teach away

Teach Away


Teach Away offers a wide variety of international teaching jobs with English-speaking education organizations, public, and private schools. Established in 2003, Teach Away has become a leader in international teacher recruitment through a commitment to placing the world’s best educators in leading educational institutions around the globe.

Each year, hundreds of teachers explore the world and experience a new culture through Teach Away's international teaching programs. Teach Away's partners include a wide range of educational institutions including elementary, middle and high schools, ministries of education, international schools, overseas education businesses, educational NGOs, and private ESL schools.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

I enjoyed taking the course, and I felt like I learned a lot. I found the homework assignments to be a bit confusing sometimes. The assignment was always related to the topics covered by the lessons, but I did not always know exactly what was expected by the graders in order to demonstrate that I understood the material. It all worked out in the end, but the course talked about how people learn by modeling. I think they could have modeled some of their homework assignments. Those who run the course are very serious about teaching. If someone is looking to go overseas to teach, I think this course will help them. I work in a completely different industry, but I have been involved in international business travel for the last 25 years. I don't know if I will ever teach in an international school, but I am glad that I took the course.

What would you improve about this program?
I would make the homework assignments clearer. I also would make the grading of the homework timelier. It seemed like it took several days to get feedback on homework. Finally, this is an online course. Those of us who work will typically take the classes in the evening after our regular jobs are over. Coverage from the school during those hours is nonexistent. It would be nice to be able to pick up the phone and call someone to ask questions or seek assistance, but assistance is not available outside normal business hours.
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Yes, I recommend this program

International House Berkeley TEFL course

Hello, My name is Soichiro Nishisako. I am from Japan. I am a high school teacher in Tokyo. So I want to be a good teacher in English subject. I really enjoy this course a lot. The lessons are very clear and understanding easily for me. All of the modules are very informative and through. This course fully covers the theoretical and practical aspects that we need to know to be a successful teacher. If you would like to be a good English teacher, you just join this program. I suggest you do it now.

What would you improve about this program?
This program should improve Technology Enriched Teaching.
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Yes, I recommend this program

OISE University of Toronto TEFL course

My experience during the online course was excellent because of parts of teaching that I was not aware of. A lot of resources were suggested that would make life easier during a teaching abroad experience.

Comparing to what other TEFL programs people have taken and the knowledge I gained, I believe this one is the most complete and resourceful. Specially if you want to take teaching seriously and make a difference for the students while you teach.

I found that having a university backing up the program gave it that much prestige; I know some people say it doesn't matter where you get your TEFL from, but if the university is recognized overseas, that might just be the difference.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Quality Teaching

The course is linguistic basis and some prior knowledge in this area is an advantage. It offers some excellent teaching strategies, not only for teaching outside your immediate area or overseas, but also in any school environment from primary through to senior secondary. However, I found the blockage annoying. For example, when you have to wait to have the Journals marked and cannot move to the next module. The timed tests also posed a problem. For people like me who work full-time as a senior secondary teacher with 2 year 12 classes, a family to run and grand children. There was an occasion when I failed an exam because I had to attend a very young grand child's needs. There was also a time when I had planned to work on the course and your URL was down. This put me very behind in my schedule. You do need a very good internet connection to do the course and be able to be flexible with your time to complete the course. Overall a worth while course and for myself a very good review of what I had learnt awhile ago.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Training for Language Teachers

I have taken numerous online courses over the years, but I have no problem rating this course the best so far. The lessons were well organised and covered a lot of material (history of language, teaching theory, fundamentals of language/grammar). I wasn't expecting such an abundance of material, but know that it's necessary in order for language teachers to perform at their best in the classroom.

I liked the combination of visuals and audio components (PowerPoint, YouTube). The personal anecdotes that the professors and teachers shared helped me to understand the options that seasoned teachers have used when dealing with classroom issues and/or learning issues.

The reflections journals, quizzes and unit tests gave me the feedback I needed on an ongoing (and immediate) basis so that I could review and feel confident with my grasp of the materials.

I would strongly recommend this course for anyone who is interested in having a thorough knowledge base going into the classroom. It's a great confidence builder for new teachers.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I think it's important to learn as much as possible about the country, culture and people before you teach in a foreign country. I make a point of reading history, current events, literature etc. so that I have a better understanding and appreciation going in. This helps to enhance the experience for me and for the students.



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Alumni Interviews

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

Pauline Kanyiva Mwendwa

Pauline Kanyiva Mwendwa

Why did you choose this program?

TEFL is an online course that prepares teachers and aspiring teachers, whether native or non-native speakers, to become teacher English as a Foreign Language. When I moved to Mexico, I had no international teaching experience whatsoever. However, having taught in Kenya for over 4 years, I knew that I was a competent teacher and an excellent one for that matter. Two months into my new job in Guadalajara in Jalisco I lost my job! Culture conflict and language barrier can be a real challenge.

You see, Africa and South America are two different worlds altogether. The culture, religion, food, dressing, music, political affiliation and every aspect you can think of. The school set-up, classroom management and general approach was even completely new to me. With my experience from Kenya, things were completely different. Even though I am a quick learner and very versatile, things weren't easy. Situation were coming up from time to time where students disagreed with me or I disagreed with them. This led to my termination of my one year contract only two months into it. It was an amicable agreement between me and the school administration because both the students and I were having a hard time.

This motivated me to do a thorough research on how to cope and teach in a new country, especially to English non-Speakers. That's how I learnt about TEFL course. Through my research, I learnt about the importance of taking the course since all the challenges I had faced previously were addressed in the course work.

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

Ontario Institute of Studies of Education of the University of Toronto came in handy to ensure that I successfully completed my program at my own pace and with all the required materials. Everything was availed on the student's platform and it was easily accessible. The University ensured that the organization of the course was suitable for both trained and untrained teacher, The arrangement from known to the unknown stood out, besides the advantage of freedom to choose the area of specialization. The immediate response from tutors and the administration helped a lot especially in the cases where I had questions about journal submission and grading.

On the other hand, I was able to organize myself since the course is self-paced and there is enough time to completely finish everything with good time management. I was able advance my activities every weekend since my weekdays are usually extremely busy at work. I used a lot of online research and referred mostly to my experiences when answering my journal evaluations. The systematic organization of the program made it easy for me to do almost everything by myself without experiencing any difficult.

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

If you are thinking about teaching in a foreign country, then you are on the right track. First things first. You might need to consider taking this course whether you are a trained teacher or not. This will prepare you adequately to partake your new journey with full knowledge and confidence. This course highlights all the possible challenges and gives the solutions as well. I would also advice you to do a thorough research about your host country before moving over. What kind of language is spoken there, and if possible learn the basics, what are the political affiliations, religious believes and generally the culture.

This might sound very obvious but I will give you an example. Hand gestures are not a big deal in my country and in most countries actually. So in Kenya, you can snap your fingers to encourage someone to contribute in a discussion which is very okay. However, here in Mexico snapping fingers got me into a problem with a parent for snapping at the students during a classroom cooperative activity. Here in Mexico you cannot go snapping your fingers anyhow because it is very offensive. If I had done my research before and learnt that, may be I would have avoided such a confrontation. So it is very important to understand the culture differences that you might experience in order to avoid unpleasant confrontations and embarrassments as well.

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

Generally, this will depend on an individuals interests and preferences. As a teacher, my day starts at 7.30 am to 3.30 pm, from Monday to Friday. This might defer depending on different institutions or the region as well. When my day ends at work I have a whole afternoon to myself and at the end of the week I have a whole weekend for myself. This is the time I get to indulge with the culture, make new friends and go to new places.

Here in Mexico people are very social and there is always something to do. In the evenings, I sometimes go for Salsa dance, Carne Asada (barbecue night), movie night even going to the gym. Weekends are excellent for road trips, camping, weddings, quinceañera and site-seeing. As I said, all this depends on what one is interested in doing.

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

Moving to a new country is not as easy as it may sound. At first, I did not know how I would survive without my parents and my sisters around me. My other biggest fear was starting over. I was unsure of how things would be in a new country without family and friends. I thought I was going to lose my friends and lose contact with my family. The best way to overcome fear is to face it.

After I got here, those became completely non-factors. Now I had bigger problems like learning how to fold a taco and confidently put it in my mouth without spilling everything. Thanks to technology and this digital era, I can now Skype call and even Whatsapp call my family and friends almost on daily basis. This helps a lot when I feel homesick, even then though I miss being with them physically.

Is it worthy moving to a foreign country?

This is a question I get from anyone that I tell my story. I will be very honest. If your main reason for moving to a foreign country is solely to make money, then I would say no. Why, you may ask. First of all, moving to a foreign country is not cheap. It is like an investment or a business you are trying to test waters. It means abandoning whatever you were building on and starting over. So it is a risk which might or might not work out. What if it does not work out as you expected?

If your main reason is exposure and experience, then money might be just a bonus. Moving to a foreign country, as a teacher especially, comes along with a bunch of advantages. First, the international teaching experiences is a plus in career development. Most importantly, the exposure gives you a new way of perceiving everything and an opportunity to experience diverse cultures and practices. Even though most of these things are now available on the internet, the same internet will never teach you how to fold a Taco and put in your mouth without spilling everything.

Be wild, travel and live a thousand ways!

Staff Interviews

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

Christie Van Tol

Job Title
Course Coordinator
After a stint abroad in Italy while studying for her Bachelor's of Arts in English, Christie decided to get TEFL certified and moved to Spain for a year to teach English! Christie now works as the Course Coordinator for the University of Toronto TEFL Online course, where she helps others realize their own dreams of teaching abroad.

What position do you hold at University of Toronto TEFL Online? What has been your career path so far?

colorful coastal views

I currently work as the Course Coordinator for the University of Toronto TEFL Online course at Teach Away. The most important stop on the path to my current position was my experience teaching abroad in Spain.

After graduating university I began working in an administrative position with a large company to save money to move abroad. After a lot of research I decided that teaching English overseas was the best way for me to meet my goal of long-term travel, and I quickly decided on Spain.

Earning my TEFL certification before leaving Canada, making the calculated risk to move to Spain (without a teaching job first!) and eventually landing a teaching job, lead me to where I am today. In my current position, I translate my past teaching and traveling experiences in a meaningful way to help others take the first step towards teaching English abroad, getting TEFL certified.

Did YOU teach abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?

I lived in Gijon, Spain, in the northern province of Asturias for one year teaching conversational English to adults in a private language academy. Ever since studying abroad in Italy between my third and fourth years of university, I knew I wanted to live abroad long-term. I finished my final year of university and graduated with my bachelor’s degree.

A friend in my program told me about TEFL certification, and the advantages of teaching abroad as a way to travel abroad long-term, and I was hooked!

I earned my TEFL certification that summer and began researching for my adventure. After some research I considered teaching in Spain and Japan, but quickly settled on Spain.

I was inspired by Spanish culture - the food, the history, the language - and couldn’t wait to explore a part of Europe I had never seen before.

What country have you always wanted to visit?

I have always wanted to go to the Czech Republic. To me, photographs of Prague make it look as if it were first imagined in a fairytale. With its UNESCO world heritage sites, famous bridge and old town, colorful baroque buildings and Gothic churches, it is almost too perfect to visit! But, how can I choose just one?

At the top of my list are also a road trip across Iceland and a trip to Antarctica. I would love to get lost along the Ring Road in Iceland, stopping to see the beautiful volcanoes, waterfalls, icebergs, northern lights (if I’m lucky!) and National Geographic worthy landscapes.

As for Antarctica, I would love to board a cruise from the southern tip of Chile bound for Antarctica. To learn about the wildlife, history and current affairs of the southernmost part of our planet, which would definitely be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What's your favorite ethnic dish?

Being one of the culinary capitals of the world, living in Spain was like being on a culinary tour e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y. One of the first things I ate when I arrived in Spain was a tortilla de patata, which is a Spanish omelette made of eggs, potato and onion, served on piece of fresh bread. I had never eaten so many starches and proteins in one dish and had never been so full in my life!

If I had to choose a favorite, however, it would have to be the fresh seafood. Teaching English in a coastal town I was spoiled with fresh seafood paella, fried chipirones and calamari, and my ultimate favorite, octopus.

Smothered in local olive oil and sprinkled with smoked Spanish paprika the octopus is traditionally boiled and lightly grilled on the outside before it’s diced and served on a simple platter in round bite-sized pieces. It is so soft and delicious it will spoil you for all future octopus.

What was your favorite traveling experience?

While living in Spain, I spent the first ten days of my summer vacation sailing around the Balearic islands. Starting in Ibiza, continuing to Palma de Mallorca and ending in Menorca, it was a trip I would never forget.

Before the trip I had never been on a sailboat, let alone for ten days with three people I had just met. I quickly discovered that traveling on water was one of the most beautiful and rewarding ways to experience a place, especially when the body of water you get to sail across is the Mediterranean Sea.

I jumped off the boat to snorkel with fish everyday, enjoyed meals on the boat with no land in view, and went to bed with the sun every night.

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

A graduate of the TEFL Online course once told me that they would not be in their current teaching position in South Korea if it weren’t for the University of Toronto TEFL Online course.

When I hear stories like this - and I hear them often - of teachers who graduate from our course are able to fulfill their dream of teaching and traveling abroad, and that they are finding joy in making a difference in the lives of their students, I know that I am making a positive impact on the lives of others, and that I am without a doubt in the right industry.