Considering the overwhelming number of possible places to teach overseas, it’s inevitable that each country will require different qualifications for English instructors. Because of visa requirements or government restrictions, certain countries may require that English teachers hold a four-year degree, but if you don't have a degree, do not let this deter you. There are many, many places throughout the world where you can live and explore while teaching English, even without a university degree.
Schools in countries the world over will hire you to teach English abroad without a college degree if you have a TEFL certification from an accredited program. Numerous destinations throughout South America, and some in Europe and Asia, will hire you to teach English abroad without a bachelor’s degree. With a TEFL certificate and native-English speaking abilities, you have all you need to provide your students with high-quality language instruction. China, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina and Russia are among the most popular countries to teach in without a college degree, as well as the most actively in need of English teachers.
1) China - With an estimated 300+ million Chinese learning English, China represents the largest and most diverse job market for teaching English in the world. The country’s economy has been the fastest growing in the world over the past two decades and with much of that growth fueled by international trade, the need for English teachers is immense. Native English speakers can work teaching English in China without a college degree very easily. Language schools in throughout the country prefer a degree but with nearly 300,000,000 students learning English in China each year, schools need native English teachers. Bejing and Shanghai will most likely have severe competition from those with a degree, but there are over 100 cities in China with over 1 million people such as Nanjing, Chongqing and Hangzhou. Language schools in China frequently provide foreign English teachers with such benefits as free airfare, housing allowances, medical insurance, paid vacation and a completion bonus.
2) Nicaragua - This beautiful gem of a tropical Central American nation offers everything that Costa Rica does, but it's cheaper, it is not overrun with tourists, and the job market is not nearly as competitive. Known for its stunning natural beauty, alluring tropical climate and charming historic cities, Nicaragua offers a super authentic Latin American experience and a perfect opportunity to learn Spanish. English teaching opportunities in Nicaragua are concentrated in major cities like Managua and Leon. Fantastic beaches, stunning volcanoes and lush rain forests are never far away. Those who are interested in teaching in this may consider earning their TEFL certification in Nicaragua at ITA's new course location in the historic town of Leon.
3) Spain - As popular a destination as ever, the English teaching market in Spain remains relentlessly strong and just as appealing despite fluctuations in the global economy. If you're interested in Europe, teaching English in Spain is one of the best choices if you don’t have a college degree. The Spanish population is eager to learn English, considering it’s reigning title as the language of business, tourism, and education. There is an astonishing variety of English schools throughout Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Valencia.
Spain is one of the most diverse and stunning in all of Europe, and by living as a local amongst the Spaniards you’ll have the opportunity to explore restaurants, bars, and museums off the beaten tourist trail.4) Argentina - A beautiful country in South America, Argentina holds a huge demand for English teachers. Thousands of positions are scattered throughout the country, with openings in schools everywhere from urban Buenos Aires to the bucolic and mountainous countryside. Argentina’s climate is warm and moderate, making it ideal for anyone. Schools across the country- whether you want to work with children, students, or business professionals, in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, or Cordoba - do their hiring in the early spring or at the end of the summer. Native speakers need only a TEFL certification to find a high-paying teaching job in Argentina. With a stable, prosperous economy, and an increasingly important role in international politics, the stage is set for you to discover this exciting and growing South American nation.
5) Mexico - English comprehension and fluency is in high demand throughout Mexico, and the potential for employment is high wherever you may wish to teach. Mexico City is one of the easiest places to find work teaching English without a college degree, simply because there are so many people interested in learning the language- from school children to university students and businessmen. Due to the incredible need for English teachers in Mexico, the government recently passed a law to give work permits to teachers as long as they hold a professional level TEFL certification and can speak English fluently regardless of degree status. Explore Mexico as most gringos rarely see it- take the time to travel everywhere from quaint coastal villages to the urban centers of Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Puebla.
6) Russia - Years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, Russia remains very high on the list for countries in need of English language instructors. The demand for teachers is so strong here that you can be hired to teach English in Russia without a college degree relatively easily. Russia’s size alone- a population of 140 million spead throughout the largest country in the world, spanning nine time zones- predicts a wealth of employment opportunities. Russians make up for cold winters with their warm hospitality, good humor, and bracing shots of vodka. Moscow and St. Petersburg are two of the best places to start looking for work teaching English, but opportunities can be found throughout this vast nation. It's not uncommon to find work in a language school that will not only pay for your accommodations, but also your visa costs, return airfare and transportation. As it seeks to transform itself from the largest bastion of communism to a modern 21st-century state that can compete in a globalized economy, Russia is one of the most fascinating and dynamic nations in Europe.
In all of these countries, as well as many others throughout the world, it’s possible to find a job teaching English overseas without a bachelor’s degree. By enrolling in a TEFL certification course and receiving lifetime job search guidance from ITA, you’ll gain valuable, practical knowledge that can immediately be used to further your goal to teach and travel.
Want more information on top English teaching destinations?
Read our English teaching country chart to view 50 most popular destinations int he world and all of the countries to teach English with or without a college degree.
Like this article? Have a degree? Read more about the Top 5 Countries to Make Money Teaching English Abroad
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