Get TEFL Certified and Teach English in Nicaragua

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Video and Photos

Telica Volcano Near Leon Nicaragua
A Great English Class in Nicaragua
Entering El Salvador from the Gulf of Fonseca
Relationship building during a productive counseling session with a student.
Aside from fun nights in the city, just outside Leon you'll find beautiful beaches and volcanoes like these. There are lots of tour organizations in the area who offer affordable excursion packages, including volcano boarding. These are excellent places to spend your weekends during the course!
Parades like this happen often- on the weekends and even during class. Despite being a regular occurrence, they are always colorful, interesting, and fun.
Cathedral Leon is one of the biggest cathedrals in Central America. Located only a few blocks from the school, it is a great spot to enjoy local culture, and it offers a great view of the city.
International TEFL academy Nicaragua
International TEFL academy Nicaragua


Want to get paid to live, travel, and teach in the heart of Central America? Then get TEFL certified & teach English abroad in Nicaragua!

Nicaragua is your spot for an "authentic" experience abroad in a developing country that hasn't been "McDonald-isd.” Nicaragua is ideal for teachers who are passionate about learning Spanish and for teachers who don’t have a 4-year university degree or prior teaching experience.

You can get TEFL certified in the beautiful University town of Leon, Nicaragua, only 30 minutes away from the Pacific Ocean & surfing. You can also take ITA's Online TEFL class.

TEFL classes in Nicaragua are 4-weeks long, Mon - Fri 8:30 am – 4:30 pm with a rotating practicum schedule some evenings from 6-8pm. Students should expect a full day of classroom work, practice teaching, role playing, and group discussions.

With your ITA TEFL certification & lifetime job search assistance, you can finding professional teaching jobs in Nicaragua & in 80+ countries worldwide!

Why is International TEFL Academy the Right Choice?

  • One-on-One Pre-Enrollment Guidance: Work with your ITA Nicaragua Advisor to get your questions answered about teaching English in Nicaragua before you enroll in your TEFL class. How will I find a job in Nicaragua? What type of school will I work at? What types of students will I likely be teaching? We will make sure you are completely confident in your plan before enrolling.
  • Professional Nicaragua TEFL Certification Course: Take an accredited 4-week TEFL certification course on the beach in Nicaragua! Located in Las Peñitas/Poneloya, Nicaragua, 20 minutes outside of Leon, one of the most historic cities in Latin America.
  • All Of Our Staff Have Been in YOUR shoes: Everyone at ITA Nicaragua has extensive international experience, many of our staff are living abroad in Nicaragua! Travel is in our blood. It’s our passion to help people realize how realistic this dream of living & working abroad can be. We all appreciate the challenges & rewards of living, traveling, and working abroad from first-hand experience.
  • One-on-One Job Search Guidance for Teaching English in Nicaragua: Once enrolled in your ITA Nicaragua TEFL class, you’ll work with our team to help you prepare for your job search in Nicaragua. Enjoy access to the most comprehensive job resources & guidance on the planet to help you navigate international job markets across Nicaragua.
  • Access to ITA Worldwide Alumni Network: Don’t know anyone in Nicaragua? No problem! We have a tight knit group of ITA alumni all over Nicaragua who are more than eager to help you out, so you’ll be a part of the family right away. As an ITA alumni you have exclusive opportunities to network, connect, and correspond with our 20,000 ITA alumni teaching English in Nicaragua & across the globe. This is a great way to meet friends before you get to Nicaragua & get all of your questions answered by current ITA alumni on the ground abroad in Latin America!

Where In The World Should You Teach Abroad?

Should you teach English in Japan, Spain or Costa Rica? What about Thailand or Italy? Compare 60+ countries side-by-side including salaries, hiring requirements & hiring seasons, to choose where in the world you should teach English abroad. Get TEFL certified with ITA and let's make 2020 the year you get out and see the world!

Click the link below to access your free country comparison chart:

Questions & Answers

Great question Amanda. The answer to your question as far as ITA Nicaragua is concerned is YES! We have a level 5 accreditation by TQUK, and this certification is recognized worldwide. Most of our grads actually come to Nicaragua for real first hand experience teaching abroad because it is so cheap, and then head over to Asia.

Hi Doug! This is a popular question, and the only credentials needed to take our course is that you are a native or fluent English speaker, and have completed a high school level of education or equivalency. The nice thing about Nicaragua is that an undergrad is not necessary, and they accept mature teachers. Also, the job market lends to a great deal of flexibility teaching both adults, and young...


based on 11 reviews
  • Benefits 8.5
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.5
  • Facilities 9.6
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 11 of 11
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Yes, I recommend this program

Over and above support

Once I misunderstood the time of an important meeting to coach one of our students. Instead of just letting me miss the meeting, Jon walked to my residence and made sure I was able to get to the meeting. This was a real life-saver. I should have known the time of the meeting (everyone else did), and without Jon's support I would have missed this important session. This is just an example of the continuous support provided by Jon and Heather during the TEFL course in Nicaragua. Whether it was an assignment, gaining perspective on an important subject, or overcoming challenges which arose during the course, Jon and Heather were always there to support me throughout the course. Their knowledge, helpfulness and coaching was extremely helpful to my classmates and me.

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Yes, I recommend this program

I'd go back in a heartbeat

Loved the program. Loved the community. Loved the students. Loved the energy, encouragement, and enthusiasm.

I learned SO much about the values of teaching, and leading a student-centered classroom. When I learned the behind the scenes of lesson planning, it became a fun and addicting challenge.

After my program I went to teach in Africa, but felt the pull to return to Leon and visit the area and people once again. It just feels like home.

What would you improve about this program?
You really have to dig deep to find job opportunities within the city of Leon. And it's no cakewalk for those who do find jobs, as they still need to find a second job to make ends meet. That's the price for living in paradise.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Couldn't Imagine a More Accommodating Learning Environment

I didn't know that I wanted to be a teacher until I began my first practicum in Leon, with local intermediate English students. It was a surreal experience, leading a classroom of highly eager and intelligent students in their pursuit of mastering a second language. Although my joy in teaching that class may have stemmed from a personal passion, I am completely confident that without the thorough training and guidance of the ITAN staff, I never would have realized just how much teaching means to me.
Carmen, Heather, and Jon run an incredible school in a beautiful location. These are people that care for and support you in a way that makes even a very challenging class (note: this is a very challenging class) manageable. From their understanding of the coursework to their overall empathy for growing teachers, they will do all that is possible to help you become an excellent educator.

What would you improve about this program?
Be warned that due to the intensive nature of the class it may be difficult to thoroughly enjoy Leon (and all of Nicaragua) during the one month course. If you're looking to take in the city or any other part of the country then definitely make arrangements to do so before or after that month.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Decision!

TEFL Academy Nicaragua is no walk in the park, but the school will provide you with the tools you need to be a successful teacher. After reading a few reviews, I thought the coursework was an exaggeration.....let me tell you..its not. The school is a lot of work, but it is meaningful work. Each assignment is designed to make you a better teacher and provide you with the skills to be successful.

Both teachers, Carmen and Heather are extremely knowledgeable and dedicated to what they do. My school advisor, Jon, was also really helpful throughout the whole process.

I am so glad I chose TEFL Academy and I look forward to using my TEFL certificate in the future. I am glad I chose Leon and I wouldn't have it any other way.

It's true what they say-you will used to the heat.

My only suggestion would be to avoid Host Family Maria. It's not much a of host family experience and there are too many rules.

What would you improve about this program?
It would be beneficial to provide a list of participants prior to departure. I learned someone who lived 20 minutes from me also signed up. I could have made travel arrangements with her had I known.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Meaningful Program from Talented Educators

As a veteran teacher with a university background in Secondary English Education and 6 years experience, I must say that this program is absolutely worthwhile. Not only is Leon (the host city) a beautiful and excellently placed tourist gem, but the classes are designed to give you the skills you need to find a job and excel in your profession.

The classes run Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm, with two hours of teaching practicum in the evenings each week. The homework can be rather demanding, but if you're able to manage your time well, you will be able to fit beach excursions and volcano boarding into your weekend schedule.

The directors of the school are two of the most dedicated and passionate people I've ever met. From an administrative standpoint, the directors went far above the standard of assistance. They made themselves available during class hours, every afternoon, and every weekend so that we could ask questions about the course load, finding work in Nicaragua/Central America, and logistics for adapting and living in a new country. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and their knowledge about the teaching profession was reassuring.

The main instructor for the course was probably the best teacher trainer I've ever had the pleasure of working with. I'm grateful that I had an educational background beforehand, but it was not necessary to doing well in the course. Between the course book given and the instructor's knowledge and experience, even students who were completely new to education and teaching were able to keep up with the material. As someone with lots of experience, I found the course empowering and invigorating- every day we learned and discussed new methodologies and practices for advancing our students' language abilities. Aside from the certification I received, I am so grateful I took the course because I learned a lot and re-ignited my passion for teaching.

I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone interested in teaching abroad. The course content is absolutely meaningful and applicable to real teaching situations. The instructors and mentors are knowledgeable in their field and passionate about sharing that knowledge with new teachers. The administration's sole interest is giving practical advice to newly arrived students and hopeful future educators. If you're looking to teach abroad, this is the way to go.

What would you improve about this program?
One month really flies by! If I had to change one thing, I would like to extend the course by one or two weeks. As I said, the course load, while manageable, is demanding. It would be nice to cut the day short by one or two hours and extend the overall program by a couple of weeks.
I should add, I would have preferred this not because I thought it would improve my performance in assignments or because I thought we were missing out on material. I would have preferred this because I would have liked more time to spend getting to know the country. You have the weekends to catch up on work and go explore, but you must manage your time wisely to do so.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful experience!

I completed the TEFL course at the International TEFL Academy in Nicaragua in October 2014. It was definitely one of the most challenging things I have done in my life thus far. If it wasn't for the kindness and support I received from the staff there, the experience wouldn't of been as enjoyable as it was. Heather Smith was one of the best teachers I have ever had, she helped me every step of the way until I was confident in what I was producing. Her husband Jon Smith does a wonderful job of working behind the scenes to ensure that everybody and everything is where it should be. The guest speakers we had the pleasure of meeting and the activities the team implemented were very beneficial to my experience. The staff and the program exceeded my expectations on a daily basis and still continue to do. I would recommend taking the TEFL certification course at the ITA in Nicaragua to anyone who is looking to learn, travel and maybe even discover things about yourself that you might not know.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My TEFL course in Leon, Nicaragua

I completed the TEFL course in September 2014 and it was one of the best things I've done. I learnt so much from the teachers and made good friends with everyone there. The support was and still is great and although it was challenging at times, I managed to push through and complete the course.

The school has an amazing environment which really makes you feel comfortable and at home, the students were always willing to assist me with any troubles and everyone was supportive of one another when it got too much for them.

Overall I thought the course was great and I recommend anyone who is thinking of taking this course to do it in Leon, Nicaragua as they will only benefit from it.

What would you improve about this program?
More practicum would be nice, but due to length of course I'm not sure how it would fit in.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Love Leon

My experience taking the 4-week TEFL course in Leon, Nicaragua was incredible. It was a life changing trip in which I was constantly challenged. With that said, the motivation and inspiration I felt throughout the course made it possible to overcome all obstacles. Furthermore, the benefit of having two brilliant teachers who gave limitless support was beyond belief. Taking this course has opened up a world of opportunities. Although I could travel to any end of the globe with my certification, I have decided to stay in Leon. Nicaragua has stolen my heart. The only danger in coming to Leon; never leaving :)

What would you improve about this program?
More practicum experience. Although, it would be hard to incorporate any extra hours of practicum teaching due to time constraints.
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Yes, I recommend this program

The most challenging experience I have ever had

Hi,my name is Pedro Alvarado,Nicaraguan.I graduated from the TEFL in Marhc 2O14.Taking this course was one of the best experiences in my life.After teaching for more than ten years,I thought I already had all the skills to teach,and guess what, I was wrong.It is amazing the skills,warm up activities I learnt in the course.I can say how well prepared and supportive Liza and Heather are.They were always there to help me when I had a problem with the things I had to do in class.

I can also say it was not easy at all,classes were from 8:30 to 4:30 every day,Monday through Friday.
It was a great experience honestly,a small group but a nice one.
Another thing I would like to say about the TEFL is that you need to read a lot in order to achieve your goal,getting certified.

I also enjoyed the fact of learning from Heather and Liza.They do have a lot of experience teaching and they know what they are doing.

One important fact of taking the TEFF in Nicaragua,especially Leon,is that food,transportation and housing costs are not expensive for someone who is not from Nicaragua
I highly recommend this course,especially in Nicaragua

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly,I liked the program,I think it was great.

So far,I would not change anything.
For me it GREAT.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience of TEFL course in Nicaragua

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.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

ITAN Graduate from March 2014

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.