3 Places you can teach English without a degree

Three Places Where You Can Teach English Without a Degree

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Looking to teach English overseas but don’t have a degree? Don’t panic!

Even though a growing number of countries want a uni degree in order to qualify for a working visa, there are still a few amazing destinations where you can find work TEFL work without a degree.

1: China

With around 400 million learners, China is by far the biggest TEFL jobs market on the planet, and whilst some employers specify a degree – many don’t (including our Paid Internship to China). It’s also worth mentioning that local government regulations change all the time over in China, so it’s probably best to check with individual employers before applying.

classroom in China

How Much Can You Earn Teaching English In China?

Obviously how much you can earn depends on how much training you’ve had and if you have any previous experience. If you have a recognised TEFL certificate and no previous experience you can expect to earn around £800 a month, though this can rise to £1300 a month if you have a few years experience. Many employers also help with accommodation, visa applications and flights.

Top Places To Teach English Without A Degree In China

China city scape

Beijing – Beijing is China’s capital and the country’s main centre for international business. There are loads of TEFL jobs and a large and very sociable ex-pat community that will make the transition to living and teaching English in China that little easier.

Shanghai -Shanghai is considered by many people to be the most important financial and commercial centre in mainland China. So there are a good number of TEFL jobs to be found in schools and language institutes, as well as lots of opportunities to teach business English.

Free China Country Guide
Check out the latest TEFL Jobs in China
Check out the China TEFL Internship



2) Europe

If you’re a UK or Irish citizen you can work anywhere within the European Union without any legal constraints or visa requirements, all you need is a TEFL qualification. English is the language of tourism so many of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations such as France, Spain, Italy and Greece require a constant stream of TEFL qualified teachers to meet the demand.

Teaching English in Barcelona

Take a look at TEFL jobs in Europe

How Much Can You Earn Teaching English In Europe?

That depends on which country or city you’re working in, how much experience you have and what level of TEFL certification you’ve achieved. Due to the high levels of competition in Spain and France, you may struggle to get the better TEFL jobs without a degree, but you should still be able to find entry-level and summer camp positions. If you’re willing to go a little further afield to places like Russia, the Czech Republic and Poland, you should be able to get better positions… and the lower cost of living means that your wages will go much further.

spanish countryside

Top Places To Teach English Without A Degree In Europe

Spain – Despite huge competition, Spain is regularly at the top of the list when people think of teaching English in Europe. Competition is fierce in places like Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona, but if you’re happy to work in less glamourous destinations there are plenty of TEFL jobs in Spain for people without degrees.

Check out the latest TEFL jobs in Spain here
Download a Free Spain Country Guide


Russia – Russia is fast becoming one of the world’s leading TEFL destinations, and the number of TEFL jobs has shot through the roof in recent years. The wages aren’t as high as you can expect in Spain or France, but the cost of living and the competition is much lower.

Check out the latest TEFL jobs in Russia 

Download a Free Russia Country Guide


3: South America

Teaching English in South America is a great way for people without university degrees to gain experience and improve their teaching CV. More experienced TEFLers can find work in countries like Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil, while TEFL newbies can find opportunities in less developed places like Peru, Ecuador and Chile.

Colombia coast

Take a look at TEFL jobs in South America

How Much Can You Earn Teaching English In South America?

Nobody goes to teach English in South America to earn loads of money. But despite the fact that the wages on offer are relatively low and many of the jobs are on a voluntary basis, you can live relatively well on the money you earn from teaching English in South America. For example you can earn around $850 a month in Brazil, $500 in Argentina and as little as $400 a month in Ecuador. But there’s more to life than money, eh? There will be when you’re lying on a South American beach drinking from a fresh coconut.

Taganga boats

Top Places To Teach English Without A Degree In South America

Costa Rica – The Costa Rican government has resolved to encourage English language education and English is now taught in all primary schools. Most TEFL jobs in Costa Rica are to be found in the capital San Jose, the second city, Alajuela, and the tourist town of Manuel Antonio.

Download a Free Guide to Teaching English in Costa Rica
Take a look at the latest TEFL jobs in Costa Rica

Ecuador – While Ecuador won’t ever rival Japan or South Korea as a top TEFL jobs destination, it is one of the most stable and accessible TEFL jobs markets in South America. There is ample opportunity to teach English in schools and universities in the main cities – and guess what? Most don’t require a degree!

Download a Free Guide to Teaching English in Ecuador
Take a look at the latest TEFL jobs in Ecuador



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  1. lovextomz says:

    How do l get more information on the vacancies?

  2. Elle Pollicott says:

    Hey, you can find out more about teaching opportunities overseas on our destination pages here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/teach-english-abroad; and you can take a look at vacancies here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-jobs-abroad/

  3. fznaids says:

    I have a natinal diploma, studied for three 3 years at CPUT. Does this make a difference?

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi, do you have a degree? You can certainly find lots of jobs teaching English overseas if you don’t have a degree, but by having a degree, even more doors open for you in terms of where you can teach – countries like Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and the Middle East all require that you have a degree to TEFL; and many Western European countries like France and Germany prefer to hire someone who has a degree, so you’ll find it much easier finding work there. Hope this helps! Elle

  4. qianyu says:

    As a non-native english speaker without any university diploma – can i find a job teaching english in china with TEFL?

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi qianyu, if you’re fluent in English, then with a TEFL qualification there is no reason why you wouldn’t get a TEFL job in China. You can either give us a call on +44 871 423 9941 or request a call back here http://www.onlinetefl.com/contact-tefl-team/call-me-back.html and someone will be in touch with you to talk you through your options and potentially get you signed up! Elle

  5. sw says:

    Who can I talk to to help me teach in China? I don’t have a passport or anything like that, I need some help from someone who can help me from scratch.

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi, you’ll need to apply for a passport – Google ‘apply for a passport’ and you’ll find out how to get one. With regards to getting TEFL-qualified, you can find find out more information about our courses here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-course/. For teaching in China, the standard would be 120hours of online learning, although we’d recommend the 140hours with a 20hour practical classroom course for those who haven’t taught before. If you have any more questions in relation to getting TEFL-certified, or teaching in China, you can request a call back here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/contact-tefl-team/call-me-back.html and one of our expert advisers will get in touch. Hope this helps!

  6. gladys says:

    Hi, i have a degree, but i have no TEFL certificate am i qualified to teach English in China?Am a fluent English speaker.

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi Gladys, all you need is to get TEFL qualified and then you’ll be able to teach in China! We have two types of courses: our 120hour course, which is all done online; and our 140hour course which has an additional 20hours classroom training and is recommended if you haven’t had any teaching experience before. You can find out more information about our courses here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-course/, and if you want to find out more about getting TEFL qualified and finding work in China, you can get in touch with our expert advisers by requesting a call back here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/contact-tefl-team/call-me-back.html and someone will be in touch shortly. Hope this helps!

  7. Ranbir says:

    Hi, I’m looking at teaching English in Singapore but don’t have a degree.. Without a degree can I still find a teaching job if I have the TEFL certificate? If I can teach without a degree what sort of schools are best to target? Looking forward to hearing from you thanks

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi Ranbir, unfortunately you wouldn’t be able to find a TEFL job without a degree in Singapore. The good news is though, is that there are lots of other countries where you can teach English once you’ve gotten TEFL qualified: many countries in Asia (Cambodia, Laos and China for example); all of South America, and most of Europe. If you’d like to find out more about our courses, you can either have a read of them here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-course/, or speak to an expert TEFL adviser, as they’ll be able to explain to you the requirements for different countries and help you find the right TEFL course for you, and you can request a call back here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/contact-tefl-team/call-me-back.html Hope this helps!

  8. smarais says:

    how do i apply to teach overseas?

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi, to teach English overseas you will need to get TEFL qualified – we would recommend our 140hour course if you haven’t taught before as it incorporates our 120hour online course with a 20hour practical weekend course. You can find out more information about our courses here http://www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-course/ or alternatively, if you’d like to chat with our advisers you can request a call back here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/contact-tefl-team/call-me-back.html and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and book you onto a course. Hope this helps!

  9. Shahid mahmood says:

    i am contacting with you from pakistan ,,, i want to work in china as a english teacher could you tell me how can i avil this opportunities?

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi Shahid, thanks for your message. As long as you are fluent in English and have a TEFL qualification, you’ll be able to find work in China! You can find out more information about our courses here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-course/ or alternatively, you can speak to one our expert advisers by calling 44 871 423 9941 or requesting a call back here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/contact-tefl-team/call-me-back.html; and they will be able to talk you through your options and answer any questions you may have. Hope this helps!

  10. VenusR says:

    Hi, I am am currently a preschool teacher with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a minor in English, and additionally several Education courses were taken while pursing my degree. I do not have a TESOL/TEFL/CELTA and I want to know if it would be possible to teach in Abu Dhabi (or surrounding areas) or South Korea with my back ground. Additionally, I would like to pursue a TEFL certification before departure or maybe during the summer holiday while abroad, and I want to know if its necessary to take a class that requires a practicum or observed teaching hours since I am already a teacher. Lastly, I would be interested in opportunities with companies who train or pay for certification in exchange for contracts. Thank you.

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi Venus, for South Korea you would need a TEFL course (as you have teaching experience, our 120 hour course would be fine as you wouldn’t need the 20 hour classroom experience, unless you wanted to attend of course!). With Abu Dhabi, you would need at least a 140 hour TEFL course (http://www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-course/), if not a Level 5 EDI (http://www.onlinetefl.com/tefl-courses/edi-certtefl.html). With regards to companies who offer training courses and offer contracts, I wouldn’t know who offers that, so it’s something you’d need to Google. However, in South Korea you could apply for the government programmes EPIK and SMOE once you’ve gotten TEFL qualified – they recruit numerous TEFL teachers each year and place them in schools throughout the country. If you want to talk through your options, feel free to give us a call on 877 526 3959, and our expert TEFL advisers will be happy to speak with you!

  11. VenusR says:

    I forgot to add that I am an American native English speaker.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hi everyone I hope I’m able to get a reply. So here is my situation, I have a celta and 2 years teaching experience at a local school in my country, teaching English of course. I was recently in contact with an agency (don’t know if I can state the name?) I had an interview and got offered a position. However I don’t have a degree, I will begin my studies towards a degree this month. I am so confused about everything i’ve heard about China, I know that I am capable of doing the job but I am really worried now because I spoke to the lady who conducted the interview. The interview was good, they asked good questions and were really interested in my teaching experience, problem is I expressed to her the fact that I do not have a degree and said that, that isn’t a problem and I would still be able to get a z visa? So I don’t know If I should take a risk? wait and see if I do indeed get a z visa or cancel everything? I don’t want to break the law but i do really need this opportunity, also I’m not asking anyone to encourage me to break the law, just tell me how it is. Thanks.

    • Katherine Hackett says:

      Hi Bowes, Glad to hear you had a successful interview – well done.Unfortunately we’re unable to give specific advice on visa regulations for jobs and as you seem to be aware, the situation in China is complicated. Did you take a TEFL course with us? If so, perhaps, it would help if you spoke to the i-to-i jobs team. They can be reached on helpdesk@i-to-i.com Thanks, Kat

  13. travelandstuff says:

    Native English Speaker from U.S. 2 year unrelated degree. No certification. Under 1 year EXPERIENCE. Which countries will I most be MOST able to find work? Thanks.

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi, you’ll be able to find work in South America and places like China, Cambodia and Laos, but you’ll need to get TEFL-certified to do so. If you want to find out more information about TEFL, and whereabouts you can teach, I’d recommend you have a chat with one of our expert advisers – you can reach them on 877 526 3959. Good luck with your TEFL adventure!

  14. BeeRights says:

    I want to take a year off of college once I graduate highschool. My native language is English, and so I can teach English in China without going to college? I would only want to teach to young kids.

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi Amy, yes you can teach in China without going to college – the easiest way to do this is go on our five month China TEFL internship, where our in-country partners ImmerQi arrange the visas for you. You can find out more info about the internship here: http://www.onlinetefl.com/teaching-internships/china/ or you can give us a call on 877 526 3959 for more information. Hope this helps!

  15. Molly says:

    Can you teach English in France without a degree even as a tutor in your home?

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi Molly, yes – you don’t need a degree to teach English in France. If you want to tutor, it could be good to advertise online/in your local newspapers etc to find students through word of mouth. If you want to find out more about teaching English in France and getting TEFL qualified, give us a call on 0800 093 3148 and one of our expert advisers will be happy to help and answer any questions you may have!

  16. Guido says:

    Good Morning, I am seriously planning of takeing TEFL but no degree How can I know if things are not completely changed and they only are looking for teachers with Uny degree ? how much I am foing to earn?

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi Guido, thanks for your message. You don’t need a degree to teach in many parts of the world – countries like Laos and Cambodia in Asia for instance, all of Eastern Europe and South America. Wages will differ depending on the country, but all will enable you to live comfortably in line with cost of living, as well as having a little extra to save – take a look at our country guides: they offer in-depth information about specific countries including the average TEFL teacher’s wage there: http://www.onlinetefl.com/teach-english-abroad/. Alternatively, give us a call on 0800 946 078 and our expert advisers will be happy to help and answer any questions you may have.

  17. Stephen Owusu Ansah says:

    I have Diploma in Basic Education does it make difference

    • Elle Pollicott says:

      Hi Stephen, if you have a diploma you’ll be able to teach in countries where you don’t need a degree; but unfortunately you wouldn’t qualify to teach in the likes of Thailand, Vietnam and the Middle East where you do need a degree. If you’d like to find out more about TEFL, feel free to give us a call on 44 871 423 9941 and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!

  18. Phillip says:

    Hi, I’m a non-native without a degree, but i have Cambridge FCE, CAE and CPE certified. And I plan on getting a FELF. Am I eligible to teach in Korea or Japan. Maybe in private schools? If not, where in Asia can I teach?

  19. mariahu4 says:

    I am midway through my TEFL intensive 150 hr course from the University of Toronto and I am looking for summer jobs. I don’t have a degree yet since I’m just a student in my first year of undergraduate studies. However I have excellent grades on my CIE O/A Level exams. I hold a Pakistani passport. I want to travel and work this summer. What are my options?

  20. Diana says:

    hello, I have a diploma in TESL from selangor state university from Malaysia. Do I have any slight chance in teaching abroad?

  21. Tomas says:

    Hi, I’m from Czech Republic without a degree however, I have CELTA (2002) and have taught in Japan for 8 years as well as in London. What Asian countries would I be able to teach in? Thank you.

  22. Sarah Azad says:

    Hi. I have a TESOL certification and been teaching English to kids and adults for nearly two years. My nationality is Sri Lankan and I’ve been currently living in Dubai for the past 9 years. What countries can I apply to without a degree. Any advise please as I’m looking for a change and to relocate. Thank you

  23. Chelsey Carr says:

    Hello from the Berkshires! Im looking to teach abroad, and will be registering for a TEFL course very soon! I understand that a college degree isn’t necessary to be eligible for hire, however how would I acquire a passport without it? You aren’t able to work under a visitor’s passport, and I’ve realized (after only minimal research, that is) that a degree is required to attain a worker’s passport. Please advise! Thank you.

  24. Dimitris says:

    I was looking for teaching jobs in China and I realized that there’s almost no job offer that doesn’t require a TEFL certificate. I do have a degree to prove my English language level but is that not enough to get me a VISA?


    can i get a job abroad without tefl but with master’s degree?

  26. Marthe-Marie Kohne says:

    As a non-native english speaker without any university diploma – can i find a job teaching english in China /Russia. I am Independant / Accredited Reading Therapist. I did the course through Read for Africa. Their website: http://www.readforafrica.com/ Phono-Graphix is a straightforward reading method, which was developed by Carmen and Geoffrey Mc Guinness in 1993, at the Read America clinic in Orlando. It takes the sounds of the English language – and teaches the various sound-pictures (letters) that represent those sounds in careful stages.When using phono-graphics The student learns blending: Eg: you tell the student what is the following word: c-a-t. The student then says the sounds together to “read” the word cat. The student learns to segment: Eg: You ask the student what sound do they hear in the following word: dog. The student must break up the word in sounds for eg: d-o-g. Teaching the skills of segmenting in combination with blending is vital as these are the skills that is necessary for learning to read. Traditional phonics doesn’t teach variation. When using the phono-graphix scratch sheet spelling method the student tries all the spelling variations of a target sound. The student will have to point out which picture sound is the correct picture sound eg: oe ; o-e ; oa. In this case oa would be the correct picture sound for boat. different sounds eg: The following words has the same sound picture , but it sounds different when you say the words: meat ; bread ; great. Thank you. Marthe-Marie

  27. Kabelo says:

    Good day. I am a native English speaker. I am interested in teaching English abroad. I’m currently and online ESL instructor. My wish is to teach in China. I have a 3 year diploma and considering doing my TEFL with 1- to- 1. Can I get a job with a 3 year diploma? Does i- to- 1 assist with finding employment?

  28. Maryan says:

    Hi, I have no degree or teaching qualification and I want to teach abroad. However, I don’t know how to find jobs for someone in my position. I am a native English speaker and am taking English, Psychology and Applied Science in Year 13 if that means anything.

  29. Ashe Austaire says:

    I am a 26 year old young professional looking to teach English in Shanghai. I do not have a college degree, as I dropped out to start my first business. I am well studied in English, and also am actively involved in American culture. I am interested to get expert input on my situation. Thank you.

  30. Hanna says:

    Hello, I am finishing my online component for mt TEFl certification and already have my 60 hours in class certificate, I will be fully certified with a TEFL by the end of the month. However, I do not have a degree and I am a newbie to teaching. I plan to move to Mexico and fly out of Canada in April. Will I be able to find work in mexico with pay that will sustain my living expenses? And with more experience can I get better paying jobs?

  31. Rose mary Santoro says:

    Hiya..I an a native british teacher I have been teaching over the last 25 years I have my own Academy in the north of spain ..I am thinking changing to another country to teach English..I would n’t mind to costa Rica how can I apply? thankyou

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  33. A Teacher says:

    Is it possible to teach without a graduate degree?

    • Sarah Oxley says:

      Yes, indeed. It’s perfectly possible to teach without a graduate degree. Though some employers in certain countries do prefer is, so it’s best to discuss your travel hopes after becoming TEFL qualified with one of our experts. Give us a call or send us an email. (tefl@i-to-i.com).

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  37. Niti says:

    Thanks for sharing this information keep it up

  38. Cortney Armonie Reed says:

    I have a cyber Security certificate, but wish to teach in either Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic or Switzerland. Is this possible if I get a TEFL?

    • Rebecca Potts says:

      Hi Cortney

      That’s great news! All you need to start teaching abroad is a TEFL qualification. We offer a number of courses, take a look and see which one is right for you: https://www.i-to-i.com/tefl-courses/.

      Once you’re TEFL qualified you can teach anywhere in the world where English isn’t spoken as a first language so you should be able to find teaching positions in Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic or Switzerland. Take a look at our jobs board here for the latest vacancies: https://www.i-to-i.com/tefl-jobs-abroad/.

      If you have any other questions our TEFL experts are just a phone call away. Good luck!

      Your i-to-i team

  39. Ree says:

    hi can I get family sponsorship to teach in China if I have a diploma. Please reply through email

  40. Lacy Murdy says:

    “Great Blogpost! Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying_ your blog and look forward to new posts.”

    • Rebecca Potts says:

      Hi Lacy, We do have a Twitter account, you can follow us @i_to_iTEFL Glad you’re enjoying the blog!

  41. college dorm says:

    wow, awesome blog post.Really thank you! Fantastic.

  42. rbs says:

    I’m an Indian and I have finished my 12th, can I get jobs abroad without a degree? if yes where should I check for the vacancies?

    • Rebecca Potts says:


      Thanks for getting in touch. If you’re TEFL qualified you can start applying for jobs straight away! We’ve got a jobs board here: https://www.i-to-i.com/tefl-jobs-abroad/, there’s a number of positions listed that don’t require a degree. We’d recommend bookmarking our jobs board so you can check back regularly, employers are always adding new jobs.

      Thank you
      Your i-to-i team

  43. D J says:

    Thanks for this fantastic summary! Hope springs!! On my way…

  44. Jodell de Sousa says:

    How can I get more information on Programs and vacancies

    • Rebecca Potts says:

      Hi Jodell

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you’re interested in joining any of our TEFL trips you can check them out here: https://www.i-to-i.com/teach-and-travel-abroad/. If you’re already TEFL qualified and about to start looking for a job we’ve got a great jobs board here: https://www.i-to-i.com/tefl-jobs-abroad/.

      If you’ve got any other questions about any of the TEFL trips we offer please give our office a call and one of our TEFL experts will be happy to help.

      Thank you
      Your i-to-i team

  45. zainab says:

    I want to teach I have Celta but no degrre

    • Rebecca Potts says:


      Thanks for getting in touch. That’s great news that you’ve got a CELTA, you’ll find plenty of jobs on our jobs board which don’t require you to have a degree. Here’s a link to our jobs board to get you started: https://www.i-to-i.com/tefl-jobs-abroad/.

      Good luck with your job hunt.

      Your i-to-i team

  46. Christine Brophy says:

    hello where can I can your application forms for the countries you mentioned I don’t have a degree BA

    • Rebecca Potts says:

      Hi Christine

      Thanks for getting in touch. We currently have spaces available on our Paid China TEFL Internship which starts in August, you can find out more about the internship in the guide here: https://www.i-to-i.com/teach-and-travel-abroad/teaching-internships/china-guide.html.

      If you have any other questions please give our TEFL experts a call and they’ll be happy to help.

      Thank you
      Your i-to-i team

  47. Dlamini Nolwazi says:

    I have a diploma obtained in Swaziland as a teacher majoring in English.I have been working for over 5years.

  48. Lani says:

    Hi. I bought the 120 hour course, but I also have a BSc degree and is currently studying PGCE. Does this mean I have more opportunities in other countries or do you need to do a different TEFL course if you have a degree?

    • Rebecca Potts says:


      Thanks for getting in touch. That’s great to hear you’ve signed up to the 120 hour TEFL course, once you’ve completed this you’ll be ready to apply for the majority of TEFL teaching jobs around the world. The fact that you’ve got a degree together with a TEFL course will give you more job opportunities.

      If you have any other questions please speak to one of our TEFL advisers.

      Thank you
      Your i-to-i team

  49. Gustaaf van Rooy says:

    Please send me vacancies of countries where I can teach English without a degree.I will get my TEFL Academy certificate in July 2017.Regards,Gustaaf van Rooy.

    • Rebecca Potts says:


      Thanks for getting in touch. We have a jobs board which you can sign up for, some of these vacancies do not require a degree. Here’s a link: https://www.i-to-i.com/tefl-jobs-abroad/. Alternatively, http://www.tefl.com is a great website for finding teaching jobs around the world.

      Thank you
      Your i-to-i team

  50. Shayan says:

    Hi there

  51. Shayan says:

    Hi there.. I’m a non_native english speaker.. i live in iran…and i dont have a university degree. ..i have t.t.c certificate and less then a year experience in english teaching. I wanted to know if thats possible for me to teach in other countries. .thanks a lot

    • Rebecca Potts says:


      Thanks for getting in touch. As a non-native speaker and because you don’t have a university degree you will find it more difficult to get a position as employers prefer teachers to be native English speakers with a degree. You would need to complete a minimum of 120 hours TEFL training before you could apply for any positions.

      If you have any other questions please give our TEFL advisers a call.

      Thank you
      Your i-to-i team