No degree? No problem. YOU are a total badass for choosing to carve your own route to success — and we want to help you get there. From what you need to know to the hottest countries (and the best programs for you to consider), here’s everything you need to know to answer the question: “Where can I teach abroad without a degree?”

Beware of Job Limitations

It’s true that some English teaching jobs abroad will prefer (or require) their new hires already have a bachelor’s degree prior to applying to their vacancies. For instance, you’ll want to steer clear of countries like Vietnam, Chile, Brazil, and Colombia (at least for now). On the bright side, there are still a variety of countries — all over the world — that recognize your innate skills and talents as being valuable, with or without that piece of paper.

Jerry Seinfeld running

Regardless of your age or scholastic experience, if you’re not TEFL certified, your English teaching jobs abroad without a degree options will be even more limited. The good news is that there are a lot of programs out there that combine your TEFL training with paid English teaching jobs abroad. TEFL certificates are easily obtainable, and can quickly filter you out of the “Do Not Interview” list.

If you’re still wondering: How can I teach English abroad without a degree?

It’s actually pretty darn simple to teach English abroad in general, and that extends to our friends who don’t care about Vitamin C’s graduation song. Your first step to teaching abroad is to get in touch with someone who knows what they’re talking about. You can research organizations that will help you find jobs, secure your TEFL certificate, and provide support during your entire international experience (hint: Premier TEFL is one of them — and we like to think we do a pretty darn good job).

Once you’ve reached out, your new advisor will help you figure out which countries you are eligible to teach abroad in, as well as guide you through your next steps. This usually means some combination of applying for visas, sorting your flights, choosing the dates of your teaching experience, and so on.

Top countries to teach English abroad without a degree

Alright alright, it’s time to get the good stuff! Happy daydreaming, friends.

River in China - China - what do you need to teach abroad without a degree

1. China

We don’t blame you for being drawn to China’s unique energy — maybe it has something to do with its wild, panda-filled bamboo forests, the occasional Grandma doing taichi or the timeless elegance of using chopsticks to shove freshly steamed dumplings into your mouth. It may not get all the attention of its neighbors further east, but China stands on its own, especially since it has a welcoming ESL job market for non-degree holding teachers like you!

What you should know:

  • Our advice still stands. Get that TEFL!
  • Your English teaching job in China includes a salary AND flight reimbursement

Program options:

Colorful houses in Argentina - China - what do you need to teach abroad without a degree

2. Argentina

Finding English teaching jobs abroad without a degree in Argentina might not be as easy as finding steak and tango, but they’re out there and worth finding still! All that is actually required to teach English here is that you’re at least 21 years of age and have completed high school. For ESL teachers, life in Argentina has much to offer and provides a great intercultural backdrop to your rewarding (albeit sometimes challenging) teaching duties. From Buenos Aires’ colorful barrios and secret dance gatherings in unlikely places to Patagonia’s epic mountain tops and crashing coastal waves, no wonder Argentina is a popular location to teach abroad.

What you should know:

  • Get a TEFL certificate to improve your chances of finding teaching jobs in Argentina for non-degree holders
  • Hiring happens year-round

Program options:

Lake in Argentina - what do you need to teach abroad without a degree

3. Romania

It doesn’t take a college grad to know that Romania is badass. Living and working in Romania is AWESOME — and an especially stellar option for those who want to teach abroad without a degree. The students are hardworking, the stews are warm and meaty (and potato-y), and we have a hunch you’ll never tire of the castles. And, as a bonus, if you ever run out of fun ESL activities for the classroom, you can always make the kiddos count how many teeth Dracula has (bwahahaaha).

What you should know:

  • Our advice still stands. Get that TEFL!
  • Jobs in Romania to teach abroad without a degree are plentiful in both the capital of Bucharest and the rural areas

Program options:

Elephant and temples in Cambodia

4. Cambodia

While we’re in the neighborhood, let’s talk about Cambodia. From the spires of Angkor Wat to the depths of your new favorite jungle, the opportunities for teaching English in Cambodia — without a college degree — are well-established. Cambodia continues to attract and enchant qualified ESL teachers from all corners of the globe. Blame it on their colorful frocks, the incredible work ethic of their students, the hidden temples, and/or the prevalence of fresh tropical fruit shakes — whatever is drawing you this Kingdom, follow that calling and apply for teaching jobs in Cambodia today!

What you should know:

  • If we said it once, we’ve said it twice, we’ve said it a bunch. Arm your job hunt with a TEFL!
  • Most English teaching jobs in Cambodia are in the two major cities, Phnom Penh or Siem Reap

Program options:

Barcelona - what do you need to teach abroad without a degree

5. Spain

Spain is so sexy! English teaching jobs in Spain are practically the crema de crema of ESL teaching placements in western Europe. Why? Most teaching placements are long term (allowing you to not only connect with the Catalonian community that you are working with, but to become a part of it), the Spanish education system has longstanding commitment to foreign English teachers, and you can pig out on jamón ibérico in between class sessions.

As the great ESL teachers in Spain of the past have said long before you: More ham, less headaches!

What you should know:

  • Regardless of your English language proficiency, getting a TEFL will help secure better ESL jobs
  • The academic year runs from Sept – June time.

Now get out there and find English teaching jobs abroad

The only thing stopping you from living your best life (or continuing your humdrum one) is picking up the phone… or composing that email… and reaching out to your new TEFL cheerleader. Today’s the day.

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