Teaching English abroad is more or less the same as teaching a foreign language at home but it comes with its own challenges. You will need to have considerable craftsmanship, a little patience and an understanding how English works. The qualifications may vary from country to country and whether you choose to be a private tutor or a teacher in a public or language school.

An undergraduate degree in any subject may not be mandatory but it is an ideal qualification. What is a must however is an English teaching certification. This intensive course can be earned through a four-week program or longer if you do it part time. The most widely accepted certifications include CertTESOL and the CELTA which are accredited in the UK by the national qualifications framework. Both of these are acceptable in over 100 countries by the British council in organizations with their accredited teaching. There are also other acceptable certifications that are offered in different countries.

Other requirements may be to have English as your first language, teaching experience and an enthusiasm in teaching. If you are not a native speaker but your English is good and you have certifications, you may get away with it. Some countries like Korea, however, have strict rules on taking only native speakers but they will accept someone with a three year degree. In china for instance, in addition to the above requirements, one will need to have a passport from native English speaking countries to be eligible. On the other hand, in Thailand, non native speakers may apply as long as they have near- native English.

In a few cases you may be able to land a English teaching job abroad without a degree of a certification. Most private language schools will however need you to have completed at least 100 hours of a certificate course.

While a lot of language schools will accept any teaching certifications, others will look for teachers with specific English teaching certificates. Also available are certificate courses that can take a short time to complete or can be done online but they are generally not acceptable by most employers due to the lack of teaching practice.

Private language schools require teachers to go through their own in-house training programs regardless of whether you have a certification from another place or not. In places where there are no statutory requirements and the demand of teachers is very high, unqualified candidates may be accepted. In the end it all depends on the country and the demand for teachers.