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Teach English Worldwide strives to provide clear, comprehensive, and objective advice to anyone interested in teaching English overseas.

The man who can make hard things easy is the educator

R.W. Emerson (American poet and essayist)

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There are no universal requirements for enrolling in a TEFL-TESOL course or obtaining a job teaching English overseas. However, the guidelines below will give you an idea if you would make a good TEFL-TESOL candidate.

Thankfully, English teaching is a very flexible profession and as long as you are enthusiastic and dedicated, you should be able to succeed in finding a job and adapting to your life in a new country.


In general, age is of minimal importance for a career in TEFL-TESOL. If you are between the ages of 18 and 80, you are eligible to enroll in a TEFL-TESOL Course. When looking for a job after the course, you will probably have an easier time if you are between the ages of 21-55. Additionally, retirees should note that some countries have mandatory retirement ages of 60-65, which could make finding a job more difficult.


TEFL-TESOL Courses generally require that students have at least a high school education (or equivalent). The average candidate possesses a 2-year or 4-year college degree. The same generally holds true for employment requirements. Even with a TEFL-TESOL certificate, younger teachers without a college degree may find it more difficult to obtain work.

Work Experience:

Previous teaching experience is a not prerequisite for enrolling in a TESOL Training Course. In fact, many TESOL Courses design their curricula with “non-teachers” in mind. Other types of work experience are not required either. Previous teaching experience is not mandatory when looking for TESOL jobs either. Like any profession, however, schools will look favorably upon applicants with prior work experience, or who can demonstrate abilities relevant for the job.


Many prospective teachers worry that because they do not speak the language of a particular country, they cannot teach there. Don’t let this concern deter you.- You do not need to speak a foreign language in order to enroll in a TEFL-TESOL Course or to teach English overseas. In fact, teaching exclusively in English is often the most effective approach for many classroom settings. For example, you may be teaching in an “international” classroom containing speakers of many different languages. Here the only common language is English, and knowing another language will be of little benefit. Nevertheless, speaking another language could definitely come in handy. If you speak the same language as your students, you will be able to revert to their native language to explain a particularly hard concept, or to maintain order in the classroom. Furthermore, the experiences you have had studying another language will give you a better understanding of what it is like to be a student of a foreign language. You can use this knowledge to become a better teacher. Finally, no matter where you are, it is always a good idea to study the local language and culture. The more you know, the more comfortable you are likely to feel, and the more easily you will be able to connect with your students and your community.