Why getting my TEFL certificate was the best thing I ever did!
Whenever I get asked “what is the most challenging or scariest thing you’ve ever done?” I instantly think of getting my TEFL certification. It was more than just taking a course. It was making the decision to change my career path, move out of my small town where people told me not to go, and move to a whole new foreign city to live a new life, by myself. Thinking about it still makes my heart race. I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep bartending in my small town and or if I wanted to see the world. So I did some research of different ways that I could travel and earn some money along the way. There were many different options to do so and many different locations but my dad gave me the idea of teaching English. I had taught before in my local elementary schools and preschools and I loved it! So this was a perfect way to take some experience that I had and pursue a new career abroad.
Signing up for Hello Academies TEFL course to receive my TEFL certification was the best thing that I ever did. It completely changed my life! Let’s start with the fact that I was able to travel ALL OVER EUROPE and see so many things! I stayed in Prague for a year after getting TEFL certified so I had plenty of time to go places. What was great about being in Prague was the location. I could hop on a bus or train and be in Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Austria or Hungary in matter of a few hours. And it was so cheap! Taking a bus or train is something that I never did living at home in the states since everything was by car or flying. So it was so cool to be able to be somewhere where these methods of transportation were the norm. In a matter of 1 year living in Prague, I was able to see 11 different cities throughout Europe and that doesn’t even include the many places I got to see in the Czech Republic. I was able to see and do and eat things that most people will never get to do in their lifetime. How many people can say that they have been to Oktoberfest in Munich, or spent New Year’s Eve in Paris, or go back in time and walk through Auschwitz in Poland? Not many. Each of those incredible moments taught me so much about myself and I learned a lot. It’s weird to think that spending a weekend in a completely different culture, country and surrounding myself around a new language could teach me about myself. It is almost hard to explain, but everytime I came back from a weekend away, I felt like a new person. You also get to learn about all these different cultures and it makes you appreciate the world even more.
I would not be where I am both physically and mentally today if I didn’t sign up for that initial TEFL course in Prague. During my 4-week course, I got to see a whole new company work and watched my Program Coordinator love what she got to do everyday. I then realized that I wanted to do something just like that. And if it could be with Smaller Earth’s Hello Academies, even better. The company was just so welcoming and fun and seemed like the ideal place to work. Plus, my Program Coordinator’s position was to help people experience this incredible journey like I did. I decided to spend a year teaching English and then move back to the states to finish up my undergrad degree so I could use that to make myself more qualified for a position like hers. And that is exactly what I did. I got my BA in Business Management and the second a Program Coordinator position opened up for the Hello Academies TEFL course, I instantly applied. A month later, I was on a plane heading back to Prague to help others see the world!
Not just my TEFL certificate, but anyones, can open up so many doors for them. I have friends who are teaching here in Prague, other locations around the world, or have found careers that by taking their TEFL course helped them get to kind of like me. Following through with getting TEFL certified changed my life and I would never take it back, ever. It was one of the best things, maybe even THE best thing, I’ve ever done.