Looking to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL), but don’t have a degree? No problem!
Even though a growing number of countries want a university degree in order to qualify for a working visa, there are still some amazing destinations for those that want to find a TEFL job but don’t have a degree.
Read on to find out more!
(Just an FYI: if you want a stress-free experience before settling down to full-time work you can do our Thailand Volunteer Internship WITHOUT a degree! Hooray!)
Although Asia has a lot of countries with strict visa requirements (China, Japan, Vietnam we’re looking at you!), it also has some great options for those without degrees.
Cambodia is the best of the bunch, as degrees aren’t needed there for the majority of TEFL jobs. It’s also a beautiful country, with a very friendly population, where you can spend your free time exploring beautiful temples (Angkor Wat is a must-see!), relaxing on sandy-white beaches, or enjoying the hustle and bustle of the capital city, Phnom Penh.
How much can you earn?
Until fairly recently, most TEFL jobs in Cambodia were voluntary, making it the perfect destination for gap years and internships. However, in recent years there has been a significant growth in paid teaching positions. Salaries for TEFL teachers tend to vary between $500-$2,000/month. And with the cost of living in Cambodia being fairly low, you will have extra budget leftover at the end of the month to explore and travel – perfect!
Top places to teach English in Cambodia
Phnom Penh – Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capital and the country’s largest city in terms of population, meaning that there are loads of TEFL jobs. English is widely spoken in Phnom Penh, so it will make the transition of moving countries easier for those who do not speak the local language.
Siem Reap – Situated further north, Seam Reap is also a very popular destination for TEFL teachers. Siem Reap is the perfect base if you are looking to spend some time exploring the fabulous Angkor Wat.
Want more info on fun things to do when you get to Cambodia? Check out our blog post on unusual things to see and do in Cambodia.
And check out the latest TEFL job vacancies in Cambodia on the LoveTEFL jobs board.
A land of extremes, stretching over 11 time zones and 12 seas, it’s shrouded in an air of mystery that intrigues many people who head off to teach English in Russia who, once they’ve made the move, never want to leave!
Aside from the majestic cities and rich history, there’s a huge demand for TEFL in Russia – so much so, that even if you’re a newly qualified teacher with no experience you’re highly likely to get a job. Russian students are a joy to teach too – they’re passionate about learning and love nothing more than a good debate!
How much can you earn?
The average monthly teaching salary is around £900/$1,500. Although this might not sound like a lot, in comparison to other European countries, it’s important to remember that the cost of living is low in Russia. And this starting teacher wage is more than double the average graduate wage for Russians!
You will also often find that accommodation is included as part of the teaching contract, especially if you’re in the main cities, so you won’t usually need to factor this into your outgoings.
Top places to teach English in Russia
Moscow – If you love the bright lights of a big city and you’re looking for an authentic Russian TEFL adventure, then Moscow is perfect. Just imagine, you could spend your time off teaching hanging out at Red Square! Moscow also has one of the highest demand for TEFL teachers in the country, so will have the biggest range of roles to choose from.
St Petersburgh – Another city with a high demand for teachers! If you love culture and prefer a more westernised city, then St Petersburg is definitely for you – this city is fairly cosmopolitan and is an easy introduction for those looking to teach in Russia!
Considered by many seasoned travellers as the jewel in the crown of Central America, it’s little wonder that increasing numbers of people are looking to teach English in Mexico.
It’s home to countless ancient Mayan sites, mile after mile of palm fringed beaches, a handful of bustling super cities, and more stunning colonial architecture than any other country in the region. Oh… and the food is amazing too! Business is conducted face-to-face there, so most people going out to TEFL in Mexico make the move before contacting schools directly, although we do advertise all of our Mexican vacancies on our TEFL jobs board, which you can apply for whilst in your home country. The in-person/face-to-face approach might also be hold due to the current COVID situation, so it’s best to check before you travel!
How much can you earn?
Nobody goes to teach English in Central America to earn loads of money. But despite the fact that the wages on offer are relatively low, you can live comfortably on the money you earn, as the cost of living is so low. Average wage in Mexico for a new TEFL teacher is £375/$600 for full-time positions, but it can be more like £175/$240 in smaller towns, or with part-time positions. Doesn’t sound like a lot, right? But when you factor in the fact that rent can be as low as £70/$100 and utilities around £20/$30 a month, it sounds a lot more doable. Especially considering the fact that, with the lower wages, employers will often cover the costs of your accommodation and utilities. So, there will be plenty for you to spend on the delicious (and very cheap) Mexican food on offer!
Some schools will also include Spanish language lessons! The feeling you’ll get being able to communicate with the locals and full integrate yourself into society? Priceless!
Top places to teach English in Mexico
Mexico City – Known locally as ‘El D.F’ (El Distrito Federal), the capital is the main market for people looking to teach English in Mexico. It’s the country’s main cultural, political, and economic centre and as such is home to most of the large-scale language schools and institutes. A good place to meet other ex-pats and teachers is the Quaker-run Casa de los Amigos on Ignacio Mariscal, 132.
Tehuacán – This smaller city is located about 4 hours southeast of the capital and it’s perfect for those looking to deep dive into Mexican culture. It’s home to some amazing, historic architecture and is known for hosting a number of diverse cultural festivals every year. One of the most popular is the ‘Festival Internacional de Tehuacán’, which celebrates the artistic and cultural history of the city. It’s also a great place to go to if you love Cactus (bit niche we know…) as it’s home to over 200 different types of the prickly plant!
Top tip: With all countries in these times of COVID, you will need to check the quarantine/testing/visa requirements before you travel, as these are constantly subject to change. Some countries also require proof of vaccination, so make sure you check all the requirements before you make your decision. And keep checking, because more places are opening up every week!
Okay, okay, we know it’s not technically a place BUT it can take you to lots of different places, so it makes the list!
With online teaching you can skip out the working visa process altogether and earn a good wage from anywhere in the world! Teaching English online is one of the fastest growing areas of TEFL so it’s the perfect time to get involved. Absolutely anyone can teach English online, you don’t need a degree to get a tourist visa, and you just need to get a TEFL certificate, a laptop, webcam, and reliable internet connection – easy!
How much can you earn?
Online salaries vary quite a lot depending on if you’re freelance, an agency worker, how big your classes are and the type of English you’re teaching. You can earn anywhere from £10 – £35+ per lesson (generally lessons are around 60 minutes long), this means you could earn in excess of £5,600 a month if you’re working flat out and are at the top of your game – wow!
Top places to teach English online
There are lots of companies that don’t require a degree for online teaching and some of the best ones include: Cambly, Profy and Engoo. For a full list, check out our blog post – 20 companies that don’t require their TEFL teachers to have a degree.
*Information is correct at the time of writing this. For latest information, check the local guidelines.