Want to Teach English Abroad?

These are the Top 5 countries for South Africans to head to

Working abroad is a dream that many of us have particularly in the age of social media and the jealousy-inducing #wanderlust hashtags that appear on your feed. For many South Africans, however, getting a work visa alone can seem like an impossible task. Thanks to the TEFL certificate, anyone with an interest in education can teach English abroad, and it is a lot easier done than you might think.

The TEFL Academy, South Africa’s go-to for getting your TEFL qualification, knows how daunting it is uprooting your life and moving to a foreign country and have put together a really thorough and helpful guide for anyone considering it.

Their Factbook covers all the key facts you would want to know before moving across the globe, such as average pay, cost of living, types of learners, working environment and weather conditions. The guide also outlines the average price of a beer and what local foods to try to give you a better feel for each country.

The list of countries is long, and you might feel overwhelmed trying to choose between New Zealand and Nicaragua. Luckily The TEFL Academy has got your back and wants to make your choices easier. “We want to equip young professionals with all the information they need before setting off,” says Rhyan O’Sullivan, Managing Director of The TEFL Academy.

According to O’Sullivan, these are the top five countries South Africans choose to move to when embarking on their mission to teach English abroad:

1. China

Fireworks display in Beijing, China
Fireworks display in Beijing, China. Image via

After a year in China, you will have only just begun to scratch the surface of the country’s cultural and historical landscape. From the ultra-modern cities of Beijing and Shanghai to the striking hills of Guilin, Chinese students are interested in learning English for business, academic and general conversation. China boasts one of the highest paying teaching positions internationally, averaging between R18 000 and R40 000.

2. Vietnam

rowing boat at anchor in Vietnam

From the rice field terraces to the breath-taking coastlines, Vietnam is for teachers seeking inspiration and exceptional beauty. The country’s growing tourism industry has encouraged locals to learn business English to keep up with the growing economy. The cost of living is relatively cheap, so earning a teacher’s salary still means you can live comfortably and do some travelling.

3. South Korea

Aerial view of Seoul South Korea

As one of the most exciting countries in Asia, South Korea offers both bustling cities, peaceful mountains and national parks. Historical sites, such as palaces and museums, live alongside contemporary attractions such as massive shopping malls and busy restaurants. Teachers looking to save money or pay back student loans should consider taking up positions on this island nation – most schools will reimburse flights and offer accommodation, paid holidays and an annual bonus.

4. Thailand

Tidal scene at sunset in Thailand

The land of sunshine and smiles boasts both a warm climate and friendly locals. Thailand is an excellent place for newly qualified teachers to learn and hone their teaching skills, due to the slower pace of life. It also has many places to explore, including the nightlife of Bangkok, the beaches of Phuket and the floating markets of Hua Hin.

5. Spain

Silhouette of flamenco dancers in Spain

Home to Pablo Picasso and Flamenco dancers, the country has a passionate and vibrant soul. The demand for English in Spain is high, with a variety of opportunities to choose from. With superb beaches, such as Malaga and Huelva and distinctive architecture of Barcelona, teachers can explore the country while working in summer camps, as language assistants and through private school teaching. Spain is particularly suitable for travellers who do not have a university degree and are looking for a shorter time abroad.

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