Paul Adams

Teach Enrich Empower

It's never too late to get into TEFL

I started my first TEFL job three weeks ago, for the largest language school, EF International, having earlier this year been interviewed on Skype in a Wetherspoons bar!

That was at the end of January just after I had started my TEFL course with The TEFL Academy. The job ad said to apply even though I had only just started the course as they needed a lot of local teachers for a huge influx of foreign students in the summer. I have also just received my lovely TEFL certificate, so that came just in time for the job too.

The job was very challenging at first, especially the paperwork and taking on mixed nationality classes with a total of 60 new students, but I soon got used to it and really started to enjoy it immensely. Socialising with the other staff is great too as they all have so much experience of working across the globe. I quickly realised that I had just joined something incredible.

How I got to this point has been something of a strange story, starting with losing my flat. I had been helping students with disabilities like dyslexia, hearing and vision impairment, to use special computer software, all around Devon, but it was a zero hours contract and I couldn’t get enough hours, I was falling back with my rent and at the age of 60 most of my job applications for permanent work went unheeded.

“I hatched my plan to travel and teach TEFL”

I gave up my flat forfeiting my furniture in lieu of the rent I owed and caught the next train to Gatwick and headed out to Sardinia. So how could I afford a month’s holiday in Sardinia you ask? Well it was a scheme called ‘Workaway” where you work in exchange for food and accommodation. Opportunities are available all over the world. Once I signed up on their website, I was head-hunted for a driving job at a yoga centre run by Germans.

To cut a long story short, I went on to Venice and then Zurich to visit friends I had met in Sardinia. It was in Zurich that I hatched my plan to travel and teach TEFL because the main topic of conversation for the three months since I left the UK had been about learning English. I had not only found a way to fund my travels but also a skill that is in demand whatever your age as there is such a shortage of qualified TEFL teachers worldwide. The job I have just started is just a summer job, but it’s for the largest language school in the world and based in Lucerne in Switzerland. My plan is to travel around Europe to find opportunities to teach English which seems to be in huge demand everywhere.

I am now living in a big van which I am converting into a motorhome in which I intend to winter in the south of France and take it from there, passport and fresh TEFL certificate in hand and already a few weeks of experience under my belt.  All my friends are very envious!

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