• Salah Elbaba

A Sad Truth

TEFL is the next best thing for some teachers.

Unfortunately, we cannot help all qualified teachers. There are so many teachers who are qualified to teach certain subjects that are just not called for overseas. This means, that even though you may be capable of teaching a different subject or grade, you will not be awarded a work visa. The visa authorities look at your qualifications and documents and sadly, they will make their decision based on what is written on those papers.


The subjects that aren't accepted overseas are as follows:

  • Afrikaans

  • isiXhosa

  • Life Orientation

  • Accounting

  • Design and Technology

  • Agricultural Science

  • Consumer Studies

  • Tourism

  • Dance and Drama

You may be thinking to yourself, "but surely they have cooking subjects or accounting subjects overseas?" Technically, yes they do, but the subjects will be designed according to a different curriculum and sadly, these do not align with the South African versions.


The truth of it is, that even if you were somehow to get a visa to teach a different subject at a school overseas, we would probably advise against it. Uprooting your life in South Africa to go teach overseas, make new friends and teaching at a new school - although adventurous and exciting - is a big commitment. It is a lot to take in and we do not think it would be wise to add to the stress of it by teaching a subject you have little to no experience in. Your whole life in the new country depends on your job and if you are struggling to teach the subject - you will either resign or be let go. Either way, the whole endeavour would end up being an expensive waste of time. We really want you to be happy and to teach to the best of your ability.


BUT...there is hope!


If you are a teacher of one of the subjects above and cannot be put into a mainstream position, there are always non-mainstream or TEFL options! These positions are currently all in China and some offer the same expat packages and very good salaries. As a qualified teacher you would be first pick for these positions. The only requirements would be for you to have a 120 hour online TEFL course and excellent written and spoken English. These positions are a fantastic way to experience teaching abroad and often allow for more free time for exploring and adventure! The other benefit is the lower cost of living - some areas are so cheap to live in that our teachers are able to save up to 50% of their salary!


If you would like to apply for a non-mainstream position please do so here, or if you would like to find out more about TEFL certification and where it can be done, please click here.

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