Published 25th January 2016

TEACHING ENGLISH IN SOUTH AFRICA

It’s actually not surprising when you consider that South Africa consistently tops lists of the most beautiful countries in the world. Even though it is famous equally for its natural beauty and it sky-high crime rate, visitors are not deterred from visiting this amazing country.

What makes South Africa more attractive to visitors is the favourable exchange rate. So while you are sipping on a cocktail at a café overlooking the white-sand beach of Camps Bay, soaking up the culture of the Cradle of Humankind, or sampling the gastronomic offerings at some of the world’s top restaurants, you never have to worry about pinching your pennies.

But being a tourist is one thing; but can you work there? In terms of TEFL, the answer is yes, though it is quite limited. English is one of the 11 official languages of the country and is spoken by the majority of the population, which means there is no scope for teaching English as a Foreign Language to local students. On the other hand, there are many language schools in a few cities which attract foreign students who are looking for a good time and appreciate the low cost of their English courses.

Of course, if you are looking to save money, South Africa is not really the place to be doing TEFL. It will provide you with an amazingly carefree lifestyle and you will undoubtedly fall in love with the beauty of the cities and the friendliness of its people, but South Africa is not known for very high salaries in any field, let alone teaching, when you need to consider the exchange rate. In other words, it’s a great idea for a summer job, but only good for your TEFL career if you’re prepared to stay a while and spend your Rands in the country.

South Africa is, however, a great place to look for volunteer work and gain valuable TEFL experience. There are a lot of social organisations which would be able to place you in a local school or teaching centre and would welcome your skills with open arms. It’s possible to find these opportunities before arriving in the country, so if you’d rather be sure of what you’re getting into before you get there, go this route – though they might charge a fee for the programme.

In a nutshell, South Africa is a great place to go if you’re looking for an experience rather than a money-making job. Besides that, there’s no reason not to go to South Africa – just check the visa requirements, pack your safari suit and you’re good to go.