26 February 2013
Africa is a continent in need of teachers of all sorts but in particular English teachers. This makes it a great destination for those with a TEFL certificate! The work is also completely different depending upon your location. In Northern Africa you are more likely to find a more standard TEFL job but in the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa there are many volunteering opportunities and all the benefits that come with voluntary work.
Africa as a country is of course wonderfully varied in culture and people as well as in landscape. North Africa is better-off concerning the standard of living but Sub-Saharan Africa can give a rich and rewarding experience to anyone working here. There are often opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa to learn languages like Swahili to help integrate you into local cultures and the people you are living and working with will be very helpful and welcoming.
Work can come in all forms. In some countries, English is the language of learning and this is the case in state schools in countries like Ghana and Kenya so there is a demand for English teachers here. The children are taught entirely in English in a system similar to that of a British primary school so teachers of all types can be employed in these countries.
Paid jobs are available in some countries such as Morocco and occasionally Kenya. The demand for English is high in Northern countries with lots of tourist areas and cities with students hoping to move abroad in the future. Employment is usually to be found teaching in modern and well-equipped language schools as well as in universities. Universities and international schools will sometimes advertise vacancies on their websites. Jobs can also be found through organisations such as the British Council, and our own TEFL Jobs Centre.
Volunteering is often with long term schemes; generally placements can last between 6 months to a few years. The projects you can work for can offer many opportunities for the people of the country it is operating in. It can be about teaching new skills to adults to help them better their lives or it can be about rescuing street children and providing them with a safe place to live.
Volunteering is also great because it gives you experience. Many jobs in other parts of the world want teaching experience before they employ you and volunteering in Africa is a great way to earn this! Out of all the places in the world, Africa is where your work will really make an impact on those you teach. The difference you bring to their lives will be a very rewarding experience for you that will stay with you for life.
Africa can, on occasion, be a dangerous and volatile place. Please check the advice given by your government for travelling in each country for your own personal safety.