Find the Edge on Teaching English Abroad


Not sure what to do after you graduate? Need to pay off your loans? Want to travel? You can do all of these things by teaching English abroad. International relations majors, especially, have been increasingly seeing the appeal of teaching English in a foreign country. Benefits include free housing, a modest living stipend, loan deferment in some cases, and teaching and travel experience. What could be better than that?

With a larger number of people applying to teach English abroad, it’s becoming harder to have a competitive application. Courtney Vaughan ’15, a literary studies major at Roanoke College, has the scoop.

Courtney studied abroad last spring at Masaryk University in Brno, a small town in the Czech Republic. The primary factor that drew her to study there was their CELTA certification program, which certifies you through Cambridge to teach English as a second language to adults. Courtney found the classes challenging and extremely demanding. She taught Czech students and sat through an eight-hour-per-week teaching methodology course. By the end of the semester, she had completed 120 hours of teaching.

The most important thing that Courtney learned through this certification course was flexibility. “In order to teach successfully, you must know your students…even then, your students may surprise you, so being prepared to act accordingly and quickly is very important,” she said. At the mere age of 21, being CELTA certified is remarkable and unique, giving Courtney the edge on applying to teach English abroad.

Upon graduating in May 2015, Courtney intends to teach English somewhere in Asia, preferably in Cambodia. However, she is considering returning to the Czech Republic and working at a language school there. With a CELTA certification, she could go anywhere.

If you are interested in learning more about the CELTA program at Masaryk University, or other English teaching certification programs abroad, please contact Scott Couchman at for more information.