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Moving from Europe to South Africa

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  • Moving from Europe to South Africa

    Originally posted by Detje
    Thank you so much for replying. I don't know what to think anymore. Is South Africa for us or not? I would very much like a teaching job there. I'm a language teacher and I speak fluently Dutch (my mothertongue), French, English and to some extend German.
    Do you think there will be a job for me?

    How is education like in South Africa? Are there enough teachers? What is the salary?
    My husband is a technician. He now works in a laboratory for contruction materials. He runs the tests for e.g. tiles, bricks etc.

    I find it most frustrating that there is so little thrustable information available. Although South Africa is coming up as 'the' holiday resort in TV commercials.

    Thank you for helping me out,
    English is taught in South African schools as a first, second and third language. French is taught in high schools as a third language, as is German, but less commonly. Dutch is not taught in South African schools, although first language Afrikaans students used to read some Dutch in their very senior course work.

    South Africa is experiencing a shortage of teachers -- see the 11 Teachers a day die of AIDS thread for more information. The reality of it is that there are teaching jobs available, but most of them are likely in areas that a European immigrant would not like to teach in.

    If you are brave and up for an emotional challenge, then perhaps a rural or township school will be exciting or rewarding for you. Many people cannot stand the heartbreak of teaching a class in which approximately 10% are HIV+, a class in which many are AIDS orphans or are soon to become so, or in a school where many of your fellow teachers are HIV+ or even dying of AIDS. Schools in the formerly "black" areas are still critically short on funds and facilities. They still suffer large class sizes (in excess of 40 or 50) and children with behaviour problems.

    I do not want to dissuade you. My sister-in-law, who is South African but had only taught for 7 months in London schools and otherwise didn't have any teaching experience was hired by a "nice" suburban school within a month of job seeking. She'd started by volunteering in another nice suburban school, and was given a reference by that school. There are "good" jobs out there, but there are plenty more jobs in undesirable schools.

    Teacher Seeker is a website where you can list your qualifications and contact details. Nombulelo, who had worked as a domestic servant to my parents for 15 years, during the course of which she'd qualified as a primary school teacher, was unable to find work even 3 years after graduating. I posted her CV on that site on Friday and she had her first interview on Monday and was hired by Wednesday. She was not afraid to work in the townships, however. Teacher Seeker has a forum where you can discuss issues like salary and job availability.

    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to teach in a university. A standard bachelor's degree/teaching diploma won't qualify you for this, however. If you have a Masters' degree in languages or education, however, you might try that avenue.

    Both you and your husband will find yourselves up against Affirmative Action. There are plenty of non-white construction/engineering technicians, which doesn't mean that he won't get a job, but his experience will have to be good and he'll have to be patient. If he's entrepreneurial and confident of his abilities, he might want to open his own business and sub-contract. The South African Institution of Civil Engineers site, or perhaps the Engineering Council of South Africa, might be helpful to him.

    I am a Civil Engineer and though I no longer live in South Africa, I can point out the main contractors/consultants.

    South Africa is a beautiful country with a growing economy and a glorious climate. House prices are escalating and the cost of living is comparable to Europe, while salaries can be lower. Crime rates are much higher than in Europe. Immigration is also very limited. You should consult the South African Department of Home Affairs with regard to immigration options.

    Best of luck and feel free to post any further questions below!