A geographically and demographically diverse country, South Africa is truly a magical place. One day you could be out on a game reserve, within arm’s distance to a lion, or you could be out on the coastline, soaking in the incredible views at the southernmost point in Africa. Alongside all this natural beauty, there are also major cities in South Africa, such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, with growing industries in technology (IT), international business services, and tourism. With the increasing need for knowing English, there is a higher concentration of jobs for teachers of English as a Foreign Language. Take the opportunity to explore the cities and dynamic countryside of South Africa while completing your TEFL course, where there truly is never a dull moment!

Course Types

In South Africa, while a TEFL certificate is not required for every job opening for foreign teachers, the background and experience from the course itself provides an incredible skill set. There is little variety in the types of courses offered, but there are plenty of providers to choose from, and each one offers detailed training that will help in the classroom.

4 Week TEFL Courses:

Often geared towards teacher trainees with little to no experience, the 4-week, intensive TEFL course is an affordable and comprehensive option. Covering the basics of teaching English to foreign students in about 120 hours, these courses in South Africa provide a strong foundation for novice teachers. Along with learning the methodology of TEFL, the courses also cover lesson planning, classroom management, and even live teaching practice. Generally, you can also have a TEFL tutor or teacher watch your classroom teaching and provide feedback. Lastly, you will have the chance to observe a class in session, and take notes on what works best while teaching ESL students in South Africa.

Speciality Courses:

If you are an experienced English teacher, or looking for extra instruction, you may consider taking an advanced, specialty TEFL course in South Africa. Often times, TEFL providers will offer an “add-on” segment for those interested in teaching a specific subject, such as Business English or teaching English to young learners (ages 7 to 16). These courses are very helpful if you plan to teach long-term, or even need a bit more practice or instruction before entering the ESL classroom!

Planning Your Trip

When and Where to Look for TEFL Courses in South Africa:

In South Africa, TEFL courses are offered year-round; most schools and recruiters hire throughout the year. Though, if you are planning ahead, note that the South African school year begins in mid-January and runs through early December (and is broken up into 4 terms).

Students will be able to find most TEFL programs in large South African cities such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban. While studying in the largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg, you can explore the city and visit Soweto, the township of notable figures like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Cape Town, on the other hand, is known for its scenic beauty--TEFL students can hike Table Mountain or see penguins on Boulder Beach on the weekends! Lastly, multicultural Durban is set along the coast and is another great South African city to study, live, and teach in.


There are no official requirements to take a TEFL course or teach English in South Africa. Most TEFL providers expect that you will be over the age of 18 (sometimes 21) and have a high school diploma. Although you don't have to have a four-year college degree to take a TEFL course in South Africa, many teaching jobs require one. Generally, the only two widespread requirements are that you are a native speaker and able to qualify and apply for a South African work visa. To apply for a work visa, you must register through the South Africa Center for Education or (SACE). With this, foreign teachers must be cleared through the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

Post-TEFL Resources:

Since English is one of South Africa’s eleven official languages, the majority of teaching jobs are located in and around Cape Town, where ESL teachers are needed in low-income neighborhoods. You can volunteer in public schools in this region, where English language education is underdeveloped. Additionally, many public schools in South Africa are in need of math, science, and technology teachers. There is a shortage of teachers in these subjects, and schools recruit foreign teachers.

Another option for foreign teachers in South Africa is to teach at an international school. Primarily located in the country’s major cities, South African international schools follow international curriculums, and teachers are needed for a variety of subjects. Lastly, teachers can also find employment at a private language school, where courses are offered daily for a range of students and levels.


The cost of TEFL courses in South Africa can range from about $900 to $1,700, depending on what's included. Some programs only include the cost of the TEFL instruction and qualification, while others include accommodation, cultural activities around South Africa, and even some meals.

In general, the cost of living in South Africa is fairly inexpensive (in comparison to the U.S. and Western Europe). However, costs can vary depending on an individual’s preferences and spending patterns. An inexpensive restaurant meal will cost around $7 USD, while a ride on public transportation will cost about $1.20 USD one-way. Keep in mind that schools will typically provide assistance for housing, but will not always provide accommodations. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment will cost you between $300 to $450 USD per month. In addition, airfare is often an individual expense, so you'll want to factor in the costs of airfare when preparing for your TEFL certification course in South Africa.

TEFL Courses in South Africa

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I study TEFL in South Africa?

    TEFL courses are offered year-round in South Africa, with the most popular cities being Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban. Each place has its own unique things to offer TEFL students, inside and outside the classroom.

  • How much does a TEFL course cost in South Africa?

    Depending on the location and what's included, a TEFL course in South Africa can cost anywhere from about $900 to $1,700. In addition to the tuition, programs include costs for housing, cultural and immersion activities, and meals.

Recent Program Reviews

Combined Level 5 TEFL Course in South Africa

I did the level 5 course with The TEFL Academy and it was money well spent. It was extremely convenient to do this course at my own time and pace. The course can be completed in less than 6 months and...
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Combined Level 5 TEFL Course in South Africa

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Combined Level 5 TEFL Course in South Africa

I started this year unsure of what I wanted to do during my gap year. I have always enjoyed teaching so when I heard about this course I jumped right in. I really enjoyed the course and loved how easy...
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