A Guide to TEFL for South Africans

A Guide to TEFL for South Africans

For South Africans looking to get out of the country and explore, a TEFL qualification is the perfect option. Teaching English as a foreign language allows you to see the world and get paid for it at the same time, and with around 1.5 billion people learning English across the globe there’s a huge demand for EFL teachers.

Interested? Keep reading to find out how to get TEFL qualified in South Africa and where you could find yourself teaching!

Why you should TEFL

There are so many reasons to teach English abroad it’d be impossible to cover them all!

A TEFL qualification allows you to fund your exploration of the world and become immersed in other cultures.  As an EFL teacher you could find yourself grabbing a bite to eat every day from one of Ho Chi Minh’s many incredible street food vendors, watching Mt. Fuji speed past as you take Japan’s bullet train, buying your weekly groceries from the San Pedro Market in Cusco, or waking up in an exciting new place every week if you’re living the digital nomad lifestyle.

Teaching is an incredibly rewarding job and TEFL can be many different things to different people. It could be the start of a career in teaching, a gap year, the chance to learn another language, a complete career change after 20 years in a completely different field, a means to travel, an opportunity to gain some life and work experience straight after university, and so much more.

A person writing in a notebook lying on top of a map


What you need to start teaching abroad

For most TEFL positions you need the following:

  • An accredited TEFL qualification (find the right course for you here)
  • A BA degree for most countries
  • A native or native-level of English
  • A clean criminal background check
  • Money to cover visa applications and relocation expenses

If English isn’t your first language then you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability, such as an IELTS or TOEFL score, or evidence that your schooling in South Africa was conducted in English.

Most countries require teachers to have a BA degree but there are opportunities to be found in Central and South America, as well as Cambodia for non-degree holders. It’s incredibly important to research visa requirements for any country you hope to teach in as these can vary greatly from country to country. If you don’t meet all the requirements you won’t be eligible for a visa.

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How to Get TEFL Qualified in South Africa

Wherever you are in South Africa – Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, or out in the sticks – getting TEFL qualified couldn’t be easier. Our online TEFL courses can be taken from anywhere in the world and completed in your own time, at your own pace.

Most employers look for applicants to have completed a 120-hour TEFL qualification. Our 120-hour course comes with tutor support from a highly qualified and experienced EFL teacher, who will mark your work and provide feedback as well as give you any guidance you might need throughout the course.

If you’re looking to really boost your CV we have a number of specialist courses available, such as our Teaching Business English and Teaching English Online courses.

The back of a man wearing a hat and backpack in a crowd of people


Where can you teach abroad

A TEFL qualification opens up the world to you.

Asia and South America, in particular, are great options for South African EFL teachers looking for an adventure abroad. The biggest English language market in the world can be found in China, where the demand for teachers is off the scale, so there’s no shortage of work for eligible TEFL qualified teachers. China offers great wages and benefit packages, which typically include accommodation and airfare. And with low living costs teachers can save money while enjoying life in the country.

Teaching in Europe can be challenging if you’re not an EU citizen, but there are some options for those not necessarily looking for a full-time, year-long contracts – see our post about how to TEFL in Europe for Non-EU citizens to find out more.

For EFL teachers with at least two years’ experience the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait offer lucrative contracts with tax-free salaries.

It’s possible to use your TEFL qualification at home in South Africa, although it can be difficult to find stable work if you don’t have much experience. There is, however, a huge demand for EFL teachers online. Teaching English online offers flexible work that can be done from the comfort of your own home or from anywhere in the world! See our post about how to become a TEFL digital nomad to find out more.

A woman looking over a lake at dusk


The best places to find TEFL Jobs

Usually first-time EFL teachers secure a job before heading abroad. For many countries you must apply for a work visa before entering the country. Last year, a large group of South African teachers were detained in China as they were falsely led to believe they could transition from a tourist to a work visa while in country. As we always stress – it’s essential to research the visa requirements for any country you want to teach in!

All TEFL Org students get lifetime access to our TEFL Jobs Centre, where you can find positions all over the world, as well as plenty of online teaching jobs.

And there are so many other online jobs boards out there, such as Dave’s ESL Café, TEFL.com, and Ajarn. We put together a helpful list of boards to aid your job search.

If you’re interested in teaching in South America it’s more common to secure work in-country as you won’t find many adverts online for positions in these countries.

To find out more about how you can get TEFL qualified in South Africa and where you could teach abroad get in touch! You can contact us on Live Chat, Facebook messenger or send an email to advice@tefl.org.uk.

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