Teach and Travel with a Non-Profit in Austria (TEFL/TESOL)

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About

A perfect post-grad or gap-year opportunity for those seeking to gain professional development and qualifications while making a difference in the lives of children - Apply today!

Teach and travel in Austria with a non-profit while earning an internationally recognised TEFL qualifications! As a Student Teacher on our TEFL Program (including the TEFL-YL, Trinity CertTESOL and Cambridge CELT-P), you travel with your teaching practice group while learning to teach English to young learners. Student Teachers spend more than 300 hours in the classroom helping children learn English in fun and engaging lessons.

Successful candidates will receive shared accommodation, basic food vouchers, teaching materials and transportation to and from schools. Welfare staff is there to support Student Teachers throughout their time in beautiful Austria.

Our Job Placement Program offers Student Teacher with CV assistance resources for finding and applying to TEFL positions around the globe.

Highlights
  • Teach and travel in one of the safest and most scenic countries in Europe!
  • FREE accommodation, a basic food allowance and program related travel.
  • Over 300 hours of classroom teaching experience including 29 observed hours.
  • One-on-one mentoring and support from qualified Course Tutors and experienced Senior Teachers.
  • Make a difference completing your teaching practice with a non-profit initiative aimed at spreading education and cultural awareness.

Questions & Answers

Yes, up-to-date details can be sought from the centre itself, but last year there was a €100 contribution towards costs and a €50 deposit. Basic accommodation and basic foodstuffs are included in return for a lot of training experience, lots of teaching and the CertTESOL qualification. It's hard work but worth it!
The skills learnt on this course are many and varied and will definitely be used in any classroom interaction in the future. As well as learning practical, classroom skills for teaching English, general classroom management and learner support, you'll learn a range of transferable skills that will support your personal and professional development out of the classroom.

Reviews

80%
based on 29 reviews
  • Benefits 8.3
  • Support 8.1
  • Fun 8.3
  • Facilities 9
  • Safety 8.3
  • Instruction 7
  • Support 6.7
  • Value 7.3
  • Difficulty 9
  • Job Assistance 7.8
Showing 16 - 29 of 29
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Cathy
7/10

What an experience

The saying 'Work hard and Play hard' comes to mind here. The CertTESOL intense programme really means what it says on the tin. The first month is truly long hours, barely any sleep. But once this is done, one gets to enjoy the teaching side more and focus on some more creative assignments throughout (for example, creating and singing (badly) a new song that we made up or found somewhere to our fellow colleagues.
My ultimate favourite part was meeting all the fellow people from all over (mostly from England though) and the teachers were all genuinely lovely.

Warning: If you do not enjoy swimming in lakes with views of the Alps mountains, this is not for you!

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps the one month intense programme could be pushed out to 6 weeks rather than 4 weeks.
Response from The English Teacher Training College

Thank you Cathy for the nice words.

The College wishes you good luck in your future career!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Oliver
9/10

Hard work and intense, but very rewarding.

I was first introduced to the ABCi program through a friend who had completed the course in the previous rotation of trainee teachers. He had generally good things to say about it, and having always had an interest in teaching I decided to apply. The application process was relatively simple, and the office always replied to my emails swiftly. Having been accepted I was anxious to get started. In the first week trainee teachers observe the senior teachers conduct the standard ABCi project week, and from there the course has a steep learning curve. Trainee teachers begin teaching in their second week of the course, which seems a bit sudden. However, with the support provided by the senior teachers and other trainee teachers you should find yourself picking up the skills needed to teach relatively quickly. In my opinion most people who come to the course ready to put in the work and with some level of determination should be able to pick up the skills needed to complete the course.

The real work begins once trainee teachers start the CertTESOL component of the course. On top of waking up around 4:30-5:30 every day and teaching until the school day finishes (which in is Austria is around 1 o'clock) you'll be asked to complete 2 hours of input sessions in which you learn the core components needed to complete as CertTESOL. This seems like a lot of work, however this is the nature of the course. The staff are sure to warn all applicants that the course if not a holiday, and I can confirm this. Trainee teachers should be ready to put in the work needed to hand in assignments on their deadlines. One of the things that helps a lot is the fact that fellow trainee teachers who are completing the same assignments live together. Therefore they able to support one another if they find some assignments too difficult or confusing.

In summary I found the course to be very rewarding. There are few things that ABCi can do to improve the situation for trainee teachers, but it is important to remember that they are an ever expanding non-for-profit organisation, which of course means there are some issues. Nevertheless, they seem to be striving to make life as easy as possible for trainee teachers. The course is not a walk in the park, but it is very rewarding and is a brilliant first step into the teaching world.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
John
10/10

A great course at a great price

This is one of the best valued teacher training courses I have ever heard of or been a part of. In comparison to private language schools that charge between $1,000 and $2,000 for a bare-minimum course length with limited teacher practice and observation opportunities, this course gives you the same certificate and a lot more teaching hours and opportunities. I had at least 30 observation hours with an experienced course tutor while I was on the 3 month course and was given the opportunity to gain hundreds of classroom hours during my time in Austria. In addition, I received continuous feedback, theoretical input sessions to accompany the practical teaching experience and also training in blended learning techniques through the use of the virtual classroom and online instruction. All of this was given to me at a fraction of the cost (100 euro) of a traditional, private language school tuition. This program is truly a jump start meets boot camp for anyone who is interested in teaching English as a foreign language and beginning their career in this field.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Ben
8/10

A lot of work, but worth it for an internationally-recognsied teaching qualification.

The ABCi course in Austria is an incredibly thorough and intensive teacher education course that will put all student teachers through their paces and leave them with excellent practical teaching skills, a wealth of experience on how to handle younger learners and the knowledge necessary to go out and start teaching without the support of a supervising tutor.

There are a number of different ways to attain the Trinity College CertTESOL qualification, either intensively in four weeks or part-time over a longer period. ABCi takes the best of both programmes by offering an intensive programme with a longer duration, meaning that student teachers are able to get a huge amount of practical experience in the classroom over the duration of the course. This is not for the faint-hearted, however. The schedule is full of training, observations, project work and actual class teaching in Austrian schools, schools which often require getting up very early to get to a school for a 09:00 start.

But for everything you put into the course, you get much more out. The more time you research and plan your own development as a teacher, the better you’ll be able to use these ideas in class and then reflect critically on how successfully they were used. There’s also the energy and fun of working with motivated Austrian students as well!

In terms of accommodation, student teachers are billeted in dorm-style accommodation. While, this is simple, it does mean that support and friendship are always close at hand.

The training itself is run by experienced trainers who are strictly vetted, with each CertTESOL trainer having to be approved by Trinity College London. This not only ensures a quality training programme, but also that the trainers have a focus on continuing to develop best practice to support the needs of students and student teachers.

In short, this is a thorough and intense programme. It will train you how to teach and give you an internationally respected and recognised teaching qualification. If you’re looking for a light working holiday, this isn’t for you; but if you’re willing to work hard to learn and share your experiences with others, you’ll find it a most rewarding experience.

How can this program be improved?
Further developments with the accommodation.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Diana
9/10

Hard work but it was the most amazing experience!

I have to wholeheartedly agree with the review left by Anderson, but will just add a few things about my time with ABCi. I volunteered in 2014. We worked hard in those three months, but I also got to experience a lot of Austria that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to see had I not done this volunteer teaching programme. Teaching could be stressful at times but then also such a joy when you had great rapport with the kids and this certainly got easier over time as I got to know the programme better. If we had any questions there was always a senior on hand to assist and advise us. If we thought we were putting in a lot of work they put it far more! Here are some excerpts from my diary from this time:

Written after week 1: My first week has gone well. We have had some early morning starts and long days. I have to get up for 6 am which for me is a bit of a struggle. On Monday I will have my own class of 15 children for the week but I still have a lot to learn before then. I will take the odd break this weekend but I will try and prepare as best as I can. This is the calm before the storm, but I am looking forward to the challenge. Bring it on!

This was written in month three: Whilst in Austria I celebrated my birthday and I went to the Johannes Strauss Ball, spent a lovely day sightseeing at Schonbrunn and went to the Opera House and saw the ballet Sleeping Beauty. In Vienna we had some early starts for teaching – were often up at 5.30 am to get the various trains and buses to the schools on time. In Altmunster (where I lived with a wonderful host family) I get up most days at 5.30 and am now fairly used to it. As long as I go to bed early. Last month I visited Salzburg. I hadn't been there since I was an au pair at the grand old age of 19. It was funny walking back over the bridge again taking in the sights after so many years. I also visited again a couple of weeks ago with six other teachers and showed them around. I also visited the Fortress and we did the Sound of Music tour. Very good! We also went to the Augustinerbrau which is where monks make beer and might have had a tipple:)

These three months have been so full on. I have had some really tough days and then others, like today, where the kids were so wonderful! We just fed off each other’s energy. I was quite sad to leave. We teach for six hours every day and the type of teaching we do is fast pace - certainly never a dull moment :) Life has been hectic over here but I am so glad I came. I have learnt so much and realised I do enjoy teaching.
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You work hard but there is also time to play. And now I have my TEFL certificate which I may use in the future. It is a wonderful experience, full of hard work and challenges but it will be up to you to make the most of it. With the work you put in you will reep so many rewards!

Yes, I recommend
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Anna
9/10

My experience volunteering with ABCi

I volunteered as a TEFL teacher with ABCi in 2014 and it was one of the fondest experiences of my life. The opportunity to travel to so many places within Austria with such a great bunch of people was amazing. Every little town we taught in had something new to offer, and in my own time I was able to travel to a few extra places with money I had saved up to get to know the cities too. The all around travel-experience was so exciting and fun, you get to know the 'real' Austria rather than what you would learn from a holiday/tourist experience. Save up as much money as you can before you go to get the most out of your free time.

But lets talk about the work itself! I had previously taught English in the UK so I was coming with experience, but the ABCi programme is a very different kettle of fish - we didn't use books or photocopies or follow standard lesson plans, the teaching is really based on the teacher leading the class by playing games and managing new group activities every ten minutes or so. The lessons are well paced and planned, and once you've got a hang of the activities you will get into the flow. I loved this style of teaching because it was so much fun, and most often the groups of children we taught really enjoyed the lessons too. It is totally different from a normal school lesson, so I think teachers and students alike find it a breath of fresh air and for some, it may be the first positive educational experience in their life. The teaching felt a bit like acting sometimes, learning the scripts and repeating the same introductions again and again - plus the singing and dancing (be up for looking like a fool). I actually really enjoy being in that situation, but it could be stressful at first if you feel uncomfortable in front of people.

It is tough work, and can be draining, as is all teaching work in my experience. It requires every part of your brain, and your full attention. Be prepared for early starts in the morning - sometimes really early!! Plus you may have some long commutes to the schools every now and then. But don't let that put you off. I had always been the kind of person that couldn't get up before 8. After ABCi, I feel that I have become a tougher person because I know I can get up before 5 and still manage a days work (though I was glad to get my lie ins at the end!)

And lastly, the TESOL course. If you want to teach English, there is a lot to learn. Teaching methodology, lesson planning, classroom management, English grammar, phonology, etc. I really enjoy studying languages, so studying English in depth was fascinating for me. Be prepared to study hard to get the qualification. It is a very much intense 4 weeks. However, the best way to learn how to teach is by doing it, and after teaching every day for four months you will have learnt so many tricks and tips that you will be ready for wherever you want to teach next!

Overall the course with ABCi is really good value and an invaluable life experience too. You will make friends for life and fall in love with the place. I highly recommend.

Yes, I recommend
Anderson
9/10

A valuable experience, but not for the faint of heart.

About ABCi:

ABCi is a non profit organization with the goal of bringing English Language Immersion "Project Days" to every school in Austria. These project days are free to students who participate, and are taught by trainee teachers, who are not paid but are instead receiving training and experience along with a Trinity CertTESOL Certificate (equivalent to a CELTA).

The way these Project Days are funded is through Project Weeks. These project weeks cost 100 Euros per student and are taught by trainee teachers over the course of one week. Students spend one week of only English language instruction, and week culminates in an end of the week performance with songs and "dramas" invented by the students. This is the meat and potatoes of what ABCi does.

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Arrival:

The ABCi campus is located in Vorchdorf, Austria. Vorchdorf is a small but fairly nice town located in Upper Austria. The nearest city of significant size is the tourist lake town Gmunden. Most trainees arrived in Vienna or Salzburg and made their way to Vorchdorf via train using Austria's easy to use ÖBB system. There are 2 small hotels and the majority of us spent 1 or 2 nights there, before making our way to the campus for the morning of our introduction.

The first morning was unsurprisingly quite hectic, everyone introduced themselves and went through the introductions. Director of studies Ben Stone addressed us and gave us an overview of what to expect over the coming months. We then spent the majority of our day at the Red Cross of Austria learning the basics of First Aid.

After our First Aid seminar, we were split into groups and taken to our "posts" across Austria. One team in Vienna, one in Graz, and one in St. Polten. For upcoming intakes however, these will likely be different as ABCi is going through some changes regarding this system.

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Accommodation:

During my time with ABCi my experience with accommodation ranged from excellent to horrible. My group's first accommodation was a wonderful house in Graz. We each had our own bedroom and a double bed, a nice living room and kitchen with all the amenities one could reasonably expect. Our first month was quite stressful - 10 to 12 hour days each day - and having a nice place to come home to kept us sane.

After our first one month "rotation," my group (Graz) as well as the other groups (St. Polten and Vienna) were transferred to one "large" flat in Vorchdorf. For many of us including myself, accommodation became the biggest thorn in our side during our time in Austria. We were asked before the course if sharing a bedroom was okay, although none of us expected to be living in a barracks-like environment. The accommodation supposedly fits 30 people, and at our peak we had 21 which was, to be frank, hellish. 21 people in one flat in the middle of summer, all of whom work 10 to 12 hours every day, sharing 2 toilets and 2 showers was truly the low point of our experience. In fact we all had some questions about whether the situation was even legal. My room had 4 bunk beds (3 filled) and no closet. 100% of the space was filled with our belongings and was brimming with mosquitoes. Every room in the house was boiling all night long and even though we all got along, a complete lack of privacy can begin to wear people down, especially people who work extremely hard all day long.

To ABCi's credit, after a meeting was called to discuss the situation in the house, steps were taken to improve the situation. An air conditioner was purchased, mosquito nets installed in the windows, fire extinguishers positioned throughout the house (yeah, we had none), and the flat downstairs was opened up to allow us to spread out more. The situation definitely improved for the second half of our stay in Vorchdorf.

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The Day to Day:

The average day for an ABCi Trainee is a long one. You will regularly be expected to put in as much as 12 hours per day, including drive time, and you WILL be exhausted at the end of the day. You will adjust to the schedule and it will seem normal after some weeks, but it is truly a shock to the system.

An average day looks something like this:

START
0500: Wake up
0600-0730: Collected by your Senior Tutor and driven to school
0730-1330: TEACH
1330-1500: Drive back to campus
1500-1730: Seminars - English Grammar, Teaching theory, etc
1730-???: Lesson plan, work on assignments, homework, etc
END

But hey, at least you have weekends off.

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The Certification(s):

The course that I took was the Beginner Course. Don't let the name fool you. It's not a cakewalk. The Beginner course consists of 2 certifications. The Trinity CertTESOL, and the TEFL-YL. You will start by only using the standard ABCi lessons, but after attending seminars every day you will eventually begin to create your own lessons and implement them yourself. You will be graded on these lessons, given feedback on your teaching style, and expected to take that information and improve your teaching ability.

The classroom side of this program is truly excellent. It's well thought out and implemented intelligently. You will learn how to teach. Period.

BY THE END OF THE COURSE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO TEACH ENGLISH WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED AND YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK. If you take this course and you still aren't a good teacher, teaching just isn't for you.

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The staff:

At any given point during the course, you and your team will be assigned a Senior Tutor. There are several Senior Tutors and they will be rotated amongst your groups. All of them are excellent. They each have a different style and different perspective and all of their input is valuable. If you take their advice and follow their lead, you will do well, simple as that. The Senior Tutors are the best part of this course and their value cannot be overstated.

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Other notes:

I highly recommend purchasing an ÖBB Vorteilscard as soon as you arrive in Austria. Use it to travel on the weekends and see Austria! It's a beautiful country with a lot to offer.

Time off is very hard to come by. Don't count on it.

It is likely that you get shuffled around a lot during the course. People do fail and holes do need to be filled as a result of that. Your group may be split up or you may be reassigned to a different city. Don't get too comfy.

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Overall:

Let me make this clear. This is NOT for everyone. If you don't have the energy to do this every single day, you will not make it. If you can't manage your time in an effective way, you will not make it. If you can't balance the academic side of the course with the practical side, you will not make it. If you are not up to the standards of this course YOU WILL BE SENT HOME. You will be dropped off at a train station, and you will be on your own.

I know this sounds scary, but don't let it deter you. Living with your teammates means you have a support system around you at all times. You will learn to work together and to help each other. You will commiserate together after horrible days and you will celebrate together after good ones. This experience is transformative one. You will leave with new relationships formed and a new perspective as well.

You will be well trained and have TONS of experience. You can leave Austria and go teach English ANYWHERE. As a result of this course I now have friends all over the world. In my group alone, you can find us in France, Italy, Cambodia, Japan, Spain, Latvia, South Korea, Morocco, and more.

ABCi is not always easy to deal with and this course is NOT a vacation, but it will open doors for you in ways you didn't even realize were possible.

How can this program be improved?
Better accommodation
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Kay
9/10

Very well structured and useful content. Come prepared to work!

I find the mark of a good course is usually that it makes you realise how much you don't already know. If you are sitting there and everything is old news, then it's probably a waste of your time. That is not the case with this course. For someone new to EFL there is a lot to learn. And this course exposes you to wide areas quickly and intensively. Luckily, the tutors are adept at both explaining and demonstrating the concepts and everything is explained in a way that made it easy to get your head around.

The College packs a tonne of content and practical training into the course. By the end of it all, you'll probably be surprised by how much you've managed to pick up in just 16 weeks. You're launched straight into the course on the first day with First Aid training and the first session of the Unknown Foreign Language Unit. The tutor for the UFL walks into the classroom and instantly starts running off a spiel in a foreign language (they don't even tell you beforehand what the language will be!). It starts off quite confusing but this is actually a good thing because it gives you a lot of insight into how the students in the schools will feel when you walk into their classroom and start speaking English at them. It reminds you how important other forms of communication are like body language. As the lesson continues, things should become clearer. The teacher plays games that will be used in the classroom during practical hours (this part is really fun!). It definitely starts things off on a high and sets the tone for the rest of the course, i.e. it's gonna require lots of energy, enthusiasm and concentration, but students feel like they've learned something by the end of it all.

There are more sessions for the UFL several weeks later. In the meantime, you will have already learned a lot about the course and the teaching programme, so at this point you get to do the activities ourselves that are being taught in schools from the student's point of view. This helps you to see what works and what doesn't, and it will definitely give you some ideas of how step your game up in the classroom, just like with the feedback from the senior teacher observations. Since you are treated as 'young learners' for the purposes of the UFL, i.e. have no prior knowledge of the language, the teacher uses flashcards, body language, singing, etc. and even though she never speaks a word of English for the entire course. Even though you only use the target language, first time students seem to understand all of what is being said because of the teaching techniques and methodologies employed.

The College tutors are all themselves really good teachers in a practical sense (I really appreciate that after dealing with some pretty clueless lecturers at uni in England) so I feel like this is a huge bonus alone that you get the opportunity to tap into all that knowledge and experience.

The English College really puts you through your paces. Don't expect to come to Austria and just enjoy a holiday... although I definitely recommend exploring the place a bit on weekends. Expect to work hard. But the more you put in, the more you'll get out of it. I definitely recommend this course. You're not just absorbing information, you're also developing skills for the classroom. Places fill up fast so sign up early!

How can this program be improved?
Some of the classrooms are a little cramped, particularly at the beginning of the course before the smaller groups are divided up. This doesn't pose too much of a problem. It's just a little uncomfortable when the students need to get up and be active. Don't be shy about asking to open a window during these sessions. As I write this, the College has just opened a larger location just outside of Vienna, so I assume this situation will rectify itself pretty soon.
Yes, I recommend
Lee
8/10

If you want a CertTESOL, there's probably not a better place to do it!

Hello potential ABCi-er. Below is just a few thoughts on my experience here. I'll start with some positves but then draft in some negatives too at the end. Just as an introduction, I completed the beginner course having never taught before in my life. It was a summer course (this is very important given how the seasons change quite drastically in this part of the world). With the completion of this course and the gaining of my CertTESOL, I have been appointed to work at a language school in Spain (my desired location!). So was hard but well worth it...!

I had never taught much before, and I have found that I love it! Absolutely love it! And it had a lot to do with the wonderful course tutors who you will be travelling to the various schools with. So we do project days and project weeks. There are advantages to both these styles of teaching. The project days you have two classes only for three hours each and you never see them again. This is great for learning how to build rapport and change and adapt activities. These classes can have up to 28 students from ages 10 - 16.

Project weeks I prefer, because you are with the students for a whole week, you get to really build a relationship, learn their traits etc. You do a whole week using the ABCi program and then a big performance. Okay you'll learn about all this, but it's amazing. I've never quite had that feeling with any other work I've done.

The experience you'll get is like no other place. When I'm applying for jobs now people are just so impressed by how much I've learnt in this time and how well the course prepares us as teachers. The course tutors have so much experience and are able to really guide. Lots of conversations in the long car journeys about grammar and teaching...

There are so many observations so you will have all that experience and you learn from everyone you watch. And you get filmed and can watch yourself and send this to employers etc.

I guess the best thing though has to be the people. I'm actually away at the moment teaching in the south and was so upset to have to leave the others for even a short while. I've made such good friends from all over the world, people of all different ages and from different places. On the weekends, we've been able to travel around Austria, and although I'm not a fan of the cities so much (except Graz), the rest of the country and countryside is stunning.... I mean I just sit in the car and stare at the snowy mountains and rivers. Austrians are so friendly, the food is great, there's plenty of good places to visit.

Okay, for balance, some negatives! - If you are not happy about getting up at 5 o'clock for 2 weeks in a row then you might find it tough. But then I thought I would never get used to it and I have. You will always likely be sharing rooms with people for all the four months, which has been tough for such a long time if I'm honest. I'm a little older than most of the volunteer trainees so a little past the whole sharing thing - Also, the course is incredibly difficult. Sometimes, especially during the CertTESOL component, we were working 14-15 hour days perhaps.

This was testing for everyone and the atmosphere and mood can be really low during these times. Also, ABCi have one accommodation where up to 20 people live together in this big flat. It's fun up to a point but then so hard to keep clean, but if you are with cool people then it's so nice having so many people around. Communication at times has been a little poor but for a fairly new organisation I can see that changes are being made to curb this problem.

Okay that's enough! To summarize: It's tough but one of the best things I've done. It's set me up for a new career. The course asks a lot but everything you did will be rewarding. If you're bored of sitting at a desk in an office, if you want to gain confidence in all kinds of ways, if you want to meet dozens of great individuals... DO THIS COURSE!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Danny
10/10

Life changer!

ABCi changed my life.
I arrived in Austria on the 29th of August at the ripe old age of 18 thinking I knew everything about the world.
Quickly, I became accustom to the ABCi way of life including getting up at 5:30 in the morning, living with others, teaching in schools that open ridiculously early, all day, before resting for a hour and completing essays until late at night.
BUT I WOULD'NT HAVE HAD IT ANY OTHER WAY?
I got to live in 4 beautiful towns/cities while gaining quality experience in what I now know is my my chosen vocation. I was supported fully through the course, given feedback on lessons and even extra support for the grammar test (which is tough if you have no background in linguistics). The company provided free travel to and from schools, free accommodation and food basics which many other companies do not provide. I met life long friends during my short stay, joined a rugby team and grew in confidence. Although, most importantly it gave me the experience and ability to teach in a fun engaging way allowing me to pursue a life as a teacher where without ABCi this would not be possible. For example, I am now a teaching assistant in Manchester using very similar skills to what I learned in Austria. I would recommend this course to anyone. Don't think it will be easy but it will change your life because it changed mine.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Ian
9/10

English teaching in the Alps

I completed a four month placement back in July and enjoyed it enough that I stayed on – the chance to live and travel around Austria whilst bringing English to school children, by basically playing games with them, was too much to pass up. Teaching was about more than just games though- it is a tailored active learning approach that makes the learning both fun and useful, as learning a language should be. Seeing the change in a class from Monday morning to Friday when you leave makes for a really special experience
Life as a trainee with can be pretty intense – Austrian schools start between 7:00 and 8:00 in the morning and with travel time to a different school each week added on I had to quickly adapt to some early starts. With feedback sessions and training in the afternoons this makes for a long day and you definitely have to be prepared to work hard but the senior teachers are always there to help you with advice and training. They are a small but growing not for profit organisation so there were times I had to be adaptable and use my own initiative to get by but that just adds to the life experience I gained. Accommodation and travel was all provided for as well which meant I saw and did so much more than I would have been able to travelling alone or paying for things out of my own pocket. Staying in the centre of Vienna for a month, including during Eurovision, was definitely a highlight.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Robbie
10/10

Real life teacher training

I spent 3 months in Austria working with this organisation. During my time I had a mix of intensive study and seminars, lesson planning support and 100s of hours in the ESL classroom developing and defining my delivery. As an experienced teacher in another field I was taught to alter my approach and understand the needs of my students. I found out I had a lot to learn.

I received a lot of support from experienced staff and working as part of a team with other trainees helped share good practice daily. This is a really good course and offers a different learning experience to that of the CELTA I was initially planning to undertake.

On top of all of this is the fact that I spent 3 months working across Austria in some beautiful places. Even spent a month in Vienna. Pretty cool.

I would recommend this course to anyone serious about gaining their TEFL teaching qualification by actually teaching for real along the way.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Lauen
10/10

My time with ABCi

I participated in the ABCi program from January to March 2015. It was an amazing opportunity in many ways. Primarily it allowed me to gain the certification and training needed to be confident in my teaching abilities. Having never taught before this program, I was placed in the CertTesol course. This helped me gain a firm understanding of the fundamentals of teaching and how to create materials, lesson plans, and assess a student's strengths and needs. At the same time, the hands on approach to teaching enabled me to utilize all that I had learned in a real classroom environment. The hours of teaching experience went a long way to make me a more confident teacher as well as better equipped to control many situations that arose in the classroom. Aside from the educational benefits, the program is run in an incredible country, one which I was able to explore throughout my travel to the various schools. This allowed me to see more of Austria then I ever would have on my own. The program takes care of all travel, accommodation and food plus provides the trainees with First Aid training, TEFL-YL certification and a CertTesol certification (depending). Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my time with ABCi, it was a life-changing experience and opened my eyes to the opportunities available.

How can this program be improved?
More training or clarification on how to deal with problem areas such as disciplining or dealing with a difficult class
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Michael
9/10

I went from total beginner to confident teacher in just 3 months

Before arriving in Austria, I hadn't stepped foot in a classroom since I left school. I had worked with children at a summer camp in America, but never in formal schooling, so I was predictably apprehensive. Owing to ABCi's innovative teaching methods, however, my experience in alternative education proved just the background I needed to succeed at leading a class in active learning.

What particularly impressed me about the course is how it prepares you for EFL employment that doesn't follow active learning principles. Despite ABCi's work focusing on game-based learning, song and drama, trainees leave with a thorough understanding of classroom management and in-depth language awareness. The hundreds of hours spent honing these skills in real classroom settings has made me feel like a far more experienced teacher than my CV would suggest.

EFL teachers with experience teaching young learners are in high demand and short supply. ABCi's input sessions and assignments focus specifically on this learner type. I've found that employers are consistently impressed by the willingness and ability with which graduates of the programme are able to work with this age group.

Fun, rewarding and challenging, I recommend this course to anyone who is dedicated to becoming a resourceful English teacher.

Yes, I recommend

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About The English Teacher Training College

The English Teacher Training College and its associated Austrian Bilingual Classroom Initiative (ABCi) is a not-for-profit Austrian college with a dual mission: Firstly, as a college, to provide a world-leading practical education in English teacher...