become so much more independent from living not only away from home but also in a foreign country!

I believe the most important thing I have learned from living abroad is that I should spend money on travel rather than things, as they are all unforgettable experiences!"

What was the hardest part about going abroad?

I lived in Dublin until I was 15 and then moved to Brisbane, now Im in the Czech Republic! I love meeting new people and making friends, but it is always extremely difficult leaving everyone! After just 1 year in Australia I knew I had made lifelong friends, but I will always stay in contact via facebook and Skype!

What made this experience unique and special?

I began teaching English after just 1 week of completing the TEFL course. As an English teacher in Prague, all of my students are Czech. Teaching is a extremely rewarding career, especially when you can see your students improving! It has also allowed me to discover so much more about the Czech peoples' traditions, attitudes and culture. My students always love telling me about great places to visit in Prague. The main reason they want to learn English is not just for communication with english speakers in their country, but also for travelling. English is the common language throughout Europe! They are always interested in learning about cultures of English speaking countries.

Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.

"There are many TEFL courses in Europe. I considered doing a course at home in Dublin, however there aren't many people looking for English lessons there, compared to Prague! The staff at smaller earth were fantastic. They were always happy to help, with recommendations on the best restaurants and bars to help with finding a job or accommodation after the course. Because of this, I didn't want to leave Prague after finishing the course, and so I decided to stay for 5 months until university begins! I have made so many new friends through the TEFL alumni group, and they were always willing to show me around when I arrived."

What made this trip meaningful to you, or how did this trip change your perceptions, future path?

I will definitely continue teaching English during my summer holidays at university. After such an amazing experience in Prague, I hope to teach English in other foreign countries around the world. If I hadn't done this course, I don't think I would consider living in a different country for an entire Summer!

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

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

Jessica Kennedy

Job Title
UK Program Lead
woman sitting looking at glaciers

Jessica, tell us about yourself.

A passionate traveler, I have studied international tourism for the past 8 years and spent time in many countries working and traveling including the USA, China, and New Zealand. I truly believe in the power of cultural exchange and the meaningful interactions, experiences, and relationships created that bring people closer together towards a brighter and enriched world.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory is my skydiving experience in Queenstown, New Zealand. You can not travel to the adrenaline capital of the world and not throw yourself out of a plane at 15,000 feet.

The free fall was such a surreal experience, after the initial shock of falling from the sky I took a moment to take in the surrounding views. Drifting around the clouds over Lake Wakatipu admiring the endless snow-capped mountains. The experience really put into perspective how small I am and how incredibly large the world is.

Once I landed back on the ground, me and two friends went to a local bar and shared our skydiving experiences over a mulled wine by the log fire, it was the perfect end to a great day.

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

I recently caught up with a Smaller Earth participant from Scotland who spent the summer in Queenstown working as a lift operator at a ski resort in the mountains.

Seeing his face light up when he talked about his job as a lift operator filled me with pride and satisfaction. He explained how he interacts with hundreds of people every day from all over the world and even though many of them speak different languages, the people he meets all share the same common interest and have a love for the snow which allows them to connect even when language barriers get in the way.

He lives with an English guy who we connected him with prior to his arrival in New Zealand. They also work together, spending the majority of their day's side by side. They relate to one another as brothers now when just three months earlier they had never before met.

It is these kinds of connections that make our jobs so important, breaking down barriers and creating meaningful interactions between people.

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

I would go on the Kiwi and Kiwi program! New Zealand is such a magical place, it's uncrowded, green and not to mention incredibly beautiful from every angle.

I love being outdoors, exploring nature and skiing. All of which is plentiful in New Zealand.
There are a number of roles offered on the Kiwi and Kiwi program that are entry level, I would not be held back from securing employment by lacking necessary qualifications.

Kiwi's are extremely welcoming, easy going and friendly. They have an enviable work life balance, believing that life is for living. Working hard to get the job done and enjoying plenty of free time with friends and doing recreational activities.

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

For Smaller Earth, the biggest factor is staff believing in the company values and purpose. With invested, passionate and motivated staff the company continuously strive every day to meet the values and live the company purpose of inspiring people to go further.

Our staff is pushed out of their comfort zones regularly to help them grow as individuals which feed into our participants.

We go on to push our participants out of their comfort zones to take on new and life changing cultural exchange experiences helping them grow and creating a smaller earth.

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Professional Associations

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