I’m from a small village in Cornwall, England. And when you tell a British friend or colleague that you’re planning on moving to Prague you get one of a handful of answers – “I hear the beer’s cheap… women are beautiful… I went there on a stag do… beautiful city… I think they filmed Hostel there… but you don’t speak… what language do they speak…?” Whilst all of these may be somewhat true, since graduating in January, 2014, I have discovered and learnt more than I could have ever known.
To be honest I kind of found The Language House TEFL by accident. After backpacking for six months and spending a year working in Australia, I knew a couple of things were at least for certain. Firstly, I wanted to continue working overseas. Secondly, I needed a new trade that I could use in as many countries as possible (working as a personal trainer in Oz was great, but somehow I didn’t think it would be so useful in the non-English speaking countries of South and East Asia and South America which were firmly on my to-do list). After a short amount of research I found a TEFL course in France that I thought looked great. And then I searched for it again, and instead found The Language House TEFL, Prague. My cousin had mentioned Prague once. He said it was a beautiful city. Said the beer was cheap.
So I took a closer look. Although I’m not scared to jump on a plane before looking at a travel book or stick an investment on the credit card, I don’t throw my experiences or money away. I like to look at the small print, I read reviews and I do my homework. That way if I make a bad decision, I can basically say it was my own stupid fault and not make excuses. By my reckoning, TLH TEFL was simply better value, had really great reviews, and Prague was “a beautiful city… cheap beer… cheap living…”. No Euro. So I called the place and was actually quite surprised. It wasn’t all “this place is totally the best” or “your life will definitely be amazing here” – I basically got clear, concise and realistic information and advice which opened up before me like an invitation – a challenge – not just a sale. Yes, it is a challenging course and you will have to work hard. Yes, there are plenty of jobs available and you will get all the help you need to secure one (or more…). No, you don’t need £3000 to move here. No you don’t need to speak Czech, people are taught English in English (yeah, stupid me). Yes, you can live on £400 per month including rent, food, and modest personal expenses (very true). Yes, if you pass the course you will be more than ready to teach and actually get paid a wage for it.
Fast forward one year and, somehow, I’m a private English teacher with fifteen private, one to one students and teaching children and adult classes “on the side”. Sometimes I have lessons in the VIP stands of FC Sparta stadium because one of my students is a professional football player. A couple weeks ago another student insisted on taking me skiing in the Czech/Polish mountains because told him I had never skied. Before Christmas, I was with friends in Budapest. Before that, Vienna. Before that, at Oktoberfest in Munich. Last weekend a student gave me a litre of quality Greek olive oil for my birthday. Another, a jar of Marmite (what a rare treat!). Today I was bought tea and cake. I have had to turn down offers of dinner during a lesson just because I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing my job properly.
Yes, there can be a lot of work and responsibility in the job, but it’s completely up to you how much. No, I don’t make a crazy amount of money, but I don’t need to. I’ve found myself in a position that I never could have imagined and with a future I can’t possibly predict. For me, this is the best place to be. Of course you will have your own experience, no one can know who you will meet or what you will do (I know people have met their spouses here…) but one thing is for sure: spend just one unforgettable month at The Language House TEFL, and you will change your life forever.