The Benefits Of A TEFL Internship
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You’ve passed your TEFL course with The TEFL Academy and now you’re qualified to teach English abroad. You’ve been looking at the jobs available. Are you having difficulty deciding where to go, or are you nervous about starting a new job so far from home? A TEFL internship could be the answer.
TEFL internship vs TEFL job
You might be wondering what the benefits are of a TEFL internship versus a TEFL job. And that’s a good question.
In a nutshell, they both have their pros and cons, and it totally depends on what you have and what you are looking for. Where you are on your TEFL journey, so to speak.
If you are TEFL-qualified, with a degree and are ready to jump independently into a long-term commitment in a foreign country, then a TEFL job is exactly what you need (check out our Jobs Board for inspiration). But if you maybe don’t have a degree or are a bit nervous about teaching or moving abroad, a TEFL internship could be just what you are looking for.
A TEFL internship
Instead of tying yourself down to a full-time contract for the whole of the school year, why not take a TEFL internship? Want to know why it’s a good idea? Read on…
What is a TEFL internship?
A TEFL internship is a job placement in a fully supported environment. TEFL internships can be paid or unpaid, but you are given a teaching opportunity with only minimal commitment. In essence, you are getting all the advantages of a full-time permanent TEFL position, without the hassle and stress of going it alone in a foreign country.
With TEFL jobs, you hope the employer will choose you. With a TEFL intership, you can choose the internship. You can browse the internships available and apply for the one most suited to you. If you fit the requirements, the internship team will get back to you to talk about next steps. Easy as!
Now let’s talk about the benefits of doing a TEFL internship:
It’s a short-term commitment
Although there are internships available for a year, there are plenty of short-term positions on offer – which is not common for TEFL jobs.
This means you’ll only be away from home for between 3 and 6 months. Not enough time to get really homesick, but enough to decide whether or not you like the country. A TEFL internship gives you the chance to experience life as someone who is working rather than holidaying.
The short duration means you could even try two countries in the space of a year to help you decide which one you like the best.
You get paid
A TEFL internship offers a stipend to EFL teachers. Many placements also include accommodation or a rent allowance. Plus, in some cases you can get a refund or some money towards the cost of your airfare.
That means you can join a TEFL internship without worrying how you’re going to live. Instead of wasting your energy stressing about finances, you can focus on teaching!
Just to note: some internships require a fee to be paid, but this is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Plus, some internships are totally free!
There is an orientation
TEFL internships offer an orientation course. This will be of real benefit to you if you are a first-time teacher. You’ll get to know about your location, its history and how to get around.
One of the biggest stresses about moving abroad is the logistics of living in a different country.
- Where do I go from the airport? And how?
- How will I find the supermarket?
- How will I get to work?
- Where can I go on my time off?
This orientation gives you all those answers without you having to figure them out by trial and error.
On the orientation you’ll be shown around the city and given helpful tips and tricks to navigate your new neighbourhood. Usually, you’ll be given a SIM card so you can communicate with everyone back home as soon as possible.
As an intern you’ll be offered plenty of support and guidance during your time in the country on your TEFL internship, and even before. While some people may thrive on conquering red tape, others prefer the more straightforward route of visa applications and flight bookings. Internships give that support for free.
Stepping into the classroom for the first time as a TEFL teacher is a daunting thought. Knowing you have a team behind you to help you with guidance, ideas and resources is comforting and confidence-boosting. The time you spend in the classroom will give you valuable experience that is the piece de resistance on your CV.
But the support doesn’t end with the internship team and the school. Being on an internship introduces you to a bunch of other teachers who are going through exactly the same thing as you. And while they might not end up being your besties (though they just as easily could!), it’s always helpful to have someone around who is in the same situation.
Freddie Woodward did a TEFL internship in China once he had completed his TEFL course.
He says: “After an enthralling induction week in Chengdu where I got to meet lots of other foreign teachers and get my first taste of life in China, two other interns and myself were placed in the Fuling district of Chongqing. I have been in Fuling for nearly 2 months’ now and every day something or someone has amazed me.
On my return to the UK I plan on applying to study for PGCE, either this year or next. Using the experience, I have gained in China I am confident that teaching is something I’d like to pursue for a career.
TEFL gives you the chance to explore a new country and become part of a new and exciting culture.”
The TEFL Academy internships
- Browse the offers
- Pick the one which appeals to you most
- Make the application online
- Pack your bags and kiss your mom goodbye!
You could soon be on your way to a great adventure!
The TEFL Academy was the world’s first TEFL course provider to receive official recognition from government regulated awarding bodies in both the USA and UK. This means when you graduate you’ll hold a globally recognised Level 3 (120hr) Certificate or Level 5 (168hr) Diploma, meaning you can find work anywhere and apply for jobs immediately.