Teach English Abroad with the Cert-TESOL

Zoe, Sue, Sonia, Logan and Chris

My classmates, and I’m the one kneeling in the middle.

I’ve been studying like a crazy woman for the past 4 weeks in order to teach English abroad with the Cert-TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate.

This is by no means an easy course. It’s a level 5, comparable in difficulty to the second year of an undergraduate degree crammed into 4 weeks. Now you’ll understand why I felt like a zombie fueled by caffeine and adrenaline.

My poor 57-year-old brain, almost died; and what made me realize that age has nothing to do with my ability to study and retain material, was the fact that the twenty-somethings on our course, were just as exhausted and complained even more than us boomer ladies.

So now that I can breathe again. I am happy to inform everyone that I passed the written and oral exam last week. I can use my TESOL certificate to teach English to foreign students anywhere in England, France, Italy, Spain, other European countries, as well as China, South Korea, Japan, South America… basically anywhere.


My teachers, Rob Farag, far left and Jane Stevenson in black in the middle. Classmates eating a home-made chocolate and orange cake to celebrate



My new teacher friends: Zoe, Natasha, me and Sue to my right. A great group of Cert-TESOL women


I decided to take the Trinity College TESOL certificate in Greenwich, London, as it was much cheaper than the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course at UCI (University of California Irvine) close to my house which costs $5,750. This outrageous price does not even include room and board at the Ritz. It’s also a TEFL, and not a Trinity College Cert-TESOL. The TEFL is not accepted in many parts of Europe, which is why I opted for the Cert-TESOL.


TESOL banner

My school in Greenwich

Why not take the course in London where you get to experience other cultures, other sights, and study within a small class of 6 students rather than the larger class sizes in the U.S.

My course in London cost less with airfare, and an Airbnb studio apartment overlooking the Cutty Sark (see photo below) than the UCI course, and I made some wonderful new contacts, plus I got to sightsee and visit my memoir author friend Ian Mathie. Another blog post to follow.

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View of the Cutty Sark from my bedroom window at sunrise

So are you ready to teach abroad? If you have a question for me, please ask in the comments below. I shall get back to you. You can also e-mail me at: Sonia@soniamarsh.com

Comments (8)

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  1. I’m really pleased you made it through to the other side Sonia. It is, indeed, an extremely difficult course. There were many times in the evenings I would actually sit crying, sure I couldn’t pass when I did mine.

    But it does open so many doors. Well done for sticking with it – and looking forward to hearing about your next stage in life.
    Rebecca Hall (Bex) recently posted..China Meets Greece at Grecotel Pallas AthenaMy Profile

  2. Hi Sonia,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and successes in the Cert-TESOL. I wondered why you chose that program over the ones close to home. You were smart to seek out a better deal, not just for the cost of the program, but also one where your certificate will apply to teaching abroad.

    Years ago I thought of teaching English abroad, but didn’t want to invest the money and time in the programs here in CA. You’ve inspired me to reconsider this idea by checking out the Trinity College program.

    Thanks again.

    I know you’re going to enjoy your new ventures in teaching English as a second language.
    Flora Morris Brown recently posted..Writing My Mother’s Memoir: So Who Is She Really?My Profile

  3. Congratulations, Sonia on sharing your Cert-TESOL experience with us! It is an exciting new chapter in your “gutsy” adventures. I enjoy traveling vicariously around the world with you. Keep enjoying and sharing. I can hardly wait to hear what’s next. 🙂


  4. ladyfi says:

    Congrats! It’s tough but fun.
    ladyfi recently posted..The magic of morningMy Profile

  5. Jackie B says:

    I had a great experience doing the CELTA and DELTA. They’re not cheap, but certainly made me into a much better teacher.
    Jackie B recently posted..Dictogloss: ESL Listening and Speaking ActivityMy Profile

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