Embracing Liminal Identity : Uncovering Hidden Diversity : Celebrating Cultural Mobility

Teaching English as a Foreign Language, A Chance at Being Paid to Travel

Most people pay to learn a language, but how often do they pay to teach one? The very popular TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course is just that. Native english speakers are paying to learn how to teach english worldwide and travel.

TEFL is a course that can be taken over the span of 3-5 weeks and is available in many facets; national, international and online. Maximo Nivel, a company based out of Latin America, offers TEFL courses in Guatemala, Peru and Costa Rica. These courses are rigorous and thorough, but the TEFL certificate will guarantee a teaching job in any country with an english school.

These courses are different from others in a few ways. Starting after the first week, the teachers-in-training are thrown into a classroom setting and are helped with their lesson plans as they implement them. Upon graduating the program, all teachers have close to 150 hours of class time, an impressive number to any employer. The groups range from five to fifteen people, giving great focus to each individual. Most programs such as Maximo Nivel, offer packages with their TEFL courses, a host family to live with, opportunities to see all of the tourist attractions and most often lessons in the native language. 

Larissa Mota, the National Director for Maximo Nivel’s Peru branch, talked about her TEFL training. She didn’t know much about the company or program, but she was at a crossroad in life and decided to take the leap and study in Costa Rica. “I figured the worst that could happen is they’d kidnap me and hold me for ransom… and I’m always up for an adventure!” After five weeks of training, she applied for the job as National Director and within a few months was transitioned and living in Cusco, Peru.

Although it is a well known fact that teaching does not pay as well as most people would like, there are many other perks that come with an english teaching job abroad. The key element to teaching abroad is making money (no matter how much!) while traveling, a true nomad’s dream. This course opens up doors and adds to resumes while also providing a chance to immerse in communities and build relationships.

“Thousands of people every year see earning a TEFL certification as the perfect way to make a clean break and set out on a new life path. For some, this may mean a short spell volunteering as a teacher in a developing country, which is a fantastic way to gain life experience while also providing a much needed service. For others, it is a longer term option of starting a new life living and working in countries all over the world.” (http://www.goabroad.com/tefl-courses#)

By: KMitchell

Katie is a traveler, self directed learner and lover of all things outdoors. She's a mac & cheese enthusiast and will spend hours researching sub cultures.