Studying the CELTA, and pursuing a career teaching English as a foreign language, is often viewed as a ‘Golden Ticket’ to travel. Here we take an in depth look at what that really means, how to practically achieve your dreams, and how you can transform your life in as little as 12 weeks.

But before we look at the application process, and what the course involves, let’s look at what the CELTA actually is.


What is the CELTA?

The Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) is awarded by Cambridge Assessment. It is the most recognized English language teaching qualification in the world, so much so that recent research showed that 75% of English Language Teaching jobs worldwide ask for a CELTA in their job adverts.

The course takes 4 weeks if you are studying full time, or 12 weeks if you are studying part time. During the course, you will take an in depth look at teaching English as a language. The course is made up of both practical and theoretical content. You will have the opportunity to practice your teaching in multiple observed lessons, after which you will receive feedback and pointers. You will also observe other lessons, take a look at the theory and methodology behind language teaching and share ideas for best supporting your students. The course is short, but covers a huge base of knowledge, meaning that after as little as four weeks, qualified CELTA trainees are able to springboard straight into the global field of English language teaching.  


Week 1: Applying

First thing to do, is apply for your course. Start by researching the different ways you can take the CELTA (face-to-face, online, full-time or part time) and deciding which would work best for you. We’ve got a handy CELTA guide here on our website which should help, or you can read our in depth blog post where we look at the different CELTA options. Once you’ve decided the style of course you’d like to take, and what date you’d like to start, it’s time to apply. The application process is simple, first you complete the form, with some basic information about who you are and why you want to study the CELTA, then within a matter of days successful applicants will hear back with an invitation to an interview.

Week 2-3: The interview process  

The interview will only take 30 minutes, max! Before the interview appointment, you will be sent a pre-interview task to think about, and we base our interview questions around this task. The task consists of 3 things to ponder: the roles and attributes of a language teacher, adapting a set of materials for use with learners and a proof-reading activity. This gives you a chance to prepare and ensure you give your best performance in the interview. You will of course also be asked about your language-learning background, motivation for doing the course and your interest in teaching.


Some of the questions will relate to managing stress and how you deal with difficult situations, to understand how you will do on the CELTA course. So have a think about this ahead of time, as well as how you work with others.  It’s worth preparing by familiarising yourself with the CELTA course, and learning about other’s experience, you can watch videos on YouTube from previous CELTA interviewees explaining how it went, like this one:


Week 4-8: The CELTA course

During your course, there are many things to think about. You’ll be studying hard, preparing classes and writing essays. You can read our blog on how to prepare for the CELTA course here.

The main thing to focus on is it have fun, and enjoy yourself. The intensive CELTA courses are only 4 weeks long, so can flash by very quickly. Make the most of your time by listening closely to feedback on your lessons, and asking lots of questions to your trainers! Why not watch this video from recent CELTA graduate Patricia about the experience of the Face-to-face CELTA? 


Week 8-11: Applying for jobs

Post CELTA, you may want to begin looking for teaching jobs around the world. There are plenty of fantastic resources to help you with your job search. is a great job site for teaching jobs globally. As the CELTA is such an international career, you’ll find no shortage of job opportunities around the world. There are jobs opening all year round, with the biggest peak being during the summer holidays, between academic years. When applying, take time to think about the sort of school you’d like to work in. Would you rather work in a large school or a small school? A city or a village? What country would you like to live in? What sort of hours would you prefer to work? There’s lots of factors to consider, we would suggest writing a list of priorities for future job prospects so you can narrow down your search. Many interviews will be conducted via Zoom, Teams or Skype, due to the global nature of the career, so make sure you have access to the necessary tech to be able to take your interviews.

Week 12: Moving to a new country. 

It’s time to go! All of your hard work has paid off, so it’s time to book a plane ticket and begin your adventure! Often, your new employer can help in some ways with the move, so it’s worth asking for any advice about nice areas to live, or reliable estate agents to contact.

Check out local estate agents for rental properties, and do some research on the different locations you could live in in the area you’re moving to. You might decide that you want to live close to the school you’ll be working in, or maybe your priority is to be near to the centre of town. Figure out what you’re looking for before beginning your search. You should also use your wage to calculate a monthly budget, this will help you work out how much you’ll have for rent and utilities.

Why not look up ‘best things to do in…’ so you can have some fun experiences planned when you arrive. Often, there will be plenty of other teachers at your new school to socialise with, but if you’re interested in making a wider circle of friends, check Facebook for groups dedicated to teachers in the area, or expats in the place you’re moving to. Many cities across the world have tight nit communities of expats looking to meet new people.

Once you’re all prepared, it’s time to book your flights, make sure you have the correct visa and documents prepared, and get ready to go. Enjoy your new adventure wherever you have decided to travel to, you’re about to meet new people, begin a new career, and embark on a totally new chapter of your life. If you want to learn more about starting a new life abroad, read our two part blog, full to the brim with tips and tricks to getting started in your new home. Click here for part 1, and here for part 2.



If you’re interested in taking the CELTA, visit our website to apply and find out more information.

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