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Do I need a degree to teach English abroad?
- If you have a four year college degree, the world really is your oyster when it comes to teaching English abroad. For those without a degree the options are more limited but it is by no means impossible. In recent years some of the traditional hot spots for EFL teaching have tightened their visa restrictions to include the requirement of holding a formal degree. Developed Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan and Taiwan generally require a degree to secure a working visa, whilst the lucrative markets of the Middle East are also hard to access without formal qualifications. However, the good news is there are still plenty of options around the world for non-degree holders who are flexible and willing to go the extra mile to secure their dream job.
- Although some countries have a legal requirement for teachers to hold a degree, in many others it is simply down to the individual employer to set their own standards. In many of the most popular destinations the competition for jobs is so fierce that employers can set the bar as high as they like, making it difficult for non-degree holders. But do not despair as there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of landing a job.
- Possibly the most important thing you can do to make yourself more employable is to complete an internationally recognized TEFL certification course. With a TEFL certificate in hand you are able to show an employer that you have received some level of instruction in language teaching. The time and expense you have put into the course will also demonstrate your commitment to your new teaching career. Another great way to improve your employment options is to gain some teaching experience to put in your CV/resume. A short stint volunteering at a local language center or teaching private lessons to individuals in your community will go a long way when looking for paid work.
- Even with a TEFL certificate and some classroom experience you may still need to be a bit flexible when choosing where you would like to work. There are many fascinating countries around the world that are open to employing teachers without a degree. Latin America, Southeast Asia and much of Eastern Europe are all good places to start your search, and if you are in the country and available for an interview in person your chances of landing a job are extremely high. While it is true that a degree does give you more options in the international teaching market, having a TEFL certification and a strong desire to teach English abroad can also be all you need to start an exciting new career as an EFL teacher.