Teaching English in South Africa

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How to Begin Teaching in South Africa

Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating.

South Africa is a country of extremes. From the bustling metropolis of the city of Gold in the north and the world-famous beaches in the south, to the desert in the west and the tropical heat of the east, South Africa has something to offer everyone.
During the day you can spend some time in the winelands tasting superb local wines or sampling food at a traditional braai. You can catch some sun on the beach or go hiking in the mountains. If you’re feeling adventurous, go looking for the ‘Big 5’ on safari or even go diving with sharks! At night, hang out at the local malls or nightclubs.

It might have a controversial history and a reputation for its crime, but South Africa has spectacular natural beauty and a rich culture that will welcome you with open arms. You might find that once you’ve arrived, you’ll never want to leave!

There are three national capitals in South Africa including Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein. The cities are strategically placed throughout the country and each host a separate segment of the nation’s government. Pretoria serves as the administrative capital. Cape Town is the legislative capital and Bloemfontein is the judicial capital.

One of the biggest animal reserves in South Africa is Kruger National Park measuring at 19,485 square kilometers. Ensure to book a luxurious safari lodge dotted throughout the park or camp at one of the rest spots, to enjoy everything the park has to offer. If you only have a few hours and have a tight budget, then a game drive is a great alternative to a safari.

The iconic Table Mountain overlooks the city of Cape Town. It’s believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world. You can hike the mountain in about 2.5 hours or sit back and enjoy the views in a cable car. Not too far away from Table Mountain you can find a colony of African Penguins at Boulders Beach. The best time to visit is from October to March in mornings and early evenings. Pack a picnic and enjoy watching these cuddly creatures frolic in the water.

 

Teaching Opportunities

The demand for teachers is not very high in South Africa, probably due to its location. There are language schools around the country, mostly centred in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. These centres run classes for adult learners from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds. Classes range from General English to exam classes, group classes or one-to-ones. You could be teaching a Brazilian student or a Swiss businessman; no two weeks will be the same. Sometimes groups of children will be brought in for summer courses, but this is not common.

Don’t expect to come to South Africa to save a lot of money. You will probably earn an hourly wage rather than a monthly salary, and you won’t be guaranteed set hours. Schools won’t contribute to airfares, visas or accommodation. The cost of living in South Africa is also relatively high, but the reason you would come here is the lifestyle and the experience. South Africa is a country where you can make a difference to the local community. There are numerous opportunities for volunteer work if you are interested in giving back – an experience well worth the trip to the southernmost tip of Africa.

Teaching Requirements

  • Degree Requirement
    Not required
  • Typical Contract Length
    Monthly
  • Peak Hiring Seasons
    Year-round, especially October
  • Visa Info
    Work permit
  • Typical Students
    University students, professionals
  • Average Monthly Cost of Living in Local Currency
    approx. 7,500–8,500 ZAR
  • Average Monthly Salary in Local Currency
    approx. 10,000–12,000

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