International TEFL Academy

Program Reviews

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Marie-Eve
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hi my name is Marie-Eve, I graduated from TELF in March 2014. It was one of the most challenging experience of my life so far. I found it hard, I am not going to lie but so rewarding.
I got up every morning at 5 am to get ahead of my work and did not leave the class room until 2 or 3 hours after class to be able to finish my homework. Heather and Lisa we're brilliant teachers very different from each other but both greatly knowledgeable and so helpful. John did an amazing job at coordinating everything and everyone. We felt like family at the end of the course.
Everyday we learnt new ways how to motivate the students and ourselves, I think for me it was the biggest lesson. The practicum part of the course is definitely nerve racking, but like any new experience you can only grow and learn from it.
I highly recommend this course to anyone who likes a little challenge. Nicaragua is one of the most beautiful country I have visited in central america, the locals are warm and welcoming, the food is tasty and inexpensive. I have always felt very safe as a woman travelling by my self in Nicaragua especially Leon.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing it would be to do some of the practicum in smaller classes or even one on one. We need to experience teaching in different context and environment. Although The Centro of Idioma was a challenging place to start now we know what it feels like to teach a class of 25 students.
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Clara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I completed the March 2014 onsite course through International TEFL Academy Nicaragua. I had an amazing, if challenging, experience getting TEFL certified. Leon is a wonderful university town - you can walk anywhere, the people are very friendly, and there is a growing ex-pat scene as Nicaragua becomes more of a popular tourist destination. Our class was the first to be run in Leon, and we were only 4 students, which meant that we got to know one another very well after spending all day together for 4 weeks. Heather and Lisa were great instructors - they were very supportive and hands on in their approach to teaching. I felt comfortable enough to ask any questions and they were always prepared to help and advise me.
The practicums were held at the Centro de Idiomas, and it was great practice to be teaching real students that gave us an honest idea of what it's like for a teacher here in Nicaragua. The practicums could be quite nerve-wracking, but in the end I can look back at them as one of the most helpful parts of the course. Just don't forget to bring the appropriate clothing - Leon is extremely hot, and most of the buildings do not have air conditioning.
The ITAN staff is also extremely helpful in terms of job support for their graduates. I continued on in Leon after I graduated and was able to find a job teaching at the Centro on the weekends, as well as private tutoring during the week.
You can expect to work very hard throughout this course - I would wake up hours before class started at 8:30 each day just to try and stay on top of the workload. But in the end I walked away feeling much more confident and prepared to enter a classroom than I had 4 weeks before.

What would you improve about this program?
One thing I would change about this program would be more variety in the type of practicums we did. It would have been nice to see what it was like to teach a smaller class, or in a different setting than the Centro de Idiomas.
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Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My review is based on my experience signing up through the Chicago office and then doing the program in Barcelona.

I strongly recommend the TEFL training. I had an amazing experience - the course is demanding and challenging which ensures that you are well-prepared to begin teaching as soon as you complete the program.

The trainers, Stephen and Kerry, are absolutely experts in their delivery of the material, but more importantly, in the way that in just 4 weeks they are able to mold you into the teacher you hoped you would be. I greatly respect Stephen and Kerry, they are highly qualified for their positions and will give you the best training possible.

I really like that the program is smaller than the big TEFL companies because the trainers are able to provide a more personalized approach and take the time to meet one on one with the students and address all types of concerns - professional ones and personal ones too.

Practice teaching was a great experience as there are small group classes that you get to teach while Stephen or Kerry observes and steps in if necessary. Leading up to the class, Stephen and Kerry take you through every step of the planning to make the class as successful as possible. You are then provided with immediate feedback following the class and it is always constructive and useful, giving you a goal for the next time you teach.

I taught in the U.S. for more than 10 years and definitely came into the experience thinking that I could just breeze through it - that wasn't the case. I say that so that potential students are aware that you have to work really hard, but if you're willing to do so and want to learn from the best, then this program is definitely the place for you.

And as an added bonus you have the awesome location of being two blocks from Sagrada Familia.

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arp5078
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I took the Online Course from the International TEFL Academy. I researched numerous programs and found that the ITEFL Academy was the most affordable, organized and accredited. The course was exactly what I expected; challenging at times and covered a broad span of topics. If your heart is truly not committed to teaching English, then the course would have been extremely difficult and time consuming for you. Otherwise, if you are a student eager to go abroad, everything flowed smoothly. The staff was and has been extremely helpful. I have graduated months ago and am still in contact with my adviser, emailing her laundry lists of questions and scheduling phone appointments as well. They are extremely helpful post-graduation which is just as important for them guiding you through the course.

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smartone
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience with ITA was mostly very positive. After much research on other programs and several Q&As with my helpful and knowledgeable admissions advisor, I enrolled in the online course in early 2011. I feel that I got my money's worth.

The curriculum left a bit to be desired. I found several typos and thought most of the assignments could be more challenging; but overall, I would recommend the program. The staff seemed very willing to review and update the curriculum.

The employment resources that they provided also needed to be updated. After receiving my certificate, I used their directory of international schools to search for employment in S. America. I sent resumes to one country and nearly all the email addresses listed were incorrect, as they bounced back to me. Perhaps the listings have been updated since then, though... Ask!

I also greatly appreciated the instructor's willingness to hold online office hours for any questions on a regular basis, as well as the requirement to review peers' homework submissions. It was very interesting and valuable to see how others interpreted the assignments and to learn from their ideas.

I really appreciated the practicum, as it was lengthier than other TEFL/TESOL programs that I researched. I feel that I got a lot of experiential education that enhanced what I learned online. I also simply enjoyed teaching and observing the students!

Response from International TEFL Academy

In regard to a few issued this student mentioned, typos, challenging assignments and job resources
.
Typos: Our curriculum was originally written in England therefore the words that are perceived as typos are actually correct in England (but seems wrong to an American). We explained to our students that half the world uses textbooks published in England and it’s something all teachers need to understand and use depending on the school they are teaching. We have changed to spelling and examples to American dialect now but are sure the British will think these are spelling mistakes now! As an English teacher, you will find it's all about perspective.

Challenging assignments:
The class is meant to teach and facilitate new students to become English teachers. University classes may be more or less of a challenge to each student, the purpose is to offer a great training class with materials, instructors and resources to learn in the most effective way. There are many assignments and projects due each week which you get out of what you put in. Some people have more of an educational background so some assignments are not as challenging but most students find it is a lot of work and not anything to underestimate.

If you’ve become a well-trained English teacher from the course then we are proud of doing a great job.

Listings of school contacts:
Unfortunately email addresses of employees change every year or two for all jobs and it’s not realistic to update tens of thousands of jobs every year so we’ve changed to listing the website address to directly get the company email address and phone so it is up to date. With all things, going to the source is the way to go. We are always striving to improve the process of providing more resources on the over 100,000 jobs available each year.

We have detailed guides on over 80 countries worldwide that are being updated every week by our enthusiastic interns! All students receive hundreds of pages of job search guidance documents along with a team of live staff to answer their questions on the phone or in person.

We appreciate all student's feedback and our goal is to offer the most comprehensive job search guidance resources in the world to our graduates.

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Robb
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in Peru was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Like most decisions, I didn't fully realize this fact until I was already well into my adventure. One thing I did know though, was that no matter what happened it was going to be a good experience and growth opportunity it many areas: personal, career, and social. What I didn't know, was quite what I was getting into and just how great of an adventure it was going to be. Getting my TEFL certification really jump started my involvement in teaching abroad and gave me that little extra incentive (no use wasting a paid certification) and a lot of extra confidence in both my teaching skills and the support that I would have while abroad. The flexible schedule allowed me to be in school and work while getting certified and the emphasis on group learning really hammered home the concepts and helped me to get the most out of my training. Once in Peru, I could rely on my wealth of activities, assignments, readings, etc. that I and my fellow teachers had created while working together on our certification. But what I found most helpful, was the boost in confidence that I could do this, I could teach abroad, and that was the extra step I needed to lead me through an amazing 13 months abroad.

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tigre2656
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Overall, though the International TEFL academy gave me advice and helpful information on schools and opportunities in Spain, almost all of the work was done by me. I found a way to apply for a visa because I had a boyfriend living in Spain, but otherwise most Americans simply have to stay illegally or find someone to sponsor them for a visa which is a long and difficult process, not to mention rare. However, if I ever need advice or assistance the TEFL Academy does what it can to provide me with information from past alumni that have traveled to Spain.
So far I've really enjoyed myself here-the nightlife is great! Drinks and finger food (called pinchos) are really cheap so you don't have to spend all you earn on going out. The food has a lot of garlic, bread and oil which does get a tad boring at times but if you're in a large city like Madrid you can find plenty of foreign food. I felt very safe-you have to be careful at night in the big cities but I found a shop to buy pepper spray and the Spanish community are very friendly and helpful in general. They don't speak a lot of English, however so you either have to be patient or have a little Spanish in your back pocket.
I would definitely do this again-it was hard to find work at first, especially in a crisis-ridden country like Spain but if you're persistent there is a lot of good paying english teaching jobs out there.
I didn't like my school so much-especially with children they expect you to teach them things that are unreasonable-you don't always see your kids very often and they only want to play games, so its hard to teach them advanced English, the most you can hope for is basic sentences. I've had great resources for teaching exams though, like the TOEFL and Cambridge books-they help a lot and keep the students focused. I wish I would've brought more books on English grammar because books are really expensive here, though. Maybe more clothes too, because those are really expensive as well-prepare to pay much more than you would in America. I wish someone would have told me how expensive things were so I would be prepared with an adequate wardrobe and possible more Spanish. I didn't really bring anything I didn't need-eveything has been put to good use.
My school didn't really prepare me to teach, more thew me in and expected I could swim-it was terrifying at first, but I got the handle of it though. My older students were very well behaved and loved to learn, as well as not being afraid to do some hard studying, but the young ones-horrible! No disciple-they were very used to getting what they wanted, it seems to me kids in Spain remain dependent on their parents longer than in America.
As much as I've had fun I don't think I want to keep teaching English-its an ok pastime but there's not much gratification, I will probably continue learning Spanish and study in Spain. Hope this helped!

Response from International TEFL Academy

Thanks for the comments.

You gave ITA a 70% though we provided you with excellent TEFL training, accurate and helpful advice to find jobs and you even mentioned that we are always available for future assistance.

It seems that you have scored ITA low as a result of you not liking your job that you chose and that you don't really like working with children.

It looks like you are giving ITA a big thumbs up and 100% score for what we do which is pre-enrollment advice, accredited and professional TEFL training, job assistance and advice and lifetime help.

You are giving a low score solely to your experience living and working in a school which really doesn't reflect on International TEFL Academy.

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eprice10
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This program offers excellent skill-building classes to prepare you to teach English abroad. The classes can be taken online, which is very nice for students still attending a University.

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thehammondatlas
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The TEFL Academy staff is friendly and their admissions officer did a great job of roping me into the program--I don't mean that in a backhanded way. I don't think if I had such a good experience talking with Ian, my admissions counselor, about how and why teaching abroad was for me, and the right time is now!-I never would have left my job and changed my life for the better.

I also really enjoyed the coursework--the material, pace and convenience. I worked full time while taking the online course and it was the most economical and practical way for me to complete my certification. My professor was engaging and I enjoyed her audio lectures, she was always very responsive and gave thorough feedback on my work.

The main area where the program is lacking is, in my view, job assistance. TEFL Academy is up front about their policy--they do not place you in a job, but I wish I had chose a program that did--it would be worth it for the money you pay. Essentially, they are turning out certifications but 99% of the job search process is up to you. The best way to use this program is to identify a recruiter you want to align with after you have completed your certification and then complete an online course with TEFL Academy. When it came to finding a job in Europe they gave me some delayed feedback and essentially told me it's sink or swim: best bet is to fly to Europe and hope you can get a job through some dogged hunting. Read: Hope your savings account is up to the challenge.

In my own experience and in the experience of other TEFL teacher hopefuls I have talked to, this is unrealistic. It is extremely difficult and costly to get a job this way. If your goal is to teach in Europe, I strongly recommend going through a company that places you in a position. I just noticed in the TEFL newsletter that they have a new policy and alignment with language schools in Europe, so maybe things are changing for the better.

Overall I do not regret the program I chose. I am excited about the alumni network and getting to know others who have completed the program and are out in the world. TEFL Academy's strength is their staff's willingness to help, although sometimes their resources to do so are not idealistic. I have nothing but positive things to say about the online curriculum and professors as well.

Response from International TEFL Academy

Thanks for the review:

Several items which you addressed but didn’t quite accept well.

1) Yes jobs are jobs that require a real interview, not placements, we are very clear about this. Every country is completely different. Some countries you get a job in advance, work visas, flights, the red carpet is rolled out. Many countries it’s a job where you have to go during the interview season, shake the hands of the employers, do a demo teaching and ask for the job that starts next week. Everyone chooses their comfort level.

2) Choosing a recruiter for Europe: Schools don’t use recruiters in Europe as they do in Asia. There are government programs that are recommended and listed in all the job search guidance resources which are free to apply to, in advance to secure a job (such as in Spain), though most people chose not to do this. Americans teach in Spain typically on a tourist visa and do so illegally or they obtain a student visa and are allowed to work legally. There are correct hiring seasons where the job are open for new teachers. Everything is explained in detail on our website and by our admission staff prior to registering for a TEFL class.

Each of our graduates make their decision on what is best for them and we offer the advice, resources, live support and guidance to make it happen. Some people choose to pay a 3rd party company thousands of dollars to do something for you that you can learn to do for free. All students are welcome to pay a company a lot extra but for 99% of our students they would rather be able to afford to move abroad and learn a valuable job search skill than pay that money for someone to do it for them. We are a TEFL training school providing great training and assistance to find jobs, this is the formula that works for most people. We also provide our graduates with program information of providers who charge a fee and also with government programs (such as the Spanish Ministry program) which takes in teachers once a year (with a 7-9 month advance application process).

3) The comment on “Sink or Swim”: Our policy is to return all calls or emails within 24 hours to our alumni which a full department staff is proud to do well. Nobody every says or implies “sink or swim”, It can be nerve racking for some students to go abroad and get a job but that’s just the way most of the world works, we can’t change the rules just show you how to navigate it and help take away some of the anxiety.

Everything listed in all our materials, website and conversations with our admission advisor staff is realistic and practical. We have to give the good news and bad news, not just tell people what they way to hear. As a company training well over 1,500 students a year we know how things work and convey it directly to our students. There is nothing unrealistic about the information and advice given, it can sometime sometimes difficult to want to follow the processes of certain countries so we advise to pick another country that fits your comfort level.

We are glad you are seeing our alumni newsletters we send out every few weeks. We have always had resources for our alumni which are so numerous many do not take full advantage of them. We are continually working to promote all these resources and staff assistance but need everyone to be proactive and use them as designed.

We welcome continued feedback and hope to assist you in your next country and adventure abroad.

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Cvondran
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The staff is great, very much information they are very helpful and understand your desire to teach. There teachers are very skilled, they give great feedback on all your course work to make sure you learn. They even offer extra things like online viewing classes, live class room teaching.

Their student affairs is great. They answer your emails quickly with the best answers possible.

What are you waiting for? I am so happy i attended there classes.