Teaching English is one of those classic work abroad jobs that travelers come back to time and time again. This post will go over general options and specific programs for finding teaching jobs abroad with no degree.
Although normally to get one of these jobs, you have to have a university or college degree as a minimum.
This is to make sure that even though you’re a native speaker, you have an understanding of the language enough to write successful essays, give presentations, and more.
It’s less about the degree itself and more about the skills you learn along the way. However, there are teaching jobs abroad that require no degree.
These more entry-level teaching jobs tend to be harder to come by, but more and more countries and programs are being set up without degrees as a requirement.
They offer their own training, normally in the form of a TEFL qualification, which gives participants the skills they need to flourish as an English teacher abroad.
Often, these programs do cost a lot upfront, so if you don’t have the money, but want to teach abroad without a degree, there are other options including volunteer work, homestays, and online teaching which you can do from anywhere.
More and more, people are bypassing college or uni due to the huge fees, so it’s about time there was a teach abroad option for those of you who don’t have a degree.
Want to see where you can go and what each program has in store?
We’ll start first with some general options that anyone can do, and then get into specific programs offered by countries like Japan and Germany. Let’s dive in.
1. Volunteer Teaching Positions
If you don’t have a whole lot of experience and you don’t want to fork out for the teaching programs, then you should consider trying your hand at volunteering.
There are loads of countries that are crying out for native English speakers to teach their kids.
Locations available range from Nepal to Guatemala to Indonesia to Ecuador and beyond.
Basically, if there’s a country that you really want to visit that doesn’t have English as a first language, then chances are you can teach on a volunteer basis there.
Although you’re not paid for these positions, the companies do sometimes either include accommodation or help you find affordable lodgings in the area.
They also often offer excursions for foreign teachers to explore the country that they’re staying in. It’s an awesome way to meet like-minded people and experience new cultures.
So, if you’re looking to visit one of these countries anyway and are looking to give back and gain some work experience, volunteering is a great option for you.
Add in the fact that you get to interact with the people who live there on a more personal level and get to live like a local yourself, and it’s an ideal experience to have.
2. Teaching in Homestays
For those of you who aren’t sure if teaching big classes of kids is for you, why not try teaching in a homestay?
Sites like Workaway have plenty of gigs where you can live in someone’s house, spare room, or annex in exchange for teaching the owners or their children some English.
It’s a super affordable way to travel and get some teaching experience in a more calm and low-key way.
Again, in most Workaway situations, you won’t be getting paid (there are a few that offer extra remuneration, but they’re few and far between), but you do get free accommodation, food and sometimes use of the family’s transport.
You also get to experience your new location as a local, which is a rare and invaluable opportunity.
If you’re trying to figure out what you want to do with life but don’t want to commit to a full year of formal teaching abroad, opting for a homestay teaching situation could be a perfect choice.
There are Workaway teaching, conversation practice, and tutoring opportunities all over the world, so if you have a place you really want to visit, type it into the search on the Workaway site, and see where the closest gig takes you!
3. Teaching Online
If you’re wanting to live that digital nomad life, working and earning through your laptop, then you can choose from a whole host of online English teaching gigs.
As these are remote roles, you can do them from anywhere that has a solid internet connection, giving you the flexibility to work where you want and avoid countries with the expensive cost of living rates.
Of course, some online teaching companies do still require a degree, but many operate on a tutor or conversational practice basis where being a native speaker or doing a basic level of training is enough.
This way, you can sort of operate as your own boss, picking the number of students that you want to take on and scheduling it around their timezone and yours.
This is a great option if you’re looking for some extra money without the commitment of a full-time teaching contract.
If you’re looking for a more flexible way to get some teaching experience and earn some spending money for your travels, online teaching and tutoring is the way to do it.
It’s also a great option if you want to walk straight into an English teaching role abroad without having to do in-country training.
Online TEFL and TESOL courses are often cheaper and you can do them from the comfort of your home before jetting off to a new country and a new teaching position.
I‘ve lived abroad for many years and love helping others find work abroad and figure out their “Move Abroad Plan.” Check out my class below to get you started ASAP!
4. Maximo Nivel in Costa Rica
With multiple sites in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru, Maximo Nivel have been providing TEFL courses, Spanish immersion programs, and other internships for years, so you know you’re in safe hands.
They offer a few TEFL accreditation options with their standard being a four-week, 150-hour on-site service in Costa Rica.
If you’re looking for a shorter period on-site, you can opt for the slightly cheaper hybrid option, where you do two weeks of TEFL theory online and then have two weeks on-site for the practical training.
There is also a fully online version that you can do anywhere which takes between 4 and 12 weeks with 10 hours a week of video-call support from a tutor.
The thing that’s really good about the Maximo Nivel courses is that for a small fee you can add on lifetime job-finding support once you’ve graduated.
They even hire 3-5 teachers a month from their courses to work at the sites that you’ve been training in, so if you love where you’re studying, there’s the option to stay.
5. ITA in Germany
Honestly, it’s not super easy to get an English teaching role in Europe without a degree, so the fact that this German program was voted GoAbroad’s 2021 People’s Choice Award Winner For Best International Education Organization, is kind of amazing!
ITA is one of the biggest TEFL companies in the world and works in 80 countries, so they know what they’re doing.
Like Maximo Nivel, they offer lifetime job search guidance, helping you to find a great position.
So, once you’re qualified and had your fill of teaching and exploring Germany, ITA can connect you with schools and opportunities all around the world.
With their programs, you have a one-to-one advisor that helps you find the right course, country, and placement to suit your needs and situation.
They offer university-level course leaders and everyone who is helping you on your journey has been through the ITA TEFL process themselves. With 35,000 graduates worldwide, they’ve got teaching English abroad down to an art form.
6. Ark in Japan
Despite Japan’s high standard of education, there are organizations that offer English teaching positions abroad without a degree.
Ark has multiple offices around Hiroshima and offers to send teachers out to students’ homes or workplaces if necessary, giving you a chance to meet plenty of new people while you’re over there.
Ark primarily offers conversational practice, so it’s not strictly formal teaching. That’s why there is less need for a teaching qualification here and more flexibility with your working day.
This is a good way to get a feel for language teaching without committing, with the benefit of having everything included in your course fees.
What makes this gig different is that you don’t even need to have a TEFL qualification to apply, being a native or near-native speaker is enough, although if you have a TEFL certificate, it’s always a bonus.
As part of their program fees, Ark will help set you up in a Homestay and offer Japanese lessons so that you can integrate with the local community more freely.
7. Teachaway in Bulgaria
Looking to explore one of the cheapest countries in the EU? Well, if you are a native speaker, or happen to have a TEFL or TESOL qualification, Teachaway can help you secure a job in beautiful Bulgaria.
With gorgeous beaches as well as ski resorts up in the mountains, it’s an all-year-round paradise.
Teachaway positions in Bulgaria average around $1,000-$2,000 US a month depending on the kind of institution you’re working in.
It might not sound like a lot for a teaching salary, but with how cheap Bulgaria is, your money is going to go a long way.
If you’re already qualified or a native speaker, Teachaway links teachers with schools all around the world, some with higher requirements than others.
For Bulgaria, they offer one-year contracts, allowing you plenty of time to get settled and explore.
8. Greenheart Travel in Myanmar
If Myanmar is on your bucket list, then going on a teaching program with Greenheart Travel is a great way to visit.
If you don’t have a degree and are a native speaker, you can do a three-week, 120-hour TESOL course once you arrive in the country, before being placed with a local school.
Greenheart Travel helps you way before you get on a plane, with assistance in getting visas and sponsorship.
Once you arrive in Myanmar, you get a week-long orientation as well as help receiving help finding accommodation.
After you’ve completed your TESOL course and you’ve been placed with a local school, you can expect to earn between $700-$1,200 US a month on either a six-month or year-long contract.
This combined with the low cost of living makes teaching English in Myanmar a great opportunity, especially if you’re wanting to explore Asia after your placement is over.
9. ITTT in Mexico
Fancy spending your teaching year hanging out in the beautiful Mexican sunshine? Now you can with ITTT.
The ITTT team offers programs all over the world for people without degrees, with both online and in-person TEFL accreditation options to choose from.
Once you’ve completed the 120-hour TEFL accreditation, ITTT will secure you a teaching job in the local area.
In Mexico, you can expect to earn around $2,000 US a month, giving you plenty of money to live in this beautiful country and enough leftover to either save or travel around the region in your downtime.
10. Premier TEFL in Poland
If you’re trying to boost your practical TEFL hours outside of a formal program, this Live Teaching Practice opportunity in Poland, might be the perfect solution for you.
Poland is an amazing country, filled with history and culture, as well as offering excellent transport links to the rest of Europe.
This program is a pretty intense experience with 65 hours of talk time each week. If you’re trying to fly through your TEFL qualification in the shortest amount of time, this is definitely the course for you.
You have the choice of one, two, or three-week in-person courses that come with an online TEFL course.
As it’s a scholarship, it’s a really cost-effective option with all accommodation and food included.
With the cheap, all-inclusive fees and the speedy completion of your qualification, getting your certificate with Premier TEFL is a great option.
After you’ve had those intense three weeks, you can relax and explore Europe in the knowledge that you’ve got the TEFL golden ticket that opens so many doors around the world!
11. GVI Teaching & Community Development Internship in South Africa
Looking to give back to the local community and gain some great educational experience in the sunny and vibrant city of Cape Town?
Head out to South Africa with GVI for a 12-week internship.
Although GVI offers loads of different kinds of internships from conservation, to building to arts and culture and more, this teaching and community development internship combines education with culture to give you a more well-rounded view of how education impacts the community and helps to improve it.
Rather than purely being an English teaching opportunity, this internship offers the chance to learn about the running of educational programs (including childcare, sports, and creative play) for young children.
This makes it a great starting point if you’re considering a career in childcare, education, or charity work, but aren’t 100% convinced.
It’s worth noting that this is a volunteer program, so you are going to have to save up beforehand.
So, if you don’t have a university or college degree and you want to teach abroad, it’s honestly not a problem.
There are plenty of programs, volunteer opportunities, homestays, and more that make teaching abroad a viable option, regardless of your level of education.
Of course, the majority of these programs come with a considerable upfront fee, so you are going to save up beforehand.
That being said, with the amount that qualified English teachers can earn in schools and institutions abroad, you can recoup that initial fee pretty quickly.
As with any educational or professional training, it’s an investment in your future, and these program fees are definitely way more affordable than a college degree!
Add into that the life skills that you gain from moving and living in a completely different country, immersing yourself in new languages and cultures, as well as getting loads of work experience, getting yourself booked onto a teaching abroad program really is a no brainer!