8 countries to teach English and travel
Teaching English abroad is a fantastic way to earn money while exploring the world. It’s a chance to see what local life is like in a completely different place than home. Although many countries around the world require English teachers to hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, there are still some beautiful destinations with less stringent requirements.
Those without a degree can gain the experience of teaching abroad in several countries in North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. To improve their chances of being hired without a degree, job seekers should obtain a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate.
Cambodia is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia that allows foreigners to teach English without a bachelor’s degree. Although a bachelor’s degree is not required, TEFL certification is required to demonstrate the ability to teach the material. Most teaching jobs in Cambodia take place in a classroom environment where school-age students are taught. However, some teachers may find themselves teaching business English to adults or offering private English lessons.
The average salary for English teachers here ranges from $700 to $1000 per month. This may seem like a small paycheck, but the dollar stretches much further in Cambodia than it does in the United States. Also, teachers can easily travel to nearby countries in Southeast Asia (such as Thailand or Vietnam) on their days off.
Travelers living abroad and wanting to experience Spain’s easy-going European lifestyle will be thrilled to learn that it’s one of the few countries in Europe where English teachers don’t require a degree. All travelers need is a TEFL certificate and an understanding of the laws surrounding visa requirements.
It is difficult for an American to get a work visa for the EU. The best chance of obtaining a visa is often to travel to Spain on a student visa, which allows the visa holder to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week. Another option is to take part in a working holiday program and do an apprenticeship as part of the program. Teachers in Spain can expect to earn anywhere from $800 to $1500 per month depending on their experience and the number of hours worked.
Mexico is a great option for teaching English abroad in North America. Mexico is full of vibrant destinations with educational opportunities, including Cancun, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Playa del Carmen and Oaxaca. Mexico does not require a bachelor’s degree; Prospective English teachers only need a TEFL certificate and are required to be fluent in English and speak at a native level of English. In order to obtain your visa, you will need an official job offer letter from the school that is hiring you.
Travelers can expect a modest income as an English teacher in Mexico, with salaries ranging from $500 to $800 per month. Although the pay is lower than some destinations, traveling and living in Mexico is also cheaper. The cost of living in Mexico is 112% cheaper than in the United States.
5 Costa Rica
Travel to Central America to experience the pura vida (pure living) while teaching without a degree. Costa Rica is a country with incredible natural landscapes and 5% of the world’s biodiversity. A degree is not required in Costa Rica, but without one finding a job can be more difficult, so having a valid TEFL certification and being a native English speaker are important to get a job.
Teachers can expect to work just 20-25 hours a week, leaving plenty of time to enjoy national parks and beaches across the country. Tuition in Costa Rica pays between $700 and $900 per month.
Travelers looking for ways to make money while backpacking South America can stop in Peru to fund their bank accounts while teaching in Lima, Arequipa, or Cusco. Peru does not require a bachelor’s degree or a TEFL certificate, however, obtaining a TEFL certification can improve a candidate’s chances of being hired. The teachers should be native English speakers. You can expect to work between 20 and 30 hours a week and earn $500 to $1000 a month.
Laos is another option to teach English in Southeast Asia without a bachelor’s degree. The country does not require a degree, but a TEFL certificate can offer a hiring advantage. The average salary in Laos for English teachers ranges from $500 to $1000 per month, but can be supplemented with online English classes or private tutoring jobs.
Travelers looking to spend some time off the beaten track in South America can apply for English teaching jobs in Colombia. This beautiful country is famous for its coffee, dancing and budget-friendly prices. It has become popular with digital nomads and has many centers for teaching, including Medellín, Bogotá and Cartagena.
Colombia does not require a bachelor’s degree or that job applicants be native English speakers as long as they have native-level language skills and a TEFL certificate. On average, teachers here can earn $500 to $1050 per month.
Teaching English in North Africa is certainly an adventure and possible even without a bachelor’s degree. Egypt only requires a TEFL certificate and a work permit for English teachers from abroad. At the entry-level with no prior teaching experience, teachers in Egypt can earn around $300-$700 per month. There are opportunities to earn a higher salary by teaching privately or at the college level.
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