It’s Possible to Teach English Overseas!
Live Your Experience Here in Madrid!
Lisanna McDermott — Seattle, Washington
Dear TEFL Students,
I completed the Canterbury course in April. I chose Canterbury based on recommendations from former students. I had no prior English teaching experience and was unsure about taking a job in a foreign country. Canterbury did not disappoint. I emerged from this school fully prepared.
Presently, I live in Milan, Italy, and teach English full time. The TEFL certificate opened up a world I absolutely love. The concepts and tools taught by Canterbury have proven invaluable every day.
In addition to the practical aspects of the program, the Canterbury experience opened up amazing opportunities and a sense of connection along with new friends in a country where I initially didn’t know anyone. Students feel immediately welcome, and the staff is competent and helpful.
I am grateful for my experience at Canterbury. It facilitated a new and exciting life change. I learned that I really love teaching English, and I will be doing this for a long time.
Good luck on your adventure!
Lisanna McDermott — TEFL Class of April
Nicole Bowers – Strathroy, Canada
To prospective Canterbury students:
My name is Nicole Bowers and I participated in the Canterbury TEFL course in April. I am 23 years old and I have a degree in Translation. I wanted to do some traveling and I decided that teaching English would be a great way to see the world. I had a friend who was working at Canterbury and since I heard great comments from her about the program, I decided to go to Madrid and give it a try.
When I got to Madrid I attended a great welcome session and breakfast with the students who would be in my course, as well as our teachers. It was a great way to start off and get to know people.
As soon as the course started, we gave our availability and contact information to Canterbury so that we could start teaching as soon as possible. I started in my second week, so I finished my practice hours before the course was even over! The teachers at Canterbury were great at helping me with ideas and games since I was teaching young children.
The course was very helpful, especially with lesson planning. We were taught great things about how to make our classes flow and how to make grammar lessons clear for the students. Lots of material was covered in one month—after the course, I felt confident in planning my own lessons! Of course, there was always someone in the Canterbury library happy to help me when I was on my own.
Canterbury was always very helpful in all aspects of my new life in Madrid. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to travel or make changes in their lives!
Nicole Bowers — TEFL Class of April
Stephen Buckel – Erie, Pennsylvania
I came to Madrid in February and took the Canterbury TEFL course in April. Upon arriving in Madrid I was not sure what I was going to do for work and I did not have many friends. Taking the TEFL course not only prepared me for teaching but helped me meet people in the same situation as I was in.
The course was instrumental in preparing me for teaching Business English. Canterbury provided me immediately with students to work with. The course helped me to be prepared with lesson plans and gave me so many good ideas on how to make learning English interesting and fun for the students and myself.
Canterbury also provides regular outings for the teachers and the students. These outings are a great way to make friends while being in a foreign land.
Being an English teacher provided me with much-needed income as well as a flexible schedule so I was able to travel around Spain and Europe while I was there. Another big advantage of being an English teacher is that going to different companies around Madrid helped me learn the city. Also, the students that you work with as a teacher are a great source of information about where to go and what places and sites to see.
Taking the TEFL course and being an English teacher was the best thing I did when I came to Madrid. I would recommend anyone coming to Madrid to experience the culture and the city takes this course and teach English. I learned more about the country, the city, the culture and the people by being an English teacher than any other activities I did while there.
Stephen Buckel – TEFL Class of April
Ashleigh White – Gainesville, Florida
Dear Future TEFL Students:
If you are reading this, you have likely already made the decision (or are seriously considering) teaching English as a foreign language in Spain. Congratulations – my decision to do so turned into one of the best experiences in my life. That’s not to say that going to Spain, possibly with no prior background in teaching, to set up a life as an English teacher isn’t a daunting endeavor. It is, but being a part of the Canterbury Academy, of the Canterbury family, made that transition much easier for me. You could instead choose to go to one of the big named TEFL companies to do your certification program, but the unique aspect of Canterbury is that it works with and supports its teachers from Day 1 of the course through to the end and beyond by guaranteeing employment.
This fact alone was a major draw for me and eventually led me to decide on Canterbury. I felt much more secure about arriving in Spain knowing that I would have work and students lined up for me within my first month. As for the course itself, the instruction provided offers insight into the teaching process as well as valuable practical advice on what to expect once you start working with students of your own. However, the only real way to learn how to teach is to actually teach. Canterbury knows this and integrates teaching requirements into the curriculum, including mock lessons, in-class presentations, and a 40-hour paid practicum that you begin during the certification course.
Canterbury provides the essential stepping stones toward a successfully becoming an English teacher. Whether you are planning a shorter break from the real world following college or are looking to completely change direction in life, Canterbury can help you discover the potential opportunities (and fun to be had) as a teacher of EFL. As an established academy is an area, Canterbury also has an extensive client base, making it possible for you as a teacher to indicate the student and schedule preferences that best fit your needs.
I mentioned earlier that Canterbury actually feels more like a family than an academy, and it is that camaraderie and the built-in opportunities for networking and meeting many other EFL teachers in Madrid that I will remember most fondly. Canterbury also recognizes the fact that no one wants to move to Spain solely to work…we move there because we want to experience the culture, take advantage of our fascinating surroundings, and of course, have fun! These goals are at the heart of the Canterbury Club, which organizes monthly pub nights, activities, and excursions for Canterbury teachers, students, and friends. I doubt there are many other academies out there where you can stomp grapes during a wine harvest or get pelted by tomatoes in the world’s largest food fight (La Tomatina!) alongside your academy directors.
Making the decision to join Canterbury really impacted my stay in Spain, and I doubt I would have come away from it with so many great friends, engaging experiences, and wonderful memories if I hadn’t chosen that path. And while I still sometimes desperately miss Spain and my time in Madrid, I am now living and teaching in Santiago, Chile, where I continue to put my TEFL knowledge into practice on a daily basis and have really grown to appreciate how teaching English has opened up the world to me.
I wish you all the best in your TEFL futures and in the amazing experiences that are sure to come.
Ashleigh White – TEFL Class of September
Nate Hamrick – LeMars, Iowa
Dear TEFL Candidates:
I am writing this letter to ease anyone’s fears about moving to Spain to start a new career teaching English as a foreign language, especially if you chose to do so with Canterbury Academy. I’m a 30-something American from the great state of Iowa who came to Spain in January. Like many of the English professors I’ve met in Madrid, I had a good job in the US but was looking for a change.
As an individual with a major case of wanderlust, when I read about the opportunity to come to Spain and teach English at Canterbury, I knew I had found what I had been searching for. Of course, before making the decision to leave for Spain I had many questions that I wanted to be answered. I’m one of those people that must have all those proverbial ducks in a row before I make certain decisions.
I had never taught a lesson in my life, would I be prepared to do that? Where would I live? Would I make enough money to pay the rent, eat, and go out in the evenings? Would I be able to work during the summer months when Madrid is deserted? I fired off several emails to Canterbury in Madrid, and each was answered immediately with a detailed and helpful response (by the way the answers were, “Yes, yes, yes and yes.”). I had also sent similar messages to other English language academies in Madrid, and not one of them offered the same level of service as Canterbury. So, I made the decision to make the leap, and I enrolled at Canterbury.
The month-long TEFL course was amazing! I learned so much each day. The fears of teaching in a classroom were quickly erased with the practice of teaching in our daily classes. And believe me, practice teaching in front of your colleagues is far more frightening than teaching at any business, school or home in Spain! After only two weeks of the TEFL course, I had the opportunity to start teaching and I felt more than ready for anything that could be thrown at me. The excellent Canterbury staff also requires progress reviews for its professors, which further guarantees that you’re receiving the assistance and guidance a new professor needs.
Canterbury also has one thing that the other English academies don’t offer, The Canterbury Club. The Canterbury Club events are wonderful opportunities to catch up with other professors, and most importantly discuss where to meet for tapas. Aside from the socializing aspect, it’s great to be able to meet in a social setting to network and discuss work ideas. I’ve also been able to see places in Spain I didn’t even know existed through the Canterbury Club’s weekend excursions.
The Canterbury experience has far exceeded my expectations. I have a full schedule of classes with both business and private clients. There is such a demand for English in Madrid that I actually find myself turning down classes now. And the wanderlust? It’s not gone, it’s being fulfilled! I live in Spain and I have Europe at my doorstep! I’m extremely happy with the decision I made, and it wouldn’t have been the same without Canterbury. My experience with teaching English overseas — it’s great!
Nate Hamrick – Class of January
Alex Runham – Bradford, West Yorkshire England
To all future TEFL candidates,
I am writing this letter to describe my experiences at Canterbury, which is the least I can do to repay the Academy’s sense of kindness and honesty. I freely admit that I have no experience of other academies, but am also very confident that I made the right decision in joining the Canterbury family. The combination of a certificate, guaranteed work, and social side was ideal for someone coming straight out of university needing to earn money and have plenty of fiestas at which to spend this money!
The website will tell you all the major details of the course and work options, so here I will try not to regurgitate all that information. I arrived in Madrid without a word of Spanish, not knowing anyone in the city, clutching a piece of paper with the address of a dubious looking hostel and having paid a deposit on a course that I could certainly have researched more. However, any potential fears I had were calmed by the knowledge that the following morning I would be attending the induction day at Canterbury and would be meeting some people with whom I could actually communicate.
Indeed, the day itself was fantastic. Everything was explained in detail and this was followed by a brunch where I began to assess potential friends. The beauty of this situation is that you are automatically afforded numerous things in common: everyone is trying to improve their Spanish, looking for a flat, getting to know Madrid, learning how to teach, etc, etc. Therefore, making new friends is not difficult in a foreign land.
I found the course to be relatively straightforward and enjoyed the enthusiasm and effort that was patently evident from all of the instructors. This turned what could have been a dry and potentially tedious subject matter into something completely different – both interesting and, on occasion, downright silly.
The teaching itself is a very relaxed way of earning money and living in another country. Many classes take on the form of conversation classes, with the teacher simply providing the topics and prompting with questions and vocabulary. The one clear exception to this is the teaching of children. This involves a little more preparation but gives superb results when a new game is revealed and the child in question is so unbelievably excited that he begins to jump around the room, shouting in an unintelligible language, where the only decipherable word is “kangaroo”! Roman, aged seven, you’re famous already.
Beyond all this the only other crucial piece of information, you require from me is my promise to you that Madrid is bloody good fun. Whether you want to relax in beautiful parks, go sight-seeing to the Prado, watch a world-class football match at the Bernabeu or go for one beer and some tapas that somehow ends up in breakfast at 8:00 am and an almighty hangover! This is certainly a lively city and I hope you make the right decision to come and join me. If so, and you enjoy it, please feel free to buy me a copa at The Music Bar on Calle Huertas…….I’ll be the one failing to attract the attentions of the ludicrously attractive Venezuelan bar-maid!
Alex Runham – Class of February
Christopher Griffith – Coshocton, Ohio
Dear Prospective TEFL Teachers,
I am writing this letter to share with you my experience with the Canterbury TEFL program. Simply put, it was fantastic. Before I came to Spain I was finishing my undergraduate studies, not sure of what I’d do with myself after graduation. My girlfriend, who had studied in Spain before, was given a teaching position near Madrid and she encouraged me to come with her. Not knowing the first thing about Spain and with an elementary (at best) level of Spanish, I was hesitant to take the plunge.
We did know that teaching English would be my only option, so we started scouring the Internet, reading English teaching blogs and the like, when we found Canterbury’s website. Something told me that this would be the easiest and most reliable way to find work as a teacher in Madrid and sure enough, when I signed up for the September course, I was not disappointed. The TEFL course provided the structure and foundation I needed to prepare myself for the world of teaching English in Madrid.
The course is such that you get equal time for learning and training in the techniques of both Business English and Children’s English, which has given me flexibility in the types of classes I choose to teach. Of course, Canterbury stands out because of the paid internship, which gets you on the fast track to teaching real-life classes in the first few weeks. The Canterbury staff is extremely generous; they will bend over backward to find you classes that suit your needs and the library is an invaluable resource for preparing and gathering materials.
In addition, the Canterbury Club offers many wonderful social events to its teachers. Every month they host several gatherings that take you both around and outside of Madrid. These excursions are a fantastic way to bond with your peers and to learn more about Spanish culture. From movie and pub nights in Madrid to an outrageous grape harvest festival on the outskirts of the city, the Canterbury Club events have been among the highlights of my time in Spain.
Summing up, if you do decide to take the plunge and move to Madrid to teach, then the Canterbury TEFL program is definitely the surest bet you can make.
Chris Griffith – Class of October
Alexandra Rivera Cabrera – Santurce, Puerto Rico
I came to Spain with the purpose of taking a break between the typical 9-5 and graduate school, and I’ve gained more than words can express. With my time here winding down, I can’t help but think about how different my experience in Madrid would have been without Canterbury. Doubtful as to whether Canterbury existed at all, I arrived in Spain with only the information provided on the website and my orientation letter.
Besides the obvious facts that teaching English in Madrid provides an income while you enjoy the country’s many festivals, and that the TEFL program prepares you to teach students of varying levels, the most important part of my experience in Madrid caught me by surprise. This is the place to be to learn about yourself.
This is where you want to be if you want to become immersed in a beautiful, stress-free culture that allows you to truly relax for the first time in your life; it puts everything into perspective. For me, and maybe for most, the best part about teaching is getting to know Spanish culture firsthand.
It’s hard to imagine getting paid to talk to people about the best wine and cheeses in Spain, the different festivals around the country, the best restaurants to go to, what makes the Spanish people sore, and what excites them. Canterbury’s clients have been incredible people. And my experience here would be incomplete without them.
Best year of my life so far.
Alexandra Rivera – Class of July
Lina Tran – Chicago, Illinois
To Prospective TEFL Teachers,
Canterbury’s TEFL program is suitable for everyone, regardless of your length of stay. The TEFL course is only a month long, and depending on personal preferences you may start teaching while in the TEFL course. As a Canterbury teacher, you make your own schedule, which is especially important for those interested in traveling.
The staff at Canterbury is very helpful through emails, phone calls, and in person. They are always willing to take time from their busy schedules to answer questions, give advice, and help with ANY problems. This is extremely helpful if you have a low level of Spanish.
The Canterbury Club is one of a kind! I always have a blast when I attend the events, and they always have great activities planned!
After participating in Canterbury’s TEFL course and Club, I have met many intelligent and enjoyable people! I have a great social network formed through my TEFL course, which is essential to life abroad.
As a teacher, you have many opportunities to explore parts of the city you would never do on your own. From your students and colleagues, you learn things about the language and culture that you cannot find in a book!
Come and experience the things that Canterbury and Madrid have to offer!
Lina Tran – Class of October
Photo by Kevin Curtis on Unsplash