Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

Teaching In SE Asia

Posted by think87 on 8/7/2009 at 10:01

I know of a few friends who teach in Taiwan, and a college degree is a requirement to teach as well as a TEFL.

Does anyone one know if Vietnam, Laos, or Thailand also require a college degree?

#1 think87 has been a member since 5/3/2009. Location: United States. Posts: 116

Posted by BruceMoon on 8/7/2009 at 10:26


My understanding is that largely you'll only get work in the international schools throughout SE Asia, and some highly rated gov't schools.

In both cases, they have enough applicants to ensure a qualification hurdle - unless you've got some special wanted skill.

In the first instance, go check the various postings at:

- - -

In Thailand, to be paid properly (at Thai rates) I believe so. Go to:

FYI also look at:

That said, maybe you may like to read:

- - -

For Vietnam most definitely so. Go to:

- - -

My understanding is that jobs are infrequent.

Hope this helps


#2 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Agoda coupon: Get an extra 7% off selected properties with the coupon code

Posted by think87 on 8/7/2009 at 12:25

Thanks for all the links and advice.

It seems you are correct and though it seems you can, i you look hard enough find one the majority do require a degree.

From one of the links though I did find that Indonesia does not have a college degree requirement, only a TEFL. So perhaps I'll include Indonesia as a stop in my Nov-Apr trip at the end and go from there....

- Visa Requirements -

"Indonesian’s Immigration Authority has tried to restrict the influx of “backpacker” teachers and has put some controls in place. To have correct working papers, teachers need to have a TEFL certificate. Although employers prefer a certificate that contains 6 hours teaching practice, this is not a requirement from the Indonesian Immigration Authority. A degree is not necessary.

Indonesian’s Immigration Authority will only issue teaching visas to nationals of the UK, Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand – as it has deemed these to be English speaking countries. Employers in Indonesia are restricted by these laws and are by no means discriminating against nationals of other countries."

thanks again.

#3 think87 has been a member since 5/3/2009. Location: United States. Posts: 116

Posted by DLuek on 8/7/2009 at 14:48 TF writer

Many, many people, including a friend of mine who was only 19 at the time, have found jobs teaching in Thailand without a degree. There is a huge demand for English teachers and though you might not find the best-paying job, and you might have to look harder and further afield from the major cities, you can certainly find work with just a TEFL certificate. When a teacher is needed badly, a lot of schools will somehow go around the degree requirement law. Further, there are plenty of "off the radar" private tutoring jobs in Vietnam and Thailand that can be found simply by putting up flyers and networking the right places, such as communites of Chinese, Korean or Japanese living in SE Asia. For a lot of great insight about teaching in Thailand, you should really check out if you haven't already.

I'm not positive about Cambodia or other countries, but I'm pretty sure that some schools throughout SE Asia (not so much in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea) are willing to overlook a lack of degree if you have a TEFL certificate, you're clean cut and presentable, and you seem to be a good fit for the job. That said, I personally wouldn't pick up and move out there without a degree and expect things to work out well, but there are many who have decided they didn't want to go home and found work without a degree.

#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,297
 Send DLuek a private message   Website   Twitter 

Posted by BruceMoon on 8/7/2009 at 19:58


also go to:

and look at the last contribution.


#5 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by SBE on 11/7/2009 at 07:22

You can't get a work permit unless you have a degree so bear in mind that you'd be teaching illegally. Without a work permit you could get deported after a stay in prison.

This actually happened to one English teacher at Mahidol University, one of the top universities in Thailand. Although he had all the necessary qualifications, the university dragged its feet with the paperwork and he'd had to start teaching before his WP was through. Entirely the university's fault but they didn't lift a finger to help him when he got caught.

They did however speed the necessary paperwork up after that. When I taught at Mahidol they got my work permit sorted in about a week ...which is incredibly fast.

I also know someone who paid for a decent TEFL course in Thailand and failed to get a job in Bangkok afterwards because he didn't have a degree. He had to go home after a couple of months when his money ran out. That was a couple of years ago though. Schools may be more desperate for teachers now, but remember that if you do work then you will be working illegally.

#6 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,052
 Send SBE a private message   Where has SBE been? 

Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.