If you are currently researching, or if you ever have researched TEFL programs, you’ve probably realized how overwhelming the process can be. With so many options, deciding which one is best for you can be a daunting task. I was in the same boat a few months ago, and after much indecisiveness, I finally decided to email a few different courses to introduce myself, and get some information. Within 24 hours, I had received a friendly and informative response from the administrative assistant. Over the next few weeks, I continued to correspond with her, and after consistently receiving prompt, personalized, and detailed emails in return, I decided to enroll in the November-December course in 2016. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.
Before I arrived in Samara, she had arranged my accommodations, as well as my transportation to and from the airport in Liberia. Samara itself is beautiful, and right on the beach. There are enough English speakers that I didn’t feel totally out of my comfort zone, but it is very much a small town that offers an authentic Costa Rican experience and lots of opportunities to practice Spanish. TEFL offers plenty of affordable accommodations for students that range from homestays, private studios and rooms in a 2 or 3 bedroom house. Although I had a tough time deciding between all of the appealing options, I eventually settled on a private room in a lovely 2 bedroom cottage. My roommate and I quickly became friends, and I could not have been happier with my living situation.
All this being said, the knowledge that I gained in the classroom was without a doubt the best takeaway from these 4 weeks. Within the first 10 minutes of class, the teacher trainers (Julia and Arin) had my classmates and I laughing and getting to know one another. Every day, they went above & beyond to ensure that the pedagogy was presented in a fun and engaging way, and even though the course was a lot of work, the days always flew by. They both took the time to get to know us, and were always supportive, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about subject matter. One thing that makes this course particularly unique is that it offers free classes to locals. These classes are not only a way for TEFL to give back to the community, but they provide hands-on teaching for teachers in comfortable, air-conditioned classrooms. Although they do provide resources like white boards and materials for teachers to use, we were taught how to prepare lessons when these recourse are scarce. By the end of the 4 weeks, my classmates and I had all completed over 16 hours of observed teaching practice, and we all felt comfortable teaching EFL students.
Not only is Julia one of the best teachers that I have ever encountered, she is a resume and cover letter queen. She spent time with each of us to individually fine-tune our resumes and help in our job searches. My classmates and I all had interviews and a few of us (including myself) even had jobs set up by the time we graduated. No matter where you are interested in teaching, the staff at TEFL will go above and beyond to help with job placement. Overall, I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in teaching abroad. If you are still wondering if it's right for you, my advice would be to reach out to them, start packing, and prepare yourself for a life-changing experience.