Teaching ESL overseas is an excellent opportunity for people who want to travel and make money at the same time. The travel opportunities and earning opportunities are so enticing that this option is becoming more and more desirable every year. One of the most frequently asked questions that we get about teaching abroad is, “Can I teach English Abroad without certification?”. The answer to this isn’t just a yes or no. In this post, we will do our best to answer this question and make sure that you are clear on the options available to you.
If you are going to teach English abroad legally with a reputable organization, then you will need to have some form of certification. It is true that some countries may not require a bachelor’s degree, but this is becoming less and less common.
For countries that EF English First operates in, all teachers are required to have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement. Any degree certification that is titled “Bachelor’s” (this can be of arts or sciences) is sufficient enough to teach English abroad. If you have a diploma or an equivalent, then you won’t be able to secure a legal working visa.
Of course, if you search online, you will find some people that have taught abroad or are teaching abroad without a bachelor’s degree. However, there could be many different reasons why. Some less reputable companies do break or bend the rules, and this isn’t recommended if you’re looking to work abroad for more than a few months.
A TEFL Certification is often another minimum requirement for teaching English abroad. This qualification shows employers, students and government agencies that you have a foundation in foreign language teaching, and this is the entry level for most teachers.
If you don’t have a TEFL certification, you can still apply for teaching jobs abroad. Often, you can take a course online and gain the qualification before you complete the visa process. TEFL certifications are usually awarded based on the number of hours you have studied. It is recommended that you take at least a 120-hour TEFL course, as this will make you eligible to teach abroad in more locations. If you choose to teach with EF, we can sponsor your TEFL qualification which can save the equivalent of five hundred dollars.
It’s also worth noting that higher level qualifications such as Cert-TESOL and Dip-TESOL are also accepted in place of a TEFL certification. However, make sure you speak to your recruiter after you apply for your new job, as this can vary based on visa regulations in certain countries.
To teach ESL abroad, you don’t need to be a registered teacher in your home country. In the UK for example, as well as a bachelor’s degree, many qualified teachers also need to obtain a PGCE. If you are going to teach in the public school system abroad, some schools may require this, but for private language schools, this isn’t a requirement.
If you have a bachelor’s degree and you are keen to complete a TEFL certification course, then you should be able to teach abroad. The only thing that might hold you back is relevant teaching experience. If you don’t have any classroom teaching experience, you can still teach English abroad. However, you may need to check the countries visa requirements, and the job description for the companies you are applying at.
EF English First hires hundreds of new, inexperienced teachers every year. We’re passionate about education so we will provide full training and support. If you meet the visa requirements and you have a bachelor’s degree, we would love to hear from you!
Even without a TEFL certificate, you can still apply for a teaching job abroad. However, you will probably need to complete a TEFL course before you complete your visa application, and for most counties, you will need a degree. If you don’t have a degree, the next step would be to make a list of all the countries that you would like to teach abroad in, and check what certifications you need. After that, make sure that the company you would like to teach with is reputable, and you’re well on your way.