Education Trends 2020

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Post-matric options: Teach while you travel...

The 2019 matric results are in, and young South Africans are considering their options for the year ahead. University is not the only choice, and matriculants with a sense of adventure can opt to teach English as a foreign language overseas - as a way to earn money, gain experience and travel the globe all at the same time.

“Many matriculants find themselves in a situation where they have no real plan or focus for the coming year. This can be frustrating, especially if your peers are busy planning their move to university or joining the workforce. Teaching English gives young South Africans the opportunity to spend the year doing something worthwhile,” says Rhyan O’Sullivan, Managing Director of the TEFL Academy, South African course provider of teaching English as a foreign language.

While a university degree is not essential to getting a teaching job overseas, a TEFL qualification, the globally accepted qualification to teach English abroad, is always required. “Many countries in South America and South East Asia take on teachers without university degrees,” says O’Sullivan.

Data collected by the TEFL Academy indicates that the main reasons young people choose a TEFL qualification are related to money, lifestyle and safety. “Young South Africans are interested in living and working overseas because there are often better opportunities to make more money. For some, a higher standard of living and general safety are also big draws,” says O’ Sullivan.

Skills development

Taking a gap year can also help ease the transition from school to work or university. “TEFL teachers can earn important employment skills. When living and working in a foreign country, you become self-sufficient and self-reliant, and develop strong organisational and communication skills. These transferable skills are valued in all workplaces, and will help further a career in any field,” says O’Sullivan.

When studied full time, a TEFL course can typically be completed within four to six weeks. For matriculants looking to start their adventures early this year, now is the time to register, advises O’Sullivan; “Countries like South Korea begin their yearly intake in April. Students who begin their training now will have just enough time to complete their course and apply for a job.”

South African TEFL teacher salaries across the globe:
  1. Mexico: R28,000 – R46,000 per month (no degree required)
  2. Spain: R15,500 – R23,000 per month (no degree required)
  3. Argentina: R14,500 – R22,000 per month (no degree required)
  4. Hong Kong: R26,000 – R70,000 per month (degree required)
  5. South Korea: R21,000 – R23,000 per month (degree required)

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