In the last two years we have seen many new TEFL courses emerge online and they are all under $50. I am writing this post to warn people that these cheap online TEFL courses are a scam!

TEFL Universal is Advertised Everywhere as Facebook and Google Ads.

tefl universal scam

You will see these cheap TEFL course scams advertised all over Facebook or Google because it’s an easy way to get in-front of future English teachers.

Their website may look legit, but they are far from it. On their top image they state accredited and internationally recognized. This means that schools online and abroad will accept Universal TEFL’s certificate. However, I have personally seen complaints about employers rejecting the Universal TEFL certificate.

This was a complaint that was seen on Reddit and it read as, “I just want to warn people of this TEFL course provider TEFL Universal. My friend completed their 120 hour course and now all the schools that she has applied to, keep refusing her TEFL certificate. I think it’s because it’s one of them cheap run of the mill courses. Maybe the schools have started to realize that these $20 courses are not giving sufficient training for potential teachers. I would stay clear of them if I were you.”

See image below of a complaint from a former student stating that her certificate was rejected by 3 schools.


False Information On Their Website

They state this on their website, Global Recognition, TEFL Universal is accepted internationally and by online employers. Increase your job prospects with an accredited, affordable, and accessible TEFL Universal certification.

This is not true as you can see from the complaint on Reddit that their certificate is indeed NOT accepted by employers internationally.

No Contact Number


A big redflag is that they don’t have a contact number on their website. Why don’t they have a contact number? The answer is, I don’t know exactly why, but surely a professional accredited and internationally recognized company would have at least a contact number so you can call them and ask your questions. It seems like they are hiding something which is why they have disabled their Facebook reviews.


How to spot the TEFL course scams!

tefl universal reviews

Things to look out for when searching for an online TEFL course.

The price is too good to be true!


If the price of the course is under $50, the course is likely to be very poor in quality and the certificate will be worthless. Employers are likely to avoid hiring teachers with a cheap TEFL certificate.

The TEFL course states it is fully accredited!


If the TEFL course provider claims to be fully accredited, this may not be true. If the course says it’s accredited by companies like Accreditat or Ottsa, you should not consider taking their course. These companies are fake creditors and are created from the TEFL course providers just to make their course look accredited.


The TEFL course provider offers tutor and job support

If the course offers tutor and job support, they are lying! To offer these services the company will need to have a big network of employees to help students throughout their course and they will also need to have contacts worldwide to be able to help the students find jobs.

If an online TEFL course provider sells a course for less than $50, they probably don’t employ anyone. It is likely to be just one or two people working from their home on a computer. Check how old the company is. If it’s only one or two years old, it’s unlikely the company has built up enough connections to help with job support services.

Employers won’t hire teachers with a $20 TEFL certificate

is tefl universal legit

Employers are fully aware of these cheap online TEFL courses and will likely reject you at an interview if they see you hold one these $20 certificates. Pretend to be the employer for a moment. Would you hire someone as a teacher if they haven’t had sufficient training? The answer is probably no! A cheap online TEFL course that can be completed in one day is not sufficient training.

They state 120 hours but this is not true

I have taken many of these cheap online TEFL courses for research purposes. They state on their website 120 hours, but it can be completed in as little as one or two days. Do you really think a course that can be completed this quickly will give you enough training to put yourself in a classroom setup? The answer is probably no!

Fake reviews

is tefl universal a scam

You will likely search for reviews before you purchase the course. Be aware that many of the reviews will be fake. If you are reading reviews on websites such as Trustpilot or GoOverseas it is highly likely that many of the reviews are fake. It is very easy to add fake positive reviews on these websites and just as easy to have any bad reviews removed.

The TEFL course provider will be paying these websites to add reviews so it’s in their interest to keep the TEFL provider happy by removing any bad reviews.

I would also advise to check on the TEFL providers Facebook page to see if they have hidden their reviews. If you can’t see reviews on their Facebook page, they have probably hidden them so people can’t read the bad reviews.


Throughout the years me and my collegues have taken many online TEFL courses and we strongly advise you to stay away from the cheap TEFL courses that are under $50. The price may seem tempting but ultimately you will be wasting your time and money. 

Employers will most probably reject your certificate.

You will not learn anything.

Fake accreditation and reviews.

In 2021 we signed up for 20 online TEFL courses in search of our top 5. The top 5 were based on quality, service and value. You can see our top 5 TEFL course providrs HERE