How to TEFL without a degree

Updated 13/03/2018

Due to visa requirements, some countries do require that English teachers hold a University Bachelor’s Degree. However, if you do not have a degree, don’t let this stop you from considering becoming an EFL Teacher. There are still lots of opportunities and many countries around the world that you can teach English in without a degree!


If you are an EU citizen, you are entitled to work in any country within the European Union with no visa restrictions. So other EU countries are a great choice to TEFL in, if you don’t have a university degree. Some of the most popular EU destinations for TEFL-ing are Spain, Italy and France. Competition will be high in these countries, but the demand for English Teachers is continually rising so there are lots of opportunities to find your dream TEFL Job!

Not an EU citizen? Check out our blog post about how to TEFL in the EU as a non-EU citizen!

Central and South America

Within the huge continent of South America, there is a great demand for English teaching, with an increasing demand for Business English too! Countries such as Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador and Chile are becoming more and more popular destination choices for EFL teachers.

The following Central and South American countries are open to English teachers without a degree:

Argentina, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay


Demand for English teachers remains consistently high in Cambodia and a knowledge of the language as well as a TEFL qualification is usually sufficient to land a job. Teaching qualifications and/or experience can make you more attractive to employers over your competition, but they are not a requirement.

Finding a teaching job with no degree 

While teaching English abroad can be harder without a degree, there are steps you can take to make the process of finding a TEFL position easier:

Become TEFL qualified

Completing a TEFL course (typically a minimum of 120 hours) will greatly increase your chances of finding an English Teaching job abroad. Employers want to hire teachers who have some training in teaching methodologies, classroom management, lesson planning etc. Make yourself eligible for the widest range of TEFL positions by completing a course of 120 hours or above.

Be flexible and patient!

It may take slightly longer to line up a teaching job, but if you are patient, put in the time and effort with job hunting and are flexible in where you are willing to teach, you should have no problem finding a suitable position. Our online Job Centre is updated regularly with new and exciting positions all over the world.

Get some teaching experience

Any kind of experience of working with children will look great on your CV. Whether that be volunteering at local community centres, coaching a sports team or work experience placements at your local school.


Build up your classroom experience by volunteering abroad. This is a great way to build up some real life TEFL practice before you venture into your first paid teaching position. It can also lead to finding a job with a higher salary or in a better location, that you may not have been able to find without previous experience.

The information above relates to UK passport holders, is true at the time of writing and is subject to change. Always check with the country’s embassy that you are interested in TEFL-ing in, as visa regulations are updated regularly.

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