Fully vaccinated South Africans will now be able to travel or teach abroad.

With 18- to 34-year-olds next in line for the jab in September, and vaccinations for over 35’s currently underway, those considering a life beyond local borders can take advantage of the international demand for English teachers – provided they have the right qualifications.

“Passionate, properly trained teachers are being welcomed with open arms in countries where schools have been unable to make new hires, due to the pandemic.

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“Those with teaching experience – either online or in person – have an added advantage when it comes to securing a job abroad,” said Tom Gibbons, Director at The TEFL Academy, South Africa’s provider for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualifications.

Over half a million South African teachers and education staff have received their Covid-19 vaccines, making them top candidates for schools that are actively recruiting new staff.

Although most countries are still in various stages of lockdown, restrictions have been lifted to allow for vaccinated travellers to enter without having to face a two-week unpaid quarantine in places like Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, and Nepal, among others.

“Those planning their next overseas adventure, who are still waiting for their vaccine, can take advantage of the relatively short period of study required to get certified.

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“When studied full time, an accredited TEFL course can typically be completed within four to six weeks – giving you time to get your second vaccine shot, if needed, as well as research potential target countries and apply for jobs,” said Gibbons.

English foreign language teachers typically sign on for year-long contracts, which are open for renewal when they reach their end. This provides local teachers with job stability, and an opportunity to remain overseas for an extended period of time – or to change their mind and try a new country every year.

“Moving overseas is notoriously costly and strenuous, which is why teaching English abroad has become such a popular choice for those wanting to secure working visas, permanent residence, and international work experience that will benefit their careers in the long term.

“We’ve seen many traditional teachers opting to teach abroad, where they can immerse themselves in new cultures, travel, and build on their existing skills – without having to give up their passion for teaching,” explained Gibbons.

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Offering accessible, flexible and cost-effective ways to get TEFL qualified, The TEFL Academy provides internationally accredited and regulated online courses.

To give teachers an idea of earning potential, degree requirements, typical student profiles and average teaching hours per country, the academy has curated a guide to teaching English around the world.

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