As a result of government restrictions and official requirements for visa applications, there are a variety of countries where it is hard for teachers to find a job without having a 4-year university degree on their CV/resume. However, if you are able to be flexible and are willing to look for employment in areas where the demand is high and restrictions are less rigorous, TEFL qualified teachers without a degree can still have several great destinations to choose from.
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To increase your chances of landing a position in the country of your choice, it is highly recommended that you first complete an internationally accredited TEFL certification course. Those who are TEFL qualified will find they have a big advantage over non-qualified teachers in most countries worldwide.
Cambodia is one of the fastest growing markets in Asia and there is no requirement for teachers to possess a degree. Salaries are modest when compared to some other countries in the region, but it is well worth considering if you are looking for an adventure that is slightly off the beaten track. Other countries with similar conditions include Vietnam and Indonesia.
Although the typical salary in this region can be small when compared to countries in Europe or Asia, the cost of living is generally very low and there are few restrictions on those without a university degree. The majority of positions are located in large cities, although some coastal resorts and other tourist areas might be an option. Countries that have a significant demand for teachers in this region include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. There are several other countries with a smaller yet growing demand such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Uruguay.
Although there are several countries such as France and Germany that do have requirements for teachers that include a 4-year university degree, there are still some good options for those who do not possess one. Spain and Italy are both very popular destinations that have no official requirements for degrees. Other good options include the Czech Republic, Turkey, and Russia.
Until quite recently the answer would have been yes, as schools in China generally don?t care whether their teachers have a degree or not, and this still hasn?t changed. What has changed is the government has tightened the rules on who is eligible for a Z (work) visa which is what every teacher needs to work legally in the country. The simple truth is that you now need a degree in order to get a Z visa, so the answer is NO, you can?t teach legally in China without a degree.
Teachers who don?t qualify for a Z (work) visa can enter the country on a different visa such as an L (tourist) visa or an M (business) visa. However, these do not allow you to work legally as a teacher and if you are caught you could face a hefty fine, deportation or even a stint in jail. Because of the huge demand for foreign English language teachers in China, recruiters and agencies go to great lengths to get teachers to come to the country whether they are legally allowed to work or not. If you do not have a degree and come across adverts online from agencies saying you can work on a tourist or business visa in China, ignore them because you will end up working illegally and taking a very big risk.
It is true that many schools across China will happily take on teachers without a degree because there are always so many vacant positions to fill and not enough teachers to go around. They do this on the assumption that getting caught is unlikely due to the huge number of schools the authorities have to cover. However, while some schools may get away with it, many do get caught in random raids by police looking for illegal workers. This scenario would be a very unpleasant way to end your Chinese adventure.
If you have your heart set on teaching English in China, there is an alternative way to do it if you don?t have a degree. By applying for an X (student) visa you are able to work part-time in an internship role. Although an internship doesn?t pay as well as a regular teaching job, you will still earn enough to live on and you will gain a huge amount of classroom experience that will set you up for higher paying jobs in the future. Unfortunately, the X (student) visa is only valid for six months, but you might be able to extend it once it runs out.
This is one of the most common questions asked by those who dream of living and working in Spain, and the answer is NO, you do not need a university degree to teach English in Spain. There is no legal requirement for English teachers to have a degree and demand is so high that most employers are also unconcerned about your degree status.
Most employers in Spain prefer to hire native English speakers as this is what local students are generally looking for. However, simply being a native speaker does not mean you make a good teacher, which is why employers also generally require their potential employees to possess a TEFL certificate. This applies to language schools and people looking to hire a private English tutor.
Native English speakers from within the EU (British and Irish) are free to live and work without restrictions in Spain. For other nationalities it is not quite so straightforward. Many Canadians and Australians are eligible for a working holiday visa which allows them to work for a set period of time. It is recommended that you check out the most up-to-date requirements of this option via the Spanish embassy in your home country.
Many people learning English in Spain are keen to learn from Americans as the accent is very popular with the younger generations in particular. Unfortunately, it is notoriously difficult for Americans to get their hands on a work visa. Despite this, a large number of people still come to Spain on a US passport and work as English language teachers on nothing more than a tourist visa. While this is technically illegal, it is still commonplace and rarely causes any problems. One legitimate way for US passport holders to work in Spain is to obtain a student visa which allows you to work a certain number of hours a week while also studying Spanish.
Private language academies in the big cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, and Valencia are the main employers of teachers in Spain. However, there has been a growing shift towards private tutoring in recent years, which is particularly great news for Americans who are only able to get a tourist visa. As private tutoring is usually conducted in the student?s own home there is little chance of getting into trouble with the local authorities.