Importance of TEFL course location?

Discussion about courses, qualifications etc

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ren_aj
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Joined: 23 Apr 2017, 06:01
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Importance of TEFL course location?

Unread post by ren_aj » 23 Apr 2017, 06:17

Hello,

I just wanted to know if the place where you do your TEFL course has any direct implication on your career prospects. For example, I'm from India (and no, I don't have an accent), and although I can do the 4 week intensive training right here, I would like to go to Spain or Italy and attend the programme there. Is this going to give me an upper hand while searching for jobs?

I am currently working a 9-5 job and I'm bored to death in there and I just don't want to spend all my savings going abroad and finally ending up with nothing. I'd really appreciate your help!

Briona
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Joined: 29 Jul 2009, 20:33
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Re: Importance of TEFL course location?

Unread post by Briona » 25 Apr 2017, 18:20

Hi there,
ren_aj wrote:I just wanted to know if the place where you do your TEFL course has any direct implication on your career prospects. For example, I'm from India (and no, I don't have an accent), and although I can do the 4 week intensive training right here, I would like to go to Spain or Italy and attend the programme there. Is this going to give me an upper hand while searching for jobs?
When it comes to where to take your TEFL course, there are two contrasting views. The first is that a brand-name course such as the Cambridge CELTA or the Trinity CertTESOL is standardised, suggesting that no matter where you take it - be it New York, New Delhi or Newcastle - your experience will be the same, and employers will hire you because you have the certification rather than because of where you did it.

The other view is that taking the course in the country where you want to teach will give you an edge over others because you will get experience teaching learners from that country. Furthermore, most course providers have links to local employers, which may mean you land a job more quickly. That said, I took my course near Barcelona in Spain, and went on to work in Vietnam, Portugal, Poland, and the UK, before finally coming back to Spain.

Unfortunately, as a non-EU citizen, things are a little more complicated. First, you cannot just move to the EU and study and work as you please; you will need to apply for a visa. To qualify for a work visa, you need to have a job offer, which brings us to the second issue. Employers in the EU cannot just hire a non-EU citizen - they first have to prove that there were no suitably-qualified EU citizens who could do the job. When it comes to teaching English, this is not a very likely proposition, meaning that your chances of finding legal work are slim to none.
ren_aj wrote:...I just don't want to spend all my savings going abroad and finally ending up with nothing. I'd really appreciate your help!
If you are serious about working in the EU, you need to go about things the right way, otherwise you'll end up getting burned. Your best bet for a legal route into the EU is to invest in a student visa. However, to qualify for this visa, you need to be a genuine student. That is, you must find and pay for a recognised course of study to be issued with the visa.

The good news is that here in Spain (and probably all around Europe) some TEFL course providers offer visa assistance. One such provider is TtMadrid* (https://ttmadrid.com/course/spanish-tea ... n-program/). They can organise a one-year student visa (for a cost, of course!), which allows you to work for up to 20hrs a week. Employers can and will hire you with that visa. I believe it can also be renewed in-country when the initial one-year period finishes, although you'd need to check with the course provider to be sure.

Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, please ask.

Briona


*Disclaimer: I don't work for them, and I never have. I'm just aware of them because I lived and worked in Madrid for three years, and they have a very good reputation there.
Experience teaching in Vietnam, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the UK, and Qatar

ren_aj
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Posts: 3
Joined: 23 Apr 2017, 06:01
Status: Prospective Teacher

Re: Importance of TEFL course location?

Unread post by ren_aj » 26 Apr 2017, 17:07

Hello Briona

Thank you for clarifying things up a little it, but I do have more questions.
Briona wrote:The first is that a brand-name course such as the Cambridge CELTA or the Trinity CertTESOL is standardised, suggesting that no matter where you take it - be it New York, New Delhi or Newcastle - your experience will be the same, and employers will hire you because you have the certification rather than because of where you did it
How can I know for sure that a course provider is indeed Trinity accredited? One of the institutes that I contacted kept describing their TEFL programme but nothing whatsoever about Trinity accreditation.Besides I had my doubts as things seemed too good to be true. They extended all possible help regarding visa, the course fee was way below what I expected, plus they presented a very rosy picture of me finding a job right there in Spain without any hassle. So how can I know if an institute is legit? Is Cambridge or Trinity accreditation mandatory for a TESOL course or are they just benchmarks? Would a course provider be lying if they said they could get you a job even if the programme isn't Trinity CertTESOL?

Briona wrote:Unfortunately, as a non-EU citizen, things are a little more complicated. First, you cannot just move to the EU and study and work as you please; you will need to apply for a visa. To qualify for a work visa, you need to have a job offer, which brings us to the second issue. Employers in the EU cannot just hire a non-EU citizen - they first have to prove that there were no suitably-qualified EU citizens who could do the job. When it comes to teaching English, this is not a very likely proposition, meaning that your chances of finding legal work are slim to none.
I don't have unrealistic expectations regarding finding work, I just want to spend some time in Europe and doing the course there seemed like the perfect opportunity. Also, I felt that it could give me more exposure while finding work as the institute might have better connections. A Spanish course provider could help you find work in say, Chile, right?
Briona wrote:The good news is that here in Spain (and probably all around Europe) some TEFL course providers offer visa assistance. One such provider is TtMadrid*. They can organise a one-year student visa (for a cost, of course!), which allows you to work for up to 20hrs a week. Employers can and will hire you with that visa. I believe it can also be renewed in-country when the initial one-year period finishes, although you'd need to check with the course provider to be sure.
This is indeed wonderful but I'm not planning to stay in Spain for that long,I would love to, obviously, but I'll be there on a little break from my current job and I cannot extend that beyond a certain period. I was thinking I could do the course and get back home, continue working here for three months (which is like a notice period that I have to serve before I resign), find a new job during the three months and hopefully start teaching soon after that. It could be difficult I know but not impossible right?
Any guidance that you could provide would be highly appreciated!

Thanks again

Briona
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Posts: 199
Joined: 29 Jul 2009, 20:33
Status: Teacher

Re: Importance of TEFL course location?

Unread post by Briona » 28 Apr 2017, 10:13

Hi again,
ren_aj wrote:How can I know for sure that a course provider is indeed accredited? ... So how can I know if an institute is legit?
The first thing you need to understand about the TEFL industry is that there is no single accrediting body. Furthermore, employers have varying standards, and not all TEFL courses are accepted by all employers. The Cambridge CELTA and the Trinity CertTESOL are the most widely-recognised and respected names in the industry. Both courses are accredited by reputable providers (the University of Cambridge for the former, and Trinity College London for the latter). Providers are vetted and regularly assessed to ensure they are meeting and maintaining the standards set out by the accrediting bodies.

To find a CELTA provider, go to http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/find-a- ... ng-centre/ and use the drop-downs. For Trinity CertTESOL providers, see here: http://www.trinitycollege.com/site/?id=212.
ren_aj wrote:So how can I know if an institute is legit? Is Cambridge or Trinity accreditation mandatory for a TESOL course or are they just benchmarks? Would a course provider be lying if they said they could get you a job even if the programme isn't Trinity CertTESOL?
While the CELTA and the Trinity CertTESOL are the best known courses, they are not the ONLY reputable courses on the market. A 'good' course will be at least 120hrs, and will include a minimum of 6hrs of observed and assessed teaching practice which involves teaching real students as opposed to your fellow trainees. Some examples of acceptable courses are the one I mentioned in my previous post from TtMadrid (Madrid, Spain), and the courses offered by The Language House (Prague, Czech Republic). Anyone who accepts the CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL would also accept these. However, I recommend making it clear on your CV that they are equivalent to the CELTA.
ren_aj wrote:Besides I had my doubts as things seemed too good to be true. They extended all possible help regarding visa, the course fee was way below what I expected, plus they presented a very rosy picture of me finding a job right there in Spain without any hassle.
When it comes to TEFL, if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. If you're being offered a salary that's well above the national average, or that's not commensurate with your qualifications/experience, or you're being offered a job in the EU and you're a non-EU citizen, you should tread with caution. There are many scammers out there who prey on the Europe-hungry. NEVER pay anyone to organise a visa or a flight, or find you a job.
ren_aj wrote:This is indeed wonderful but I'm not planning to stay in Spain for that long, I would love to, obviously, but I'll be there on a little break from my current job and I cannot extend that beyond a certain period. I was thinking I could do the course and get back home, continue working here for three months (which is like a notice period that I have to serve before I resign), find a new job during the three months and hopefully start teaching soon after that. It could be difficult I know but not impossible right?
Your limited availability is going to be yet another sticking point when it comes to finding work. The academic year here runs from September/October to June. There are two main hiring periods - September/October and (very early) January. The former would give you an 8-10 month contract, and the latter, a six-month one, which is the shortest contract you can expect to find here. There is very little summer work - indeed, many teachers go back to their home countries for the summer - and the few jobs there are go to people who are already working here and have their paperwork (tax and social security numbers) in order.

Considering all of the above, I would say that if you want to spend a short amount of time in Europe, you should probably do it as a tourist. Also, if you only want to teach for very short periods of time, it doesn't really make sense to invest in a four-week face-to-face intensive course such as the CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL.

Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, please ask.

Briona
Experience teaching in Vietnam, Portugal, Poland, Spain, the UK, and Qatar

ren_aj
Member
Posts: 3
Joined: 23 Apr 2017, 06:01
Status: Prospective Teacher

Re: Importance of TEFL course location?

Unread post by ren_aj » 30 Apr 2017, 17:39

Thanks Briona

I've sent you a message providing links to certain places that I have queries about. Please do look into it as your Spanish experience will help me a lot!

Renuka

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