So you’re thinking of packing in your 9 –to-5 and jetting off on your own TEFL adventure? But considering that TEFL is not a very big market in South Africa, you’re not sure if you’ll actually be able to find a job once you have the certificate. It’s a very real worry, but something that shouldn’t keep you up at night. Even if you only have the green mamba*, there are still loads of places where you can find TEFL jobs.
TEFL teaching opportunities in South Africa
If you’ve done a TEFL certificate and have qualified as a TEFL teacher, you might want to get some experience under your belt (and some Rands in your bank account) before you jump on a plane. In South Africa there are three main cities where you can find work as an TEFL teacher: Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.
In these cities you will find quite a range of language schools. There are the big international chain schools, like English First, International House and English Centre, and there are smaller boutique language schools. The schools are generally run the same way but some schools will have more students than others. In a language school you are likely to be paid by the hour and the number of hours you work each week will depend on the number of students in the school. Students are able to sign up on a weekly basis for any number of weeks but there are usually busy months (summer) and quiet months (winter). Nationalities that you can usually find studying at language schools in South Africa include Brazilians, Libyans, Saudi Arabians, Angolan and Swiss.
Besides language schools, there are also schools for foreign language students attached to universities. Students will often come to these schools to prepare to study at an English-speaking university, though not necessarily in South Africa. At all schools you’re likely to earn around R100 – R150 an hour.
TEFL Teaching Opportunities Abroad
If you’d rather teach somewhere else, then the world is your oyster. Ok, so not really, but there are a surprising number of places you can still work in with a South African passport.
Thailand is very popular with South Africans, probably because it’s an affordable place to make ends meet before your first pay check comes in. China, Taiwan and South Korea also have lots of South African TEFL teachers. South America is becoming more and more popular because there are loads of jobs available there. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are attractive options for South Africans looking to save a lot of money.
The United Kingdom, Europe and Australia are also good options if you have a different passport or eligibility to work in those areas. There are companies that can assist in finding out if you have working rights in these countries and can help you apply for a visa if you are.
Of course, no matter where you go you need to find out the visa restrictions and regulations before you go. Laws are constantly changing and it is not always possible to arrive somewhere with a tourist visa and hope to find a job. Thankfully these days it is super easy to find a job online and your employer can help you with all the relevant paperwork before you’ve even had your farewell party.
EFL teaching opportunities online
Of course if you’d like to teach from the comfort of your own home, you can always teach online. You can find students yourself through word of mouth, YouTube or LinkedIn, or you can join an online school. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but both allow you to choose your own schedule and work in your pyjamas! The added bonus of working online is you can set your rate in dollars, as this is what learners are accustomed to.