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Top 7 places for Teaching English Abroad without a degree

There is absolutely no doubt that the prospect of travelling to far off lands is something that many people dream of, and few actually do. When you graduate from University, you might want to take that year (or two!) off and see that part of the world through the experience of being an English Teacher.

At the same time, travelling beyond the scope of our routine is not something that only recent graduates dream of. Perhaps the individual who wasn’t able to go to university for financial or personal reasons wants to experience that same thrill and excitement that only foreign travel can offer. It might seem impossible, given the number of countries that place the limit of a four-year degree on everyone who wish to enter. However, there are countries that allow aspiring teachers without a University degree to teach English abroad. Of course, countries like Japan, China, France, Italy, or even the United States will certainly have ways to appropriate filter these individuals out, but in other parts of the world, you can circumvent that requirement, build experience, and quite possibly, a career to go with it.


Known for its beaches, laid back lifestyle, and low cost-of-living, the countries that comprise Central America offer a lot for the English Teacher who’s interested in working in a foreign country. Over the last couple of years, demand for English Teachers abroad has gone up to the point where they are willing to forego the requirement of having a bachelor’s degree in order to legally work, making beaches, cocktails, and siestas all the more likely in your future. Here are a few to take into consideration.


One of two countries that borders the United States. A stone’s throw away, and the native language here is one that’s commonly spoken in certain areas of America. It’s quite easy to find a job if you have a TEFL Certification. In fact, it’s recommended to have one in order to find a job. Whether you choose to work at private or international academies in cities like Mexico City, Cancun or Guadalajara, or for companies looking for English Teachers to improve Business English, the options are limitless. Not only that, you can also pick up one or two private students on top of your work contract so that you can spend your weekends at the beach in Acapulco, if you so desire. One thing to remember, though. Accommodation is not offered to teachers, but this should be taken with a grain of salt as the cost-of-living is low.


Otherwise known as the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes, this slowly developing country is one to at least take a second look at if you’re interested in venturing into Central America. Aspiring teachers are able to apply for positions in the Public School System, on top of Private Schools and English Academies. If you have a TEFL Certification on top of your natural ability with the English Language, you may even be lucky enough to find a job at a University, as well. Expect the number of students in a class to be a bit on the large side, so understanding individual needs might take a little time.

Costa Rica

While a bachelor’s degree isn’t requisite to work in this country, it might be a good idea to get that TEFL Certification to increase your chances at finding a job. Whether you’re working for the public school system, a private institution, or even at a university, the people in Costa Rica take their English abilities very seriously, and this is reflected in the growing demand for English Teachers, especially over the last couple of years. Costa Rica is also known for being a great place for surfing, jungle treks, and an overall laid-back lifestyle. Schools in this country are always on the lookout for talented English teachers, which either may put pressure on you, or put you at ease, depending on where you look for work.


You can see something different every day of your life in Europe, and still not see everything. The travel opportunities, the unique myriad of cultures and languages has attracted English teachers the world over, from Canada to Australia, and will continue to do so. Some of the continent’s major economies insist on the bachelor’s degrees, but there are notable exceptions to that requirement. For those interested in taking the jump, those exceptions will give you the freedom of movement, and the access to world-class healthcare and the opportunity to experience everything that seems to be around the corner, no matter where you are in this exciting part of the world.


Yes, that’s right. Spain. It’s in the European Union, so one might conclude that a bachelor’s degree is required. Yet, it isn’t. So, all you would need to do in order to work in Spain as an English Teacher is obtain a TEFL Certification. It’s an extremely popular destination because the demand is particularly high, and attractive weekend getaways like Granada, Malaga, Sevilla, or even the major economies of Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona are very easily within reach. The weather is always warm (depending on who you ask, of course!) Locals begin their education in the English language, in some cases, from as young as two, and they grow motivated to learn and practice as often as possible with Native English Speakers who come to the country looking for work. A popular option, especially after completing a certified TEFL Course, is to join the Auxiliares program, which puts qualified teachers into the Spanish public school system, or private English academies, or private classes. The possibilities that are available to you in Spain are endless.


This country nestled in Eastern Europe isn’t thought of as highly as places like France, Italy, Germany, or Spain, but all that does is create a larger demand for English Teachers. The English language is becoming a requirement, and that means that there are more opportunities making themselves available to English teacher, and to those that are interested, you will find more here than you think. Like people in Spain, people begin their English language education from an early age, so you’ll likely have children and adults as students. Bucharest is the country’s capital, and probably the most likely destination for most interested teachers, but expand your scope. You’ll still find jobs in more rural areas, as well.


Popular mythology, a thriving beach culture, and over two-hundred days of sunshine is a wonderful destination for English teachers. The demand for it hasn’t changed, and in places like Athens and Santorini, you’ll be sure to find job offers even in a country that isn’t thriving economically. Some positions will certainly ask you for a bachelor’s degree, while the majority of available posts will only request a TEFL Certification.


One of the key things to think about when contemplating Asia will be that most countries over there not only require a bachelor’s degree, but they require the supporting documents, including your transcript to prove that you indeed went to class. Between vigilant governmental services, you won’t have many options, but they are there if you’re willing to look for them..


While many people think of Thailand, China, Japan, or South Korea, no one thinks of this country that neighbors India and Thailand. The great news is that you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to work here. From its vibrant culture, its shockingly beautiful natural landscapes, and its extensive history, you’ll be surprised at what you will find in Cambodia. You certainly won’t make a lot of money working here, but you’ll definitely find a lot more here than you thought.

So, there are opportunities available for intelligent and determined people who want to be of service, lacking a bachelor’s degree. While certain doors are closed on you, there are windows that are open to you. You’ll be surprised at what you can find. Temples, idyllic medieval villages, good food, friendly people, and exotic travel exists in every country in the world, and you are welcome to take that first step beyond your own borders and experience something new. If it’s all there for the taking, it’s up to you to take it. Many people have already made that move and have done a lot more than they thought they could. Now it’s your turn.

Exam Madrid Team
Exam Madrid Team
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