Too Old, No Degree, Want To Teach English?

One of the best things about this blog is that I get great questions from people who want to teach English abroad, but wonder about their circumstances and if they can make it happen or not.

Here is a recent email:

I have been considering teaching English in a Spanish speaking country, preferably Spain. If not there then Central or South America. I am 62 yrs old and in excellent health. I have been with [a major international bank] for 11 plus years. I am semi-bilingual, since my wife is Colombian. What do you think of my age? Am I too old? How do I find out if I would be eligible to teach in Peru for instance? I have an Associates degree only (a two-year vocational type degree). I have taught a little in a voluntary setting. Can you share your thoughts with me?

My response follows – and I want every person reading this blog and thinking about working abroad to apply such thinking to their job search.

Hi Bill,

You wrote:

What do you think of my age? Am I too old?

You are only a couple years older than me – not too old – you have a lot to share.

And . . .

How do I find out if I would be eligible to teach in Peru for instance? I have an associates degree only. I have taught a little in a voluntary setting.

For Peru specifically contact Sharon – she is a bit of a Peru specialist – but she also knows Latin America well: naturegirl321 @ yahoo.com

You can tell her Ted sent you.

BUT – I would say that you can create your eligibility – you have eleven years with [a major international bank]? Teach Business English, teach Banking English, create a few courses, sell yourself to corporations, banks, etc as someone who knows business and Business English – see this page:
http://tefldaddy.com/Your_Special_Skills.htm

Yes, you are going to be limited by your two-year degree if you just go and search for any old regular English job, so focus on your Special Skills.

Start here: www.BusinessEnglishEbook.com — get that ebook and start to create a few courses for the specialties you already know. Go to a new country offering something (specialized knowledge and training) rather than going asking for something (a job).

Good luck! Go get what you want.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Most people have some sort of work history. You can CREATE a demand for your specific skills if you focus your job search in that area. Again see: Special Skills.

TED’s Tips™ #2: Search for a job OFFERING something: special skills, special knowledge or if nothing else flexibility and a willingness to adapt – rather than searching for a job just asking for a job.

What’s up in China? Learn about a great internship program on offer if would like to Teach English in China

How to Teach English Overseas and Secrets to Success Abroad
TEFL Boot Camp  is offering a free download of their new publication Seven Secrets of Success Abroad - and along with it comes a bi-weekly installment and revision of their eBook called How to Teach English Overseas.

Great reviews for the Secrets of Success eBook – in spite of the hokey name – and the How to Teach English eBook is being updated and rewritten and sent out in installments as it is ready.

Here they are – click on the eBooks to get your FREE copies! Great information and the price is right, from our friends at TEFL Boot Camp – CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE EBOOKS.

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Please let me know what you think of the ebooks – use the comments section below.

I confess both eBooks are written by yours truly – hoping to inspire others to head overseas and live life BIG out in the real world. I would value your feedback!

104 Comments

  • By Bernadette, June 20, 2010 @ 9:48 PM

    Hi,

    I’ve recently completed a Celta course and after gaining some experience here am seriously considering teaching abroad, in a country like Saudi Arabia, in order to earn and save some money.

    I was just wondering if there were any particular countries that you’ve taught in, where being an older woman (late forties) goes against you.

  • By Ted, June 21, 2010 @ 12:08 PM

    Being in your late 40s is not a problem anywhere I am know of. Once you hit mid 50s then some countries are a problem. But if you are looking for the Middle East and/or specifically Saudi Arabia – then you will find that they tend to prefer more mature teachers anyway. Females – in general – are also in great demand, almost everywhere as most the people heading abroad to teach English are males and some schools would like to balance their staffing between male and female and some schools just feel women are less trouble than men (be that true or not – I won’t comment!).
    I hope that helps.
    Enjoy!
    Ted

  • By darian, August 31, 2010 @ 3:01 PM

    Hi I am 20 years old and trying to figure out what to do with my life> REcently heard about teaching abroad and this is now my goal. Im about a semester away from my associates degree and was wondering whats the next best step i should do. My friend and I would like to do it together is that possible? Being that im only 20 I have no expierence in much. Although i do have alot of expierence working with special needs children could this be a plus?

  • By Ted, September 1, 2010 @ 11:02 AM

    Hi Darian,
    Probably the very best thing you can do is stay in college until you finish a bachelor’s degree. The world of TEFL for people without degrees does still exists but it is growing smaller by the day and year. And without that BA/BS you will always be at the bottom of the barrel. If you want to TEFL for a just a year to see if you like it – then get yourself an online certificate and go to somewhere like Cambodia where you can earn decent money and live well. But – rest assured – someday even Cambodia will be looking for a degree. I will likely make this a topic in the near future – thank you for the idea!
    Ted

  • By Bridget, November 10, 2010 @ 1:35 PM

    Hey Ted,

    I am currently student teaching in my fifth year in a five year Masters Program for Early Childhood Special Education. Although I have had job offers in the U.S. already, I really want to take a year to travel and teach kindergarten or lower elementary grades abroad. I am interested in Spain, France, and the UK. I don’t have any debt or college loans and was just hoping to be able to work and travel as much as I can. Just from my research and knowing someone who taught in South Korea, I understand that they pay the most. Do you know which European Countries pay the highest/lowest, and considering I will have a dual licensure and a BA and MA in education from the U.S., does that make me more qualified and the pay better?
    Thanks,
    Bridget

  • By Ted, November 10, 2010 @ 5:27 PM

    Hi Bridget,
    You biggest problem is that as an American, it will be almost impossible for you to get legal working papers as a teacher in the EU. Once you have a few years experience, you can work at international schools and then you may successfully target European countries. For now though, it is probably better to head to Asia – Korea or similar. You licensure will help you land the better jobs in Asia, but you still won’t fully qualify for the international schools until you have at least two years experience in your home country.
    I hope that helps.
    Enjoy!
    Ted

  • By Lisi, December 10, 2010 @ 9:12 PM

    Helo there, i have been reading some of the comments that are on your page. I am 34 female with a son whos 7. I am a nursery nurse and hold no degree. I have just finnished a weekend couse in TEFl and still to do 80hrs on computer. I feel totaly dishearted now and feel I have wasted my time. Do you think it will be hard for me to settle abroad and teach young children?

  • By Ted, December 11, 2010 @ 11:21 AM

    Hi Lisi,
    Two of the most difficult things in TEFL are 1. Landing a good job without a degree and 2. Bringing along dependent children who rely on you for their education and well being. Both issues apply to you and I would not be optimistic. While I like to believe that you can do anything you want to if you really set your mind to it, the odds are certainly against it in this case. Who is going to watch your child? Where and how will be he educated if he doesn’t know the language of the land where you relocate? What about medical care if he becomes ill? WHO do you expect will look after all those things? Only you. He most likely won’t be allowed to attend local schools and international schools usually cost about what you will earn or even double what you will earn in terms of monthly tuition. And medical care? Baby sitting when you aren’t home and are out working long hours? Not having a degree guarantees that you will not get the best of jobs and that you will have a difficult time just supporting yourself. I don’t see how you can also support a dependent. It might be good to start working on a degree then at least you will have a fighting chance. Sorry to be so frank, but you do need to know.
    Ted

  • By Neka, December 15, 2010 @ 3:49 PM

    Hi,

    I’m about to start college in a month and was wondering what to do after i get my AA. I was thinking about teaching abroad and wanted to go for A TEFL certificate as well.

    My question is, can I get a job with just an AA and A TEFL certificate. Would degree would the employers look at more.

    If it helps I have worked with children both in elementary and middle school for about 2 years, and tutored high school students for as long. Will that help

  • By Ted, December 16, 2010 @ 10:07 AM

    Hello Neka,
    Almost always, when a position for teacher of English requires a degree, they are referring to a bachelor’s degree. I would recommend going all the way and finishing your BA/BS degree. Jobs that require a BA, often do so as a requirement of immigration laws or Ministry of Law requirements. or both. It is often not up to the school – thus no BA degree to them – means no degree at all. Experience or an AA or both – won’t help. There are jobs out there for people with no degree but that world is rapidly shrinking and they are never the best of jobs.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Jade, January 2, 2011 @ 6:54 AM

    Hello Ted. I stumbled upon your blog site and find it very informative. Thank you.
    My question is, which degree would be most appropriate? A degree in education or a degree in English?
    I plan to be a teacher and would love to travel and teach english for some time but I am pretty sure I don’t want to teach english forever. I am uncertain what I really want to teach but I am leaning toward Sustainable Agriculture. Thank you for any information you might be able to offer.

  • By Ted, January 4, 2011 @ 2:13 PM

    Hello Jade,
    A degree in Education – would give you the option of having a couple specialties – TEFL being one and Sustainable Agriculture being the other. Or – a degree in Education with a TEFL Cert is almost as good.
    I hope that helps.
    Enjoy!
    Ted

  • By emma, January 9, 2011 @ 4:03 PM

    Hi Ted,

    I recently returned from 4 years working as an entertainer on cruise ships around the world and have become accustomed to the “living aborad” lifetsyle and am looking for other options outside of the cruise industry.

    I am 36, have been a singer/entertainer all my life and am interested in taking a break from this to try something new.

    I don’t have a bachelors degree and have no teaching experience, but I’ve travelled extensively to most countries in the world.

    What would you suggest might be my chances and best way to go about finding some success with this, in lining up sponsership etc if I have a tefl qualification (which I don’t right now)? is this the best one to have? The places I could see myself spending more time in are Europe, Japan, in fact, most places in Asia, possibly parts of the emirates.

    Thanks for any advice you might be able to give!… and thanks for making yourself available for these comments – great info!

    Emma

  • By Ted, January 10, 2011 @ 11:19 AM

    Hi Emma,
    Not having a degree is going to be a real hindrance. There are really only a few countries left where you can teach legally (with legal working papers) without a degree. A couple of your best options would be Cambodia and Indonesia. To the best of my knowledge, Indonesia will require a good in-classroom TEFL certification – Cambodia will not. Europe is difficult unless you are an EU citizen and most of the Middle East likes a degree, TEFL Cert and experience. Much of Latin America is available for non-degreed people, but usually the work is without legal working papers.
    So . . . I can not be encouraging – I am sorry. If you were younger than 30 then some of the Working Holiday Visas would be a possibility, but you are not. The age of 36 is not too old to go get a degree though and frankly, that would be my suggestion. Even – if you want – teach in Cambodia and pursue a good distance degree from a good university while you are working.
    I hope that helps – but maybe not!
    Ted

  • By Gary Brown, January 18, 2011 @ 2:15 PM

    Well…..another oldster wanting to teach English..I am in a unique situation. I already have one job in Kaohsiung Taiwan (start in October) and I also have a ARC (green card) not to mention a wonderful Taiwanese wife. I have legal residence there and know the pace, customs, culture and transportation options. I refuse to let age get in my way and certainly an in person meeting is the way to go, it is what I did to get a job at a Monteesori School. Don’t give up!! Go for it!!

  • By Lily, February 2, 2011 @ 10:57 AM

    My boyfriend and I (both late middle age) plan to move to Cambodia this year. He is a high school teacher (with a degree) and he has spent the last 5 years teaching hign school in Thailand. I have only an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. I have taught preschool and kindergarten in the US. What do you think our chances of working in Cambodia are? Should I think about doing a TESL course there? I prefer working with young children (6 years and under) Thank you. Any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated!

  • By Ted, February 2, 2011 @ 11:26 AM

    Hello Lily,
    You will both do fine in Cambodia! An excellent resource for teaching young learners is here: http://teflebooks.com/teaching-english-to-young-learners/
    Should you take a TEFL course there? Yes – it is almost always best to take your course in the country where you first intend to teach. Then you get to do your observed teaching practice with students similar to those you will teach on your first job.
    Go and enjoy!
    Ted

  • By Nelly, February 14, 2011 @ 12:23 PM

    Hi!
    I live in Australia, am 22 years old and recently completed Certificate III in TESOL but I don’t have a degree. I tutor English privately and also run group ESL classes. I have my heart set on teaching English somewhere in Europe. I was born in the UK so I do have a British passport & citizenship. Do you think it’d be possible for me to make this dream come true?

  • By Ted, February 14, 2011 @ 12:54 PM

    Hello Nelly,
    As you won’t need a work permit, you will find it much easier to land a job. You should probably research the jobs adverts for the different countries, however; to see what they are requiring in terms of qualifications. The high unemployment level in Ireland and the UK probably means they can pick and chose who they want and what qualifications they would prefer.
    Good luck with your search. I hope you find exactly what you want.
    Ted

  • By julscb, February 15, 2011 @ 11:56 PM

    Hi- I really enjoy your website. It is very informative especially to people like me who are wanting(again-I was a local hire due to my husbands job there)to teach overseas. Please advise:
    I am at a crossroads on what to pursue first. I have a Bachelors in General Studies, working experience in the Middle East, currently thinking of either an MA in Early Childhood Education OR an alternative teaching certification program which would allow me to teach in the US. What would be more beneficial for me? Having a masters or being certified?what would employers require at International Schools overseas?

  • By Ted, February 16, 2011 @ 9:47 AM

    Hi Julie,
    Having both an MA and a certification would help you most. For international schools, they usually prefer about two years teaching experience in your home country’s public schools. So – whatever is required to do that – is what they are looking for. One of the best websites for checking out the job scene for international school is http://www.ISS.edu They charge placement fees but they are one of the most reputable players in that market. VERY different from the regular TEFL Market where I would say to NEVER pay a placement fee. I hope that helps!
    Ted

  • By Kathy, February 25, 2011 @ 7:20 AM

    I am just shy of a BA in education but I lived in Thailand before for 4 years and taught English free through the YWCA. I would like to go to Cambodia and teach – do I need a TEFL before I go or can I get one while I am there? I also was a teachers assistant for 10 years in special education.

  • By Ted, February 25, 2011 @ 7:52 AM

    Hi Kathy,
    Cambodia is one of the few countries where you don’t need any kind of qualification to land a teaching job. Ideally, it is best to get your TEFL Training in the country where you intend to teach (if you can afford it) as your observed teaching practice then is with students similar to those you will be teaching on the job. Every country seems to have some unique pronunciation and grammar issues and if you get a handle on them in training, you are ahead of the game when you step into your classroom. To the best of my knowledge Cambodia does not require a TEFL certification, but a certification will help you land the better jobs there.
    I hope that helps!
    Ted

  • By Camila, March 6, 2011 @ 4:31 AM

    Hi! I will be graduating here in May with a BA in English and Secondary Education. I have student taught for a semester,and worked as a long term substitute for a month or so. I want to teach in Lima, Peru; either in an English institution or school. Do I need to get TEFL certified, even though I am certified to teach English and am a native speaker? Thanks!

  • By Ted, March 7, 2011 @ 1:02 PM

    Hi Camila,
    Yours is a great question and I think I will use it in a blog post as well. Teaching English to students, especially secondary students, is – to me – a VERY different animal than teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). Very different! And the methodology would be different. Now – since you have a base in education, I don’t know that you need to take an expensive course, but it would be well worth your while to take at least an online course to get the basic ideas of methodology (many of which are covered on our sister website: http://www.TEFLteachertraining.com/blog/ ).
    I hope that helps!
    Ted

  • By Camila, March 15, 2011 @ 12:16 PM

    Yes, your advice did help! Thank you!

  • By TJ, March 19, 2011 @ 9:50 PM

    Hi Ted! Great website!

    I am looking for a teaching job abroad. I am a dual citizen of the UK and Canada. I am 34 and have pondered the thought of working in a Spanish speaking country (Central America, South America etc. ) I also have been interested in Asia and trying somewhere new. I would be going alone on this adventure and would hopefully be able to find some security while working. I also possess a Bachelors Degree of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management with various creative writing courses from an accredited US university. I have lived and worked abroad in the UK and would also consider options around the whole of the EU(East and West) . France, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Poland etc.

    I have been a freelance writer on and off for ten years and into web content development. Self taught and still learning. However, I do not have a journalism degree or English degree. And do not have a web development or design degree.
    Are there any companies that will take on a new teacher(without TEFL) and help with getting there, finding or offering accommodation and training? I have seen it with many of the Korean jobs, but not with anywhere else.

    Any advice would be fantastic! I am looking to start this new position soon.

    Thanks Ted,

    TJ

  • By Ted, March 19, 2011 @ 9:51 PM

    Hello TJ,
    With a degree in hospitality you can teach a LOT of places. Many places where tourism is important. I am not an expert on Latin America, but if you send me an email through the contact form on this website I can give you information about two school SE Asia that would be interested in you. You would however have to interview on the scene – in person. And you would need to get a TEFL certification. Take a look at this webpage over at our sister website: http://www.teflteachertraining.com/blog/teach-english-in-hotels-and-resorts-around-the-world/
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Greig, March 20, 2011 @ 2:43 PM

    Hi Ted
    My wife and I (late 50s) have sold our business and are thinking of teaching in Thailand after talking a local TEFL course there. Are there good TEFL academies there? And would we get a job there? Otherwise, by the sound of your previous emails, its over the border to Cambodia!

  • By Ted, March 20, 2011 @ 2:45 PM

    Hello Greig,
    If you want to teach in Thailand, you will both need a degree AND a TEFL Certification. Do you have a degree? There are quite a few good courses in Thailand – check out http://www.TeachEnglishBangkok.com for information on a couple of them – or banners from there. Your age should not be too much of a problem as you will be able to interview in person and demonstrate that you energetic and positive.
    Good luck on your journey!
    Ted

  • By Keith Howell, March 23, 2011 @ 11:56 PM

    I have one of those “I’m still hopeful, but . . . ?” questions.

    I have just acquired my TEFL certificate.

    I have taught advanced communications in University, on invitation from the institution, and also compiled the curriculum for that class. I taught it for three semesters.

    I have taught New Broadcast Technique and Procedure, as well as Broadcast Law, at a provincial Broadcast Institution, federally licenced.

    I have taught ESL off-and-on since 2002, and acquired certificates at that time in both ESL and ABE (Adult Basic Education).

    I have now taught ESL for a year to Taiwan via the internet (tutorabc.com), and have done well in my student/client assessments in that endeavour (which I continue to do).

    My (maybe) dilemma is : 1/ I have no degrees, although I am reasonably close; and,
    2/ I am 65 years of age — although I am in excellent health and have documentation to prove it.

    What do you think my chances are??

    Curious . . .
    Keith

  • By Ted, March 24, 2011 @ 7:56 AM

    Hi Keith,
    Without a degree and at age 65, your options are limited, but possibilities still exist. Your best bet would probably be Cambodia, pretty much a wide open market for anyone who shows up. I would, however, be sure to follow the advice/opinion on the “Too Old” blog post. Depending on how long ago it was, you might also approach schools that specialize in broadcast and see what is available for you there.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Blue Jade, March 26, 2011 @ 8:13 AM

    I am an African American woman in my late 30′s with a diverse background that includes working in a corporate Telecommunications firm as a trainer. I am also a military veteran. I have recently been looking into Teaching English Abroad to gain the life experience of living abroad while allowing myself to learn the language of the culture I teach within. I am currently completing my undergraduate degree. I have recently decided to change schools to pursue my Associate’s Degree in Information Technology. Once I start my new program I will complete my Associates within 6 months to a year. I will then take about another year to complete my undergraduate degree. I figure I will have my Associate’s degree completed by the time I am hired to teach abroad and I will have my Baccalaureate degree completed by the end of my first year teaching. I therefore would like to know every country that will accept a non degree holding certified ESL or TEFL teacher. Thank you.

  • By Ted, March 26, 2011 @ 8:14 AM

    Hello Jade,
    As you won’t have your BA/BS when you want to start teaching, your options will be quite limited. With a TEFL certification you should be able to land a decent job in Indonesia and with no certification, perhaps Cambodia. You can probably find a job in much of Latin American, but they often don’t come with legal working working papers. And – I don’t know the market in that part of the world very well.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By David, April 12, 2011 @ 6:48 PM

    Hi Ted

    I am a 33 years old british born chinese,study final year at university which ends in August 2011. I was looking teach abroad to get to know my own heritage. The question is that I wouldn’t recieve my Ba certificate until November would this become a issue when seeking a job this september

    David

  • By Ted, April 13, 2011 @ 8:53 AM

    Hi David,
    This situation comes up for a lot of people and can be a problem, yes. It will likely depend on the specific school and specific country. But the real problem can arise when you arrive as generally you’ll need to produce your degree for the Ministry of Labor or Ministry of Education or similar. While you are likely to have some success, you might find it a lot easier to look for positions starting in January. Sorry – not the best answer!
    Ted

  • By Kathleen Blosser, April 24, 2011 @ 10:05 AM

    Hi Ted,
    I am a mature woman of 55 who has always had a passion for french and France. Now that my children are all grown and gone, I would like to purse a dream of teaching english in France. I have a BA in french lit and an MBA. I am very proficient in french. Do you recommend that I get a TEFL certificate and do you know of the proper avenue to pursue this avenue. I understand that I am too old for the teacher’s assistant through the French Embassy. Thanks for you time.
    Kathleen

  • By Ted, April 24, 2011 @ 1:08 PM

    Hi Kathleen,
    I am guessing from your IP address that you are American? If so, two issues are important for working in the EU. First, is can you get a work permit for France? To hire a non-EU citizen, the company you wish to employ you must document that they are unable to hire an EU citizen for the same position. And, as unemployment is high in Ireland and the UK, my guess is there there are a lot of people that they could hire first. So – that part might be difficult. The second issue: Europeans tend to prefer the CELTA – it is a UK based certification and they are just more familiar with it. If I was going to seek employment in the EU and needed a cert – a CELTA is what I would get.
    I hope that helps!
    Ted

  • By Thea, May 5, 2011 @ 5:37 AM

    Dear Ted,

    I am writing to see if I can pick your brain about something. I am 31 and I just finished an M.A. in French literature with honors. My plan is to continue for a PhD in my field, but a lot of more competitive programs prefer their applicants to have spent at least 1 year in France. My year abroad in France was cut short when I had a bad sports accident, and had to leave early, and come home to get surgery. I was advised to only take 2 years getting my M.A., so I did that instead of taking a year to go teach abroad. Now that seems to have backfired on me, because I don’t have the time abroad that these programs would have preferred me to have, and I am ONE year too old to go teach English in France through the French Ministry of Culture program (they accept applicants between 20 and 30). I feel this is pretty discriminatory, since I am still as capable of doing the job as I was 1 year ago. Are you aware of any other programs or possibilities for someone in my position? I’d be glad to go to ANY French-speaking country, not just France, and teach for a year. I’ve noticed from your other advice that it’s difficult to get a job in the EU, even with a TESOL, if you’re not from an EU member country, so I am reluctant to waste time and money getting a TESOL if it wouldn’t help me toward this goal. Thanks for any ideas you might have!

  • By Ted, May 5, 2011 @ 8:38 AM

    Hi Thea,
    I suspect that you are limiting yourself by trying to fit into certain programs. Why not just look for regular teaching jobs abroad. If you want to teach English, you will not have any problems since you have an MA. Get a TEFL certification and you will be able to work almost anywhere – except probably the EU. But the EU is a special case.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By hannah, June 19, 2011 @ 4:21 AM

    Dear Ted I am a year away from completing my criminology degree. I’d like to live in France one day and plan to take long holidays there until it happens. I was thinking of teaching English to French students to finance my stay. What course would you recommend I am only interested in France i’m 34.
    regards

  • By Ted, June 19, 2011 @ 5:58 AM

    Hello Hanna,
    The first thing you need to know is that it is very difficult for American English teachers to get legal working papers in the EU. If you have dual citizenship or a special contact then that is different. For a French employer to hire you they will need to prove that there is no EU citizen that can fill the position. As unemployment is high in Ireland and the UK – well . . . I think they will have plenty of potential teachers for whom they won’t have to do expensive and time consuming working papers. Sorry to let you know that . . . The first thing you need to figure out is how to stay there legally.
    Ted

  • By hannah, June 21, 2011 @ 5:47 AM

    Dear Ted
    Thankyou for your response. I am English and from the London UK

    Regards Hannah

  • By Ted, June 21, 2011 @ 8:02 AM

    If you intend to teach Europe and can do so legally, then the best TEFL course for you to take would be the CELTA. It often tends to be the most expensive also, but it is the “name brand” that Europe seems to like the most. For the rest of the world – pretty much any TEFL cert is fine and much of the world has never even heard of CELTA – it is just a name brand thing for Europe. I hope that helps!
    Ted

  • By Nolan, July 16, 2011 @ 6:54 PM

    Hey, Ted.

    Great website! Your posts are highly informative and helpful.

    I’m an American, 25, and a year away from finishing up a BA in Mass Communication from an international program in Thailand. I’ve only now just discovered that South Korea requires a degree from a native English speaking country. I do have an Associates degree from an American institution and an online TEFL qualification. Combined, would these qualifications allow me to obtain legal work in South Korea? Do you know if other countries may be an issue as well?

    Thanks.

  • By Ted, July 17, 2011 @ 6:34 AM

    Hello Nolan,
    Some countries can “bend” their rules a bit if a school wants to hire you, but – generally – S. Korea follows its rules and requirements rather rigorously. Other good options in the region include China and Thailand.
    Not the answer you were hoping for I am sure, but I hope it helps.
    Ted

  • By Ken Hancock, July 20, 2011 @ 6:35 AM

    Hi Ted,

    I’m 61,and have a recent BA and this year earned a TEFL certification through LCC. My girlfriend (a long time teacher and LCC grad) and I, are looking for couples teaching positions around the world. We have been looking into Korea but are open. We are both in difficult economic circumstances, mine due to past health issues, education expenses, and the downturn in the economy. We both have a lot of energy, ability, and enthusiam between us; we love to travel, are culturally sensitive,and… here is the thing I shouldn’t say “We think out of the box.” We are currently waiting for our FBI background checks to be completed. We will consider other countries but need to make enough income to allow us to have some meager savings. The teaching market is getting much more competitive since I last e-mailed you six months ago. My question, after that long winded introduction, is this. What other countries might be good bets for us, and more accomodating of our ages?

    Thank you for your time.

    Ken

  • By Ted, July 20, 2011 @ 7:52 AM

    Hi Ken,
    The most accommodating country of all in terms of age or any other issues . . . Cambodia. All you need is US$30 for a “business” visa – on entry – just ask and pay – and you can teach or conduct any other sort of business. Rural China can also be quite flexible.
    I hope that helps,
    Ted

  • By Maysoon, July 20, 2011 @ 12:30 PM

    Hi Ted,My boyfriend..he is American.. will be moving to my home country “Egypt” soon,Is it be better for him to obtain a TEFL certificate from the US or in Egypt? he will be pursuing a teaching job..”Of course as an English teacher”
    Thanks in advance.

  • By Ted, July 20, 2011 @ 12:31 PM

    Hello Maysoon,
    Most people would recommend that he take the course in the country in which he intends to teach. There are a lot of advantages to that. He will do his practice teaching with students that have similar pronunciation and grammar problems as those he will meet in his classroom, his school will probably know the best places to apply, sometimes schools come by training centers looking for someone to hire and it is also an opportunity to learn about and know the local classroom culture – which can be very different in different countries.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Rives, October 23, 2011 @ 11:01 AM

    Hi, The main question I have is whether I’m too old to be hired. I’ve earned BS and MS Ed degrees in the 70s and taught Japanese kids in Japan 10 years ago. Are my degrees too old and am I too old to teach in Taipei?
    Thanks for your thoughts,
    Rives (a retired American who wants to teach)

  • By Ted, October 24, 2011 @ 6:07 PM

    Hello Rives,
    For us older teachers, sometimes the only way to really scope out the market is on the scene. For anyone over about 55, I tend to recommend scouting the job scene in person. In part because you are then the “bird in the hand” versus the one in the bush and also your potential employer can see that you are energetic, positive, healthy and ready to go to work. Look over TEFL Newbie and also http://www.TEFLteachertraining.com for the articles on job search for older teachers. There are several on both sites.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By rumour?, October 31, 2011 @ 7:40 AM

    hi Ted, I am 35 interested in teaching overseas. i have a past history of depression though stabilized. Is it true that certain countries would not allow me to teach English there because of the diagnosis? If so which ones?

  • By Ted, October 31, 2011 @ 9:44 AM

    Hello Fi Kat,
    Korea is the only country that I am aware of that MIGHT not allow you due to such an issue. Most countries require either no health exam or only a cursory one that is usually looking for STDs, HIV and contagious diseases. I don’t usually share my personal health information when applying for a job unless they specifically ask about a certain issue. And even then, if I don’t feel it is their business, I won’t tell them. But that’s just me. Some countries will do drug testing – but even that may not reveal anything – and/or you may not be taking any medications. If you have been stable for a long time, you are possibly okay. I don’t usually recommend that people with mental health issues go abroad as adapting to working and living in a new setting is often stressful and you are not able to access your usual support systems. Culture shock can be a major issue even for people with no previous mental health issues. To some degree though – it is really up to you and your level of confidence in yourself and in your ability to adapt and meet the challenges such changes will bring to your daily life.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By James F, November 18, 2011 @ 11:40 AM

    Hi Ted,

    First off, this website is great and a wonderful resource for those looking for information, thanks. My friend and I are considering taking a Trinity TESOL course in Bali, Indonesia sometime within the next few months. I currently have an Associates Degree and my friend a Bachelors Degree. From my understanding the Trinity certification is comparable to the CELTA in quality and recognition (please correct me if I’m wrong). I’m wondering if it will be possible for me to land a decent job in Indonesia with a Trinity TESOL and an Associates Degree, I’m guessing that my friend (with a BA) will have no difficulties.

    I’m also considering continuing my education and getting a bachelors degree through distance education while teaching English. Let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks in advance,
    James F

  • By Ted, November 18, 2011 @ 11:59 AM

    Hello James,
    Both of you should have no problems with a Trinity certification and finding good work in Indonesia. Yes, get your BA/BS as soon as possible as it will open up many more employment options for you. Get your degree from a reputable college/university and then the online/distance part should be no problem at all.
    Ted

  • By J.Adam, November 23, 2011 @ 5:32 AM

    TEFL Newbie is a great and a wonderful resource for those looking for information like me. Thank you Ted I get a lot more information than I think. But I have one question on my mind. I will get my BSECE next year and plan to get a TEFL certficate and want to teach kids abroad somewhere like Saudi Arabia since they have more oprtunities for women, but the thing is I don’t thave exprience at all. What would be my chances?

  • By Ted, November 23, 2011 @ 7:46 AM

    One of the reasons that countries in the Middle East usually pay so well is that they also tend to require at least a year or two of previous experience. You are right and you know what a lot of women don’t know – that there are a lot of good high-paying jobs for women in the ME. Some people would say don’t go there as women are oppressed, but it is – in fact – education that frees women. You might want to get a couple of years of experience before you head to the ME. Then you will have no problem landing a good job. Try Korea if income is important, China if it is not.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Edie, December 3, 2011 @ 3:00 AM

    Hi Ted,

    Your posts here are very informative. I’m curious about what you might think my current options are for working overseas. I’m an EU citizen, and have been living in the US for about 20 years. I’m 31 years old, and bilingual in English and German. I don’t hold a degree. I know you’ve said that this is a major hindrance, but I was hoping to get your advice. With TEFL certification, is there any hope for teaching abroad? Are there any other certifications to keep in mind? Do online courses carry a disadvantage?
    I appreciate any advice you have to offer.
    E

  • By Ted, December 4, 2011 @ 3:59 PM

    Hi Edie,
    You might want to take a good look at China for a TEFL job. You won’t need a degree. Your best option might be TEFL Internships in China
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Joey, December 23, 2011 @ 3:11 AM

    Hi Ted,

    I was just wondering whether you knew if it’s still legal to teach in Indonesia without a degree (I have a TEFL Certificate).

    Joey

  • By Ted, December 23, 2011 @ 3:20 AM

    Hi Joey,
    My understanding is that there are still a few jobs in Indonesia where a degree is not required, but it does seem like all the major employers these days are requiring a degree. China and Cambodia are probably two better options for people without degrees.
    Ted

  • By Amy, January 12, 2012 @ 6:18 AM

    Hi Ted,

    I’m Amy and I’m also looking to teach abroad. I’ve been in advertising for four plus years, and am thinking of enterting the teaching field.I have a degree from Auburn University in Communications. Would I need a TEFL certification to teach in Cambodia?

  • By Ted, January 12, 2012 @ 7:29 AM

    Hi Amy,
    Cambodia has a lot of teachers who went there from Thailand where a TEFL certification is required. So – yes – to best market yourself, it would help to have a TEFL certification. Required? No. Helpful? Very.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Daniel, January 13, 2012 @ 4:39 AM

    Hi Ted;

    I am 48 years of age and wish to have a change of life. With this in mind I enrolled for a TEFL course. I do hold a degree (BCom) and a Diploma in Math/ Electronics and have been employed in this field for the past 25 years. Would you suggest that I market these skills as well when marketing myself abroad; I am keen on working in Asia. Secondly, how would my age affect my chances? Many thanks. Danny

  • By Ted, January 13, 2012 @ 5:28 AM

    Absolutely, yes, market yourself with your previous skills and degree. Age is becoming more of a factor as you approach 50, but if you are on the scene you will do fine and luckily won’t be hired to teach preschool!
    Ted

  • By ambreen kausar, January 15, 2012 @ 9:00 AM

    Hello Ted:
    i have done BEd HONOURS (KS 1&2) specialist in Theology/RE from Newmans University college.

    I am interested in teaching in saudi arabia and i was wondering would i need to do an tefl coursse?

    also if my husband was to do the tefl course would he be able to teach english there as well? He does not have a degree.

    thankyou
    Ambreen

  • By Ted, January 15, 2012 @ 9:09 AM

    Hello Ambreen,

    If you don’t have a degree specifically in TEFL or a closely related area, most Saudi employers will then require a certification. Schools there will almost always require a degree. I don’t know of any exceptions.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Jessica, January 18, 2012 @ 7:27 AM

    Hi Ted,

    I’m a 26-year-old looking to move abroad for a year but have a job to support myself. I’d like to teach English, but I did not obtain my degree. I don’t think my seven years at my previous job in office management and international sales can necessarily be a skill set to offer. Any suggestions on what avenue to take? Appreciate it.

  • By Ted, January 18, 2012 @ 7:30 AM

    Hello Jessica,
    You might do fine in China – a degree is not required. Cambodia is also open to non-degreed people. China will require a TEFL certification. Cambodia does not, but to be competitive there, you will need one.
    Ted

  • By Lorraine, January 19, 2012 @ 3:25 PM

    Good morning I’m a female of 49 and was very interested teaching english abroad however only have std 8 have called several reputable agencies and all say I need a degree which I don’t have.All my work experience has been gained through corporate work experience can you refer me to someone that can assist?

  • By Ted, January 19, 2012 @ 3:30 PM

    Hello Lorraine,
    You’ll probably need to apply directly to schools rather than through recruiters. Recruiters are generallly paid to acquire better teacher candidates than a school can find for themselves – thus they are always asking for more qualifications, such as a degree. China and Cambodia are both good options for you. But, do you have anthing to offer? Have you taken and completed TEFL training? Get some training if not and also considered applying for jobs IN PERSON. Without a degree, no TEFL training and no experience most schools will look for someone else. You need to give them a reason to seriously consider you. TEFL training is one. Being able to start tomorrow is another. Add those two together and you will likely be in good shape.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Olivia Graham, January 22, 2012 @ 6:56 AM

    Hello Ted,

    My name is Olivia Graham and I am currently finishing my final year in college. After college in August I will be headed to China to live out my dream and study kung fu at shaolin temple for 5 years. I love asia/southeast asia and would love to teach english in Laos, Thailand. I do have a few questions 1. Do you have any suggestions for any programs/classes that arnt too costly to get TEFL certification 2. I am a double major in music (concert piano) and Anthropology but i have taught many camps and at schools for volunteering. Do i have any possibility of getting a job with these degrees. Or do the schools only employ those with Education Degrees.

  • By Ted, January 22, 2012 @ 7:00 AM

    Hello Olivia,
    Your degrees are fine. The requirement is usually for a bachelor’s degree but rarely is a major specified. A good low cost TEFL certification can be had at http://www.TEFLBootCamp.com – but fair warning, I am the Academic Director there. With a TEFL cert and degree, you will do very well in China. Good Luck!
    Ted

  • By Hilary Nemet, February 4, 2012 @ 8:36 AM

    Hi Ted,

    I was just online researching different job opportunities in South America, and I’m at a loss. I am only 19 years old, and I have spent one year abroad studying in Italy. Ever since then, I have wanted to travel and work abroad. I do want to attend University in a year or so, however, I would like to travel and earn money abroad before.

    Teaching English or working in a camp with children is something I am interested in. Even if it is an assistant in a school, since I do not have a degree in teaching. Do you have any ideas for me? What would you suggest I look for?

    Thank you very much for your help!

  • By Ted, February 4, 2012 @ 8:40 AM

    Hi Hilary,
    Job opportunities for people without degrees are out there, but somewhat limited. Some Latin American countries are okay, but often without legal working papers. Cambodia and China are both fine and you can work there legally. But, no degree and then looking for short-term employment greatly diminishes the possibilities. My best recommendation? Run, don’t walk, to that bachelor’s degree and then a huge number of opportunites will open up for you, long and short term. Probably not the answer you were hoping for, but maybe the best one I can give.
    Ted

  • By patricia, February 4, 2012 @ 3:27 PM

    Hi Ted,

    I am 55, have a B.A. in Communications, an M.S in TV/Radio. Worked as an award-winning producer/director in TV for 14 years, a a freelance writer and for the past eight years as a publisher of a magazine. Looking to live abroad and teach English. Will I require some sort of special accreditation to do so or are there positions that offer on-the-job training? Also- while technology has changed, might my knowledge of producing, directing, editing and formatting a good story or short documentary also play into a position abroad?

  • By Ted, February 4, 2012 @ 3:30 PM

    Hello Patricia,
    You might want to look at our post about Teaching EFL Using Previous Skills here:. You are starting to bump up against the age at which most language schools will not hire you, but some universities and colleges will (it’s a problem for me too). Look for a college or university that teaches your specialty. I know Korea has a university specifically devoted to TV/Movie/Journalism/etc. They are more likely to hire you even if only for teaching English. This is sometimes the back door into teaching other topics – often in English. I’ve taught business topics, management, accounting and even psychology – all in English – at schools where I was initially hired just to teach English. Explore that path. But use English teaching to get your toe in the door. DO get some TEFL training first – an online course is fine for China, Korea, Japan and many other countries. At our age, you’ll need some help and that will help.
    Ted

  • By patricia, February 7, 2012 @ 1:44 AM

    Thanks Ted. I think my skills would honestly be better suited to producing and directing projects in Asia directed for an English-speaking audience. However I looked further on your site and found the China internship quite intriguing. I feel my personality, high energy, youthful appearance, enthusiasm, sense of wonder and great facility with language belies my statistical age. Might I be a qualified candidate for the China internships and are you involved in this particular program?

  • By Ted, February 7, 2012 @ 4:00 AM

    Hello Patricia,
    The only way we could tell you if you qualify for the internship program in China would be to go ahead and apply. Yes, fair warning! I am the Academic Director for the project. Go over to http://www.TEFLinternships.com and apply and let’s see if it is a good fit for you and the schools.
    Ted

  • By kalia, February 13, 2012 @ 10:40 AM

    Hi Ted,
    I am 25, French and I am doing my final year BA Early Childhood Studies. I would like to teach French and English in Canada, North or South America, or Asia. But I am not a native English, I do not have the TEFL, I have any experience in teaching and I am not sure that my degree on its own is valuable. Can you please tell me what are my options?? Thank you

  • By Ted, February 15, 2012 @ 12:02 PM

    Hello Kalia,
    Most schools look for native speakers of English, but many schools in China (for example) are happy to accept European non-native speakers of English. Your options and job offers will be somewhat limited, but the demand for teachers is great and you should have no trouble landing a decent job. Your degree will help a lot as many newbie teachers first teach kindergarten or other young learners.
    China is your best option. Cambodia might be a good option too.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Jennifer, February 20, 2012 @ 5:24 PM

    Hi Ted,
    I have barely begun my college experience and after constant changes to my major, decided to go with English since I have always dreamed of Living in Japan and teaching. Now, teaching is NOT my forte, it was actually the LAST thing I thought I would ever do. However I was willing to face my shyness of public speaking for the dream of being able to teach English in Japan. My question, although I am So far away from it is, would an associates degree suffice for eligibility to teach? or might as well go for the bachelors right? I also plan on taking Japanese lessons before going and completing the TEFL course as well. I cannot take that course yet since i am not 21 years old yet. Another thing, would I be at a disadvantage if I am younger? I don’t want interviewers to think I am too inexperienced… What are you’re thoughts on this? THANKS ^_^

  • By Ted, February 20, 2012 @ 5:30 PM

    Hello Jennifer,
    To the best of my knowledge you don’t need to be 21 years old to take a TEFL course – certainly not for any course I have been associated with. Being young is fine, though you’ll often be sent off to the kindergarten classes. There is a Japanese program for people with only a two year degree, but you will limit your options so much that it would be worth doing the full four years. Do it, get it done and get on with life – just my opinion!
    Ted

  • By Amanda, February 26, 2012 @ 6:38 PM

    Hi Ted,
    I’ve been reading your posts and they they are so helpful! I’m hoping you can give me some advice.
    I’m a 20 year old student looking to pursue a career in teaching. I’ve done one year of my BA and would need another 3 to complete my Teaching degree. I’m a Korean female living in New Zealand as a permanent resident and speak English fluently albeit I speak it with a Kiwi accent. I’m looking to pick up my degree again next year but for now want to take the rest of this year to do a TEFL/TESOL course and teach English overseas. Do you have any reliable TEFL courses you can recommend? And also if I were to look towards teaching in Cambodia would the fact that I’m not a native speaker make it harder for me? Do you recommend me to just finish my degree first? I really want to do a little travel before being tied down to an intense 3 trimester degree for the next three years.
    Thanks so much

  • By Ted, February 27, 2012 @ 4:19 PM

    Hello Amanda,
    I always recommend that people complete their degree as soon as they can. And if you have the inclination and ability, complete a graduate degree as well. As a non-native speaker you will need a few “extras” to help you compete. Also, you just never know when thing might change, so while you can get that education – get it. It is a real bias of mine – sorry!
    As a non-native speaker with no degree, you will always be at the bottom of the pecking order even if you are the best teacher of all. If you are going to teach, arm yourself with superior qualifications. Go get ‘em! After you get your degree. Ted

  • By Joan Hamilton, March 1, 2012 @ 6:51 AM

    Hi Ted my name is Joan I’m from the Caribbean St Kitts and Nevis to be exact, I’m looking into taking the 120 hrs TELF course but I dont have a degree I only have a certificate in secretarial studies from London collage of management,and to other vocational training certificates, since everyone is asking for a degree do you think it make since to even bother with the TEFL since I’m already in my forties.

  • By Ted, March 1, 2012 @ 7:00 AM

    Hello Joan,
    A LOT of people teach without having a degree. China and Cambodia are both good options. Should you get a TEFL cert? Of course, you should learn how to do your new job well. AND as you in your 40s it will help make you more desirable. Forties is not bad. I started in TEFL in my early 40s.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Lance, March 2, 2012 @ 6:23 AM

    Dear Ted,

    I approached my life very much the same as I approached the majority of things in my life, with a let the wind carry me where it will. I never took into consideration what I really wanted to do, as I never took myself seriously enough to really think I could accomplish things that I dreamed about.

    I spent a few years working in the middle east for the US gov, which I really enjoyed. TRULY enjoyed. Rough times sure, but very rewarding.
    I made a trip a few years ago to South Korea, and absolutely fell in love the same way I fell in love with Afghanistan and Iraq. They were amazing places, and once I got up the nerve after returning to the US I decided to try to finish my bachelors degree.

    I currently have my associates degree, and very little practical experience except in Special Ed, and volunteering in Iraq with orphaned children.

    I have found it impossible to find employment in Korea without a bachelors degree, but I am terrified that by the time I finish my degree I will be too old to be seriously considered.
    I have been advised by several close Korean friends to take a chance and try to find work outside the ‘Normal’ channels. I have been extremely reluctant to attempt this as I do not want to have my future chances ruined by getting caught. I recently turned down a position in China because I was almost certain I had been accepted in Korea in a government sponsored program, however, my age I believe sealed the deal and I was rejected for the third time.

    I must admit desperation is kicking in and before I make a critical decision that could have untold consequences I felt I would break my silence and sound out for some advice.
    Do you have any you would be willing to impart?
    Lance

  • By Ted, March 2, 2012 @ 1:35 PM

    Hi Lance,
    You would do fine in China without a degree. A TEFL cert is required though. You age is not really barrier until you start getting into your late 50s and even then universities often look for “more mature” teachers.
    Ted

  • By William, March 9, 2012 @ 2:49 AM

    Hi ted I am currently living in the uk I have a trade and I’m very good at it I have college certificates but no degree I’m looking for a change in life and something I can use to travel and work abroad. I have been looking into TEFL courses and also CELTA but trying to decide on what courses are best for myself as I have no degree! I came across a four week TEFL course but spread out to six and it’s in thailand and also get the opportunity to teach as experience are you aware of this course and what is your thoughts on this course or could you advise me on something better?
    Kind regards: William

  • By Ted, March 9, 2012 @ 10:47 AM

    Hello William,
    Most TEFL courses are fine – the six week program you ask about, I think is one of the better programs (if it is TnT?). It will give you plenty of time to learn the skills. It’s not quite super busy rush that the four-week programs are.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Stephanie, March 11, 2012 @ 3:04 PM

    Hi Ted,
    I am a female native speaker in my early 40s. I have been teaching in China for 2.5 years but I have no degree.I am ready for a change of scenery and wondered if Myanmar or Cambodia would accept me with three years of teaching experience and no degree.

    Thanks in advance : )

  • By Ted, March 12, 2012 @ 4:01 PM

    Hello Stephanie,
    You would do fine in Cambodia without a degree. To be competitive for decent jobs though, you will need a TEFL certification. Online is okay. Myanmar is only now opening up and I think would be a fascinating option, but I know nothing about what is required there. Sorry! Ted

  • By Kara, March 15, 2012 @ 11:11 PM

    Hi Ted,
    I have a college degree and just enrolled to take the online TEFL class, then head to Thailand in December with my boyfriend. However, my boyfriend does not want to teach. Do you think it will be impossible for him to find a job there? A non-teaching job?
    Thanks!

  • By Ted, March 15, 2012 @ 11:49 PM

    Hello Kara,
    If your friend does not want to teach, he will need to have a skill set that is in great demand in order to obtain legal employment. Otherwise, I will probably not be able to legally stay in the country for very long.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By Faye, March 19, 2012 @ 1:58 PM

    Hi Ted,

    I’m looking to teach English overseas next year, perhaps in Prague. I have completed a Bachelor of Business in Human Resources and Marketing and have worked in the HR field for the last 3 years and am looking to do something different for a while! I am also fluent in Greek, so thought I could perhaps work in Greece as well if there was a demand? Could you tell me how hard it will be to find a job overseas. I will be going to a free information session tomorrow night about the various courses available for TESOL. I’m looking to teach for around 6 months. Could you tell me if you think once course will be better than another and how hard it will be to gain employment as a teacher?

    Thank you

  • By Ted, March 20, 2012 @ 6:24 AM

    Hello Faye,
    If I was planning on seeking work in Europe, I might prefer a CELTA as it is relatively popular there. Most of the rest of the world doesn’t care much about name brand, only that you got some training. I don’t personally know the jobs market in Prague, so can’t recommend one way of the other for there.
    Ted

  • By Vera, May 5, 2012 @ 11:29 PM

    Hi Ted,

    I am looking into different options for teaching English in Italy. I am of Italian decent, first generation, but it turns out my parents were naturalized before my birth. Because of this I will need to reside in Italy for 3 years before obtaining an EU citizenship. I have an Associates degree and am planning to take a TEFL course (from previous posts, you’ve mentioned CELTA to be the one I should go for). Will I be able to work in Italy, legally, with just an Associates degree and the CELTA certification? Also, do you know if the job market for ESL teachers is better or worse in Sicily vs. Italy?

    Thanks for your help on this!

  • By Ted, May 5, 2012 @ 11:33 PM

    Hello Vera,
    For specific country legal requirements, it is probably best to ask on job boards like Daves ESL. Things change quickly and one person can’t really keep up like a community of people on a forum can.
    Ted

  • By katy, May 11, 2012 @ 6:32 PM

    Hi Ted,
    Thank you for this blog. It’s very informative! Is there a TEFL and/or CELTA course(online school) you would recommend? Not sure if accreditation is important, but I prefer not to waste my time if the course is not recognized internationally. My other question is whether schools prefer a teacher certification or a tefl certification or both?
    My husband and I are in our late 30′s and looking to teach english abroad as a way to travel, meet new friends, learn the culture. We both have our BA’s. He has been in the corporate world for a long time and is looking to change into a career that helps people and to give back. I am a hairstylist looking to travel and teach (I began in the corporate world a long time ago). I long to teach in France, but as you have mentioned in your previous blogs, it’s difficult. Is it not possible at all? Thank you for your time.

  • By Ted, May 11, 2012 @ 7:11 PM

    Hi Katy,
    It is rare that a certain kind of certificate would be rejected. And if so, more than likely it would be for one of two reasons: 1. The employer was looking for a cert from an in-classroom course or 2. It looks counterfeit. Though you hear a lot on the issue – non-acceptance is quite rare. France? I tend to believe anything is doable, but if you want to work in Europe, a CELTA is a better bet and take the course IN FRANCE, so they can help you find a good situation. Ask them BEFORE you go if they will help place you.
    I hope that helps.
    Ted

  • By katy, May 12, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

    My husband is worried about our financial future. Because the economy is bad, he feels we need to be financially secure(save money), esp when we reach the age of retirement(we can’t count on social security at all). Is this something we should worry about? I would like to put him at ease. I’m the type to go with the flow so anything goes with me, but I do understand his concern.

  • By Ted, May 12, 2012 @ 12:02 PM

    It is important to pay attention to your future when you are overseas. This is some of the best advice for anyone/everyone: LONG-TERM future in EFL. I think it will help you think about it. If you teach in countries like Korea you will find it easy to save US$1000 a month EACH. In other places you will likely save less, but many of us head to countries where the net take home pay/savings is good to refill the bank account from time to time and to help with investments for old age. Go get ‘em!
    Ted

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