• TEFL Certificate: Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Where can I find a job? 

    A: Certificate completers have taught in over forty countries around the world.  Here is just a sampling of the countries where our graduates have secured teaching positions:

    Czech Republic


    Costa Rica

    Q: What kind of job can I expect to find? 

    A: The majority of jobs with a TEFL Certificate are in private language institutes, working with adult learners. There are many private schools around that world that serve young learners as well, but completers report that most of their work is with adults.

    There are also positions through some exchange programs working in K-12 schools. Completers have been accepted by JET (Japanese Teaching Program), the French government teaching assistant program, the Central European Teaching Program, and the Fulbright Teaching Assistant Program. Some of these allow you teach in the European Union, where it can otherwise be difficult to get a work permit.

    Finally, many completers have found positions in universities in China and Korea. 

    Q: Do you help certificate completers to find jobs? 

    A: Our staff is dedicated to supporting you in your job search, both during the course and following completion. When you enroll in the program, you have access to the following services:

    • A career opportunities workshop, where you practice interview skills, and learn about writing your resume and cover letter.
    • Our job placement files, including listings of schools, job openings from the internet, and postings from our completers.
    • A panel discussion with completers who have returned from teaching abroad
    • On-going job counseling including feedback on resumes, cover letters, etc.
    • Job referrals and recommendations are available for successful completers.

    Q: Why does your program cost more than some of the others I’ve seen advertised? 

    A: Once you've been accepted to Hamline's TEFL certificate program, you get to work with one professor in a group of 6-10 student teachers during your practicum. All of our faculty have years of international experience and hold master's degrees in ESL or PhDs in education.

    When you complete TEFL at Hamline, you receive 8 semester credits. This is one of the few programs in the U.S. to do so, and if you take the program as a graduate student, all of the credits can apply to the MAESL at Hamline (on-campus and online). Many certificate completers have used their credits towards other schools' masters programs, but that is always determined by the receiving institution. Former students have also been able to use the credits towards re-licensing in a variety of fields.

    Q: Do I earn college credit? 

    A: All individuals completing the TEFL Certificate course earn 8 semester credits. Those holding a bachelor's degree will receive graduate credit. Others will receive undergraduate credit.

    The Advanced TEFL Certificate option includes an additional three courses totaling 11 semester credits.

    Q: What if I want to teach ESL in the US? 

    A: Many of our completers teach here, either in private language schools or in community-based adult education programs. Some use the certificate along with a teaching license to teach in the Adult Basic Education system. In Minnesota, those with a master's degree in another field, along with 18 semester credits in ESL, are eligible to teach in the community college system. TEFL and Advanced TEFL can fulfill that requirement.

    Q: Your program seems longer than some I’ve come across. Why is that? 

    A: The standard for reputable TEFL Certificate Programs around the world is that a course meets 100-120 hours and includes a substantial student-teaching component. Depending on the format, we meet 110-120 hours and 40 of those are spent in an ESL classroom with your colleagues and instructors. The practicum is fully integrated into the program. Remember, you are also working towards valuable credits that can become a part of an advanced degree. Most people don’t come into TEFL at Hamline thinking they want a master's degree, but nearly 20% of our students go on to the Advanced TEFL or MAESL.

    Q:  What kind of financial aid is available? 

    A: Federal student loans are only available for the evening and weekend extensive courses, depending on eligibility. Students in evening and weekend extensive courses also have the option of setting up a payment plan with the student accounts office. A minimal fee is charged for the payment plan.

    Alternative financing in the form of bank loans may be available for the four-week intensive courses.

    Unless a payment plan is arranged, tuition is due in full 10 days before the course starts. For more information on these payment options, contact financial aid at 651-523-3000.

    Q. May I live on campus? 

    A. On-campus housing is currently available for TEFL participants all year with the exception of August.

    Living on campus at Hamline offers TEFL students several settings to meet the unique needs of mature residents involved in an intense academic pursuit. The majority of rooms reserved for TEFL students are single or double occupancy. As a resident, you have a telephone hookup in your room with voice mail or call waiting. In addition, you have access to the Internet, cable television, on-site laundry facilities, and social and study lounges.

    Dining options include a pasta bar, a full service grill, a deli and salad bar, and vegetarian entrees. Two meal plan options are available during the academic year. A meal plan is required of all residents September-May.

    Learn More

    Contact a Graduate Admission counselor and request information to learn more about how you can pursue a TEFL certificate.

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