Frequently Asked Questions

General questions about South Africa / Somerset West

Do I need to apply for a study visa?

If you are coming for less than 3 months you can study on a visitors visa.
For a Visa Service please ask us – we can help with a TRP, PR, etc.

What should I bring with me?

Warm clothes in winter and cool clothes in summer. A dictionary, cell phone, drivers license and a smile.

What is the weather like in South Africa?

Autumn – great days with chilly nights (starts around Feb/Mar)
Winter – rainy days with beautiful sunny days in between (starts around May/Jun)
Spring – beautiful days and chilly nights (starts Aug/Sep)
Summer – Windy or hot (starts Nov/Dec)

What is the cost of living?

To rent a private one room flat about R4500 per month, for food add R2500 per month

What is accommodation like?

Homes are large and luxurious; gardens are big some with swimming pools

Can you help me find accommodation?

Accommodation booking – B&B, Hotel, Guest House link to: www.westerncapeaccommodation.co.za
For “homestay” accommodation, please contact us: info@english.za.net

Where can I find more information about Somerset West?

What is the crime level in the town?

Somerset West is a small town and it is as safe as anywhere can be.

Do I need any vaccinations if I travel around in South Africa?

Nothing for the Western Cape, though if you travel to the northern parts you may need to take anti-malaria tablets.

Can I hire a car with my foreign driving license?

Yes, but it is better to have an international licence. If you have an international drivers license you don’t need to apply for a South African one.
Most hire companies require you to be at least 24 and to pay by credit card.

From where can I hire cars?

Who else can help me with transport?

Tim: +27 (72) 715 7096

Uber is also available

Can I travel alone as a single woman?

Yes, but it is always better to travel in groups.

Do I need medical insurance?

Yes! For student insurance please link to

Where and how can I open a bank account?

Open a Bank Account with


About our English courses

When can I start and finish my English lessons with your school?

Anytime that suits you.

Can I have a free trial lesson?

Yes! You can have a free lesson with trainee teachers. Contact us for more info.

How many students are there in each class?

We have a maximum of 8 students per class.

How do I know my level of English?

We will test you on the day you arrive and put you in a suitable class

Are the teachers fully qualified?

Yes, they are all qualified and most have been teaching for many years so they are very experienced. For more information, meet our team.

What can I expect from my host family?

  • A warm, friendly home
  • Well prepared food
  • Opportunities to become active in the community

Where are most students from?

Our students come from all over the world

Can I take any exams at the school?

We can register you for international exams in Cape Town, either at the American Embassy or the British Council.

Can the school help me to apply for High School, college & University?

Yes, we have many students who have continued their studies here in SA after their English has reached a good level. We also assist with your change of visa and getting all the necessary documentation in order.

What is the average age of the students?

The average age of our students is mid-20s, but we have had students from 16 to 65!

Do you have a social programme?

Yes, but this also depends on the students and what they would like. We are quite a sporty school (so outdoor activities feature high on the list) but as a small school we are always willing to do something that a student suggests.

What makes your school different from others?

We are a small well established school and we care about our school and our students. Come see what our students say about us on facebook……

Do you have Internet facilities?

We have two Internet cafes immediately outside the school.

Are the outings included in the price?

The school does pay for some outings but most are optional. The price is usually under R100.


About our TEFL courses

What is TEFL?

Teaching English as a Foreign Language

What about the work opportunities?

We have several agents who recruit successful candidates and we will assist in your job placements too.

After I complete the course where can I go and teach?

Anywhere in the world that will accept your qualification. Different countries have different requirements; some also require the successful applicant to have a degree. Either way, having a TEFL qualification always helps your application, especially if it was a course done on-site, in the classroom, as ours.

I am a qualified teacher. Do I need to do the TEFL course to be able to teach overseas?

Yes, you need to be able to teach children who cannot speak English. It is very different to teaching English Home Language, English First Additional Language, or English Second Additional Language students. South African students are immersed in English language and culture, even if they are from rural areas. They get to interact with English through personal communication, in the classroom, when filling out forms, listening to TV or radio, and when surfing the Internet. Most EFL students never come into contact with English in their daily lives in authentic experiences. We can help you better understand the needs of such learners.

What preparation should I do before I start this course?

Complete a pre-course assignment and pre-course reading, apply for police clearance, and start looking for jobs.

Where is the course held?

On-site (in the classroom) in Somerset West

Can you help with accommodation?

Yes, we have private and family accommodation options available.

I have never taught before. How can I prepare myself for this course?

We give you some pre-course reading. Attend the course and we will prepare you for what is to come.

I am not a native English speaker. Can I do this course and what kind of benefit will I get?

As long as your English is fairly fluent we will accept you. However, we may change the criteria for you so that you only teach elementary levels.

How are participants assessed?

By qualified teachers and peers. Marks breakdown is as in the TEFL info.

Do I get practiced teaching experience?

Yes, you will be required to teach at least 6 hours to foreigners who are learning English. Don’t worry; we will guide you.

If you have any other queries, please contact us.