Travelling abroad to teach English has become the go to career choice for a lot of millennials in South Africa. And even though it usually works out perfectly for some people, there are some instances where things do not go as planned. 

As fun as it would be to travel to a different country and make new experiences your safety in that country should be a top priority. 

Rhyan O’Sullivan the Managing Director at the TEFL Academy offers the following safety tips for South Africans planning to travel abroad to teach English.

Research research research… 

Research the destination you plan to travel to and learn the basics about political, religious and cultural sensitivities in the area.

Health and safety

Prepare for health and safety concerns by getting the necessary immunisations. Find out if your school offers medical insurance or if you need to organise this yourself. It is best to do this before you travel.


Have an emergency credit card 

Don’t keep all your financial resources in one place – have an emergency credit card packed away for emergency purposes and use a limited amount of cash. Keep a record of important financial information like account numbers and contact details of banks.

Communicate with your bank

Inform your bank where and when you are going, ask them to provide you with an emergency contact number that can be contacted while you’re overseas.


Keep copies of documents 

Keep physical and digital copies of important travel documentation like your passport, employment contract and visa.

Register with embassy 

Stay informed and register with your country’s embassy upon arrival. This will help them contact you and provide assistance when needed. Keep their contact information easily accessible.

Learn the language 


Learn some basic phrases in the language of the country you’re visiting so that you know how to ask for help if you need it. Write your work address and residential address down in both languages.

Socialize with colleagues 

Your colleagues, both native citizens and other foreign teachers who have lived in the country for some time, are a great source of information on how to handle various elements of society that you’ll interact with daily, like using public transport and navigating the destination you’re in.