Do you want to study English in a city where you can surf or take sunset strolls after a long day of studies?  Then Durban is a great option if you plan to study English in one of the best cities in Africa.

Durban is the third biggest city in South Africa with a thriving economy matched by some of the best weather in the world. Whether you are planning to further your studies by completing a tertiary degree, or maybe you want to move to Durban to find a new job while studying, Durban has everything you need to study and master the English language.

Business in South Africa is generally conducted in English and therefore being proficient in English is a requirement by most employers. A Fluency in English will also make it easier to manage the wide variety of cultures the rainbow nation (South Africa) has to offer.

Maybe you’ve heard you need good English to move to South Africa? Or you need to prove your language proficiency before you can enrol for degree studies at one of the top universities in South Africa? Dealing with the decision to move to Durban  is stressful in itself and to then also deal with things like ESOL, ESL and TOEFL or how to find the right English language school to study at can be frightening?

Don’t worry, we here at Superprof got your back. Here’s what you need to know to start your search for English lessons and tutors in Durban.

Durban Harbour
Durban features one of the top 10 ports (globally) - Image by Kanyiso Mabija on Unsplash

Why Durban?

Durban’s most iconic feature must be its sandy beaches and with destinations like Ushaka Marine World and a world-class promenade, there are plenty of activities and natural beauty for tourists and locals alike. We love Durban for its balmy weather, colourful diversity, the quality of study, the beach and the overall laid-back vibes of the Durbanites (locals).

Durban is the biggest port in South Africa and also one of the top 10 globally. It is therefore integral to South Africa’s economic growth and will continue to offer dreams and opportunity to newcomers. The city of Durban shows a projected growth of 0,61%, according to the UN world urbanisation prospects, and apparently this growth is projected to continue in the years to come. This might not sound important, but the moment you start to look at which city offer the best job prospects, you have to consider aspects like the city’s economic forecast.

Durban is also a lot more affordable than the other major cities in South African. The enrolment fees at universities and colleges are slightly cheaper, there’s less competition to get into schools plus the cost of living is less than cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town or Pretoria.

Last, but certainly not the least, in Durban you can study during the day and catch a surf or stroll along the beach during sunset. The people of Durban are friendly and generally less stressed than those in the other major South African cities. With English, Xhosa, Zulu and international students alike, Durban is a place where you can learn about the beauty of South African culture while you further your career and study ambitions.

Ushaka Marine World
Ushaka Marine World is one of the top South African tourist destinations on the Durban promenade - Image by Zander Janzen van Rensburg on Unsplash


Looking for English schools in Durban, South Africa, can be a daunting task, especially if you are an immigrant or not currently residing in Durban. How do you know whether an English certification is of a good quality, whether it will be worth the fees you pay and that the English classes you take will enable you to reach your goals? The answers to these questions probably lie in your own personal ambitions and what you'd like to achieve with your English studies.

Are you planning to study English so that you can find a good job to advance your career? Maybe you want to further your studies in South Africa or become an English teacher? These goals all have a different possible course of study when you consider English lessons, schools and certifications.

Most language schools and colleges in South Africa offer beginner classes in English that's specifically geared towards students who have English as a second language. The internet and tertiary curriculums sometimes refer to this as ESOL, English for Speaker of Other languages or ESL, English Secondary Language. Beginner classes will help you with basic reading, writing and comprehension skills in English, but if you plan to further your studies in English you’ll require an internationally recognised language qualification.

If you are planning to immigrate to South Africa, or to any other English country, you’ll have to prove that you are comfortable with English. This is important as the various government authorities believe it makes the integration of new immigrants into society and the local culture a lot easier.

The best internationally accredited exams to test English language proficiency for immigration or to further your studies is either an IELTS or TOEFL exam.

IELTS (International English Language Testing system) exams are jointly managed by the British Council, IDP Education and Cambridge English Language Assessment. Their exams include a reading, writing, listening and speaking section and they conduct exams in over 90 countries.

If you plan to use your language studies to apply for a postgraduate degree or an English-driven profession, then you can apply for Academic exams. The General Training exam is the basic alternative in IELTS that migrants require during the visa application and approval process.

English exams
IELTS and TOEFL exams will test your reading, writing, listening and speaking capabilities in the English language - Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

TOEFL is known as Test of English as Foreign Language and is also widely recognised by academic institutions and governments alike. Getting great marks in the exam will prove that you can easily handle and engage in English studies for academic or professional purposes. The test also consists of the same four sections and is similar to IELTS where you register online at a fee to get your venue and examination date.

To prepare for your TOEFL or IELTS exams you can attend an accredited language school, do online course study or even get your own personal English tutor. The most intuitive way to learn English is to speak it and it is always easier to get some guidance and help from a teacher, especially when you start to dabble in complicated English tenses, verbs and intricate grammar.

Studying English at a Language School or College

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to study English is to join a formal language school in Durban. Not only will you engage with professional teachers, you’ll work along a set curriculum that’s aimed towards your goals. You will also have the opportunity to make new friends, which is really useful if you are new to South Africa or Durban.

With a focus on fun, effective teaching methodologies and high levels of professionalism, the Durban Language centre (DLS) is a language school that provides English lessons and courses for both beginners and expert English speakers. Their courses are accredited by Cambridge University (United Kingdom) ESOL Examinations department, as an authorised Cambridge University ESOL examinations centre. This means you’ll not only learn to master the English language; you’ll also be able to prove your capabilities in English for further studies or migration applications.

Colleges like CESA City Campus (Pty) Ltd are also popular options for language studies. Not only do they offer free career counselling, their programs will lay the foundation for potential future studies with senior certificate studies (matric programs) that can enable you to transition to diplomas or certificate programs in Engineering, Business Management or Educational fields.

Always check whether the school or college you plan to attend is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as a Private Higher Education Institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997.  This will ensure your qualification meets educational standards and are valid if you decide to further your studies in the future.

Your vision
What are your future plans and how will you use your English studies? - Image by Melanie Kreutz on Unsplash

Studying English with a Private Teacher

Regardless of your ambitions, course of study or chosen school, a personal private English tutor is probably the best way to ensure you ace your English studies. ESL English lessons for adults is easy to find with Superprof and we can assure you that with our great selection of tutors, you’re almost guaranteed of finding the perfect teacher to help you achieve those goals.

A personal tutor can customise your curriculum around your learning objectives and capabilities, and you will also get personal attention with each class, professional guidance and unique study plans. Most tutors offer classes online, at your house or at a possible public venue.

Superprof tutors are generally happy to also conduct group classes. This is useful if you and some of your classmates require additional help and support in mastering your curriculum.

Make friends in Durban
Making friends and meeting people from all walks of life is one of the most exciting parts of studying abroad - Image by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Starting your English studies can start today, especially if you are determined to move and function as an English speaker in the vibrant city of Durban.  Search, compare and contact your Superprof teacher now, with their help you can arrive in Durban with your English basics already in-place.

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Writer and qualified yoga instructor, who is passionate about health and well-being.