South African teachers are often undervalued and underpaid, and as more and more search for alternative options for making a living, travelling abroad seems to be one of the best options we have but the what is often difficult is the how, when and where questions that arise.

Teaching English as a foreign language gives young South Africans a passport to travel the world. Packing up and moving across the globe can be daunting, but the experience sparks a sense of adventure and can drive personal growth.

To help potential teachers find the destination best suited to them, The TEFL Academy, South Africa’s leading course provider of teaching English as a foreign language, has launched the world’s first Factbook, a comprehensive guide for teaching abroad. 

“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. Profiling over 100 countries, the Factbook covers all the key facts that TEFL teachers need to know before they decide where they want to teach. This includes average pay, cost of living, types of learners, working environment and weather conditions. The guide also outlines the average price of a beer and local foods to try.  

Here are the five most countries among South African TEFL teachers:

 1. China

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 Gualin, 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

From the rice field terraces to the breathtaking 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, allowing teaching salaries to accommodate travelling around the country and a comfortable lifestyle.   

3. South Korea

As one of the most exciting countries in Asia, South Korea has it all, offering bustling cities, peaceful mountains and national parks. Historical sites such as palaces and museums exist alongside contemporary attractions such as massive shopping malls and busy restaurants. Teachers looking to save money or pay back their 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

The land of sunshine and smiles, Thailand 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 country’s 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

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 also suitable for travellers who do not have a university degree and are looking for a shorter time abroad. 

Offering accessible, flexible and cost-effective ways to get TEFL-qualified, The TEFL Academy is internationally accredited and regulated. Compiled by a team of researchers and consulting authoritative sources in each country, The World TEFL Factbook can be used by teachers and interested parties, and available to download from their website, www.theteflacademy.com/tefl-factbook. 

Pictures: Pexels

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.