Latin America: How to Teach English Abroad Without a Degree

Although many Southeast Asian countries will allow native English speakers to teach English abroad without a degree, far more doors are open to those with a TEFL certification. In fact, a number of would-be travel destinations in South America could be the site of your new career – and life – teaching English as a Second Language.

Mexico, thanks to its proximity to the United States and burgeoning economy is a perfect example. The demand for English teachers – driven by the demand for English-speaking citizens – is at an all-time high and rising. Across the length and breadth of the country, from school children and businessmen, almost everyone sees English as the pathway to prosperity. Due to this seemingly insatiable demand, the Mexican government allows native English speakers without a degree but with formal TEFL certifications to work in the country. That makes places like Mexico City, one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities on the planet, and even quiet Oaxaca some of the easiest places to teach English abroad without a degree.

Costa Rica
is similarly opening its doors to native speakers of all stripes. Long known for its tranquil lifestyle and scenic beauty, the country is also home to a number of the region’s most tech-savvy companies. Companies like Intel, Acer, and Microsoft have opened facilities in the country and actively pursue English-speaking employees. This, coupled with the English-speaking demands of Costa Rica’s famous ecotourism, mean that more and more people are pursuing English proficiency.

Argentina, too, has schools throughout the country that are actively seeking TEFL certified instructors to educate its citizens. With no formal degree requirements in place from Buenos Aires to Patagonia, Argentina presents a variety of locations to teach English abroad without a degree. Whether you are interested in working with school children or working professionals, opportunities abound in this South American nation.

If you are interested in finding schools in Mexico or South America, check out our ESL Directory that offers local English language programs.

10 responses to “Latin America: How to Teach English Abroad Without a Degree”

  1. I want to teach English in south or latin America – I am 43 and although have no experience. I have much experience in business and finance and have college education but not a teaching degree. I can speak 25% Spanish and 85% Italian and am looking into taking Spanish classes in Canada. I want to look at starting to teach in 2014. how do I go about starting this process? I can’t do it on a volunteer basis – I need to be paid so some countries won’t work for me. Any help would be appreciated. Gracias!

  2. I am interested in teaching English as a second language in Costa Rica. Being paid would be awesome, but I am happy to do it on a volunteer basis. I do not have any training, but am trying to obtain that through volunteering while still here in the US. Do you have any suggestions or thoughts?

  3. I would love to teach English abroad (with pay). I don’t have a TEFL certificate. Is there any way someone could contact me and explain if this is possible? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Dominique, thanks for your question. Having certifications definitely improve the odds of getting a good paying job teaching English, but isn’t necessary. Especially within Latin America, you may need to be on the ground to start the job search however some people have success finding a job before arriving to their destination country. The requirements, such as a TEFL certification, will vary based on the schools you are interested in teaching at.

  4. I already have 120 hour TEFL, but it’s difficult to find a school that does good business and does not require a BA degree.

    Can you help me?

  5. Hi, I have a TESOL/TEFL certificate and 20 years teaching experience teaching in Taiwan and South Africa. I have been teaching young learners for about half of these years. I also have Cambridge University Teacher Knowledge Test Certificates and hope you can help me find a job or tell me if it is possible at my age. Thanks if you could help me.

    • Hi Faith,

      Thanks for visiting! For ESL teacher hiring opportunity, you may want to contact the school or schools directly. You can register on the site and contact multiple schools that you are interested in by clicking on the link below.

      The schools will then have the ability to contact you.

      Good Luck!

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