Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa and while its one of its smallest nations, it is geographically fascinating – the south is dessert (the Sahara) while the north can see snow from time to time. Tunisia is also fascinating from a cultural point of view. The Roman archaeological historical site of Carthage is a popular place to visit, where you can see the ancient ruins. Another place not to miss is the UNESCO world heritage site of the Medina quarter in Tunis, which was one of the first Arabo-Muslim towns and has countless monuments, fountains, mosques, and mausoleums to see. Aside from historical locations, there are also gorgeous beaches to enjoy along the Mediterranean coastline.
While Tunisia may sound like an idyllic place to live, the Tunisian revolution of 2011 has left its mark, and as a result of a number of terrorist threats and attacks, an enduring state of emergency can make it a difficult place to travel to. Check the latest travel advice from your country to see what the current guidelines are. Another consideration to bear in mind is the crime rate, and while it’s not particularly dangerous, it’s not uncommon that some foreigners will find themselves the victims of theft in Tunisia. There aren’t any religious or cultural restrictions on how women dress in Tunisia, but if women don’t dress modestly, they’ll find themselves frequently harassed on the streets. While rare, another problem in Tunisia can be kidnapping, where foreigners are often targeted – it’s advised to travel in groups when possible and stay to busier areas with a higher police presence. These are all factors you’ll need to consider when deciding if Tunisia is the TEFL destination for you.
- Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Tunis, Sousse, and Carthage
- Average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of 3,750 – 7,700 TND (£980 – £2,000 / $1,400 – $2,830) per month. Hourly paid jobs are around 20 – 30 TND (£5 – £8 / $7 – $11) per hour.
- TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification will be required for most positions
- Prerequisite university degree: Most positions require a degree as it is required for the visa
- Term times: The school year starts in September
- Currency: Tunisian dinar (TND)
- Language: Arabic (Tunisian Arabic)
- Teaching programmes: Private tutoring, International Schools, International Kindergarten, Private Language Schools, Business English
- Age restrictions: None
- Previous teaching experience: International schools will require several years of relevant experience
The vast majority of people in Tunisia speak Tunisian Arabic as opposed to the Berber language, and as well as speaking English, many people (more than 60% of the population) also use French, which was the common language of business and administration during French rule in the region, until 1956. However, these days young people prefer to learn English as a second language, identifying the opportunities that are open to them with this language under their belt. Despite the preference young people have for English, they only start learning it in school at the age of 12, while French is taught from when they’re 8. As such, if you so happen to speak both English and French, you’ll find no end to the job possibilities open to you in Tunisia, especially in bilingual kindergartens and schools. If you work in an International School, most children will be the children of expats living in the area and will speak English as a first language, or as a lingua franca. In public schools and private language classes, English will likely be the second or third language of your students.
Requirements for teaching English in Tunisia
|Country||Avg. monthly salary||Degree required||Start of term||Teaching experience||Housing & flights included||Suitable for non-native English speakers||Age restrictions|
Tunisia is the second cheapest country in Africa and cheaper than 92% of countries around the world. Despite a low cost of living, TEFL teachers can earn a very decent wage in Tunisia, making it a great destination if you want to make savings for the future. Even on a modest income, your salary is likely to be two to three times higher than the usual cost of living, and if you live frugally as well as having a higher paying job, the savings can be enormous. It’s easy to find things to do on a budget in Tunisia as well as enjoying the luxury that a high salary can afford. Popular pastimes including visiting ancient historical sites, enjoying the Mediterranean climate on the beach, relaxing with a calming cup of jasmine tea, or perhaps honing your photography skills at the picturesque town of Sidi Bou Saidt, famous for its blue and white doors. Theme parks like Acqua Palace and Friguia Park are also popular.
- Accommodation: £228 – £355 / $321 – $501
- Utilities: £43 / $60
- Health insurance: Cost of typical visit to a GP: £15 / $21
- Monthly transport pass: £11 / $16
- Basic dinner out for two: £10 / $13
- Cappuccino in expat area: £1.20 / $1.69
- A beer in a pub: £1.74 / $2.45
- 1 litre of milk: £0.36 / $0.51
- 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £0.74 / $1.05
(living costs sourced from Expatistan)