Gone are the days of the mindless gap year - you know the ones where you finish your last exam and catch the first flight into obscurity, aka London. These days, if the travel bug bites and you want to take a break from the monotony of your everyday life, there are a million constructive and cost-effective ways in which to do this, of which teaching English abroad is right at the top of the list.
We take a look at the top five places young South Africans choose to go, and what makes these popular choices. You will see that this list is dominated by the Asian countries, because generally they seem to pay better wages and are easier to acces on a South African passport than most South American and European countries.
Although it is possible to teach English in a variety of European Union countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece and Germany, South African citizens without an ancestral passport may struggle to get a working visa.
Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are also excellent choices, however for these you typically need higher qualifications and more experience, making the Middle East a favourite option among older South Africans.
Known to many as the new London, South Korea has become a halfway hub for twenty-somethings from all over the English-speaking world. Due to the desperate need for good English teachers in schools and universities, the country's doors have been opened wide to well-educated, well-spoken and... well... healthy foreigners.
Why South Korea: There are lots of teaching opportunities, the money is really great and with accommodation, internet and airfare covered by the company/school your living costs stay low. Which means - more travelling over weekends and holidays!
Main employers: Elementary, junior and senior high schools. Universities and private language schools are also popular options.
Requirements: A bachelors degree in any discipline and/or a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification. A full medical check-up before you go and on arrival.
Wages to expect: 2.5-million Won (R15 300) per month is not an unreasonable expectation
What you need to know: Be absolutely certain before you leave that your contract is with a reputable institution and that you haven't been scammed. A good way to do this is to find out about jobs through your TEFL school or check out the government-run English Program in Korea (EPIK) programme.
Top places: Seoul, the capital; Busan, the second biggest city and Gwangju, a city a bit further out in the country side are all popular options with a wealth of language schools and institutes of education.
Because of the burgeoning tourism industry in Thailand, good spoken English is an essential aspect of everyday Thai life. For this reason TEFL teachers have become an invaluable asset to the country.
Why Thailand: Well, it's beautiful, mostly quite cheap and a good destination from which to travel.
Main employers: It pretty much ranges from private language schools for wealthy businessmen in Bangkok to elementary school kids in Chiang Mai.
Requirements: A bachelor's degree, but having a TEFL/TESL qualification can push your wages up remarkably.
Wages: With little previous experience can earn around 25,000 Baht (R5 870) a month, while people with more experience can earn up to 60 000 baht (R14, 090).
What you need to know: Be careful of getting cajoled into low wages, which are especially low for women. Once again, working through an agent or a TESL school is much safer than trying to arrange something yourself.
Bangkok - it's home to a huge, well organised TEFL industry, there are loads of universities, schools and private colleges and it's one of the most intriguing, diverse and beautiful cities in the world.
Chiang Mai - As the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, it attracts people from all over this part of the country and Laos to learn English and find jobs in the growing tourism industry. The options for foreign English teachers really are endless.
Phuket - Being the most famous and popular tourist destination in Thailand, Phuket is rife with jobs for English teachers to sharpen up the locals' abilities to communicate with their visitors.
Japan offers some of the highest wages and best working conditions in the whole of the East, making it an extremely popular spot for those expecting the most out of a working holiday.
Why Japan: Great infrastructure, safe travel and an incredible culture and history.
Main employers: Many of the most profitable jobs are teaching English within the business market, but there are also many opportunities in schools, universities and colleges.
Requirements: BA degree and/or TEFL qualification.
Wages: Basic salary is usually around 250 000 Yen (R21 240) a month. However, you can boost this figure with bonuses and private tuition.
What you need to know: The cost of living in Japan is incredibly high, so paying about 75% of your wages toward living comfortably is not far-fetched.
Tokyo - The capital city is bursting with possibilities in schools and businesses. It's also a legendary city that any urban adventure lover would die to explore.
Kobe - Widely considered to be the most attractive and cosmopolitan city in Japan, it sits on a hillside and overlooks Osaka Bay. Oh, and it's famous for its beef industry, which means - delicious steaks at your disposal.
Kyoto - The former Imperial capital of Japan is still an incredibly beautiful and culturally rich city to visit and live in. While there keep your eyes peeled for cherry blossoms and geisha hurrying along to their classes and performances.
Although Turkey is a relative newcomer to the English teachers' market - you can mark my words - it's the next big thing. Currently doing all it can to gain membership of the European Union, Turkey is more than desperate for its citizens to learn English and further the cause.
Why Turkey: It's a beautiful, temperate, ancient country full of great food, culture, interesting people and incredible history.
Main employers: Jobs are available across all spectrums of education - government-run schools, private language schools and well-funded 'lises' or expensive private secondary schools.
Requirements: You have to be a native English speaker, have a university degree and a TEFL certificate.
Wages: Compared to South Korea and Japan, Turkey's wages aren't massive, but if you consider the low cost of living and favourable taxes, it's really not that bad! You can expect to earn anywhere from R5 400 to R8 800.
What you need to know: If you're looking to save, Turkey is definitely not for you. Make up your mind to make the most of your experience by soaking up as much of the history and culture you can.
Istanbul - An incredible city that dates back many centuries, it's been called Constantinople and Byzantium, features in art and poetry a-plenty and spans two continents - Europe and Asia. It is definitely one of the most diverse and engaging cities to teach English abroad.
Ankara - It's Turkey's capital and home to many of its key economic, educational and political institutions. Second only to Istanbul, Ankara has a vibrant TEFL market, so job opportunities abound.
Izmir - As Turkey's second largest Port City and popularity among tourists, the need for locals to speak good English is quite pronounced, so there are lots of places for English teachers to find a cozy niche.
Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world and a fantastic option for South African English teachers. Some of its strongest drawcards are the relatively strong economy, loads of TEFL jobs and working visas are relatively easy to come by, compared to most of its neighbours.
Why Argentina: It's a vibrant country with a good mix of urban attractions and natural beauty. You are sure to uncover that hidden Latin spirit while living there! If you have no previous experience, it's also the best South American country to start in.
Main employers: Language schools and one-on-one lessons with professionals.
Requirements: You have to be a native English speaker and a TEFL certificate can help a lot.
Wages: The average TEFL job in Argentina will pay between 2000 and 3000 pesos a month, which means about R3 000 to R5 250 a month.
What you need to know: Renting apartments in Buenos Aires is quite expensive, so if you find a job in the capital, opt to stay in a house with flat mates.
Buenos Aires - Apart from the expensive apartments, it's really the biggest and most accessible TEFL destination in the country. It's also a great city with a vibrant night life.
Cordoba - This is a great city if you have some experience in teaching business English, as it is Argentina's tech industry capital.
Rosario - It is the birthplace of three of Argentina's most recognisable exports: the national flag, Che Guevara and Lionel Messi... oh and there are a lot of TEFL jobs, as it is one of Argentina's growing economic centers.
Feeling that famous travel itch yet?
Here's some info on TEFL to get you on track and ready to go:
You can either do class-based or online TEFL courses, or you can combine the two.
The combined class-based and online courses can be done over 20, 40, 60, 120 or 140 hours. The longer your course the more in-depth it will be, and well, to be quite honest, the better your chances of getting a good, high paying job are. The prices for these range between R2200 and R3400 per course.
If you want to do the entire course online, it will cost you a bit less, but you will have no personal hands-on contact with the specially trained tutors. The online courses can be done over 40, 60, 80, 100 or 120 hours and cost between R1 300 and R2 700.
To find out more about doing a TEFL course, visit the TEFL courses website.
If the countries listed above did not intrest you, you can always check out what else Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East have on offer.