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Life-changing TEFL Teacher Stories

TEFL isn’t just about having new amazing surroundings and a challenging new job. Sometimes it can totally transform your life. Have a look at these i-to-i TEFL teacher stories, and how moving abroad to teach English genuinely changed their lives.

Read Chris’s story to find out how he found love, escaped the recession in the UK and is now living and loving the TEFL life in South America.

“I had been a professional writer for 20 years when the economic crisis hit publishing very hard. My freelance earnings plummeted as newspapers and magazines slashed their budgets and other clients started doing it themselves rather than using a professional. Then I met and married a Venezuelan woman and we decided to live out here (largely because the UK is in such a mess and my age is seen as a negative point there (nobody ever says that, but you can sense it). After 18 months of knock-backs in the UK, failing to get literally thousands of jobs, I moved to South America, applied for two jobs teaching English As a Foreign Language and got them both. I am valued here, enjoy teaching and feel like it’s the start of an important chapter in my life.”

– Chris Morvan

Hayley’s life had started to head downhill, this was until she found TEFL, which opened many doors to loads of opportunities. She chose to go to China and doesn’t have a single regret.

“Well I returned to education at 35 and achieved my dream of getting a degree then I had a horrid few years, divorce etc sold my house and had few pennies, travelled around Europe came home and thought “I don’t want to be here”. One night had one too many beers looked on the internet and decided I wanted to go travelling again. So here I am in China!!!!!! I can’t say China without the exclamation marks. I love it here”

– Hayley Barr

Thanks to TEFL, Jennifer was able to take up the opportunities she had been waiting all her life for and now she can’t get enough of Asia.

“I fell into boring jobs here in Australia, a boring marriage and a life of being miserable and wondering what life is meant to be. Then, two and a half years ago I had some medical issues diagnosed and treated and it gave me a new lease on life. I left my marriage, I left my job, lost a heap of weight and started to turn my life around. I met a new partner in life and encouraged him to join me on a six month trip to Vietnam. I wasn’t planning to but ended up traveling for one month and living for five months in Nha Trang where I got two teaching gigs. After six months we came back to Australia to clear all our debts with the intention of returning to Vietnam. It’s been a year that we’ve been back and Brett and I have cleared the debts, bought a great laptop and gathered loads of resources. We’ve just bought our tickets and we head off in six weeks. Brett has now embraced TEFL and is doing his course. We’re making a long term move to Asia and having a TEFL cert seems to be a logical addition to our bag of tricks.”

– Jennifer Yuen

A TEFL course and a craving for an adventure saw Rachel sell all her treasured possessions and headed out to China:

“5 years ago I had decided to move abroad. However, fate played his hand and I ended up with a serious knee problem. 3 and 1/2 years full of pain and physio they finally admitted a misdiagnosis, one operation and some physio later I was ready for life to begin again. I craved adventure, excitement and a bit more adventure. I took the intensive weekend course and the grammar awareness module to re-fresh my memory then jumped in at the deep end. A few emails and a phone call later, I found myself selling my stuff at a car-boot sale, I’d given my apartment to a friend and was on the way to London to get a visa for China. 5 days later I arrived in my new life. I taught in China for a year and I won’t paint you a sickly sweet picture; it had highs and lows but I learnt a lot about teaching and got an insider’s view of China and the culture.”

– Rachel Manby

Check out how TEFL led Gary to a new, unexpected and exciting new life in Brazil.

“I started teaching/coaching outdoor activities at first, then I had the opportunity to teach English as a second language and really enjoyed it! I like learning new skills and enjoyed the challenge of being a teacher; for example, you never know what’s going to happen in your class or what question you may get asked. I eventually met a Brazilian girl and we were together for two years during which time I decided to take the i-to-i TEFL course as we were thinking of leaving for Brazil. I’ve been in Brazil for 7 months now and I’m a teacher at a great school and getting paid nicely for it. There’s money to be made in Brazil teaching English. Everyone is learning!”

– Gary Speirs

So you’ve heard a few stories from these guys, but why not find out for yourself how TEFL could change your life. Get started by downloading yourself a copy of TEFL Uncovered.


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