10 Best Places for TEFL Courses in the Americas in 2018

by Published

Do you want to teach abroad? If so, have you got TEFL certified yet? Not yet? What are you waiting for? Without a TEFL certificate, you could find yourself floundering in your first English class or getting jobs at the bottom of the barrel. Nix undue suffering by getting your TEFL certification abroad pronto. There are tons of places you could take a TEFL class but consider the Americas.

Woman with a pretty lookout

Trying to find TEFL courses in on the American continent? We can help!

If you want to teach in South America, why not get a leg up by doing your TEFL in Latin America first? TEFL courses in Central America are also a great way to learn how to teach English and pick up a foreign language. On the other hand, if you don’t want the hassle of getting your certification for teaching English abroad in a Spanish or Portuguese-speaking country, try TEFL courses in North America where English is the native language.

What should you look for in a TEFL course? First, make sure it lasts a minimum of 120 hours, the ESL industry standard. Second, does it have a classroom component where you get to practice teaching real students? This is essential, especially if you’ve never stood in front of a class before. Are the instructors qualified to deliver the program? Is the course accredited by a reputable external body? If it checks all these boxes, then you’re good to go! 

With that, scroll below to see our meaningful travel community’s top picks for TEFL courses in the Americas in 2018. 

1. United States

Empty classroom

Your TEFL classroom will be ultra-equipped if you choose the US.

What’s the number one place for TEFL courses in North America? The United States, of course! Sign up for TEFL courses USA across the homeland, from Miami to Portland to Honolulu. Because the States attracts people from all over the globe, especially metropoles like New York, Chicago, and LA, you’ll most probably get a chance to teach students of any nation you can imagine, whether it’s Somalia or Mongolia.

Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Chicago with Teach English:ESL

See ALL TEFL courses in the US

2.  Canada

People playing ice hockey

Give TEFL courses in Canada a shot.

If you’re overwhelmed by American cities but still want to do TEFL courses abroad in an English-speaking country, try Canada in the Great White North. Like the United States, Canada is a favorite destination for immigrants so you may find yourself teaching English to a Mandarin native speaker in Toronto! This North American country also has the edge over the USA if you’d like to try your hand at teaching native French speakers in Montreal or Quebec City. 

Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Canada with Premier TEFL

See ALL TEFL courses in Canada

3. Mexico


You’ll need fuel for prepping all those lesson plans, and Mexico won’t disappoint.

Want to sign up for TEFL courses in North America in a country that speaks Spanish? You’re in luck because Mexico fits the bill. Take a TEFL class in the heart of Mexico City, also one of the world’s best ESL job markets, or in Guadalajara, the country’s second largest city. If you’d like to study away from the crowds, try more laid-back, beachy locations like Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Although Mexico gets a bad rap for crime, once you have your wits about, you should be fine.

Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Mexico with Teacher Link

See ALL TEFL courses in Mexico

4. Costa Rica

Sign saying Pura Vida

Give yourself the gift of pura vida while getting TEFL certified in Costa Rica.

Want to go to a destination known for quality TEFL courses in Central America? Costa Rica TEFL courses is where it’s at. The land of pura vida is perfect for ESL teachers who also love the outdoors, with lots of surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and jungle trekking outside of class time. Find yourself in the capital, San José, the city of flowers, Heredia, or Manuel Antonio, the thrill seeker’s home base. 

Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Costa Rica with Maximo Nivel

See ALL TEFL courses in Costa Rica

5. Colombia

Dusk over Medellin, Colombia

Do TEFL courses in this sparkling Colombia—where the teachers shine just as much as the students.

Get off Netflix because the Colombia today is totally different to what’s depicted in Narcos. See for yourself why this country is a top destination for TEFL South America. Find excellent TEFL certification programs in Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, and Barranquilla. Before long, you’ll become addicted to Colombian coffee beans (the best in the world!) and be singing the virtues of its warm people, Caribbean beaches, and stunning biodiversity. 

Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Colombia with Teaching House

See ALL TEFL courses in Colombia

6. Brazil

Woman in brazil

Who knows? Your TEFL training course instructor might be your new BFF.

Sign up for TEFL South America in the only Portuguese-speaking country on the continent.  Brazil is everything you ever wanted and more with an energetic culture, natural beauty, and a sexy accent. Take a TEFL class in coastal cities like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador. While you’re there, take a selfie with Christ the Redeemer, sign up for a capoeira class, and shake your @$$ at Carnaval street parades. 

Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Brazil with ITTT

See ALL TEFL courses in Brazil

7. Peru

Machu Picchu in the morning

Mentally review your noun and verb structures as you summit Machu Picchu. #worksmarter #notharder

If you’re considering TEFL South America, make your way to Peru. Because of its established tourism industry, many Peruvians are eager to learn English to interact with tourists from all over the world. Find quality TEFL certification programs in metropolitan Lima, in the ancient Incan capital of Cusco, or in the white city, Arequipa. On the other hand, if you’d like to improve your Spanish skills quickly while getting TEFL certified, try more off the beaten track locations in the country.

Recommended program: Get certified in Peru with TEFL Heaven

See ALL TEFL courses in Peru

8. Ecuador


Try TEFL South America in stunning Ecuador!

Get a headstart on your TEFL career by getting certified in Ecuador! This South American country that lies directly on the equator is nothing you ever expected with tropical rainforests, snow-capped mountains, and the out-of-this-world Galapagos islands. Practice teaching in cities like Guayaquil, Cuenca, and Quito (the second highest capital city in the world at 9,350 feet above the sea level) or in smaller towns like Loja and Puyo. 

Recommended program: Get certified in Ecuador with International House

See ALL TEFL courses in Ecuador

9. Chile

colorful houses

Want to teach abroad? Get TEFL certified in Chile first!

Ready for a TEFL adventure? Forget TEFL courses in Central America and TEFL courses in North America and head to Chile, one of the skinniest countries on the planet. Chile is not only physically spectacular with deserts, glaciers, and rainforests, it’s also an exciting place to get your TEFL certificate. Earn it in the capital, Santiago, bohemian Valparíso, or coastal Vina del Mar. Spend up to four weeks perfecting your teaching game while tucking in some of the most amazing food on the continent.

Recommended program: Get certified in Chile with LanguageCorps

See ALL TEFL courses in Chile

10. Puerto Rico


Life in Puerto Rico doubles as taking TEFL courses in the USA—and will be full of lots of surprises.

Want to do TEFL courses USA on a beach bum’s paradise? Try Puerto Rico in the sunny Caribbean! This American territory is always looking for English teachers because Spanish is more commonly spoken by locals. Find TEFL programs in urban San Juan and Ponce and afterward, link up top ESL jobs at the local universities, international schools, public schools, and private language academies.

Recommended program: Get certified in Puerto Rico with International TEFL Academy

See ALL TEFL courses in Puerto Rico

A note from GoAbroad

We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.

Learn more about our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here.

Read the full report here.

Browse more of this year's report on top destinations for TEFL courses

Find your next great TEFL training course