You are at a crossroads in your life. You want to take on a new adventure. And then, you stumble upon ESL teaching and fall in love! Your first step to your new life is getting a TEFL certification, but there seems to be a lot of different information out there and it’s hard to know what is the best option for you. In this blog, we’ll cover how to get a TEFL certification, the best TEFL courses, some of the best TEFL programs, and the costs that you can expect.

DISCLAIMER: I cannot vouch for every TEFL provider available, and am giving unbiased advice based on the majority of TEFL providers. This blog is based on our institute’s qualifications and accreditations. If you are looking into one of our programs, but already have a TEFL certification, please email us your certificate and we’ll be able to check its accreditation. 

Getting a TEFL Certification

Simply put, to get a TEFL certification, you’ll need to enroll in a TEFL course, study, and pass the exams or continuous assessment. The TEFL courses are created to be a smooth journey for all of our students. You’ll have full access to a personal tutor and all the resources needed to not only pass the assessments but become a great TEFL teacher! 

teaching in class

Like our own courses, your certification will come to you first in PDF format. This is accepted by employers worldwide as you’ll normally apply for teaching jobs from your home country before you go, and there’ll be a place to upload a file in each application online. You can also opt for a hard copy of your certificate. There is a small charge to cover print and postage which is not covered under the course enrollment fees. This is standard for every TEFL provider, as the hard copy is not always needed. The biggest reason you’ll need a hard copy is for visa reasons. If you do need it, let us know where you are traveling to, as places like Vietnam and China require it to be legalized. Before sending it to you, we can also provide this service and cut out a few extra steps for you. 


Accredited TEFL Certificate (PDF): Free (included in the enrollment fee)

Accredited TEFL Certificate (Hard copy): $45 (includes print and international postage with a tracking number)

Ofqual Level 5 TEFL Certificate (PDF): $60 (cost by Ofqual to issue you on the register and issue a certificate) 

Ofqual Level 5 TEFL Certificate (Hard Copy): +$35 (includes print and international postage with a tracking number)

Legalization: This is dependent on the country and consulate fees. Please contact us.

*You can pay a fee of $80 altogether for complete Ofqual certificate service. 

great wall of china legalization

The Best TEFL Courses & Programs

 Your first step is to choose the right course for you, and there is no one answer for everyone. There are a few things to think about when choosing the right course. You’ll have to first ask yourself: 

  1. What is my budget? 
  2. How long do I have to complete the course? 
  3. What are my goals with this course? 
  4. Who and what do I want to teach? 
  5. Do I already have an education qualification? 

Once you know these answers, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on the right course for you. See our blog all about choosing the right TEFL course for more information or call one of our Course Enrollment Officers to talk through the questions above. We are here to help! 

TEFL programs are also very popular and the TEFL course is included. We call them internships. They include the course, certification, abroad placement, in-country training and support, and pre-departure assistance (to name a few inclusions). Talk to one of our experts today to see which programs are currently taking applications and which program is right for you. The costs vary, but some will include accommodation in the cost, so you’ll see jumps in price. 


The costs vary largely on what you’d like to go for. If you are looking for the best of the best with all the bells and whistles so you have unlimited options with the certification, our 310 hour Level 5 Hybrid TEFL Course has split payment options available too, so that’s one less thing to think about! 

Most Affordable: the 120-hour TEFL Course for $385, but now on sale for $145 (at the time of writing). 

Most Comprehensive: the 310-hour TEFL Course for $895, but now on sale for $425 (with split payment options).

Average for TEFL programs: From $990 to $1549

This is the range that you’ll be looking at for enrollment in a TEFL course. They all include dashboard access, tests and corrections, a personal tutor, job assistance, and certification (excluding costs above). 

Thailand Internship with a TEFL certification


How much does TEFL usually cost?

TEFL Courses can differ hugely depending on the provider, qualification, and quality of the course. An accredited quality course will be anywhere from $100 to $500. This can be lower during sales like Black Friday or higher if you opt for specialist courses and extra certifications. These are online course prices. There are also TEFL programs abroad which will cost a lot more! 

Is a TEFL certificate worth it?

Yes, absolutely! You may think we’re biased, but hear us out: A TEFL certificate is your passport to travel the world. You open doors to work in any country globally without having the limitation of the language barrier. When you compare the average salaries of TEFL teachers to the cost of living and the cost of getting a TEFL certificate, it’s a no-brainer. Not to mention that teaching is known to be one of the most rewarding professions you can choose. 

Is 120 hour TEFL enough for Teaching English abroad?

In short, the 120-hour TEFL certificate is enough to teach English abroad. It is known globally as the industry standard to become a fully qualified TEFL teacher. You don’t need any prior training or extra certifications. It starts from the beginning and gives you all the knowledge needed to be a great TEFL teacher. 

Saying this, there are some instances where it’s not enough: 

  • The UAE requires a level 5 qualification, such as our 180-hour Level 5 TEFL Certification, for visa purposes. 
  • EAL schools in native English-speaking countries, like the US or UK, normally require a level 5 qualification. This is because the supply and demand of teachers vs students are a lot more competitive than in non-native English-speaking countries. 
  • Some niches of TEFL may ask for a higher qualification such as business English companies. Because the jobs require higher quality lessons, they require experience and more certifications. Exam preparation jobs are the same. You’ll need the specialist certificates for these. 
Can you do a TEFL course for free?

We can’t speak for every instance, but generally, no. You may be able to get TEFL materials to study for free on some sites, but you won’t be able to get an accredited and globally recognized qualification for free.  We’ve even seen some sneaky sites that allow you to study for free, but require a hefty payment at the end to release your certificate for all the hard work you’ve put in! Always read terms and conditions. 

Examples of where you can get a course and accredited certificate for free are competitions that TEFL providers run or perhaps influencers may get the course free. 

Does the TEFL certificate expire?

At the TEFL Institute, all of our certificates are lifelong certificates and do not expire. If you are looking at another provider, be sure to check out the terms and conditions or ask in an email about expiries. 

That being said, if you did your course years ago and haven’t worked as a teacher yet, you might think about doing a more updated course as you’ll find it hard to get employment after a huge break. 

How hard is the TEFL exam?

The great thing about our courses is that they are all continuous assessments. There is no final exam! Each module is tested separately and you can take it step-by-step. Depending on what you find hard or easy, subject-wise, you may find it hard to get through some assessments, especially in the level 5 course. However, you can repeat them, no problem. For the 120-hour course, you get free repeats. For the level 5 course with the open-ended questions, you’ll get 1 free repeat (and then a small fee for more), and you’ll get detailed feedback from your assessor on how you could improve the answer. 

How long does a 120 hour TEFL course take?

The 120-hour TEFL course is online and self-study (although you have full access to a tutor!). This means that you can take your time or study intensively. The timing of the study is completely flexible. These are the joys of an online course. It won’t affect your daily life. Most students complete it within 3 to 4 weeks. You’ll also get your certification instantly through PDF, so you can start applying for jobs straight away!

Is TEFL Online accepted?

Not only is TEFL Online accepted, but it’s also the most common route to take. Online courses as a whole have come a long way in recent years and there’s no more need to have a stigma around them. To enroll in a TEFL course, click here today!

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