Can you teach abroad as an unqualified teacher?

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In a word, yes. Even though the majority of western-curriculum international schools here require a full recognised teaching qualification or licence from the UK, Ireland, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa, some options are available to unqualified teachers. One option is the International School of Choueifat (a chain owned by SABIS®, the global education network) accept candidates who:

  • Have a Bachelors degree in the subject needed or a related subject matter
  • Are proficient in English / Native English Speaker (depending on subject)

The company then trains them up to teach in their preferred system, called the Sabis point system.

The International School of Choueifat can be found all over the Middle East:

  • Bahrain
  • Jordan
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • UAE (Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Dubai, Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain)

Click here for more information on these locations and click here to find teaching jobs with Sabis.

You may have the chance to do the IPGCE (the International Postgraduate Certificate in Education) online via distance learning with a recognised UK university, which is a great option for those who want to be fully qualified. Do check with the company beforehand though!

Sabis do a huge recruitment drive at graduate fairs at universities in Ireland and the UK, so keep out an eye for them if you are interested in working for them.

Another option are government/ public schools abroad (including Ministry of Education schools in the UAE here) and some British and American schools that employ teachers with a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) to teach English as a Second Language at their primary and secondary schools. If you plan to or are currently teaching local Emirati, Qatari, Saudi, Bahraini, Kuwaiti, or Omani students in either a local/government or international school, download my FREE ebook guide, "8 Tips When Teaching Local Students in the Middle East" here!

Finally, if you have completed a recognised Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification with an element of observed teaching practice, such as the CELTA or DELTA (not necessarily the online TEFL courses), you are eligible to work at language schools around the world. Check and Dave's ESL Cafe for the most up-to-date vacancies.

My name is Sorcha Coyle and I’ve been teaching in the Gulf (Qatar and Dubai) for the past 9 years. I also run Empowering Expat Teachers, whose mission is to empower future and current expat teachers to lead personally, professionally, and financially rewarding lives. If you haven’t already, join the supportive EET FB group here and follow me on IG @sorchacoyle_eet for lots of research, CV, and cover letter tips! Last but not least, I also provide CV and cover letter support to future and current expat teachers with my range of services in Teach Abroad Academy- check them out here!

Sorcha x 


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