Teach English Without a Degree
Posted by UNI-Prep Institute - 11 Sep. 2017 - Teaching Articles

Do I need a degree to teach English abroad? The simple answer is no – you do not need a degree to teach English abroad. Unfortunately, the reality isn’t as simple as this.

Understand Work Visa Requirements to Teach English

As you search for jobs on the Internet looking for English teachers, you will certainly see that many of these jobs require that you have a bachelor’s degree of some sort, along with a TESOL qualification. The reason they ask for a degree is usually because of visa requirements. Since you are looking to teach abroad in another country, you first need to get a work visa which will allow you to work in that country. Every country in the world sets its own requirements on what you need in order to qualify for a work visa, and in many countries this requirement includes a degree.

You can see then it’s not necessarily that you need a degree to be able to work as an English teacher, but rather you may need a degree to qualify to get a work visa in that specific country. There are some teaching positions that will require a degree due to the advance nature of the position, such as a teaching position in a university. However, the good news is that many private schools don’t care whether or not you have a degree, as long as you have a TESOL credential and can teach English.

Do Some Research First

The most important take-home message is that if you don’t have a degree, you need to do some research first. The first thing you should do is make a list of countries you might be interested to travel and teach in. Then go through this list one by one and visit their government website to determine if you need a degree to obtain a work visa.

If there is one, also visit the website of the embassy for that country within the country of your citizenship. For example, if you’re a Canadian citizen and want to work in China, visit the website of the Chinese embassy in Canada – a quick Google search will tell you if there is one. This is very important because sometimes there are specific visas that you might be eligible for depending on your country of citizenship.

To help you out, we have made some notes on each of the regions below:

ASIA – Teaching Without a Degree

China has the highest demand for English teachers. As an added bonus, the Chinese visa rules don’t require a degree to issue a work visa. This makes it very easy to obtain teaching jobs in China without a degree. Search a few job postings in China and you will see this for yourself. Another country in Asia where you can teach without a degree is Cambodia.

EUROPE – Teaching in Europe Without a Degree

The great thing about European citizens is that they can work in any country inside the European Union; they don’t need work visas. So, if you’re a European citizen, including citizens of the UK, try looking for jobs nearby to begin with. While many positions in Europe do require degrees and are very competitive, there are some positions that will not require a degree.

One of the most popular countries in Europe where a degree is not required is Spain. Keep your options open though. Many eastern European countries also don’t require a degree, even those that fall outside of the EU. A great example of this is Russia. Not only is it a great country to visit, but they also welcome workers without degrees.

SOUTH AMERICA – Teaching in South America Without a Degree

By far the continent with the most relaxed requirements is South America. Many countries in this continent don’t require a degree including Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile and Peru. When you factor in the great weather and relaxed lifestyle, living and teaching in South America begins to sound like a dream that can actually come true.

Beginner, Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-intermediate, Advanced,
Young learners (ages 1-4), Primary school (ages 5-10), Middle school (ages 11-14), High school (ages 15-18),
General English,

  • Lerina China have changed their Work Visa requirements - you do need a Degree

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