Young and Bold TEFL Worldwide Prague graduate and German freelance English teacher, AJ Traver, looks back on her time in Prague during her 120-hour TEFL accreditation course with us. For a look at AJ’s other adventures, visit youngandboldblog.com.
$2000 in my bank account, two bags of 50 pounds each and no idea where I was going or how long I would be gone. That was my situation in February, 2018. I’d talked about wanting to move to Europe for years, but I didn’t know how to do it. I’d had a friend who had left for Prague a few months earlier to complete a TEFL course and live there. I remember calling her while she was the airport and about to board her plane to Prague and I asked her to tell me about her course.
Less than a month later, I had quit my job, accepted a new temporary job making more money and opened a savings account. Two months later, I bought my ticket. Three months later, I left. Getting on a flight with no money and no plan where you’re going is both scary and liberating. Being where I am now, I am so happy that I had somewhere to go and get accustomed to the major change I had made in my life. It was an in-between, a transitional half-way house if you will, that gave me a step up toward pursuing my goal (living in Europe) as well as a place to sleep for a month and a community of people to encourage me and help me. That place was TEFL Worldwide Prague.
My first month abroad has taken on a really romantic, happy and exciting tone in my memory. I was still that girl who left, I hadn’t experienced or grown much yet and I was still feeling excited about the prospect of what I was doing. The familiarity with which I learned to navigate Prague, the endless laughter with the people I met there, and even the biting cold that made my fingers burn as I walked the streets of the city bring me a warm feeling when I think of it. I want to enable others to feel confident in making the decision I made. I also want to tell you about the beginning of my journey, because so many of my blogs have been focused on the now. What do I have to say about TEFL Worldwide Prague? What do I have to say about the one-month home that I had on the first leg of my journey?
TEFL Worldwide Prague is more than just a service to become TEFL accredited. It is a community. The friends I made with the short time I was in the city is unreal. When you’re spending every day in a room with the same people, things get strange. You find yourselves in random bouts of bubbly laughter and able to pick on one another like you’ve been friends for ages. If you choose to stay in Prague, you have friends who you can search for a flat with. If you choose to leave, you may end up in the same city as someone from your program and sleeping on their couch while you figure your life out. That’s what I did at least.
Aside from the connections you make with both the students in the program and the faculty of the institute, you have amazing people who want to see you succeed. The resources and help in TEFL Worldwide Prague are both incredible and personalized. I can’t tell you how many times I personally went to the owner or lead instructor and asked for advice. They may not always have all the answers and I have found that a lot of the knowledge is more beneficial to those wanting to stay in Prague. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure it out. Look at me, I did. And now I’ve passed as much information and knowledge as I can to them so that they can be better equipped to help others. These people have been working in this field for so long and have personally made the move you’re making now, so their advice is the advice of experts with decades of experience.
Going off of that, the instructors are absolutely incredible. The school organizes a class once a month. Our course was smaller, so our instructor that we spent every day with was Kenny. Or Kveto. Depending on the day. Don’t worry, you’ll catch on. Sometimes you will work with other instructors and each one of them are experienced and have valuable information to pass on. Teaching methods do change and are personal, which can cause some discourse between what the instructors are looking for when they oversee your lessons. However, each piece of advice they have is one for you to take note of. Not to mention, they are incredibly humble, funny and genuine. They truly are what makes the course so special.
If you’re in the position I was in, I came to Europe with $2000 bucks in my pocket. That is not a lot when you factor in travel, finding a flat, paying for a visa, buying food, etc. Luckily my tax return came in when I was running low. If you can be smart about when you travel, do so. But what’s great about this course is that it is fully accredited by a reliable and trustworthy accreditation and it’s affordable. Not only do you get an amazing education on how to become the best teacher you can be, not only do you get to live in Prague for a month, but the cost is low compared to other schools. It’s about $1500 for a one-month program and there is a discount if you sign up early. There is also the ability to complete a one-day Young Learners Certificate for $20 more, which really comes in handy during your job search. The return on investment is absolutely incredible, hands down.
The location of the school is not in the heart of old town. No, it’s in Vysočanská. This gives you a real look at what Prague is like outside of the touristy area of old town, aka it’s not all the glitz and glam of other parts of the city. You get a glimpse into real Czech life. The course equips you with some Czech language skills (which you literally never forget, dêkuji) The rooms you stay in are close by the metro station and a shopping mall where you can get anything you need for your time in Prague, including groceries, tech, pharmaceuticals, etc. They have alumna show you around the city when you first arrive and give you the basics on how to survive your month. By the end of it, you’ll be navigating this historical and beautiful city with ease.
The course is intensive. It’s a lot of work, but entirely worth it. I only recommend this course if you are serious about moving abroad. I was unsure if I wanted to teach English, but I found that in this course I began to truly enjoy it. I also realized that teaching was more so a means to an end for me, but that’s okay. Everyone’s journey will be different. This course equips you to be a great teacher and gives you hands-on experience teaching your own lessons, lesson planning and navigating students of all language-levels. I would hands-down recommend this school to anyone considering teaching English abroad.
If you have questions about teaching abroad, please contact me personally. I received so much help from other TEFL graduates around the world and am happy to pass that on. If you are curious about teaching abroad in Germany, visit my blog on obtaining a freelance visa.