Why South Africa is the Next Big Destination for TEFL Teachers

One word to describe South Africa is diverse. It has amazing landscapes at opposite ends of the spectrum, from deserts to lush rainforests. There are a myriad of cultures and histories, making it a unique and fascinating place to live and work. When it comes to teaching English as a foreign language, it is certainly an up-and-coming destination of choice. There are plenty of urban areas with bustling cities perfect for opportunities to teach English to both children and adults. Still, you are also able to take advantage of the magnificent scenery, which includes stunning safari parks, outdoor activities, incredible sunshine and Mediterranean-like climates.

A Language Capital

South Africa recognises 11 official languages, and this demonstrates just how diverse the culture and identity of those living there are. English has long been one of the unifying languages because it is used in global business and taught in many schools. The business sector has partly driven an increased demand as more adults seek to enhance their English skills to improve their job prospects. Depending on what area of South Africa, some schools teach it as an official language, others teach the whole day in English, and some remain out of the loop.

This means there are plenty of opportunities to help students of all standards to learn fluency in English. Many young people are seeking to accept further education places in English-speaking countries and, therefore, will need to be able to demonstrate their ability to understand and participate. English teachers in South Africa could do well to specialise in either business English or preparation for English competency exams.

A Supportive Infrastructure

It also helps that the infrastructure in South Africa is growing to support that demand for English lessons. There are plenty of reputable language schools as well as many different government-backed language programs that could all offer the perfect employment for you. South Africa is committed to education and happy to invest in many different learning initiatives, which makes it a lot nicer for those looking to teach English as a foreign language.


A Great Standard of Living

Another bonus for those looking to live and work in South Africa is the affordable cost of living. Salaries aim to enable locals to afford living and working, ensuring payment covers bills and leaves room for exploring the local area. There is just so much to explore. Johannesburg is a very urban area full of life, whereas, in contrast, Cape Town, situated on the beautiful coastal seascape, is quieter and yet alluring.

A Breath-taking Backdrop

Of course, South Africa is most famous for its stunning backdrops. It’s also a great place to see wildlife up close and personal while driving through one of the many safari parks. Although it’s a bit of a cliched tourist attraction, it is worth doing, and you should channel your inner tourist and get yourself booked onto a safari trip as soon as you can. The geography is just so fascinating and can be completely different from one area to the next.

What Do You Need to Live and Work in South Africa as an English Teacher

To live and work as an English language teacher in South Africa, there are several key requirements that you will need to establish. First and foremost, possessing a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification is almost always a prerequisite. This globally recognized qualification showcases your ability to effectively teach English to individuals with potentially no prior English skills, aiding their learning. More often than not, you will also need to have a degree, and it forms part of the visa requirements in many cases. Your degree doesn’t have to be in English or education, but it simply acts as a confirmation of your ability to obtain a certain level of education.

Getting Your TEFL

Choose an institution with accredited, externally regulated TEFL courses for your certification, ensuring a reputable and recognized qualification. Our diligent efforts guarantee courses that meet these standards, leading to global recognition and acceptance around the world. We always warn against special offer courses on sites like Groupon, where they are offering TEFL qualifications for very nominal fees. The chances are this is not regulated or accredited, and unfortunately, this means, in the long run, you will struggle to find work. Accreditation and regulation ensure the course meets specific standards, assuring everyone that you’re capable of teaching English as a foreign language to preferred standards.

Teaching Jobs for South African TEFL Teachers in China

Visa and Legal Paperwork

You will also need to obtain a visa that enables you to work rather than visit South Africa. Visa processing can take months, so it’s really important that you leave yourself enough time and don’t make any commitments to start work until you know that your visa is going to be ready. As part of the visa application process, you also have to demonstrate that you do not have any criminal records. The police check and visa application come at a cost, so you should be sure you have put enough aside to cover all of your preparation paperwork. To live and work in South Africa, you need the full set: a visa, a clean police check, TEFL certification and a degree.

What Can You Earn as a TEFL Teacher in South Africa?

The amount you can earn as an English teacher in South Africa will vary based on several factors. First of all, your circumstances, including your qualifications, the experience you bring and your personality, will all play a part. Salaries vary by institution depending on whether you’re working at her public school, private school or language school. However, as a general rule, you can expect to earn between ZAR 10,000 and ZAR 25,000 per month.

Like most countries, urban areas such as Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban offer slightly higher salaries as a reflection of the inflated cost of living in cities. Your weekly contracted hours impact your earnings in TEFL positions; part-time work is a possibility in some roles. Some pay by the hour, whereas others will contract you on a salary basis each month. If you are not earning enough from your job, you may be able to top up your income by tutoring privately or even online teaching students who aren’t actually in South Africa. Just be sure to investigate the rules of self-employment so that you do not fall foul of any reporting laws.

More About Cape Town

One of the more popular destinations for English teachers in South Africa is Cape Town, so let’s have a closer look at what is on offer in this area.

Cape Town is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, with iconic landmarks such as Table Mountain and stunning coastal landscapes. If you appreciate living in a city surrounded by mountains and the ocean, it offers a unique and picturesque setting. You will find that people living there bring a range of cultures and ethnicities to the table, and this gives it a really vibrant, diverse atmosphere. Cape Town has a very rich history, which also influences the traditions, food and languages you will hear.

Those living in Cape Town tend to enjoy an alfresco life, and the opportunities for hiking, surfing, and other outdoor activities are plentiful. It’s also a wine region with various vineyards offering tasting days. Being on the coast, it boasts a Mediterranean climate, which means you can also dine outside for much of the year. There are also plenty of job opportunities in Cape Town, as it is known as a hub for technology, finance, tourism, and the creative sectors.

A Comforting Environment

The quality of life for those living in Cape Town is also good. There are plenty of urban amenities offering everything you could need, a range of cultural events and plenty of recreational activities. The cost of living is also good compared to other major South African cities. It’s also a great place for networking and expanding your professional network. You will find there are plenty of business events, conferences and other events that enable you to connect to people who have similar interests. Select an institution providing TEFL certification with accreditation and external regulation, ensuring a recognized and reputable qualification for your needs.

Cape Town is known for its relaxed and laid-back lifestyle. The city has a sense of community, and many neighbourhoods offer a mix of residential and commercial spaces, providing a balanced living experience.

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The Takeaway

In short, South Africa is rapidly becoming the destination of choice for TEFL teachers. It has a unique mix of cultures, a growing demand for English education, sound support systems, affordable living, and a unique lifestyle surrounded by beautiful nature. As the country continues to go from strength to strength, the need for teachers will continue to skyrocket, making South Africa an excellent destination for TEFL teachers. This could be the perfect time to get your TEFL qualification and build a new life, experience new countries as you earn money and teach English as a foreign language.

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