Teach English in Ethiopia

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How to Begin Teaching in Ethiopia

Due to the economy and industry, there is a demand for English in the country.

One of the oldest countries in the world, Ethiopia is the only African country to have never been colonized. Ethiopia is a nature-lovers paradise, with numerous opportunities for trekking, hiking in the mountains and watching wildlife on the lakes – including pelicans, hippos and crocodiles.

Besides nature and wildlife, Ethiopia is known for its dramatic landscapes. The Danakil Depression is one of the harshest and hottest landscapes on earth, complete with volcanic craters and lava lakes. If you’d prefer somewhere a bit cooler, you can take a hike in the Simen Mountains, go white water rafting on the Omo River or visit waterfalls on the Blue Nile. 

Ethiopia is culturally interesting too with many festivals throughout the year, involving music, dancing and, of course, food. Many of these festivals relate to the major religion of the country: Christianity. In fact, the oldest Christian church in the world can be found in the northern town of Lalibela, where churches were carved out of rock. And let’s not forget that Ethiopia gave the greatest gift to mankind: coffee – so why not take a tour of the coffee forests and learn how to drink it in the traditional Ethiopian way?

Considering all of this, it’s not surprising that Ethiopia was named the world’s best destination for tourists in 2015 by the European Council on Tourism and Trade.

It is believed that coffee was originally discovered in Ethiopia and then exported all over the world via the slave trade and other means. There are many different versions of the actual origin, one account is of a farmer that saw how his goats appeared to become energised when they eat from a particular bush which led him to try for himself. The farmer brought the fruits to a monastery and a monk tossed them into the fire. The attractive aroma attracted other monks and the fruits were dissolved in hot water, thus creating the world’s first cup of coffee.

Rastafarian culture is iconic throughout the world and comes from Africa although the movement has become better known in Jamaica. The word itself comes from ‘Ras’ which means chief in Ethiopia’s official language, Amharic and ‘Tafari’, which was the first name of former Ethiopian Emperor., Halie Selassie 1. This was the spiritual leader of the movement who they believed to be the incarnation of god on earth.   

Addis Ababa is officially the highest capital city in Africa and the highest capital city in the African continent with an altitude of 2,335m (7,726ft) above sea level. The word Addis Ababa itself means ‘New Flower’ in Amharic.

Teaching Opportunities

There are many teaching opportunities for EFL teachers in Ethiopia, both voluntary and paid. You are more likely to find a volunteer position in a small town or village than an urban area as the majority of the population is located in rural areas, but the paid positions are likely to be in the cities, such as Addis Ababa.

The school year starts in September so vacancies will be advertised in the months preceding then. You will need to apply for a job before you enter Ethiopia as you will need your employer to assist in getting a visa before arrival. The average salary may not seem like much, but it is more than enough relative to the cost of living. 

Teaching Requirements

Degree Requirement Typical Contract Length Peak Hiring Seasons Visa Info Typical Students Average Monthly Cost of Living in £ GBP & Local Currency Average Monthly Salary in £ GBP & Local Currency
NoneVariable July - September Work visa Children 3 000 – 4 000 ETB (110 – 150 GBP) 5 000 – 7 000 ETB (180 – 250 GBP)

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