Saturday, 1 March 2014

Teaching in Africa

Updated 2 December 2014

While many people think of Africa as a relatively poor continent, diamonds, precious gemstones, and oil make for some TEFL opportunities.

Salaries and Benefits
Salaries can range from $30 to $60K USD a year plus great benefits. You might also want to take a look at Teaching at International Schools and Teaching Exchanges and Fellowships. Here are some typical perks and benefits you can get by teaching in Africa.
  • Furnished housing (or a housing and furniture allowance)
  • Flights home at least once a year. Some get up to 6 flights.
  • Medical / health insurance (such as BUPA)
  • Dental insurance
  • Yearly bonus
  • Club membership
  • A tax free salary, usually starting at $3,000 to $5,000 a month
  • Rotational schedule, usually 4-6 weeks on and the same time off. You might not get paid for time off.
  • Free meals
  • Contract re-signing bonus
  • Paid vacation
  • Relocation allowance

Getting a Job in Africa
  • Dave's ESL Cafe and TEFL.com are good places to start looking for jobs. There are also many, many job sites out there. You can find a comprehensive list at the Job Sites article.
  • Most oil companies use recruiters, so direct hires are rare. This is one case where using recruiters is good.
  • Gulf Oil and Gas usually has some positions.
  • sharter from Dave's ESL Cafe recommends Wood Group who recruits for Marathon Oil in Equatorial Guinea. They pay about €240 per day and accept women teachers. You'll teach for one month on and one month off.
  • He also recommends Sirte Oil in Libya and they pay about 3100 pounds, provide housing, food, BUPA, and about 6 flights a year as part of the package.You'll work 4 weeks on and 4 weeks off, but you don't get paid when you have time off.
  • SRS Bureau / Smart Specialists Recruitment in Harley Street, London usually has positions for Libya.
  • Another place to look for jobs in Libya is Taknica.
  • Jobs in Chad can be found through TPL in Houston. sharter says that he knows a woman who makes $75,000 USD a year and teaches for one month on and one month off.

Where to Go
Libya seems to be the most common country to go to. There are also jobs in Morocco, Equatorial Guinea, and Chad. Here's a list of the best jobs in Africa that I put together.


What to Expect
There are usually three types of positions: international schools, oil rigs, and language schools. International schools and oil rigs pay the best. Working for an oil rig will get you the same benefits as you can find in the Middle East. Commonly working on oil rigs requires you to be a single male willing to follow Islamic rules, however, some females and married people have been able to get jobs. Keep in mind that you might be the only woman there due to the harsh conditions of the job. Everyone will also have to adhere to the religious codes of conducts even if you are not part of that religion.

Many teachers work for one month on and one month off meaning that they only work for 6 months out of the year and have 6 months paid vacation. For some, it's a great chance to save money and see a part of Africa that few foreigners get to see.

Read to Go?
Job listings can be found at Job Sites. You should also check out Dave's ESL Cafe which has lots of information.

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