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This week’s hottest couple: Study Abroad and TEFL

Here at CIEE TEFL, we’re pretty much teaching English as a foreign language gurus. We understand exactly the kind of person who is getting TEFL certified: young, adventurous, nomadic, but also career-oriented and practical people. TEFL-ers are out to achieve the best of both world scenario: professional development and serious adventuring all at the same time!


But there’s one thing we just can’t seem to figure out: if these are the kind of people getting TEFL certified, why the heck aren’t more study abroad students doing it?!

Anyone who has studied abroad—which is almost anyone who is now teaching abroad—knows firsthand what a semester in a foreign country does. Some do it to push themselves outside of their comfort zone. Others hope to satisfy a budding sense of wanderlust. For some, it’s an integral part of their academic track. Even though everyone has different reasons for going in the first place, most come to the exact same conclusion: study abroad is just the beginning of their international adventures.


We get it! Four or five months just isn’t enough time for those who had their worlds rocked by the transformative power of cultural immersion. Chances are you’re already thinking of ways to get back if you are currently studying abroad or recently arrived home.

Stop thinking so hard and get on board with TEFL! Whether you want to return to your study abroad host country or try somewhere new, a TEFL certificate can and will get you there. It really is the simplest and most practical solution for rising seniors or recent graduates looking to get back out of dodge as soon as the caps and gowns come off.


Here’s are five key reasons why:

1. You don’t have to put off professional development to travel. In fact, with TEFL and teaching abroad, career growth and travel adventures are kind of a package deal. So no one can give you any heat for traveling after graduation. Ha!

2. Keep that professional momentum going! You’re coming off a huge milestone in your professional and personal timeline and are now more qualified than ever. But at graduation, you’ll realize just how many people are leaving with exactly the same qualifications. A TEFL certification adds a gold star to that diploma and helps you stand out in a huge stack of applications that look more or less the same.

3. If you’ve studied abroad, then you’ve undoubtedly gained huge confidence and independence. Although they offer some fantastic programs, you don’t really need a middle man to apply for positions abroad if you have a TEFL certificate. This means you could be in the driver’s seat of your abroad experience—work location, age level, and learning environment are your calls to make!

4. There is no better time to travel than right after graduation—which is why so many people are taking off as soon the dorms have been emptied and the textbooks have been burned (well, more likely returned). After your senior year, there are absolutely no strings attached. No job, no lease, no big commitments, no problems! As you get older, it only gets more complicated to up and leave. So get it in now! Plus, there’s a much higher chance that you’ll be able to link up with friends abroad since it seems everyone’s out there somewhere!

5. TEFL isn’t just about teaching. It’s about deepening intercultural competence. If you hope to be a lifelong traveler or spend more time abroad in any other way, TEFL could be a key piece of this puzzle. TEFL and teaching abroad get you one step closer to becoming the international citizen you set out to be when you studied abroad.


So study abroaders, if there is one piece of advice we could give you for your newly wide-open future, it’s to get serious about not getting too serious. There’s no need to settle for a highly demanding job right away. The great thing about TEFL is that is opens up endless opportunity abroad without committing you to anything. It’s exactly what you need to calm your post-grad freak out (don’t worry, we’ve all been there).

Again, if you have any questions, ask us TEFL gurus. Of course we think everyone can benefit from getting TEFL certified but we’ll tell you one way or another how it might fit into your post-grad path. Pack your bags, it's time to kick start your next big adventure!


-The CIEE TEFL Squad