For those of you that don’t know, CELTA is a certificate of teaching English to speakers of other languages. It is offered through Cambridge English (which is a division of Cambridge University) at different centers throughout the world. The goal of the course is to give you the necessary tools you need to teach English to teenagers and adults. The course runs about a month-long and is extremely intense. Be prepared to work really hard, like crazy hard! If you are planning on moving to Europe to teach English, this course will open so many doors for you.

Before I moved to Germany I did a lot of research on the best way to get a teaching job. Everything I read made it seem like my Bachelors Degree in English was not going to be enough to qualify as an English teacher in Europe. In South Korea or Japan it would be fine, but not in Europe.

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From everything I read, CELTA was the best option, but I was hesitant about signing up for any course that was so expensive (depending on the location it can cost around $2,000).

In searching for a job in Germany I had come across countless job offers that said things like “Work in sunny Madrid! After completing our special language program that only costs $3,000.” Sorry, but no. Please don’t fall into those deals. Maybe some of them are actually OK, but I tend to not trust it. Take a course that is legit and internationally recognized.

In the end I signed up and completed the CELTA course in Boston before I moved to Germany. The application process was fairly easy. You have to have an interview which will either be over Skype or in person, in which they will ask you about why you want to teach English, what you would do in different classroom situations etc.. You will also have to complete a task that you submit to them to show your pre-course skills. I heard back from the Boston CELTA center very quickly and began my course a month later.

Because the CELTA is offered around the world you can choose if you would like to take it in your home country or in the country you are moving to. I opted to take it in Boston because it was close to where my parents live and I could easily commute into the city every day.

I considered taking the CELTA in Hamburg Germany (where I was planning on moving) but I was a little nervous about that because as an American you are only allowed to stay in the EU for 90 days as a tourist. I had no idea how long it would take me to get a job and I didn’t want to risk that a month of my 90 days would be spent taking the CELTA, which would mean that I would only have 60 days after to get a job and residency permit.


I mean come on. How beautiful is Europe? You know you want to teach English there and travel constantly.


I found out several months later that if you take the CELTA in Germany and move there to work as a freelance teacher it is possible to write the entire course off as a business expense on your taxes. So, I recommend you definitely look into that option for whatever country you are planning to move to.

Anyway, taking the CELTA was the best decision I could have made. I had no problem finding jobs because the CELTA degree made me an ideal candidate. I have friends who had completed other courses to be an English teacher and they have had a much more difficult time finding work within the EU.

I don’t want to say the CELTA will fully prepare you to be an English teacher, because it won’t. The course is really informative and does offer you some great teaching practice, but nothing can really prepare you for your first times alone in a classroom. However, it will give you the foundation you need to succeed as a teacher.

The CELTA certification never expires, so you can use it on your resume forever. As I said before, I was hesitant about spending $2,000 on a course, but it was a great investment. I have had so many doors opened for me by the CELTA. So if you are on the fence about it, I say go for it!

Also, I am still in contact with the people I met during my CELTA course. After spending such an intense month together it’s hard to not get close. We still bounce teaching ideas and questions about teaching in different countries off of each other frequently.

Note: Cambridge English is not paying me to say any of this. I genuinely think this highly of this course and really want you to have the easiest move abroad possible.

Here is a link to the Cambridge English page so you can find out more info. Best of luck, and if you have more questions about the course just leave them in the comments section. I’m happy to help you out!


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  1. I just posted a comment, but I think it got eaten! Do you know if it’s easy for a licensed Early Ed. teacher to find work in Germany? It’s good to know that it doesn’t expire. Thanks for sharing such a helpful post!

    • Hey! Both comments showed up 🙂 You should not have much trouble. I know a lot of people that teach at kindergartens in Germany that don’t even have an Early ed license and only have the CELTA. It really depends on what city you are in as far as how easy it will be to find something full time that way. I also know a lot of people that work as freelance teachers and some of their classes are at kindergartens or through private companies. Check out Helen Doran http://www.helendoron.de/ they do a lot of afterschool programs for young kids. I had a lot of friends that worked there part time.
      As far as international schools, with your teaching license it will definitely be easier, but still the jobs are fairly limited just because there aren’t sooo many international schools.
      Let me know if you have more questions! I’m happy to help.

  2. In the fall, I have to take a course in order to renew my teaching license from the States, but I’m tempted to just take this CELTA course instead. The only thing is then I might lose my chance to teach at an international school. Maybe I could eventually do both even though it will be expensive. Thanks for such an informative post! It’s very encouraging to hear that you found jobs after taking the course!

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