Teaching English Abroad Without A Degree

May 25 2023

Can I Teach English Abroad Without A Degree? Yes, You Can!

It would make sense that a teaching position would require a degree. After all, it’s a pretty hectic job, right? But did you know, a TEFL qualification is a teaching qualification. This is why it’s possible to teach English as a foreign language abroad without a degree, but with a TEFL qualification.

Can I teach English without a degree?

In short, yes.

But the answer is a little more complicated than that.

For more advanced (better-paying) TEFL jobs, and jobs in certain countries, it’s likely you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree as well as a TEFL qualification. Teaching experience could be required too.

But not all countries and not all jobs require a degree.

Can I teach English without a TEFL certificate?

Here we’re going to have to say no, especially if you don’t have a degree behind your name.

A TEFL certificate is the bare minimum you need to secure a position teaching English abroad or online.

And not just any TEFL certificate. To be considered for the best TEFL jobs, your TEFL qualification should be at least 120 hours, accredited by governing bodies, and internationally recognised. The TEFL course should be comprehensive, covering all the important aspects of teaching English as a foreign language. Plus, it should be assessed by qualified TEFL professionals.

Bear in mind, a TEFL qualification is needed not just to tick a box for a teaching job. It’s essential to teach English as a foreign language competently and effectively. You wouldn’t want to drive a car on a busy highway without taking a few driving lessons first, would you?

What do you learn on a TEFL course?

Teaching English as a foreign language is not the same as any other teaching. TEFL has its own teaching techniques and methodologies. TEFL is very communicative and practical, based on real-life needs and usage.

Of course any qualification in teaching will give you an advantage in the TEFL classroom but a BEd or a PGCE does not qualify you to teach English as a foreign language.

A (good) TEFL course teaches you the foundations of TEFL teaching theory. It shows you different teaching methods. It gives you an overview of English grammar and demonstrates how to teach it. It provides you with the tools needed for classroom management and discipline. Plus it teaches you how to lesson plan like the best of them!

How to teach English abroad without a degree?

No degree, no problem.

The first step is to enrol in an established, reputable TEFL course. Sign up for the course, take your time, and learn everything there is to know about TEFL. With a TEFL qualification under your belt - and all the confidence in the world! - you can look for jobs on online jobs boards.

Where can I teach English without a degree?

There are a few countries where you can teach English without a degree, because the visa requirements don’t demand a Bachelor’s degree.

Europe*: Spain, Poland, Turkey, Greece
Asia: Cambodia, Laos
Latin America: Mexico, Costa Rica,
South America: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay
Africa: Morocco, Egypt

* Note: If you are not an EU citizen, you might need a degree for visa purposes, even if not for a job.

These are just a few options where you can teach if you don’t have a degree.

Are there other options without a degree?

If you’re keen to get involved in TEFL but you don’t have a degree, you can find a volunteer position or internship placement. Volunteer positions can’t offer remuneration for your teaching but it is invaluable experience. It’s a way to immerse yourself in a community and give back.

Internships may or may not offer payment, but they provide teaching experience in a structured environment. New teachers or teachers with little experience make use of internships to get a taste of living and working in a foreign environment before signing up for a long-term commitment.

Keen to teach English as a foreign language abroad? Now is the time to get involved and sign up for a TEFL course.

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