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How To Teach Abroad Without TEFL Certification

classroom in spain

If you are reading this, you’re probably thinking of teaching English abroad and adventuring around the globe during your time off. However, you are wondering if it’s possible to teach abroad without TEFL certification. Short answer: yes. Continue reading to find out!

What better way to explore what all the world has to offer than by teaching English and making a difference simultaneously?! Teaching English in Spain is one of the most challenging but rewarding things you can do. The friends I have met and my host family have brought all kinds of adventure into my life. They have driven out any mundane activity that may have existed if I were not teaching abroad.

So… how can we get you away from your computer reading this article, and into an actual classroom where you can open doors of opportunities for students and inspire young minds by teaching English?

The first step would be to look into any requirements the country you want to teach in may have. To teach English as a foreign language, some countries require prior teaching experience, an education background, and a TEFL certification. However, there are programs that will give you teaching experience and a TEFL certification at the same time. So, hopefully, you will be able to teach abroad without a TEFL certification.

Teach English Without Tefl
Reading stories in English to students in kindergarten

What Exactly is a TEFL?

Let’s go over the basics of what a TEFL certification is. The acronym, TEFL, stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. While it’s not required to possess a TEFL certification, many employers find it valuable and it shows that you are professionally trained to teach the English language.

An official TEFL course would provide over 100 hours of classwork and practical classroom training as well. The course can be taken in person, providing a more intimate atmosphere, or through an online class with an accredited institution. The in-person classroom option is for those who have the time to take the class and wish to do so in their home country before officially taking off. However, if you’re like me and want flexibility, time to start teaching abroad and getting experience right away, an online class would work best!

Do I Really Need It?

If a TEFL certificate isn’t a requirement, why would you want to get it? If you are planning to teach long-term, this certificate is well worth the investment, as you will be earning the cost of the course within the first few weeks of teaching anyway. The certificate will make you much more marketable to reputable employers. Because the course shows that you have a background and knowledge of teaching English as a foreign language, you will automatically gain an advantage among other competitive applicants who may not have a certification or a teaching background.

For Those Who Choose to Pursue the TEFL Certification

Meddeas is the perfect program for those who want to complete the course and get teaching experience simultaneously. The cost of the TEFL course is roughly several hundred to a few thousand

Activity English Class
The TEFL certificate will prepare you for the classroom.

and is completely covered by Meddeas. This includes the online portion of the class, a professor to train students about classroom management and resources, a training orientation portion in the fall, and direct teaching experience with mentors from the school you are teaching at. Instead of waiting several months to take and finish course, you can get right ahead by teaching with Meddeas and learning through your online course. Meddeas provides a practical way to apply what we learn in our International University of Catalunya, Barcelona online TEFL course.

So, the TEFL training and the international experience with Meddeas will prepare you for the classroom. The online class meets once a month through a portal, with an assignment due a few weeks after every class meeting. The final assignment is due in May. It is a writing thesis about the summary of your work during the year. If it were not for this course, I definitely would not know where or how I would even start to plan my lessons. My professor has given me plenty of resources, helpful teaching websites, and an introduction to the Cambridge Language Exams, as well as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, two very important topics when teaching English in Europe.

Teaching Abroad Without a TEFL Certification Will Be Worth It

My experience with the TEFL course and direct teaching practice with mentors have been valuable and meaningful. This adventure has taught me how to time manage, plan lessons, execute my plans, and evaluate my students’ learning to further progress. Moreover, by teaching English, a universal language, I know that I am providing opportunities for children to go to school or university abroad/ in an English-speaking country, and endless chances for internships and work experiences in other countries. Knowing the English language opens doors for children that they would not have had otherwise.

This experience has been incredible and one that I will never forget. You will meet like-minded friends who also have a thirst for adventure and meeting new individuals. I have made life-long friendships that have definitely changed my outlook on life.

If you are still thinking of pursuing teaching the English language abroad, I highly recommend it!!

12 Responses

  1. I completely agree – having a TEFL certificate is virtually essential to teach english overseas, and as mentioned, doing it through Meddeas is fabulous because they cover the cost, and you get a reputable certificate (there are so many cheap options out there!). Even better though, not only do you get the certificate but you get so much knowledge from the course – of course nothing compares to “on the job” training, but having those basics makes everything so much easier!

  2. I’d agree that having a TEFL really enhances your teaching abilities, but it is not a requirement for some jobs. Although, my TEFL course taught me SO much and I think it really helped me in my first year on the job.

  3. Receiving a TEFL certification through Meddeas at no additional cost while being paid to teach and gain real experience at a school is the main reason I chose this program. Meddeas and the schools are aware of the fact that you may only have a small amount of teaching experience, so you are placed with a smaller group of children or working as a co-teacher and are given a variety of supports within the program and at your school to help you should the need arise!

  4. Such a useful blog post! I have loved my year working for meddeas in Madrid and have done the TELF course! I’ve gained a brilliant teaching experience and TELF certificate, which im sure are going to help with my teaching career!

  5. I agree- having taught abroad in Laos and now in Spain without the TEFL, I can confidently say that teaching is more than just the training; it’s your passion for the students and your ability to recognize the needs of each one! Well said 🙂

  6. When I was researching teaching abroad, I found that many countries required some sort of TEFL or teaching certification. Meddeas allows you to earn your TEFL while teaching! This is great for people who haven’t completed it yet but are interested in teaching in a foreign country.

  7. One of the biggest reasons why I did MEDDEAS was the completion of the TEFL certification for completely free. It’s been really useful.

  8. When I was doing research on how to teach English abroad in Spain, the TEFL certificate through Meddeas was one of the main things to reel me in. It is such a privilege to get this grant while simultaneously earning a TEFL certificate AND gain real life experience in the classroom. I don’t plan to pursue teaching, but if I ever did want to come back abroad, it’s extremely beneficial to have this certificate under my sleeve.

  9. Being able to earn my TEFL while completing Meddeas was certainly one of the aspects of the program that drew me towards it. It makes me feel like I’m still continuing my education while completing this amazing experience! I definitely think it will help with getting a job after Meddeas too!

  10. This is great Olivia, a lot of friends have recently been asking me about this topic! I will surely be sending them a link 😀
    I also agree with you on so much – in fact one of the reasons I chose Meddeas over other companies is because of the TEFL course combined with hands on practice. Its definitely been worth it!

  11. I wrote this article and I have to emphasize how helpful having a TEFL course is if you are teaching English abroad for the first time! Meddeas is a great program because the TEFL course is free and they provide helpful school tutors and teachers. Please let me know if you have any questions and I would be happy to help!

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