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Afghanistan Job Listings

Afghanistan isn’t likely the first place you would consider for a TEFL teaching post. A country that is probably best known by English speakers for the Taliban and as somewhere mired in conflict and power struggles. If you are someone who is fond of home comforts and a peaceful life, then Afghanistan should not be high on your list of potential TEFL jobs.

The reality is that conflict is almost part of the country’s DNA, having suffered through a large number of bloody civil wars and battles against invaders over the centuries. Located right in the heart of Asia, it is a largely wild and mountainous land that has been a natural central point to several empires in the region throughout its history. Visitors today will find themselves entering a country still in the midst of internal struggles and violence, attempting to find its feet with a newly founded democracy following the invasion by US and NATO forces in 2001.

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Sharing borders with Iran to the west, Pakistan to the south and east and a number of old Soviet states to the north, Afghanistan is a landlocked country with vast areas of uninhabitable land. Prior to the latest cycle of violence beginning three decades ago, Afghanistan had a reputation for beguiling visitors with its diverse culture, warm hospitality and rugged, mountainous terrain. Stories of its beauty and hiking through its enchanting mountains have now in fact become part of travellers’ folklore. Cricket fans will also know of its passion for the sport and its growing emergence as an international team. Although you can expect a generally friendly welcome from the Afghan people, the reality is that the tales of incredible hospitality and natural beauty are but a romantic memory of the past.

That said, there are certain places that do indeed offer an element of tranquillity and a very welcome escape from the daily realities that the Afghan people have to cope with. If you do decide that you want to play your part in creating a positive change in Afghanistan, those taking a TEFL job in Kabul can find museums, archaeological remains and plenty of mosques to enjoy, as well as the opportunity to travel and experience the peaceful Qargha Lake. Moving beyond the area around the capital, when circumstances permit, few visitors have failed to be left in awe at the wonder of the lakes, mountains and waterfalls of Band-e-Amir National Park in Bamyan. In a country that is looking to rebuild and connect more with the industrialised world, the difference you can make as a TEFL teacher is tremendous.

In order to get a work permit you will need an employer to support your application and to cut through a swathe of red tape. Many find that the best way to get a foot in the door is through volunteering initially, and even if you do find a paid job you shouldn’t expect to receive more than a basic subsistence. Most TEFL posts can be found in and around Kabul, with opportunities at international schools as well as local schools and universities. It goes without saying that you need to be prepared for the world you are entering and it is necessary to make contacts and research the situation and conflict before making the leap.

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