TEFL course in the UK or TEFL course abroad?
After the choice of which TEFL course to go for, the choice of where to take it is the next important and the biggest decision in terms of location is whether to take the TEFL course in the UK or abroad. There are advantages and disadvantages for both options and it is important that you think very carefully before deciding on either.
There are advantages in taking your TEFL course abroad, particularly if you already know which country you would like to teach in after you have your TEFL certification. You can start experiencing the culture involved, will be able to look for jobs in person and will be making useful contacts in the TEFL industry of your country of choice before you have even started working. The teaching practice will probably be with monolingual groups very similar to the ones you will be teaching in your early career and therefore you will have more confidence in teaching in this environment. You can embarrass yourself culturally or linguistically in this safer environment rather than doing it when you are teaching out on your own.
However, there are also disadvantages to training for your TEFL course abroad. It is good to have teaching practice with multilingual groups, something you will almost definitely have in the UK, as this will allow you to be more confident in your versatility later in your career. You will have experience with teaching students with many different language backgrounds and therefore will have broader knowledge of potential problems for leaners with different first languages.
In addition, the 4 week intensive TEFL course will probably be the most stressful month of your life. Imagine the most stressed you have ever been. Double it and you will have an inkling of the stress levels involved. External stresses need to be avoided for students to be able to focus and achieve their best in their TEFL course. This is why many people choose to stay in the UK to study – the stress of moving to a new country and assimilating to a new culture is not something you need when trying to study for your TEFL certification.
Financially there is rarely a difference in cost between studying in the UK and abroad as the course prices are normally exactly the same. Living costs may be cheaper abroad but the cost of transport to and from the course must be factored in for courses abroad. At the end of the day, your TEFL course will be rewarding and exciting wherever you choose to study and what is most important is that you are comfortable with your surroundings and with the course and are able to begin the journey to TEFL or TESOL certification with your head in the right place to achieve.