June 2017 has been a big month for my partner and I. We’ve handed our notices in to our employers, booked flights, got our immunizations and are headed off to start our big adventure in August 2017 starting with two months in Hanoi, Vietnam!
We’ve both put a lot of thought into going travelling over the last year, for example, could we really give up our jobs and a steady income? Where would we go? What would be the best route? It was daunting to think about but it was December 2016 when we finally decided that it was a now or never situation when it came to giving up jobs and going to explore the world. Neither of us are currently tied down, James is 26 and I’m 25 so we want to enjoy a few more years freedom before we settle down with the whole marriage, house and kids scene (not saying that following that route isn’t a nice path to take, it’s just not for us just yet).
I was reluctant to completely up an income of any sort so after much research, we both decided to try Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). In most countries in the South East of Asia, Teachers are paid fairly well and the cost of living is very low. That fact, along with beautiful views, amazing food and a rich culture was what drew James and I in.
We looked at a lot of different online schools that offer TEFL qualifications and decided to go with the TEFL Academy. It offered a discount on the 120 hour course when we booked online in January and a part of the package was an intensive 20 hour weekend course in person. This weekend course took place in February in Cardiff and was thus very local to us, adding even more appeal.
If you are looking to do a TEFL course then I can’t recommend the 120 with a weekend in a classroom enough! The tutor, Greg, was amazing and really made sure that we understood everything before moving on. This proved invaluable because when it came to the online course, I didn’t always feel clear about what I was reading. One drawback about the TEFL Academy is that I feel it could be worded more clearly in certain places, I wasn’t always sure what I was being asked to do. You are given an option to re-submit tests and assignments but I’m a stickler for over-thinking and I like to get the job done correctly the first time around!
Students are provided with all the materials they need in order to do both the online and physical classroom course. During the intensive weekend, we were provided with a number of handouts and notes. For the online aspect of the class you receive work books, lessons and finish each module with a test. Once you have completed all 10 modules, you must complete two end of course assignments.
I haven’t received my results for my second assignment just yet as the process takes a few days. I’m hoping to get a part-time job teaching children so that I can spend time teaching and I still have time to see more of northern Vietnam.
From November, James and I will be backpacking throughout South East Asia, Malaysia, Australia and Bali. I’ve spent some time looking at what we can do in different areas and will share some of the things that I find over the next few weeks.
I love hearing tips from people who have visited countries before me, so if you have any suggestions for my eight month-long trip please feel free to comment!