As you all (probably) already know, I follow an English and Creative Writing degree course at Manchester Metropolitan University in England. I’m starting my third and last year in September, hoping to get my bachelor degree in July 2018. The dream is to get a writing/editorial job straight after university, so why am I following a TEFL course this summer?

Okay, let’s start from the beginning.

What is TEFL?

TEFL means Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Getting your TEFL certificate basically allows you to teach English as a certified English teacher anywhere around the globe. Being bilingual and having learned English as my second language, I think I’d make a great teacher for those who want to learn English as their second language too. I also love the idea of not being stuck in one place to do your job. I know a writing job gives you that kind of freedom too, but knowing I can always fall back into teaching calms me down a lot.

Why follow a course outside your bachelor degree course?

As I said before, my dream job would be a writing job. That could be for a magazine, blog or eventually publishing my own novel. I also know that getting a writers job straight out of university can be kinda tricky. Especially because I don’t really have the option to move back in with my parents after I finish university, I do need to get a job to pay my rent and my bills. I also think it can never hurt to expant your knowledge on a topic that might help you in the job market. My degree will definitely help me with finding a teaching job, but having a TEFL certificate gives you so much more options. Even though I’ve not finished university yet, I think it’s good to start thinking about your options on time!

Why become an English teacher?

I want to stay in Manchester after graduation, which means I will need to get a full-time job that pays enough to live there without the financial support of my parents. If I can’t get a job into writing straight away, I would still love to work with intensively with the English language – rather than getting another bar job or retail job. (Nothing agaist those kind of jobs, I’ve been working jobs like that since I was 14! But being able to work with the language I love so much would fit me much better.)

Where do I follow this TEFL course?

Because I’ve been travelling a lot over the summer, I’ve chosen to follow an online course instead of going to classes every week. I’m very close to finishing the course and I’ve really enjoyed the online aspect of it. I’ve been able to plan in when I study myself and when I needed help there was always an online chat to talk to a teacher.
There’s tons of different schools that provide online TEFL courses, but I ended up going for the 120 hour course on I’ve currently finished all the exams and am working on the two final assignments, which include lesson planning and creating some of your own teaching materials. It’s been really interesting! Especially because this is the way I’ve been taught English, I recognised a lot of teaching techniques and understand what it’s like to be in the students’ shoes.

Obviously I’m not going to look for a teaching job straight after getting my certificate (which I should hopefully get in the next few weeks, after finishing the assignments). I’ve still got one year of university left and want to focus on getting good grades in my course and spending as much time with my friends as possible. However, I am thinking of providing small English-teaching services as part of my website as soon as I officially am a teacher!

What do you think about having a plan B for after university? And what about your opinions on teaching English as a foreign language? Let me know in the comments!