You do not need to have a university degree to live and work in other countries. However, having a university degree does make life so much easier for those planning on becoming expats, as I saw again with my latest research. While doing my usual work trying to find new opportunities for you to live abroad, I stumbled across a very interesting article about applying for a job as a lecteur d’anglais in a French university.

For those who are considering teaching English abroad, it’s sometimes disappointing to discover that most positions aren’t in Europe. Frankly, I think it would be very exciting to take a job in South Korea, Guatemala or some other country that you don’t know much about, but perhaps some of the adventures of living in Europe have abated after living here for years (though I’m very, very happy to be here).

Be that as it may, most jobs teaching English aren’t in Europe and those that are often in Eastern Europe. If you’re diligent and try, however, you can get a job teaching English at a French University. The English assistant programs in France are very poorly paid, hard to get and suitable mostly for students, but if you want to teach at a university, you can be better paid, have a longer visa, and be working with people closer to your own age instead of children.

The lecteur d’anglais needs to have at least a Bachelor’s degree but should be preferably working towards a Masters. The article mentions three things you’ll need to do:

  1. Sign up for the Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur mailing list
  2. Contact the universities directly
  3. Write a CV and cover letter focusing on your teaching experience

Did you catch point 3 above? Yes, it helps if you already have teaching experience. The universities want native speakers, but they want native speakers who know how to teach. Sign up for a TEFL course and get some experience. Reputable courses will help to arrange real teaching experience and you can gain that experience in your home town. Heck, even if it’s not enough experience to get you a job in France, teaching English in Thailand isn’t so bad, it it?