I think this blog has already made it clear: Reach to Teach wants to make money off as many people as possible. After applying for one of their advertised Reach to Teach jobs, they have told many applicants they must have a TEFL. Do you need a TEFL to teach abroad? The answer to that should always be a firm maybe, even when Reach to Teach tells you yes so they can make money off you.
Does the school you want to work for require a TEFL? Then yes, you will need it. Is it needed for a visa? Usually not, but it may be needed for the work permit, which is required for a visa. In China, for example, this depends on which government agency is issuing the work permit. There are places in China where you definitely do not need a TEFL (and some you do) and in Taiwan, the government does not in any way tie a TEFL to getting a visa for teaching. This did not stop them from sending me a TEFL link after they sold me on teaching in Taiwan.
So why does Reach to Teach tell people they must have a TEFL? Because every TEFL program they promote pays them for every teacher who signs up. I contacted a couple of the TEFL companies Reach to Teach Recruiting recommends to see what they pay and it’s anywhere from 30 to 50% of the cost of the TEFL given to affiliates who advertise. Every TEFL program on the Reach to Teach website has an affiliate program. That coupon code they give you? That’s how the TEFL provider knows to pay Reach to Teach for the referral (one provider told me that’s how they guarantee affiliates get credit). You think you are getting a nice 10% discount, but Reach to Teach is making much more than you are saving.
It seems Reach to Teach Recruiting has even gotten themselves into the MA in Education business. On first look, you might think there is a no way a major US university would pay a company like Reach to Teach to advertise their programs. If you look at the Reach to Teach link to the USC education program, the link has this line in it: reachtoteachcplsite. The “cpl” stands for cost per lead, which means Reach to Teach is getting paid for people who apply or enroll in their program. It seems there is no program Reach to Teach won’t recommend, for a price. The average person might find it odd that of all the MA TEFL, MA in Education, and related programs all over the world, Reach to Teach only recommends one. Whose best interest are they serving?
When looking at the Reach to Teach TEFL page, it’s clear that they get paid for every TEFL course they recommend, until you reach the mention of the CELTA course. While they admit this is the best course to have, they provide little information, no links, and no way to sign up. They aren’t getting paid for begrudgingly admitting a CELTA is the by far the most respected course, but they certainly aren’t going to give the reader links to more information.
Reach to Teach Recruiting is designed with one purpose in mind: to make money off of people who want jobs teaching abroad. They will never have your best interest in mind, so if you ask them any questions, don’t be surprised when the answers just happen to make them money.