Rosanna Belmonte - Managing Director
Originally from the south of Italy, Rosanna has been passionate about languages since she was a child. This early interest led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in modern languages and a master’s degree in literary translation. Firmly believing in the importance of international experience, she joined three Erasmus programs in Spain, England, and Wales before moving to Ireland.
You’ve studied and worked abroad in many countries throughout Europe. Why do you think international experience is important in the world today?
International education means being able to get out of your comfort zone, or cozy life, and face the world. Experiencing the world is the most exciting way to grow personally by gaining independence and sensibility in learning from people who have different backgrounds and different ideas from yours.
You spent time working for GoAbroad as an intern in Ireland for a few months last year. How did this experience make a unique impact on your career goals?
The internship for GoAbroad was my first step into the exciting world of international education. Working as the Italy and England Country Manager for GoAbroad opened me to the endless possibilities of studying, volunteering, interning, and working abroad, and made me realize that my passion for travel and international experience could actually become my career.
How were you connected to Premier TEFL?
I learned about Premier TEFL through my internship with GoAbroad and all the programs they run. I thought that all of the live teaching experiences and fully organised teaching internships abroad were a great way for solo travelers to visit a country and totally experience it like a local, but also have a safety net there if you need it. When I saw an opportunity to join their team, the timing was right and I went for it!
How does your academic background help you in managing Premier TEFL?
Firstly, I love to dispel the myth that TEFL is only for native English speakers. Yes, of course you have to be near-native or fluent to be able to help somebody effectively learn a new language, but there are many opportunities for fluent English speakers to teach English. That’s also why I love our placements in Colombia, as non-native English speaking teachers are welcome!
Secondly, I can really relate to people who have a passion for sharing their language as well as learning new ones. I work with such a talented team, it makes my job pretty easy!
What makes Premier TEFL’s approach to TEFL courses unique?
We know exactly what budding TEFL teachers are looking for: fast and effective training, access to course material from anywhere at anytime, and a team of supportive people who have been there and done that. Our courses are designed to allow our trainee English teachers to easily digest the learning material. But, our focus is really about continuing your learning from the online modules into the classroom; so most of our students are on teaching experiences or paid internships, which allows everyone to combine flexible online training with live teaching practice (much of which can be paid practice).
Where is the best place in the world to teach English as a foreign language today?
Ahh, this is too difficult a question. Every county has something unique and special. I personally think Spain (a country I have a passion for); but generally speaking, anywhere in Asia is such an amazing cultural experience, from the food to the language to the history and way of life.
In the next few years, how do you see Premier TEFL expanding to continue to meet the needs of TEFL seekers?
We’re always looking for ways to help English speakers become English teachers, by creating more cool ways to get qualified to teach English abroad and have live teaching experiences to build up confidence in the classroom. All kinds of training is fantastic, but for me, it’s all about stepping foot in the classroom and actually teaching your first class; that’s when you really feel like a teacher. We’ll continue to grow our partnerships with overseas partners and grow our placement options.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What I really enjoy in Premier TEFL is spreading the importance of traveling and having experience abroad. I truly enjoy advising students, helping them to jump into something new by turning their fears and concerns into excitement, and guiding them through the application process, including everything from discovering more about their own personal goals and ambitions to celebrating the start of their own adventures.
If you could become a Premier TEFL participant, what program would you choose? Why?
The program I’d choose is definitely our paid internship in Colombia! I am so fascinated by Colombia’s insanely friendly people and their enjoyment of life, and our program is a fantastic immersion opportunity to discover this stunning country. With the mission of getting Colombia bilingual by 2025, the program is sponsored by the government and it offers two weeks of orientation helping TEFL teachers to learn the culture and teaching essentials in Colombia, so this would be a great opportunity to start teaching English! It’s really fantastic.