Teaching English Abroad

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Are You Qualified to Teach English Abroad?

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One day you had an epiphany that you wanted to go teach English abroad, but that’s only the very first step. First and foremost, you need to find out if you are qualified to teach English abroad in order to move things forward.

The art of teaching English in a foreign country can be quite a hard thing to grasp at first. The requirements for you to teach English abroad (degrees, experiences, qualifications), the visa process etc., can be different for different countries.

Let’s find out in more details:

Teaching English Abroad Requirements (by Countries)

Country Bachelor Degree Required Native Speaker Required
China Yes Yes
Cambodia No No
Czech Republic Yes No
Japan Yes Yes
Mexico No No
South Korea Yes Yes
Spain No Yes
Thailand Yes No
United Arab Emirates Yes Yes
Vietnam Yes Yes

What Qualifications Do You Need to Teach English Abroad?

Generally speaking, a bachelor degree and an English teaching certificate (TEFL, CELTA etc.) are the requirements by most countries, often because these are the minimum for you to obtain a legal visa teaching English there.

Can You Teach English Abroad Without a Degree?

Indeed, a lot of countries require you to have a bachelor degree qualification, and because the government has imposed strict rules and regulations around the visa (such as China, Japan, South Korea), so you might not want to risk teaching there without a degree.

However, there are still opportunities available for teachers without a degree but with great passion! Countries like Mexico, Spain and Cambodia are accepting applicants without a degree.

Can You Teach English Abroad as a Non-Native Speaker?

Same as above, due to the regulations from certain countries, positions there are restricted to only native-speakers, some even require certain passport country (such as China).

Don’t let that discourage you from pursuing your dream teaching English abroad though!

If you are a non-native speaker with absolutely excellent English, you’ll easily find English teaching positions in Czech Republic, Colombia, Mexico, and Thailand.

Do You Need Teaching Experience to Teach English Abroad?

“I do have a degree, but it’s not a teaching degree. Can I still teach English abroad?”

This is probably one of the most asked questions, the good news is that teaching experience is not required, though it’s highly favored in some high paying positions.

Most countries will happily accept you as long as you meet the requirement of bachelor degree and TEFL certificate. No teaching experience? Don’t worry, they will also provide enough training for you to get started in the position.

A Brief Recap on Teaching English Abroad Requirements

  • Most countries require you to be a native speaker with a bachelor degree
  • If you don’t have a degree, your choice of countries will be more limited but it’s not totally impossible (e.g. Mexico, Spain, and Cambodia )
  • If you are not a native speaker, your choice of countries will also be more limited (e.g. Czech Republic, Cambodia, Mexico, and Thailand)
  • In most cases, an English teaching certificate is required (e.g. TEFL)

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