Earning a TEFL certificate abroad opens up employment opportunities around the world and prepares teachers for a variety of ESL teaching jobs. Canada specifically is seen by many as the hotspot for TEFL courses abroad and English as a Second Language (ESL) training. With a firm status as a place to recruit well-trained TEFL teachers, Canada is the perfect place to start a TEFL program abroad. Some foreign recruiters even travel to Canada just to hand pick trained English teachers to teach in their schools, however you should keep in mind that most of these schools are located in Asia.
From Vancouver to Montreal, Canada is jam-packed full of metropolitan cities that offer great TEFL programs for any and all ages. So when picking the city that you want to train in, consider the pros and cons of each city. For example Vancouver has an amazing climate year-round due to the wind stream that keeps it at a mild 60 degrees while Montreal offers an opportunity to learn a little French and might feel a bit more foreign to the average American. Other cities that offer TEFL programs in Canada include Toronto, Quebec City, and Ottawa.
Courses & Programs
Although there are a plethora of programs to choose from in Canada, the most important thing to consider is if you want to enroll in full time or part time TEFL courses in Canada. Both options will typically require 120 hours over the course of four to twelve weeks. The four week course would be full time, intensive, and you will be more than prepared to immediately start teaching English in Canada or overseas when you are certified. The part time course is for those who are still working and can’t commit to a full time course schedule. It still covers all the material that the full time course does, but it spaces it out over 12 weeks.
No matter what, every program will prepare for the rigors of teaching English abroad, from dealing with culture shock to classroom management to the stress of living in another country. A typical certificate program in Canada usually includes practical training, lesson preparation tips, and courses that are focused on many of the key areas of teaching English to non-native speakers. Usually towards the end of the program, the trainers will have you practice teaching sessions where the trainees will teach a mock class of non-native English speakers while being observed.
The last thing to keep in mind is when you might want to start working abroad. Since there are so many sites for TEFL courses in Canada, it is possible to find training programs year-round. However, if you want to start teaching abroad in August or September, you should find a spring program. But if spring teaching really hits the spot for you, than you should find a fall training program in the October/November range.
Almost all TEFL programs in Canada will include assistance in finding a teaching job in Canada or overseas, once you complete your TEFL certification.
Costs & Salaries
While one of the main benefits of enrolling in a TEFL program in Canada is the availability of courses year-round, an important thing to keep in mind is the price associated with courses, which in Canada usually ranges between $900 and $3,500 Canadian dollars.
You should be prepared for a similar cost of living to the United States or Western Europe, during your TEFL courses in Canada, so the opportunity to save money will be difficult. However, even though the cost of living is somewhat high (you should save some money beforehand) most TEFL programs in Canada include living arrangements in the program costs. One of the best pieces of advice is to avoid eating out too much as buying groceries and making your own meals will go a long ways towards saving money.
If you are considering teaching English in Canada after earning your TEFL certification, there is some information you should know about what to expect in terms of salary. In order to work in the Public Sector Schools, TEFL trainees must be incredibly qualified, however the pay is between 25 and 30 Canadian Dollars per hour. As for working in Private Language Schools in Canada, candidates can expect to be paid around 20 Canadian dollars per hour. Keep in mind that 15 percent of your salary will directly be deducted as taxes.
Accommodations & Visas
When it comes to accommodation, finding a place to live in Canada might be a little on the expensive side. Expect to pay around 600 Canadian Dollars per month for a small apartment in main cities. Otherwise, maybe check local roommate finders online, newspapers, and Craigslist to find a local student or multiple individuals who are looking for someone to live with them or have a spare room.
As for specific visa information, make sure to visit your local consulate or embassy in person or the respective website. However for TEFL programs in Canada that last for less than six months, you shouldn’t need a special visa to complete TEFL certification.
Benefits & Challenges
With no pain there is no gain, as the saying goes. By pursuing a TEFL certificate in Canada, you’re going to train in one of the premier TEFL certification sites in the world. However, for some, the cost and intensity of TEFL programs in Canada can be a challenge. Just keep in mind that what you spend now you will gain back in unique experience and salary later once you've been placed as an ESL teacher in a school abroad.