Do I Have to Have a Degree to Apply to a TEFL Program?

by Jennifer
(Montreal Canada)

Great site! I hope you can help me with this basic question. Will these TEFL programs accept me even though I haven't completed my degree? I have only 1 year to go before graduation. Also I want to teach in Japan but am worried that my major (psychology) will be a problem. Should I be worried? Keep up the good work on the site!

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Jul 21, 2019
Is a Degree a Necessity for Taking a TEFL Course
by: John

Hi Jennifer,
In short, you don't need a degree to take TEFL certificate courses or be eligible for taking TEFL courses.

It might be helpful to think of it this way, having TEFL qualifications is not an immigration mandate for teaching ESL abroad. It's up to the discretion of schools or recruiters a screening mechanism if you will. It will just help you compete.

But you will graduate in a year and hold a Canadian passport so you are good to go for finding work as as an ESL teacher. If you have your heart set on teaching ESL in Japan then a TEFL certificate is a good idea (the ESL market is more competitive here than other countries.) But if you're just thinking "I want to teach ESL abroad" then it depends on the country you target. i.e. becoming an ESL teacher in Cambodia is easier as the market is not so competitive.

Regarding your major of psychology. That doesn't matter for teaching ESL in Japan. Think of it this way, even if you were an English lit. major that doesn't mean you know diddly about teaching methodology and classroom management strategy.

So get your TEFL certificate, knock out that last year and gear up for the big jump.

Hope this helps

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