Teaching English as a foreign language has become one of the fastest growing industries in the world.

A popular way to spend a gap year, students, young adults and working professionals are seeking out opportunities to take a break, experience different cultures, get a decent financial jumpstart and see the world – all at the same time.

“With a TEFL qualification, young South Africans can explore the world on a travel budget that doesn’t stretch much further than their plane ticket,” says Rhyan O’Sullivan, Managing Director for the TEFL Academy, South Africa’s leading course provider of teaching English as a foreign language.

For those considering taking a gap year in 2020, preparation needs to start now, says O’Sullivan; “Courses take on average four to six weeks to complete, if matriculants or graduates are looking at starting their adventures in January, February next year, then now is the time to register.”

Young South Africans, with a sense of adventure, can decide where their TEFL qualification will take them including Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos as well as exotic island nations like the Philippines, Indonesia or the Maldives.

Teaching English abroad during a gap year can help young professionals learn advantageous employment skills such as self-sufficiency, self-reliance, organisational skills, working to deadlines and excellent communication skills. Countries like Japan and Taiwan offer TEFL teachers a valuable cultural exchange. “Learning to respect and partake in a culture so vastly different from your own is an important life-long skill,” says O’Sullivan.

Win 1 of 3 TEFL courses worth R6000 each

Foreign English teachers typically make enough to save between 30 and 40% of their salaries after expenses, allowing them to cover their bills while still enjoying the culture and lifestyle of their chosen country. Travelling regionally is also far easier, meaning those teaching in countries like Spain can explore France or Portugal.

Offering accessible, flexible and cost-effective ways to get TEFL qualified, The TEFL Academy offers internationally accredited and regulated online and combined-learning courses. From the rich and colourful landscape of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, to the futuristic skyscrapers of Doha in Qatar, traveling brings a fresh perspective on life and new skills to prepare young adults for university or the working world on their return. Visit the theteflacademy.com for more information.

Live like a local – budgeting on your gap year:

1. Most affordable lunch – Tunisia, R25.
2. If you like your beer – Bangladesh, R3.
3. Best bang for your buck accommodation – Nepal, R2 000 (one-bedroom apartment).
4. Most reliable public transport – Singapore, R23 (one way).

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