Community is very important! Even when you’re traipsing across the globe, you need somewhere to ground yourself. Check out some of the networking I’ve done through my adventures.

International TEFL Academy Based out of Chicago, this school offers Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification classes all over the world! Fun fact: It’s also where I earned my TEFL certificate. One of the great things about these people as opposed to other TEFL certification programs is that they’re big on team activities. Even after you leave the program, they offer support through resume advice, job market information in different countries, competitions with actual (and really good) prizes, and regional meet ups where you can get together with other TEFL teachers in your area for a good time. Be sure to check out their Q&A page, where they list Q&As from alumni all over the world (including two by yours truly!) about a variety of aspects of teaching abroad.

John Felice Rome Center  While at Loyola University Chicago, I had a professor who stood up in front of a lecture hall filled with 200 bright-eyed freshmen and said, “Go to Rome Center. If you do nothing else at Loyola, go to the Rome Center.” Loyola is a bit unique as a university – while it’s fairly small, it has campuses in four countries and an agreement with another Jesuit university in a fifth. This means that Loyola has amazing study abroad opportunities. Their campuses are open to students from other universities, too. I took that professor’s advice, and did a summer semester in Rome. Let me tell you, it was probably the single most formative experience of my life. Take a look at your study abroad options, and be sure to keep the Jesuits in mind!