I joined the English Teacher Training College of Austria in December 2015. I worked for the now obsolete ABCi Volunteering Program in 2013 as a paid teacher. I was amazed at how much the organization had grown and how professional it had become. It's a non-profit started by Mr. Carle and Mr. Stone with the intentions of bringing native speakers into Austrian classrooms at very low costs to Austrians, while not taking advantage of the native speakers. I've worked in Austrian schools and businesses all over Austria and know how hard it is to find a teaching job that.
a) employs you as a salaried member of staff (including benefits)
b) believes in professional development and
c) isn't just out to get the most money from the students as possible.
Back in 2013 they had volunteers come over for 3 months and they got to see Austria while teaching. They then soon realized that the quality of teaching could be better and that it would be good to have a TEFL certificate to give the teachers.
Since 2013 they have implemented feedback from volunteers, staff and student teachers and they take feedback seriously.
There are no longer volunteer positions. Each native speaker is here on a course and the time they are in Austrian schools counts towards their certificate. I did a Deutsch als Fremdsprache certificate at the University of Graz where the hours were long, but only had 3 hours of observed teaching practice with students (not simulating with fellow student teachers).
This last course (Spring 2016) we were able to partner with Cambridge and are offering their CELT-P certificate. This is for people interested in teaching young learners. It is currently based out of Graz (my personal favorite city in Austria).
We have taken in a lot of feedback from previous courses and as the CELTP integrates online learning using the Cambridge VLE as well as face to face sessions, most of the time Student Teachers are finished by 2:30 with time in the afternoon to do the online course work.
I must admit that all members of staff are on a secret mission to "convert" teachers into active learning activists and we all believe in the mission of bringing education to all students / student teachers regardless of their economic background (English to Austrian school children in all schools and qualified training to those wishing to make EFL teaching their career).
The English Teacher Training College is NOT for those who just want to have fun and drink beer in the alps it is for those who are seriously considering making the move into the EFL career.
There are early starts (as teaching practice takes place within Austrian schools), coursework that is held to a high standard (please use references and answer all prompts), and great life experiences. Our graduates have gone on to work for private schools across the world, publishing houses in Italy and many other EFL jobs. We have a job placement program with centers emailing us to let them know when we have a fresh batch of graduates as ours are very well equipped to the real life of an EFL teacher.