Age is Just a Number. Anyone can get TEFL Certified and teach abroad!

Authored by:
Amy S.

Amy S.

Maybe you’re in your first years on your own, wondering how you can get abroad or begin your teaching career. Maybe you’re wrapping up college and you want to make a difference and travel. Perhaps you’re in the middle of your career, craving something different. Perhaps you’re an experienced teacher, eager to experience something new. Or, maybe you’re retired and ready to embark on the next big life adventure.

You may be wondering: “Is getting TEFL certified and teaching abroad an option?”

The answer: YES! 

The fine print here is that it just depends on where you want to teach abroad. Different countries and schools have various requirements, so there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” age requirement across the globe. Normally, the only requirement is that you must be fluent in English. Some countries may not even require a TEFL certification, but I’d say that having a TEFL certification is never a bad idea. You’ll gain experience and the knowledge necessary to teach abroad effectively. Investing in yourself is never a bad idea.

Generally speaking, most people who teach abroad are in their early 20s-30s, and have completed bachelor’s degrees. But many schools prefer teachers with experience (teaching or otherwise!) so being older can be a benefit. Or, in some countries, particularly in Latin America, qualified teachers can even be between 18-20 years old. 

So, you can be fresh out of college, in the middle of your career, or have 40 years of work experience — teaching English as a foreign language is an option!

Like many things related to TEFL, nothing is black and white, and each country is different. So it’s important to do your research.  In addition to various country preferences, degree requirements, permit regulations and laws, there can also be some limitations regarding visas and age limits (many Asian countries enforce strict retirement ages. Check here to see if your age limits you). 

But don’t let that deter you!  With literally billions of people seeking to learn English, there is a school out there looking for someone just like you. And CIEE TEFL Certification can help get you there.

With the CIEE TEFL Certification, you’ll not only learn invaluable teaching skills, but if you choose to complete the 180-hour TEFL certification, you’ll also learn about teaching specific age groups. Depending on what stage of life you’re in or how old you are, you likely have some idea of the age group you want to teach, and with CIEE TEFL, you can learn specific skills to help you stand out.

So, interested in getting TEFL certified and teaching abroad? You can. Young or old, experienced or just starting out — it’s never a bad idea to change your life and impact the lives of others by getting CIEE TEFL Certified and teaching abroad.


- Amy Sininger

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