Jesse Richter - 2008 Program Participant

Posing in front of a temple in Beijing

Exploring Beijing while working at a university in inner Mongolia.

Why did you choose to earn your TEFL certification in Prague?

As a professional educator who is deeply interested in quality training and academic rigor, I conducted an extensive online search for TESOL programs. Upon review of the TEFL Worldwide Prague website and after several phone and email exchanges, I realized that TEFL Worldwide Prague is one of the best programs available globally.

What was special about TEFL Worldwide Prague in terms of certification courses?

TEFL Worldwide Prague delivers robust academic and technical programs which greatly prepare dedicated individuals for work in the global TESOL industry. These programs serve as great development assets for both experienced and beginning teachers. As an established educator with a teaching license and two Masters degrees, I was impressed with the level of rigor and sound methodology utilized by the trainers.

What was your living situation like in Prague?

The TEFL Worldwide Prague staff assisted me from the first moment of arrival. I was able to secure a one-month contract for a nice apartment with a roommate close to the metro system. The housing was excellent: clean, safe, and with markets and transportation nearby.

What is the best part of teaching abroad?

The best part of teaching abroad is meeting new people and exploring culture! It is my belief that world travel is an education far better than one may acquire within the walls of any university.

There is an ongoing debate between online versus onsite TEFL Certification courses. Which do you recommend?

Would you take an online massage therapy class? Would you be happy to know that your brain surgeon completed her training online? The nature and ultimate goal of language is communication, which is a person-to-person process. Onsite language training is irreplaceable. Furthermore, it does not take much time to investigate online job sites to see that a vast majority of employers worldwide do not accept online credentials.

Vacationing in Singapore

Winter vacation in Singapore.

You have taught in several countries since earning your TEFL certification. Which experience was the most rewarding?

All of my international experience has been incredibly valuable. I have worked in Australia, South Korea, China, Ecuador, Colombia, and Bolivia. I would have to say my favorite contract was in Korea: the people are kind, honest, warm, accommodating, and have strong cultural values.

How has teaching abroad tied in with your professional plans?

I began my career as a high school science teacher in the United States. TEFL Worldwide Prague was the critical transition that has allowed me to break into the international market. In addition to English language instruction, I have broadened my practice in several other areas including business instruction, curriculum design, administration, and teacher training.

Which is the best country to teach abroad in?

This is a very personal situation. The best country depends on many factors such as one’s preferred culture, climate, financial situation, size of community, instructional level (K-12, university, adult, or private), and many other parameters. Of course, every country will greet you with good things and bad things. The key is to carefully analyze what items you can’t live without, and what items you are comfortable living with.

What important tips would you give to future international teachers?

World travel is best experienced with patience, flexibility, and an open mind. As an international citizen, you will encounter many unexpected situations which may be very different from what you were prepared for. The grand adventure lies in one’s ability to embrace these situations with an open heart and learn about how various cultures and peoples go through their daily lives.

Where do you hope to teach next?

I am currently moving around various countries in South America. Personally, I am happy in the Latino context and will probably stay here indefinitely. Tip: Contracts in South America are typically easier to acquire face-to-face or via friends of friends and professional networking. Few positions in South America are announced online.