Getting TEFL Certified with TEFL Heaven – What you need to know

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I recently got the chance to connect with Andy at TEFL Heaven and was so impressed with the information and resources they have for anyone who wants to teach abroad. Getting TEFL Certified is the first step for many on their teaching abroad journey. I asked Andy if he would be willing to share more about getting TEFL Certified with TEFL Heaven with the Traveling Teacher community and he graciously agreed!

I hope you’ll enjoy learning about getting TEFL certified through TEFL Heaven through this fun Q&A. You can find more about TEFL Heaven on their website.

If you decide to go through TEFL Heaven for your certification, please mention this article when you do! I am affiliated with TEFL Heaven.

1. Tell us your story! How did you get started teaching abroad?

I’m Andy, from the UK! I found out about teaching English abroad through a good friend of mine. I’d just graduated and found myself working a 9-5 job in retail when he told me about it. It wasn’t something I was enjoying, I wanted to do something exciting and a bit different and I’d always wanted to travel but didn’t have much savings. So when my friend told me he was living abroad and making more money than me, well, I was instantly interested! Especially after seeing his cool photos and videos all over his social media. I’d never thought about teaching before but as long as you have some practical training and can speak English, you can do it! It’s now something I’m passionate about and I couldn’t recommend the experience enough.

2. What is the difference between getting TEFL certified and TESOL certified?

TEFL courses aim to equip teachers with the skill set required to teach English to students living in countries where English is not the native language. Therefore, getting TEFL certified means you will learn to handle a classroom of students learning English as a second language in a place where English is not commonly spoken. A TEFL qualification is the most widely recognized type of teaching certification in non-native English-speaking countries around the globe.

TESOL courses draw on broader elements of the latter teaching certifications to provide the base for teachers to teach in both non-native English countries and within English-speaking countries. Acquiring a TESOL qualification may be the best option for anyone unsure about future career plans. For those open to teaching abroad as well as teaching English at home, TESOL could be a good start.

3.Now that we know you a little bit, what is TEFL Heaven?

TEFL Heaven is a teach-abroad company that has opportunities in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. All the programs start with a 4 week TEFL Course and qualification followed by a guaranteed paid job. TEFL Heaven believes in having your training in the country you want to live and work in so you have time to settle down, meet people doing the same thing as you as it’s done in groups. You also have a team on the ground with you helping with accommodation, visas and placements. Perfect for those that feel they need the support, training, and guidance when moving abroad. It’s the teach abroad company I had my experience with!

3. What supports are there for teachers just starting their teaching abroad journey?

It’s a big move for most people and it certainly was for me. I had no teaching experience and no travel experience in South East Asia where I chose to do my teach abroad experience. The programs are designed for those that have no teaching experience and no travel experience and they support you not just the teaching side of things but also settling down into your country, cultures, and traditions. The people that train you have all been in the same position as you before so they understand the support and guidance people need when taking on these experiences. Wherever you are placed into your guaranteed paid teaching positions there is a large TEFL community already living and working these as TEFL Teachers too. It’s very easy to meet people and they have an alumni network too.

4. Does TEFL Heaven offer any support in finding jobs? What other perks are there for new teachers?

Yes, after you complete your training/course, you are placed into a paid teaching job. You have two preferences when it comes to your placement. Location and age groups you would like to work with. The courses are done as groups so you get to meet people sharing the same experience as you. It’s common for people to become great friends from their training course and decide they want to be placed into the same location.

5. What do you think are the top places to teach abroad?

I might be slightly biased because I did my teach abroad program in South East Asia but it’s always been a great destination to have your experience. Your salary as a qualified TEFL teacher here tends to be double average living costs and my quality of life was much better there than in the UK. Teachers are respected greatly in Asia and there is always a huge demand for English teachers all year round too. Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are great options as all you need is a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certification to land jobs in these countries. Thailand was great because you have a lot of time off as an English teacher with all the public, religious, and school holidays. We took advantage of this and visited the local islands and beaches whenever we could!

6. What are the costs? What kind of salary and expenses should teachers expect?

Each program has its own start dates and costs so it depends where you would like to have your experience but the programs range from 1200 USD to 4000 USD. Qualified TEFL teachers in Europe tend to earn slightly more the average living costs. TEFL teachers in Latin American tend to earn similar to the average living costs and then lastly, TEFL teachers in Asia tend to earn more than double the average costs.

7. What is the best part of teaching abroad?

It’s very cliche but it’s the friends you meet, the memories you make and the experience itself will create stories you’ll want to share with others. Personally, I think the best part about teaching English abroad was my personal growth. My confidence grew and I felt like I gained many different transferable skills which look great on any resume. I did my TEFL Course a few years ago now but I’m still great friends with the people who I met on my TEFL course. I’ve even been invited to a wedding by a couple who met each other teaching English abroad in the same city as me so it’s much more than just a teach abroad experience, it’s a true-life experience too.

8. What advice do you have for someone who wants to teach abroad?

Research your options as every country has its differences with different lifestyles and cultures that might suit you or might not. If you don’t have teaching experience, that’s OK but I recommend doing a practical in-person course so you can put theory into practice. Make sure you have in-country support too as you’ll have help settling down into your new life abroad and this is always a huge part of the experience. The quicker you settle and feel comfortable, the quicker you’ll become a great English teacher and able to provide your students with skills that can make a difference in their lives.

If you decide to go through TEFL Heaven for your certification, please mention this article when you do! I am affiliated with TEFL Heaven.