VH1 should do I special on me, because I just had me the Best Day Ever!
Let me backtrack a little. Where am I? Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This energetic metropolis was formerly only known as Saigon (today it goes by either). Today, it’s nicknamed the New York City of the East, and HCMC is helping to propel the South East Asian country forward as a fierce competitor in the global marketplace. Vietnam: the next Asian Tiger?
So, why I am half way around the world from Erie, PA? I am a recent college graduate. I wanted to travel, gain some world experience, give back in a way I found positive to the rest of the world, and afford to do so. My answer? TEFL. Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Since English has now become the world’s business language, there is a huge, expanding market for English language teachers globally. Who teaches EFL? Recent grads, mid-life career changers, retirees. Teaching in Asia is also a fairly profitable venture, as it’s a service in high demand. Generally you need to be a native English-speaker, hold a college/university degree, and have a little bit of chutzpah. You can get a better paying gig if you’re officially certified.
Becoming an EFL Teacher—Step #1: Take an TESL/TEFL certification course. Although a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms, a quick Google search (teaching English abroad) will help you navigate your goals. If you already have the afore-mentioned qualifications, the next best thing to do is to get yourself certified in teaching.
The poison I picked? Cambridge’s CELTA course. This rigorous course is often completed in a 4-week intensive, complete with 120 hours of student teaching. Only 4% of CELTA participants get “A’s.” Most get “C’s.” Am I stoked? You betcha.
I have two weeks before my course starts, and I’m taking this time to travel around the country.
So Best Day Ever, huh? You can read about it… in my upcoming update!
Adventures through TEFL is a multimedia look at the sights, sounds, and insights of experiencing a different culture through teaching English as a foreign language.
A Fairview High School graduate of the class of 2006, Ginny Tonkin recently graduated from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois.
Feel free to share your thoughts with Ginny at firstname.lastname@example.org.