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Graduate Story: Tim Jervis

TEFL course

Tim Jervis is originally from Canada but has been teaching English in Korea. He decided to gain his Trinity CertTESOL with us in Barcelona and he then landed a job in Taiwan. In this blog post he explains what it’s like to teach there and his plans for the future.


1.Which location and date did you take your Trinity CertTESOL?

I took the Trinity CertTESOL in Barcelona in July, 2017

2. Why did you choose that location?

It was a no-brainer. Barcelona in the summer? I mean, c’mon, it doesn’t get any better than that. I rented a place in the Gothic District and had great access to nightlife, beaches and restaurants. It had the added bonus of allowing me to perpetually tell people about the summer I spent studying abroad in Barcelona for the rest of my life.

3. What was the course like and how has it helped you?

I really want to emphasize how great the Trinity CertTESOL course is for all teachers. I had spent a number of years teaching in Seoul before doing the course. I learned so much from the course and it has made me much better at my job, while also making my job a lot easier in the process. I use a lot of the methods taught at Oxford TEFL in my daily lessons. Even though I teach children, a lot of the methods and activities I learned apply equally well to young learners. Yes, it was a gruelling month, but it was all worthwhile. It’s been really cool to follow my classmates on social media and see what they’ve been up to since completing the course. They’re spread out all over the world and it’s incredible what opportunities will present themselves to you once you’ve done the course.

4. Where are you now?

I am currently living and working in Taichung City, Taiwan. I visited Taiwan a few years ago really fell in love with it.  I decided on that trip that it would be a good place to live in the future when I was ready for a change. Six years later, I can now call it home.

study abroad

5. Where did you go after the course?

After the course I spent three months loafing around Spain, Portugal, France, and Tunisia before deciding it was time to get back to work.

6. Was it easy to find work?

Incredibly easy. In fact, I almost feel guilty admitting how unglamorous it was. I posted my resume on a Taiwan job board and received multiple offers for interviews within a week of posting it. I received job offers of all kinds and was fortunate enough to be able to have some choices in where I lived and worked. While browsing job boards I saw a lot of prospective teachers looking for work. Very few of them had accredited TESOL certificates and I really believe having the Trinity CertTESOL made the difference in my advert getting noticed before others. Even for someone like myself with years of experience, it showed prospective employers that I take my work seriously. I was able to hand pick a school that I felt was the best match for me. One often overlooked area of teaching abroad is the process of acquiring a working visa. My boss has been super helpful in arranging everything I need to get my work permit. All teachers should inquire about this during the interview process because doing it on your own can be a nightmare.

7. Where are you working and for how many hours? Is it enough to live on?

I’m currently working for a private school in Taichung called American Eagle Institute. I work 22 hours a week from Monday to Friday. Salaries can vary but in general, full time (30 hrs) General English in an academy will pay you around 3000 Canadian Dollars (CAD) a month. Private classes (business/private individuals) pay around 40-55$ CAD an hour. Living expenses are low compared to Korea and Japan. I pay $440 CAD a month for a beautiful one bedroom loft in downtown. Can expect to save 1500$ CAD + a month depending on salary.

work abroad

8. What type of classes do you teach?

I teach all the standard ESL curriculum classes like Writing, Language Arts, Phonics, Reading, and Spelling to students aged 7-13. I also get to teach a really fun Social Studies class four times a week where the students learn about a variety of topics and create projects based on the lesson.

9. Where do you plan to go next?

I plan on staying in balmy Taiwan for the foreseeable future. The people at my school are really helpful and dedicated which makes for a very pleasant work environment. The city was rated the most liveable city in Taiwan by CNN (whatever that means) and has lots to offer. There’s a lot of familiar western indulgences here too which is always nice to keep the homesickness at bay. Taiwan is famous for night markets and the food is unbelievable. It’s a great place to spend a night walking around eating, playing games and shopping.

If you are thinking about teaching abroad and you want to give yourself the best possible start, why not consider the Trinity CertTESOL course? Get in touch to find out more or apply here to get started on your adventure.

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