Picture this – it’s 3:30 on a Friday, and you’ve just finished teaching your favourite class. You leave the classroom to the farewells of your students who share your enthusiasm for what the weekend may bring. Whether you decide to tango down the alleyways of Buenos Aires or devour some Pad Thai at one of the many food markets in Thailand, it’s up to you. A TEFL teacher doesn’t have to limit themselves to only picturing this. You can actually do it! However, people always doubt things that seem too good to be true. One of the most commonly asked questions about TEFL is can you teach English Abroad without a degree?

Teaching English abroad allows you to saunter down streets of sophisticated cultures, indulge in succulent native cuisines, gaze upon picturesque landscapes, and do so much more. You’ll be able to do this all while earning a salary and gaining valuable experience to stack on your CV. This is the case whether or not you have a university or college degree!

What You Need to Teach English Abroad

Jobs in the TEFL market come in all shapes and forms. The range of salaries varies from country to country and from one school to another. The same goes for workload, schedule, responsibilities, and more. So, naturally, the requirements to teach English abroad vary drastically too. 

If you read any old TEFL article, you’ll probably read that most countries require these basic items checked off the requirements list:

  • TEFL Certificate.
  • Native English Proficiency.
  • University or College Degree (3 years in the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, or 4 years in the US).

While there is some truth to them, there are many exceptions. Some countries may require that their teachers have a degree, however, there are many opportunities for teaching and travel enthusiasts without a degree in all corners of the world. Whether or not a teacher has a degree should not excuse them from teaching English abroad.

How To Teach English Abroad Without a Degree

Now that you know that it’s possible to teach abroad without a degree, you can stop worrying! However, there is no denying that it may be a more difficult process for someone without a degree to find the highest-paying TEFL job. However, when there’s a will there’s a way, especially when there are plenty of opportunities out there. 

Aside from spending more time searching for vacancies that do not require a college or university Degree from their teachers, there are many ways to be proactive in order to maximize your chances. 

Become TEFL Certified

The first and obvious step that you should take in order to make yourself employable is to become TEFL certified. A TEFL qualification is one of the first things that employers look out for on an applicant’s resume. Without this, your chances are likely to be minimal. 

Typically, employers will expect that teachers have a minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training under their belt. While this training can be done in class, most courses are completed online and are self-paced with 6 months of course access. 

There are a range of course providers out there, but why stray too far? Premier TEFL offers plenty of TEFL courses for aspiring teachers, whether they want to be certified quickly or they have plenty of time on their hands. This allows you all the flexibility in the world to complete your course. Whether you complete it in 2 weeks or 6 months, it does not matter!

…But Don’t Limit Yourself!

As we mentioned, there are so many options when it comes to TEFL courses courtesy of Premier TEFL. While the bare minimum is typically the 120-hour TEFL degree, why should you sell yourself short?

Many proactive teachers decide to upskill in order to increase their chances in the TEFL market. While most teachers settle for 120-hour courses, you’ll stand out among the ranks if you decide to opt for something more. Aside from the regular 120 hour TEFL course, Premier TEFL also offers:

Gain Volunteering Experience

Another excellent way to set yourself apart from other teachers in the market is to gain volunteering experience. Whether this experience means you’re teaching children, safeguarding children, or merely working in an environment occupied by children, it will give you a great advantage in your application. 

Whether you have volunteering experience in being a teaching assistant, a babysitter, or working as a team leader at a summer camp, for example, it will look great on your resume as you make a case towards being an English teacher. 

Working at a summer camp abroad is not only a way to gain practical experience, but to also experience the culture of your desired destination! Regardless of whether you have experience or a degree, there are plenty of opportunities to teach English at a summer camp. This will not only reinforce your resume, but it’ll allow you to travel and immerse yourself in a foreign culture.

Often, a university or college degree is only a requirement for the visa and work permit process. If an employer sees that an applicant has a degree unrelated to teaching but no practical experience and another applicant has no degree, but work experience related to children, which should the employer choose? 

Gaining practical experience allows employers to understand that the applicant has the capacity to work productively in an environment with children. Employers also have a huge responsibility to safeguard the children at their school, and practical experience is a huge testament to an applicant’s credibility and character. 

TEFL Jobs Argentina

Gain Experience by Teaching English Online (Preply, Palfish) 

Another way to not only stand out but make sure that teaching is right for you is by gaining online teaching experience. Of course, online teaching from your own home is very different to teaching English abroad in China, Argentina, or Vietnam. However, it can offer you a little taste and some valuable practice if you are keen to teach English abroad. 

Platforms such as Palfish or Preply, only a few examples of many, allow people to sign up as a teacher without a degree. You will be able to acquire your own students and employ your own teaching philosophy within the virtual classroom. If you want to know about the best way to teach English online without a degree, we’ve done an article on that too! 

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Top Countries to Teach English Abroad Without a Degree

While having a Degree may be a requirement to teach in some countries such as South Korea, Japan, or Vietnam, for example, there are many other countries which would willingly have teachers despite not having a Degree. Whether you’d like to teach in the depths of Asia, South America, or Europe, the choice is all yours.

There are many jobs out there for teachers who do not have a Degree. However, no two jobs are the same, and internships are vastly different to independent jobs. So, which is the best option for you?

Internships for Teachers without Degrees

Internships are a fantastic way to get your foot in the door if you are without prior teaching experience. But, do you know what’s better than an internship? A paid internship, and we have them in abundance at Premier TEFL. 

An internship will mean that you are supported all the way. Not only will our internships guarantee your placement, it may also guarantee you a salary, sponsored visas, accommodation (or accommodation assistance), and ongoing support. 

Once a teacher has completed their TEFL internship, they will have valuable experience under their belt. Not only will they feel more confident in searching for new TEFL locations all over the world, but the valuable teaching experience will grasp the attention of employers and negate the absence of a degree on their resume. 

1. Argentina

Whether it’s the glaciers that entice you or the streetside tango, Argentina proves to be one of the most seductive destinations for English teachers. It is also a viable destination to teach English abroad without a degree. With our internship, you’ll receive placement and salary as well as Spanish lessons and cultural excursions to immerse yourself in its beautiful culture.

Ciaran taught English in Argentina

2. Spain

If you want to experience the same level of sophistication but in Europa, Spain is your best bet. You will have the most authentic experience staying with a host family and teaching at local schools in stunning Catalonia.  

3. Myanmar

Although not as frequently visited as its Southeast Asian counterparts, Myanmar has rooted traditions, ancient temples, and remarkable natural formations in abundance. Teachers will receive a monthly allowance and a placement teaching either primary or high school students in Mandalay or Yangon. 

4. Colombia

Mountainous terrain, bountiful and enigmatic jungles, and an exuberant culture. Teachers will be able to stay at a homestay and learn from the family’s cultural roots as they spend 6 months teaching in Zipaquira – Colombia’s cultural centre. 

5. Poland

In picturesque Poland, English teachers without degrees will spend 6 to 10 months teaching English at schools in either Krakow or Warsaw while receiving a good salary and Polish language lessons. 

6. Cambodia

Tuk-tuk-filled cities, luscious paddies, and home to the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat. Our TEFL Internship in Cambodia provides teachers with a paid 12-month placement, teacher development workshops, and cultural excursions in the land of temples.

teach english abroad without a degree

Other Countries to Teach English Abroad Without a Degree

While internships are a fantastic way to get valuable experience under your belt, especially if you do not have a degree, it is also an option to search for independent jobs. However, they are likely to be more competitive because they tend to draw more experienced teachers, whereas internships draw newer teachers.

Unlike with an internship, you’ll have to fight for your independent job. However, that doesn’t make it impossible. Independent TEFL jobs are scattered all over the world, and here are just some of the many places where you can teach English abroad without a degree. 

1. Costa Rica

To teach English in biodiverse Costa Rica, you will need to have a TEFL certificate and native English proficiency. Much like many other countries in Central and South America, it is an optimal destination for those who want to teach English abroad without a degree.

2. Thailand

Not only is the Land of Smiles one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, it is a viable option for those who want to teach English abroad without a degree. Although many programs or schools will require a degree in order to teach, positions are available for those without a degree.

3. Mexico

Colourful festivals, spicy cuisine, ancient ruins, and home to a third of the world’s avocado production. Having a degree is not a legal requirement in order to teach English in Mexico. However, since Mexico is a popular TEFL destination, the market is more competitive. To maximize your chances of teaching in Mexico, you should consider upgrading your TEFL certificate and gaining practical experience.

4. Peru 

Home to Machu Picchu, Peru is another country which is welcoming towards teachers without a degree. While employers may prefer that teachers have a degree, it isn’t a legal requirement. In order to teach English in Peru, teachers will be required to obtain a TEFL certificate. 

5. Italy

With a panoply of UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as an extensive range of enticing pasta variations, Italy is a popular TEFL destination. Teaching in Italy without a degree isn’t essential. However, aspiring teachers will want to bolster their resume in order to teach in a country so rich in culture. 

We’re sure that you can think of many more countries that would incite the adventurer in you. Whether you want to teach English abroad for a summer, a semester, or a year, you can use our TEFL Jobs page or websites such as GoAbroad should you want to teach in a country which isn’t featured on our internship page. 

Teach English Abroad Without a Degree

Now that you know that you can teach English abroad without a degree, there’s nothing stopping you. As long as you have a TEFL certificate and near-native English proficiency, you can teach almost anywhere you want in the world. Our internships page offers not only examples but also opportunities for people to teach English abroad without a degree. However, if you want to look further than our internships page, the world is your oyster.Harriet in Thailand

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