Jade tells us about her experience over the last 4 years in Spain:
The last thing I ever wanted to do was teach. Why? Had you asked me then (circa 4 years ago), I would have said that it was not for me and that it was not going to help me progress in my career. The problem was that after having studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain during college, I wanted to come back to Spain by any means. I looked into everything! Finally, one day my Spanish Business class went to attend a Business workshop and that´s where I met Kevin and heard his story about Europe TEFL.
Suddenly, much thanks to his enthusiasm & explanation of what it is a TEFL teacher does, I was convinced I could do this. I interviewed, got in and suddenly was completely driven by the idea that I´d be spreading some good ol´American culture and English language in Barcelona.
Annnnd I was right. The course was refreshing and smart! I realized that I´d completely built up teaching to be this impossible thing for me when in reality it was actually made for me at this stage in my life. I needed to travel, meet new people and experience other cultures while also sharing mine.
3 years later...yes I said 3 YEARS...I realize that I made the choice of a lifetime.
Something that was originally meant to be a year away to discover Europe, released my inner gypsy and now I can´t get enough of traveling. My role as an English teacher has grown into a real lifestyle. I teach theatre in English for kids, business English, job guidance for new TEFL students and even help run a teacher´s association for expat teachers where I bring in my true passion of arts & cultural management. I travel every weekend I get the chance, join clubs and classes such as the rollerblading club (where I met my boyfriend), dance classes, theatre groups (I´ve performed in 2 full length shows as well as cabarets) and more!
How did this all happen? I opened my mind to things that I didn't see as feasible and if I had to pinpoint one thing this entire experience and Europe TEFL taught me, it was that there´s a whole world out there and the more you discover it, the more you discover yourself. You´re not only coming here to teach, you´re coming here to learn...that is if you want to and are ready to let life lead you. Living in Europe has made me more observing, appreciative of little things, and as cliche as it may sound, truly live things to the fullest.
Barcelona is my home now. I know this when I go travel for a while or even return home to the states. I get this annoying itch...it´s time to go home. Next year I´m attending Grad school outside Spain.
I don´t look forward to telling Barcelona that.
Danielle (now living in Australia and married to the Aussie she met in Egypt after her TEFL course) shares some of her thoughts about the 4 week course:
Week 1: I have to say before I came to Barcelona and started the TEFL course I really had no idea what it would be like. Would I find the course valuable, would it be worth my time and money? These were definitely questions in the back of my mind. I can honestly say that after day one I knew that I had made the right decision in coming here to learn how to teach English. It is clear it will be an intensive 4 weeks, but it has to be to give you the confidence to teach English in the real world. Specifically, the teachers are fantastic, they are very friendly and they made us comfortable. My apartment and the school is really close to the beach which is great. Plus Barcelona is an amazing city with tons to see and do. This week we started teaching students ourfeelselves, which was a little scary for the first time, but a ton of fun. I am most certainly enjoying my experience in Barcelona and the TEFL course.
Week 2: This week at TEFL was definitely hard work, but totally worth it. How the course works is the TEFL teachers give us lessons in the morning on teaching techniques, grammar etc, and then we, the students, teach real English students in the afternoon. All of it is great experience and I am learning a ton about English, teaching and about myself. Next week we get even more teaching practice and I am looking forward to improving my teaching skills even more. The TEFL teachers provide you with feedback you can really use and apply to the next lesson which makes for a productive program.
I am really enjoying exploring Barcelona, this past weekend 3 of us classmates went to Park Guell, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila to see Antoni Gaudi´s works. Just walking around the city is great because it´s so beautiful. In addition, this weekend I met lots of new people from all over Europe which is of course part of the abroad experience. I definitely like Barcelona and would even consider living and teaching here.
Week 3: This week was the hardest week in terms of teaching because we were in charge of hour lessons (instead of 30 min.) however it was a great challenge and I learned a lot. My classmates and I have a lot of fun in the classroom and our Teacher Trainer Sam is awesome.
I did more site-seeing this past weekend and have fallen in love with Barcelona even more. There is so much to see and do here!! I can´t believe next week is my last week, I´m going to be so sad to leave!
Week 4: My last week of class went really well, I definitely feel like this course has been very beneficial and I am so glad I made the decision to come to Barcelona and get TEFL certified. I feel that the course has given me the tools and confidence to be an English teacher. I recommend this course to anyone who wants to teach English as a foreign language. You learn a ton about teaching English and about yourself in just 4 weeks. It´s hard work, but completely worth it. I would also completely recommend Barcelona, it´s a great city with tons of people from all over the world and lots to experience. I am leaving with a very happy feeling about my overall experience here. On to Rome! :)
Check out what other successful graduates are up to after the course!
Ryan - Furman University
I live in Berlin, Germany and work as a freelance teacher for Inlingua GmbH. The best part of the TEFL experience was getting to know the people throughout the course (our Trainers, English students, and staff), and the second best was getting that first taste of what teaching a foreign language is like and how rewarding it can be.
Adam - England
I currently have a full schedule (35hrs), teaching business English at Gas Natural in the mornings and Acciona in the afternoons for a school on Diagonal. In the evenings I am working for Anglia Academy teaching children, beginners and Cambridge certificate. I also have about three hours a week private tuition. Hope you are all well, love and thanks again for everything!
Yvonne - New York City, New York
Buenos Aires is a great city and Argentina an amazing country. The people in the BA TEFL office, Karina and Mali, were really great and helpful through the whole process. I really enjoyed it and I acquired a vast amount of knowledge in such a short time as well as extraordinary new friendships. The course was enjoyable, extremely educational, thorough and concise. We learned the fundamentals of English grammar, how to prepare and deliver well-organized lessons and the essentials of classroom management. Ultimately, I feel that this course provided me with the necessary skills and confidence I needed to become an effective ESL teacher. Now that I've been to Argentina, I am ready to go and teach in Europe!
Alice – St. Gallen, Switzerland
When I returned to Switzerland, I worked at the Wall Street Institute where I taught First Certificate exam prep courses, regular English classes and also worked with 10 year old kids in a public school. The best part of my TEFL course experience was the really, really fantastic teachers/mentors and a really comfortable learning environment.
Justin - Royal Irish Academy Dublin
The best part was the practical experience teaching classes and the feedback afterwards. It helped me shape my teaching skills extremely well. For anyone thinking about doing the Europe TEFL course you need to be open to suggestions. If you can absorb the modern teaching methods of the TEFL certificate then it is possible to create a flexible and enjoyable job for yourself almost anywhere in the world. I now have well paid work with companies and private students.
James (UK) - Now teaching in South Korea
Thanks to the course at Europe TEFL I walked straight into a job with Merit School (within two days of picking up my certificate!) and taught in-company classes and at the Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya, 18 hours a week. I have just started a new full time job at International House, teaching Juniors (9-13), adults both in groups and one to one (for Cambridge cert. and general use). And even better in January I can apply for a transfer to any of the affiliated IH schools worldwide (provided my teaching is up to scratch!).
Joe - University of Pennsylvania
After my TEFL course I got a job in Moscow, Russia with Language Link English School. Looking back at the month in Spain, the best part of the course was the people I met on the course and the real world classroom preparation.
Erin – Indiana University
I'm currently teaching private kids classes and working at Alsace Language School, in a very nice neighborhood in Barcelona.
The best part about having attended Europe TEFL was the opportunities it has opened for me across the world. I travel, meet new people, try new foods, learn about foreign cultures as well as my own, all while earning a living teaching English. I have meet so many wonderful people, seen things I never would have seen, learned to budget my money, and I’m learning a new language. Who would have thought Kate, Danny and I would still be here over a year after our course, still having the time of our lives?!
I finally made it to Portugal! I started teaching on October first, Business English for the most part, all in-company classes. It's quite stressful as you're constantly on your feet... but a good way to get to know Lisbon. Take care and give big hugs to all!
Jessica (Texas) - Seville
I have great news as just yesterday I was offered a job in Tarragona, Spain. It is located 60 miles south of Barcelona in the Catalonian area of Spain where they speak Catalan (a mixture of Spanish and French). It's amazing. I really lucked out! So, as you have noticed, I will not be teaching in Prague. I finish my TESOL training this Friday and I do want to work on my Spanish so that'll be more realistic if I stay in Spain. I am hoping to be able to take a quick trip up to Prague sometime during the school year or over the summer. I'm off to Tarragona on Saturday, by train so I can meet with the director, see the school, and prepare myself for the first week. Classes begin Monday!!! I will be teaching children (beginning at age 7 or 8) up to business adults. It will be quite the range. I told the director that even though I've mainly taught teenagers, they acted like children at times. Un beso!
Sammie (Brighton & Hove) - Currently teaching in South America
I have a Job! I finished the course and sure enough by Wednesday I had a job! It seems like such a struggle at first, but believe me - there are so many people wanting to learn English!