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Teaching English OverSeas Without Proper Certification.


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 2
Joined: August 17th, 2010
Location: B.C. Canada

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  • Added on: August 18th, 2010
Me and my Girlfriend both have our TESL/TESOL course and are heading out on a RTW to SE ASIA, AFRICA, And EUROPE. Neither of us have degrees from universities but we have experience in teaching English and other subjects and the enthusiasm to teach all ages. Just wondering if anyone has gone to Thailand recently and taught without the needed credentials or a proper work visa and if it was worth it. We don’t mind taking a pay cut in order to teach without a working visa just as long as we can make some decent money that we don’t have to deplete our savings every month and can sustain adequate living off of our earnings. Also any info on Africa and Europe would be much appreciated.

Happy Travels

Orion & Sonja

Chelsea go round

Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 8
Joined: September 27th, 2010
Location: China

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  • Added on: September 30th, 2010
Hey guys,

I don't have any direct advice for Thailand, but in my experience once your on the ground it is easier to find these kinds opportunities. I know this may seem like a risk, but when your there you can meet people that may be able to steer you in a good direction. Like here in China they say you need a degree, but some government school regulations are lax, also private schools, and foreign owned/run kindergartens hire part time teachers, with little concern to what kind of visa you have.

Maybe it would be best to search for a Thailand teachers forum on the internet, there you might find some advice from people that are there.

Hope this helps!

Chelsea ^.~
a moment is a moment that must be seized, though not for too long, and certainly not for never, for that would be a waste of time!

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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 13
Joined: November 5th, 2010
Location: Dundee, Scotland

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  • Added on: November 8th, 2010
Certainly in China, degrees are not necessary to get teaching jobs. The rules vary greatly from city to city and province to province. All sorts of of people are teaching there with varying levels of certification, some with absolutely nothing whatsoever. South Korea is much tighter on the qualifications and documentation."


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Lost in Place
Posts: 87
Joined: October 28th, 2010
Location: Erbil, Iraq

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  • Added on: November 22nd, 2010
Firstly, it is nearly impossible to pick up a week or a month here or there anymore. Those days are long since gone. Nowadays, most companies want a minimum of 6 month contracts (usually 1 year) Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Taiwan all require degrees to process work visas. China and Cambodia do not.

As a matter of fact, Cambodia has a great ESL market. You simply buy the work visa at the border ($25 without any supporting documentation) which legally entitles you to work in the country. There are plenty of schools around. I had 3 job offers within a week. Salaries vary from school to school and upon experience. But $10/hr is normal with some paying up to $15/hr. This affords a very comfortable life in country and you'd still save 50% of your salary.
For tips and storied on Central Asia, the Middle East and Central America, check out my blog


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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 110
Joined: September 17th, 2001
Location: Based in Manila & Boracay Island Philippines

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  • Added on: December 24th, 2010
I met a Canadian on the plane from Yangon Myanmar to BGK who'd been teaching in Yangon without any proper visa, maybe even without the Tefl & Tesl certificates for U$20/ hour and according to him others with proper visas etc were making double that salary. He was renting an apt at local prices for only U$80 / month but finally sort of nearly got "busted" for living in such a place without approval. Met an Aussie in Hanoi who was making about the same U$20 / hour but sharing a 3 or 4 bedroom place with 3 other teachers for U$150 to U$200 / each person; over U$600 for a place to live sounded expensive. So housing is always a big issue when trying to save money for future trips. With enough advance notice you can book AirAsia BGK Yangon RT for only 2000 baht. I paid over 3000 baht one way booking only 9 days in advance but got the return flight for only 1000 baht. Good Luck! Happy Travels, Bill

Another tip is to try to teach as a temporary substitute teacher while other veteran English teachers go on holidays. Many English teachers in Asia with proper visas and credentials have private sideline English jobs which often pay more than their "day job" so need someone to takeover during their absences.
Feel FREE to ask us questions about living, relocating & traveling in the Philippines; learn more by visiting our website.

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