Podcast: Starting an internet business in Spain

[Download MP3 | Add to iTunes | Subscribe to Podcasts]

Finally, I’ve managed to get around to doing an Earthoria podcast, the first since the Eco Yoga Park in Argentina, in June 2009. In this podcast I talk about what I’ve been doing since leaving Argentina in July 2009 – namely, setting up an internet business in Spain.

This podcast, some of which was recorded on Castelldefels beach outside Barcelona in Spain, includes the following:

  • Some information about Castelldefels.
  • My motivations for starting an online business.
  • About the business – Ingles.fm.
  • What it’s like living in Spain.
  • My aims for the future.
  • A short chat with James, my Ingles.fm business partner and author of the ‘Tools of Fluency’.

Us on Castelldefels beach outside Barcelona, Spain

Podcast: CELTA course in Chiang Mai

[Download MP3 | Add to iTunes | Subscribe to Podcasts]

In February and March this year, Tina and I decided to do CELTA courses with ECC in Chiang Mai. During our courses (we did the CELTA separately on two consecutive months) Tina and I kept an audio diary of our experiences. You can listen to this below.

CELTA course in Chiang Mai, Thailand

CELTA stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, and it’s a highly intensive four week course resulting in an internationally recognised English teaching qualification. CELTA is one type of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification.

For information about the CELTA course we did, along with its costs, please see my previous post from March.

I’m off to do a CELTA for a month

From tomorrow, free time will be a thing of the past for a month. Why? Because I begin the CELTA course with ECC in Chiang Mai. I will be released back into civilisation (all things going well) around the 4th April. [You can now listen to our audio diary of doing the CELTA in Chiang Mai in our Podcast here.]

Thomas about to start studying for the CELTA in Chiang Mai, Thailand

CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is one type of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. CELTA courses are validated and the certificates are issued by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) in the UK. From my research, the CELTA qualification seems to carry a little bit more weight internationally than the other available TEFL courses.

For many years I have looked into doing the CELTA, but have never progressed much further than that. I have finally signed one month of my life away and I’m quite looking forwards to the challenge!

CELTA is well known for its intensity. The Guardian Education website doesn’t beat around the bush much in its assessment of this:

Although just four weeks in length, your TEFL course may well feel like four years. When people say that you have to put your life on hold for a month, they’re not joking.

If you live alone, fresh, home-cooked food is likely to become a thing of the past. Your bed may seem like a figment of your imagination. Friends may think that you have fallen down a large hole.

This blog post by a young woman doing the CELTA with International House in London gives me the fear:

Week three of the CELTA course is a hot contender for the worst week of my life. I have two assignments due, on Monday and Thursday, and three lessons to plan……Deciding not to be beaten I stay up until 2 am planning and writing, and set my alarm for 6am to prepare my materials.

Tina will be recording my anguish in a Podcast compiled from various stages throughout the course. We’ll publish this some time in April. Wish me luck!!!!

CELTA course costs in Chiang Mai

The cost of the course in Chiang Mai compares very favourably with other world-wide destinations – especially when you take into account the cost of living here.

Doing the four-week CELTA with International House in London costs £1,240.00. Then of course you’d have to add on living & travel costs in London for a month. From my experience, it would be hard to get by on less than an additional £1,000 – and that is a very minimum for the month, bringing the total to £2,240.00 (US $4,500).

In Chiang Mai, a close friend of mine just did the CELTA, and the course with ECC cost $1600 ( £794 at the time of writing), but her living costs (including rent & bills) amounted to only £158 (US $319) for the entire month! This brings the total course cost to £953 ($1,919) – quite a saving at about 43% the cost of doing it in London.