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The array of TEFL courses is quite bewildering but anyone doing their research online about how to obtain the best teaching jobs will have noticed that premium posts and salaries seem to go to those with both a first degree and TEFL accreditation.  Don’t let that put you off!  There is plenty of good quality work for those with a robust TEFL certificate who are not graduates, you just need to know where to look.

Countries like Japan and Korea require at least a diploma due to visa requirements but there are plenty of other exotic and interesting places to visit with just a straightforward TEFL certificate (see so don’t feel you are going to lose out.  Take a look at our top eight worldwide choices

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Greece – the weather and climate are two key reasons to head to Greece. Despite recent economic difficulties, the market for good English teachers is still buoyant with plenty of work available. Packages often include accommodation, health care and travel costs

Costa Rica – has a healthy demand for English teachers within the private and public sector from infant through to higher education.  Annual contracts are quite popular so you need to be certain before you commit yourself to the unknown

India – with English as an official language you might think demand is not strong but quite the contrary.  Jobs are sought after but good experience plus a TEFL certificate will give you a better chance amongst the competition.  Volunteering is a good way to get a foot in the door, these jobs are unpaid but they can be a stepping stone to something else

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Poland – due to Poland’s more recent membership of the European Union, demand for English language tuition is at an all-time high.  English has not traditionally been a native language in Poland, other languages spoken are Russian and Hungarian.  There is work at all ages both within education and the corporate sector and also private positions available with families

Nicaragua – is an independent state located between Costa Rica and Honduras, gaining sovereignty from Spain in 1838.  This is an untapped market for English teachers in a place renowned for lakes and volcanoes as well as a Spanish style culture

Mexico – a great place to look for work without a Bachelor’s degree and an opportunity to sample Mediterranean culture and lifestyle. Jobs are available within education and the corporate sector, most come without accommodation but the cost of living is very reasonable and so decent housing should be pretty affordable

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Romania – English is a growing language in Romania so there is usually at least a conversational level even amongst young children.  You may find you can boost your income with private tuition as well.  Romania is interesting and just a little different, but a lack of degree may mean you can’t get the prime jobs in Bucharest and have to settle for something more rural

Spain – if you want to stay in a western European country then Spain is probably the easiest destination to teach in without a first degree.  You may struggle to compete in popular destinations like Barcelona or Madrid but there is still plenty of work available

Always make sure you study and achieve the best TEFL qualification you can to compensate for your lack of a degree.  Gaining some teaching experience even if it is informal and voluntary will further assist you in your job hunt.