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Tales From the Wizards: Language is the Heart of Our Cultural Body by Lee Basson

May 5, 2021

A TEFL Certificate is your gateway to the adventure of living and teaching abroad. Most English schools require you to have a TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) a degree or a diploma to hire you. There’s no need to despair if you don’t have a diploma or a degree as there are still plenty of countries where you can find work as long as you obtain the TEFL certificate or diploma through an accredited company. Many or most popular destinations for teaching English abroad would require teachers to have a degree but this is due to their visa requirements however the international opportunities are endless.

 

A career in teaching can be challenging yet mentally satisfying. I’ve always shared a great desire for the English language and for teaching it to my peers and international friends. Teaching and learning new languages are fascinating and educating others or foreigners to learn your mother tongue or languages in general can be quite rewarding. I say rewarding to the extent that your knowledge and educational growth improves rapidly and the fact that you get to meet a host of different characters and personalities, young learners or adults. You can learn a ton from your language learners – I already have!

 

Last year during lockdown, an unprecedented time that came with a lot changes and uncertainty, I knew that I wanted to do something I’m truly passionate about, a fulfilling change was needed. I decided to complete a TEFL course through i-to-i and can undoubtedly say that it was the answer I was looking for. With the on-going pandemic it wasn’t really easy getting a job within the teaching industry abroad or in-country (South Africa) as embassies were closed and the recruitment gaps got a whole lot smaller.

Krakus Mound, a fan favorite of our interns and a great scenic lookout point to see the entire city of Krakow

Whilst job hunting for about three, four months, I came across a platform called English Wizards, a teaching agency based in Kraków, Poland that provides ongoing support for teachers wanting to work in Europe. While they do charge for their visa assistance, teacher training and other optional support services, you will never be asked to pay in order to work. Europe has always been on my travel bucket list and the fact that I get to work and live here whilst doing what I love, is a without a doubt a dream come true. I always say “If you have to work, then you might as well enjoy it, right?”

 

The English Wizards community is built to bring English teachers who come from all over the world to teach in Poland or the EU into one community. We are literally a small international family living, learning and, most importantly teaching English as a foreign language. From the minute you apply to the day you finally return home, the Wizards team will be there for your support from an administration perspective and everything in between (accommodation, visa assistance, work permits etc.). Please note that your traveling expenses are at your own costs.

Kickstart Your TEFL Adventure With English Wizards

English Wizards offers two programs, the Business Teaching Internship and the Childhood Education Internship. I chose to do the Educational program as it was more fitted for new aspiring English teachers. We kicked off the internship with intensive training where I’ve gained a set of new teaching skills and an immense amount of knowledge.

Doing the internship goes far beyond an ordinary TEFL certification course. So, in a nutshell, you get a 160-hour intensive TEFL training course, an internationally recognised Young Learners Certification, full onsite arrival assistance and assistance with a teaching job placement in Poland. The team is proactive and their support for new and existing teachers doesn’t go unseen.  

English Wizard’s 2021 Spring Internship class has gone on to do great things in the community

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should or Could Become a TEFL TEACHER in 2021

  1. YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT THE LINGO

I cannot stress this enough. If you are truly passionate about the English lingo and you have the social ability skills to teach it to others then TEFL is an ideal career move for you. I’m talking vocabulary, grammar, phonetics, comprehension or just you enjoying conversational interaction with a non-native speaker, then yes, I say go for it. Impacting the lives of others from an educational perspective can really be (again) both rewarding for you and the student.

 

  1. YOU’RE EXTROVERTED

My social norms and interacting with people comes naturally – it’s safe to say that I’m definitely a social butterfly and quite extroverted too. If you live for the spontaneous adventures, the hidden gem café’s, the garden tours, the hiking trails, sightseeings and the museums then a TEFL certified course is your one way ticket for exploring. I am without a doubt mused by foreign cultures, languages, and history.

 

  1. THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER

From a very young age, I have always showed a great interest in traveling, if there is a road trip happening, I am there, if we are trying out new dishes, yes – I am definitely there! Traveling has broaden my horizons exponentially. I have made lifelong international friends and I have collected a few passport stamps. Being a solo traveler doesn’t come easy, it takes bravery, courage and patience. Think you got similar traits? Then the world is your oyster, go get it!

We all know life can be full of challenges. It’s not always sunshine and roses, and everything in between whilst traveling and choosing or figuring out the right career path can become daunting. Becoming a TEFL teacher evolved me in many forms, I am much more confident, I communicate effectively and my vocabulary has improved significantly. It makes you realise who you are and it will show you what is important to you. I strive to become a better version of myself every day. I definitely want the same for others too.

This is a guest post as part of our “Tales from the Wizards” series, where our Wizards take over the blog and share their stories of life in Poland. You can read more about Lee and her Blog at The Unapologetic Muse.

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