If you’re reading this, hopefully you’ve already decided to get TEFL certified. If not, I hope this helps you in your decision! For those of you stuck between a Destination TEFL and a regular TEFL course, let me help be sharing what I learned. First and foremost, let me start by answering some of the question I had when making the decision.
What is a Destination TEFL and how does it work?
The Destination TEFL is very similar to the regular TEFL course. The class itself is taken online, and the course content is the same. The difference comes with the practicum. The normal TEFL certification requires a 20-hour practicum that has to be completed within a month of the end of the course. While CIEE will do their best to help you with this, it is ultimately your job to find those hours and complete them on time. This includes the paperwork, reflections, and signatures that you’ll need to have proof of completion. The Destination TEFL has a 60-hour practicum. This includes additional teacher-training, observations, and actual teaching. It’s all set up for you, so all you have to do is show up and do the work. On the paperwork side of things, your only requirement is the reflection. Also, it boosts your 150-hour certification you’d get with the regular TEFL to a 190-hour certification. For those of you who’ve done your research, most companies look for anywhere between 100-200-hour certification. The closer to 200 hours, the better as it means that you have more training and experience.
Do I have to decide which one I want now?
No! That’s the beauty of it all! You can register for the regular TEFL and decide later whether you want to do the Destination TEFL. As long as you fill out and submit the application before the deadline, you can have all the time you want to make a decision! It should be noted that, as long as you’re at least six weeks into the online portion of your certification, you can participate.
What is so special about Destination TEFL?
Aside from the fact that it adds an additional 40 hours to your TEFL certification, there are a lot of benefits of doing the Destination TEFL. Mainly, the experience. Especially for those looking to teach abroad, this is really the best option for you. It’ll provide you with that overseas teaching experience that many companies look for. It’s also a great way to work with many different types of students. During my Destination TEFL, we had classes ranging from one to five students, and their levels went from A1 beginner to B2 Intermediate. Our students were also from different age ranges as we had occasionally had someone in their late-teens and others in their mid-thirties. It really was the best way to learn to teach because you’ve got your mentor in the classroom who can help you should you need it, and you also have your peers.
Why did you choose it?
I decided to do Destination TEFL for a few reasons. Mainly, because I wanted to travel and have extra training hours. While I didn’t travel outside the UK (the Destination TEFL I participated in was in London), I did get to see and do things that I really wanted to do. I got to travel in and around London, exploring the city as I went. Part of the Destination TEFL program is a cultural excursion, which is a trip to a place of cultural importance. As for the extra hours on my certification, that was a huge factor because I would rather have more hours than less. That aside, I was also taking the TEFL course at the end of an academic year. My last week of the online TEFL course was actually two weeks before I graduated from university. Almost all schools were either finished or not wanting a student conducting their practicum. Add on the fact that I was moving, and that resulted in a situation where finding a practicum seemed impossible. The final reason was the experience. I can almost guarantee that, had I completed a practicum in the US, I would have had students from one, maybe two, nationalities. I wanted a variety of students. Not just in nationality, but in levels and ages. It was something that was very important to me. It also helped that they arranged almost everything, from the training to the observations and the teaching!
So, should you do a Destination TEFL?
I’ll be the first to admit that it isn’t for everyone. The training is intensive, and the work is difficult at times. It’s not something you can just show up to and get participation points. However, it is extremely rewarding. At the end of the program, you’ve completed your certification, you’ve traveled to new places, and you’ve met some very cool new people (from your mentor and peers to your students and the program staff). On top of that, you’ll get experience. This isn’t just any old travel experience, but the ability to say that you’ve not only completed a practicum for your TEFL certification (which not many online TEFL certification programs require), but that you did it abroad. This is something extremely beneficial to anyone looking to use their TEFL, whether it be online, domestically, or internationally. So, basically, if you’ve got the time and ability to do it, then you definitely should because it’s an amazing experience and will boost your resume!