Teaching Volunteer Project in South Africa - Cape Town
Interested in being a volunteer Teacher in South Africa? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching project empowers volunteers to assist in local elementary schools in Cape Town. Volunteers gain teaching experience assisting local teachers and working with students in entry-level classes. Schools in low-income communities often have too few teachers and there is little chance for students to get individual attention, so volunteers provide valuable help creating an all-round better learning environment.
- Programs start on the first and third Monday of each month
- Affordable fees from CA$339 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Provide quality education to students in overcrowded schools
Explore South Africa’s incredible natural environment
Stay in a relaxed area near the beach with other volunteers
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
Many schools in low-income parts of Cape Town lack funds, staff and have high workloads and little chance for students to get close attention. As a volunteer, you’ll help to address these factors and give students a higher standard of education.
As a Teaching volunteer you will be placed in public primary schools, assisting local teachers and working in classrooms for students in entry-level classes. Teaching duties may vary but usually include:
- Teaching English
- Assisting with other lessons including basic maths
- Teaching life skills
- Helping a local teacher in the classroom
- Arranging educational activities and sports
- Tutoring children one-on-one or in small groups
Please note, if you apply for the Teaching project during the school holidays, you will be switched to a school holiday project. Keep in mind that towards the end of each term, exams will be written and teaching work is therefore limited during these periods.
School Holidays 2022:
- 25th June - 18th July
- 1st October - 10th October
- 16th December 2022 - 10th January 2023
School Holidays 2023:
- 25th March - 11th April
- 24th June - 17th July
- 30th September - 9th October
- 16th December 2023 - end date of January to be determined
Why do Teaching volunteering in Cape Town with IVHQ?
When you volunteer to teach in South Africa you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving educational outcomes for children from disadvantaged communities
- Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining teaching experience
- Immersing yourself in South African culture
- Discovering South Africa’s amazing wildlife
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
South Africa photo gallery
Recommended online TEFL course
We encourage volunteers on IVHQ’s Teaching and Childcare projects to come prepared by completing some relevant training, such as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. Although formal teaching qualifications are not required on these projects as volunteers are supported by local staff, taking a TEFL course enables you to gain more from the experience. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.Get TEFL certified online
”Volunteering in South Africa... Wow! the best decision I’ve ever made. I just fell in love with the place, the culture and the people. Cape Town is a beautiful city with infinite activities and places to go. The staff is supportive and the program is great!”
Read reviews from Teaching volunteers in Cape TownSee more reviews
The IVHQ South Africa volunteer program is based in Muizenberg, a beautiful, small coastal town with excellent surfing. It is about 30 to 40 minutes from the city of Cape Town, and 20 to 30 minutes from volunteer placements located in the Philippi, Steenberg and Grassy Park communities.
South Africa is known for its natural beauty, wildlife, sporting prowess, and diversity of culture and ethinic groups. It’s turbulent socio-political history is also well known, and is important to learn about in order to gain insight and understanding of the country’s people, culture and attitudes. There are many places where you can do this in Cape Town and the surrounding areas.
The IVHQ South Africa program is one of our longest running volunteer programs and has the aim of delivering positive outcomes in communities throughout the area by placing volunteers on a wide range of impactful projects. There is a focus on animal welfare as well as supporting children and young people who have had a challenging start to life because of exposure to drugs, alcohol or physical abuse.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month and volunteers need to arrive in Cape Town on the day before orientation. After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Cape Town International Airport (CPT). Your airport pick-up is included in your program fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Muizenberg. Your accommodation is covered by your program fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in South Africa prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up within the Cape Town CBD area on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is taken by our South Africa team in Muizenberg, Cape Town. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in South Africa – an introduction to South Africa, South African customs, language training details, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in South Africa, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and make plans for weekend travel and socializing. Once your orientation is complete you will take a trip into Cape Town before returning to your volunteer accommodation.
Volunteer schedule example
On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. A typical volunteer day would be as follows:
|7:00 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer house.|
|8:00 - 8:30 AM||Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements.|
|12:00 - 2:00 PM||Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the volunteer house for lunch, go sightseeing, or do some shopping.|
|7:00 PM||Dinner at the volunteer house.|
On the weekends, volunteers have spare time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Cape Town or other areas in South Africa. See unusual wildlife like antelope and penguins, visit the spot where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, paraglide off a rock high above the city, visit a local vineyard, or watch the sun sink into the Atlantic ocean with a glass of the region’s finest wine in your hand. Long weekends can be taken if volunteers wish to go on safari, bungy jump, or travel to places further afield, such as the Garden Route or Stellenbosch.
Looking for more ideas of things to do in South Africa? Check out our South Africa Travel & Tours page!
Accommodation and WiFi
You’ll stay in volunteer houses and can expect to share a room with one to five other volunteers. Bedrooms have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided.
The accommodation is safe and secure with the volunteer houses located in a safe suburb near the communities where volunteers work. Living is comfortable with a vending machine for snacks and a television.
The volunteer houses have electricity and running water with Western toilets, but you’ll need to bring your own towel and toiletries.
The volunteer houses have 4G internet access. Data is limited so volunteers will not be able to download or stream TV shows/movies.
Volunteers in South Africa receive three meals a day, Monday through Friday. Meals served in the volunteer house are typically Western-style and can be high in carbohydrates.
Breakfast consists of self-serve tea, coffee, toast and cereal. For lunch volunteers will be provided with supplies to make their own sandwiches, and dinner consists of dishes containing meat, vegetables and a starch, such as potatoes, bread or pasta.
It is not possible to drink the tap water in South Africa, however, bottled water is readily available in South Africa, and you should budget approximately US$5 (approximately CA$6) per week for 2 liters a day.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||CA$339 Equivalent to CA$49/day|
|2 weeks||CA$570 Equivalent to CA$41/day|
|3 weeks||CA$801 Equivalent to CA$39/day|
|4 weeks||CA$1032 Equivalent to CA$37/day|
|5 weeks||CA$1263 Equivalent to CA$37/day|
|6 weeks||CA$1494 Equivalent to CA$36/day|
|8 weeks||CA$1955 Equivalent to CA$35/day|
|10 weeks||CA$2417 Equivalent to CA$35/day|
|12 weeks||CA$2879 Equivalent to CA$35/day|
|16 weeks||CA$3803 Equivalent to CA$34/day|
|20 weeks||CA$4726 Equivalent to CA$34/day|
|24 weeks||CA$5650 Equivalent to CA$34/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of CA$406 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in CAD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in South Africa generally find US$50-75 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
Check what's required to visit South Africa
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Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Capital||Pretoria (Executive), Bloemfontein (Judicial), Cape Town (Legislative)|
|Languages||Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Tswana|
|Currency||South African Rand (ZAR)|
Weather and climate
The subtropical location, moderated by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides of the country and the altitude of the central plateau, are responsible for the warm temperatures typical of South Africa. Across much of the country, summer (December to February) is characterized by hot, sunny weather with temperatures averaging around 25°C (77°F). Winter (May to September) is cooler and drier with evening temperatures averaging around 10 °C (50°F). In Cape Town, sporadic showers and chilly winds are common during the winter months, but with daytime temperatures can average around 15°C (59°F).