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Teaching WITHOUT a degree.
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Evanc



Joined: 18 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Teaching WITHOUT a degree. Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I want to teach English abroad. I do not have a degree, and likely will not by the time I decide that I want to start teaching, if that opportunity arises. I'm Canadian, 26 years of age, and currently in my first year of university. I will be taking the CELTA course in 2013. I have read for hours on numerous blogs and forums but I find it difficult to know if what I'm reading is correct.

By the time I want to start actually looking for jobs, I will have:
One year of university education, CELTA, extensive travel experience.
No degree, no teaching experience.

Are teachers without a degree and/or experience frowned upon?
Where can I teach without a degree?
What countries require a degree in order to obtain a visa?

Any feedback is welcomed.

Thanks,
Evan
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2990
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This topic has been discussed numerous times. If you had just scrolled through this year's discussion threads, you would have found the following:

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Evanc



Joined: 18 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick reply. I have already read through some of the mentioned threads, and just finished reading the others. I'm trying to find as much information regarding the questions I asked as I can. I'm finding a lot of misleading information on some of the forums, that's why I decided to start my own thread, in hopes of finding accurate answers.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2990
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're not going to really find the type of accurate information you're seeking. What you probably consider misleading or inaccurate is most likely due to the changes in visa regulations and employer requirements. In other words, more employers are expecting applicants hold at least a BA. And even if a degree is not a requirement for the position, it's very likely to be needed to satisfy visa regulations toward a work permit (legal employment). Moreover, as you read through those threads, you'll see that the pool of jobs that don't require a degree is shrinking.

What's your rush in heading abroad to teach? Why not wait until you've completed your degree in order to compete for the better TEFL jobs?
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Evanc



Joined: 18 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps it is the ever changing regulations and requirements that I find misleading, but I think it's safe to say that there are some contradicting posts on here, and practically on every forum I've come across. Well, I'm in no drastic rush. I'd like to know what I can and what I can't do, and where I can or can't do it. I've often wished, during my travels, that I had the credentials to teach English. I've thought about the prospect of doing so for a few years, and it's also a career/job/idea that has been recommended to me. I'm not sure what I would like to major in, or if I want to go to school for 4 straight years, that's one reason why I may not be obtaining a degree first. I would like to see if I have what it takes to be a teacher, furthermore, to see if I enjoy it. I noticed that you ask these questions to many people who post on here, and very well, why shouldn't teachers have a degree. Thanks again for your input.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most countries in Asia NOW require a degree if you want to legally work as a teacher (regardless of where you teach: school, academy, language center, kindergarten, etc).

After Jan 1, 2015 a degree will be required in ALL of the ASEAN block as well as China (including the SARs), and Korea.

You can get legal work in Taiwan with an Associates + TEFL cert.
There is still the TaLK program in Korea for those with more than 2 years of their university program completed.
There are work-a-rounds in Japan (working holiday visa) but the job market is competitive and start-up costs are large.

The door is closing fast for work abroad in EFL for those without a degree. The days of a high school diploma and 30-day TEFL cert being adequate to be a teacher abroad are fast disappearing and will very soon have gone the way of the Dodo Bird (extinct).

.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember asking about this about three years ago when I considered taking a break from college of a semester or two to do some TESOLing and incorporate the experience into my academic studies in applied linguistics.

I ultimately decided it wasn't worth it, since basically the only countries I was willing to work where I could work seemed to be Ecuador and Peru (I believe a couple other Latin American countries don't require a degree for work purposes, but those were the two posters suggested I might find a job in), but was warned that the pay and hours would be bad even by Andean standards (and pay for beginners in those countries isn't great even if you have a degree). In the end I was likely to be spending money to be in those countries, and instead I decided to just study another area of linguistics. (I could probably have volunteered to teach it in my home country, but where's the fun in that?)

I know that Turkey requires a degree for work permits, and think that even most of the schools that don't bother with them won't hire someone without a BA. But I suspect some of the bottom-of-the-barrel schools might hire you, especially the places I've seen in Turkey's beautiful smaller cities. I know of one, in a particularly picturesque city in central Anatolia, which was offering a complete joke of an hours/compensation package and yet at the time were holding out for a native-English-speaking MA TESOL holder. I'd wager dollars to donuts that they didn't find anybody with what they're offering, and that if you were to apply to them now (four months after they began their search) they'd snap you up, while probably offering you even less money than they were prepared to offer me if they didn't find an MA holder by September.

Regards,
~Q
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 801

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Ecuador is pretty much out now as well. Since the laws changed you need a cultural exchange visa and most, if not all, of the schools that offer them ask for a degree. Peru is probably still possible in as much as many people still work there illegally so a lack of a degree would be the least of their worries.
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Evanc



Joined: 18 Nov 2012
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses. Keep them coming. Regarding Ecuador and Peru, I have been to both countries and I have no interest in teaching in either of them. I would possibly be interested in other countries in South America though, such as Argentina and Colombia.

What non EU European countries do not require a degree?

Places of the most interest to me are: Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Japan, China, Thailand, as well as many others.
Some of the countries I have named partly because I'm interested, and partly because it seems possible to find a position there.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2990
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evanc wrote:
Some of the countries I have named partly because I'm interested, and partly because it seems possible to find a position there.

Unfortunately, your list will end up being narrowed down to where you can get work and not about what countries interest you the most. Also, be aware you'll be competing against others who quite possibly hold degrees.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evanc wrote:
Thanks for the responses. Keep them coming. Regarding Ecuador and Peru, I have been to both countries and I have no interest in teaching in either of them. I would possibly be interested in other countries in South America though, such as Argentina and Colombia.

What non EU European countries do not require a degree?

Places of the most interest to me are: Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Japan, China, Thailand, as well as many others.
Some of the countries I have named partly because I'm interested, and partly because it seems possible to find a position there.


As I mentioned earlier, legal work is not possible in Thailand, China, or Indonesia. Illegal work is possible but there are risks and consequences if caught (in spite of what you may read on some TEFL course provider websites).

There are some ways to get into Japan (working holiday visa) but that only works for a year then your visa expires and there is no extension.

Complete your 2nd year of uni and there are a few more options (Korea-TaLK program and Taiwan).

.
.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're really interested in teaching as a career, get the degree (preferably a master's).

If you just want a year of exploration, find the country(ies) that will take you as is. Then, go back to your regularly scheduled channel of life.
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choudoufu



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 3254
Location: Mao-berry, PRC

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can join the peace corps.

http://www.peacecorps.gov/
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9132
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Czech Republic does not legally require a degree. However, it's a competitive job market, particularly for non-EU citizens who need a visa to work legally (the many UK teachers around have no paperwork hassles and so are often preferred by employers). As nomadsoul's pointed out, you would be competing against mostly teachers who do have degrees. Being from outside the EU and a non-degree holder equals two definite strikes against you, particularly given that the majority of work available here is with adult professionals, most of whom have degrees as well, and who may therefore not feel that a 'teacher' without one is credible, if they find out.

If you wanted to try the Czech Rep, here would be your most likely route:
You will need a CELTA or equivalent, simply because most newbie teachers on the job market here have one and you need to level the playing field as much as you can. Jobs here aren't found from abroad, and most contracts are Sept - June, so your best shot would be to arrive in early August, take a course in Prague, and hit the ground running with CV in hand at the peak hiring season.
Obviously, there are start-up costs here; you'll need to pay for flights, course, and your upkeep until end October (schools pay monthly, at the end of the month worked, so that's likely when your first salary would come, assuming you found a job). Wages here are subsistence level, most teachers flat-share, and there is very little chance you could pay off any debts back home while here.

I have known a few teachers without degrees who did OK here. They mostly had business experience and both looked and proved to be genuinely professional and committed to the job.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11714
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peace Corps will only accept graduates for teaching stints. If you want to be taken seriously, get a degree.

You expect the rules to be bent just for you ?


Last edited by scot47 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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