Teaching English in Ethiopia

- Ethiopia

Your questions answered about teaching English in Ethiopia, from teachers who have been there and done it!

Do I need a degree to teach in Ethiopia?

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It depends on the requirements of individual language schools.

Do I need a TEFL qualification and/or experience?

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Example answer:
In rural areas, chances are they won’t know what a TEFL degree/certificate is; if you are in a more urban area, a certificate may needed.

What are the visa requirements?

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You need to have a work visa prior to travelling to Ethiopia. The application for this requires a letter of sponsorship from the prospective employer. After arrival, the school will normally help to arrange a residence card to replace the business visa. You can’t change a tourist visa to a work visa without leaving the country.

Where are the jobs?

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Most of the schools and therefore most of the work is in Addis Ababa.

What’s the best way to find work?

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By contacting schools directly, or through personal contacts in schols or NGOs.

When is the best time of year to look for work?

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Many private schools begin the year between the end of July and September.

What kind of salary can I expect?

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Example answer:
Most schools pay between 5000 and 7000 Ethiopian Birr (roughly 285-400 USD monthly). Some schools include housing, others do not.

What kind of teaching schedule can I expect?

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15-25 hours a week in private language schools. Teaching children can make up a high proportion of the work.

Are there opportunities for private teaching?

This question needs an answer

What about the cost of living?

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Typical cost
a meal in an average restaurant 40-120 Birr in Addis Ababa
a month’s rent 2000-3000 Birr for a studio apartment in Addis Ababa
a Coke 6 Birr
1kg of oranges 3 Birr

What’s the best way to get around?

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By taxi and bus.

What about internet access?

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There are internet cafes, or dial-up connection by purchasing a CDMA.


  • john arul jothi

    can i get job in college side? what will they pay?

  • Wayne McCarthy

    I am 60 years of age and live in New Zealand
    . I have travelled to many countries and have several degrees and a TESOL certificate. I would prefer to teach Science, Mathematics, English and/or Business in English. I would prefer a paid position and teaching to teens/adults. Please advice if there are any positions available.
    Wayne McCarthy

  • Erly

    May I know if my age, 60 come July 4 would still qualify to teach in Ethiopia? I am a holder of 2 Masters and one Doctorate.
    Thank you.

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Anonymous on 20 September 2007

I have never taught in Ethiopia but I have lived there for about 12 years. The people are great and the culture is so rich. I would think teaching there might be a little difficult because of the government. It is hard to get anything done with the government. Even something as easy as getting your license renewed takes days. Besides that the weather is great and you can walk anywhere. You don’t need a car transportation is easy. The only advice I have is if you are the type of person who is so used to having a government that is so cooperative then it might be a little hard to live in Ethiopia.

Kalkidan Sisay on 12 February 2009

I’m Ethiopian. I left my country at a very young age. I recently went back to visit and I was just amazed by everything. I went with the expectation that wasn’t really good at the same time pushed myself to be open-minded before I got there. So once I got there it was pretty nice. They highly welcomed me. I felt a sense of belonging right then and there. They took me places and I had a great time. Don’t get me wrong, I was shocked by things like transportation, how they fit so many people in one taxi. And I would definitely have to say Ethiopia is over populated. Other than that I would have to say my trip back to Ethiopia was definitely worth it. Great place and people.

Anonymous on 14 February 2012

I lived and taught in Ethiopia for almost two years. I taught at two adult language schools and three private schools. The first private school was horrible. The second was not a lot better but the third time was the charm. I loved the food, the climate and the people, although some of them will cheat you out of your socks if you are not careful.

Olivia on 1 March 2012

If you ever have the opportunity to go to Ethiopia… GO. It was one, if not THE ONE, of the best experiences in my life. I was only there for 9 short weeks, but those few weeks were full. The people are BEAUTIFUL in every way. True, the goverment is…, the buses, and taxis are packed. But, the experience is not to be missed.

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