One of the things I like most about the field of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is that it is open to just about anyone. There are opportunities to teach English abroad for teachers young and old, with or without teaching experience, who are native English speakers or not, and those with our without college degrees. Basically, as long as you have an open mind and are flexible, there is sure to be a teaching location that fits your qualifications!

With that in mind, here are 5 awesome places you can teach English without a 4-year college degree:

1. Costa Rica

This nature-lover’s paradise packs active volcanos, rainforests full of wildlife and, of course, fabulous beaches into one tiny Central American location. You don’t need a degree to teach English at many language schools here– or throughout much of Central and South America– just TEFL certification. Teach in the Central Valley of Costa Rica where the TEFL market is strongest, and enjoy spring-like temperatures most of the year.

2. Cambodia

Unlike most other Asian countries, this ruggedly beautiful and somewhat under-the-radar country has opportunities for those without degrees, too. Teach in the exciting capital of Phnom Penh and take weekend trips to explore the country’s sites, such as the crumbling splendor of Angkor Wat, the emerald green rice paddies in the countryside, or the sunny, tropical islands in Cambodia’s South.

3. Russia


If Eastern Europe is on your bucket list, why not get a job in Russia, home to novelists like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky and architectural wonders such as the baroque Winter Palace? Teaching jobs in striking cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg do not always require a college degree. You will, however, need TEFL certification, and experience is helpful, too.

4. South Korea

I know what you’re thinking– but you do need a degree to teach in South Korea! Well, yes and no. For most paid positions in South Korea, teaching requirements are firm, and a 4-year degree is one of those requirements. However, there’s an opportunity though Korea’s government-sponsored English Program in Korea (EPIK) which is open to currently enrolled college students who have completed at least 2 years of study. Its’ called the Teach and Learn in Korea (TaLK) Program  and it offers participants 1 month of training followed by a 1-year teaching contract in a South Korean elementary school.

5. Italy

That’s right! This European country is more flexible than some others when it comes to degree requirements. And what’s not to love about Italy, home of bucket-list cities like Milan, Venice, Rome and Florence, all with a strong demand for TEFL teachers. While you may not need a degree in this stunning Mediterranean teaching location, TEFL certification earned in a traditional classroom, rather than online, is often preferred.

Other Countries Worldwide

Finally, also keep in mind that there are often opportunities to teach at short-term English immersion camps in countries worldwide, and these kinds of positions don’t usually require a degree. Summer teaching jobs like these can be in regions like Asia or Western Europe that usually have a strict degree requirement when hiring teachers.

To get TEFL certified and begin your adventure teaching abroad, click here to browse our online TEFL courses, or contact an advisor to discuss your options.