South Africa is an exhilarating and spectacular country full of breathtaking natural beauty! This spectacular country is known worldwide for its mystery, diversity and abundance. Its striking combination of landscapes, people, animals, history and diverse cultures offer a larger-than-life experience when interns travel to South Africa searching for a truly unique and inspiring adventure.

The rift left from the social ailment of apartheid still scars this country. IFRE’s projects focus on the smaller towns and rural areas and not the bigger cities. Instead our projects offer help where it’s needed the most. It is in these smaller towns that the extreme division between the “haves” and “have not’s” of South Africa is most apparent. Interns make an enormous impact and difference to those most vulnerable to the effects of the very real and crushing poverty of South Africa. IFRE's interns' humanitarian contributions can be the lasting catalyst that perpetuates positive support as these South Africans continue to rebuild their lives.

Our South Africa Internship projects begin in Cape Town with orientation. Interns are then transferred to placements in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Freestate Provinces. To get a head-start on your South Africa internship program, take a few moments to contact us by email for more information, including travel dates, fees and more. We look forward to hearing from you.


Start Dates: Our programs start every Monday, although we allow for flexibility due to travel constraints.

Ifre’s fees for volunteer programs and internship programs are the same. Ifre volunteers offers the world’s most affordable internship programs. When you join our internship program, you pay your fee directly to host families and projects. In this way, we ensure that your money goes for you or the people who need it (not for the organization's profit).

IFRE internship fee comprise of two separate fees. An application fee of $299 USD (covers advertising, staff/office expenses, etc.) and a nominal weekly program fee (covers room/board, field support, etc). You can visit the following link for details on fees and dates:

Additional costs for interns:

International flights, visa application/extension, daily personal expenses on beverages/entertainment daily transportation, laundry, telephone, immunizations.


Many of the schools IFRE partners with are structured to help uplift students and prepare them for a better life. Interns will work with local English teachers at the school with grades 3-9. Interns can request a specific grade level once they have arrived and spent a day or two in the project.

In the teaching English projects, interns will either lead or assist with teaching in an English classroom in primary, middle or high schools. Schools may be private, public or informal, but in all cases the teaching is focused on conversational English rather than formal grammar. Schools in South Africa support both experienced instructors and the novice teachers by providing many resources to help interns plan and carry out their school day. Textbooks, teaching guides and less planning assistance are all available to support interns while they teach in South Africa.


No specific qualifications are required to join the teaching English project in South Africa. However, interested individuals should have a mastery of conversational English and a passion/desire to teach younger children (and occasionally teenagers). Interns must be comfortable fulfilling the role of English-instructors and/or teachers' aides. All interns are encouraged to be flexible, patient and adaptive.


Interns may choose to teach any subject (Math, Science, etc) in the schools, in addition to teaching English, if there is a need for additional teachers. Teaching internship activities may include:

  • Teaching conversational English, Math or Science to students aged 5 to 10-years-old primary school students or 11 to 16-years-old secondary school students.
  • Read literature with students to improve low comprehension levels and pronunciation skills.
  • Provide theoretical and practical assistance and aid to teachers.
  • Interact with the students during lessons and free time.

Note: In South Africa, many of our internship projects are based in rural communities, sometime located a great distance from the city limits of Cape Town. In each local community, we support multiple projects such as orphanages, schools, HIV/AIDS project, hospital etc. Interns can support or participate in more than one project during their experience. This multi-tasking presents a more varied internship experience and the extra help is greatly appreciated by the community.


Internship in South Africa

IFRE’s HIV/AIDS project facilitates educational outreach and supports terminally ill patients (adults and children) with at-home care and offers counseling and emotional support to affected family members. Children often suffer the most. Often they have no one to talk to, and in some situations children suffer because there is no one to communicate on their behalf. They do not always understand why they have lost their parent(s).

Local HIV/AIDS projects are fully supported by schools, churches, local clinics, Social Services and the district office of Social Development, as well as UNICEF. Interns will assist caretakers and work with HIV/AIDS support groups. Each support group is supervised by a group facilitator. Support groups run their own awareness programs. They present motivational talks at the prisons, juvenile centers, churches and any awareness events. Interns also help promote workshops addressing how to live with a positive HIV/AIDS diagnosis and the legalities and human rights concerns surrounding HIV/AIDS patients.


No specific qualifications are required of interns wishing to participate in the HIV/AIDS internship project in South Africa. However, applicants should have a focused interest and passion for public community outreach and other healthcare-related activities. Interns are expected to be flexible as public outreach rarely adheres to consistent daily schedules.


Interns will provide care to HIV/AIDS infected patients and engage the community in educational and training activities created to increase awareness and halt the spread of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. Interns may utilize therapeutic story-telling to develop coping skills in survivors and families, dependent on circumstances. Interns also help children with their schoolwork and participate in family conferences. Other internship duties include:

  • Counseling and education in hospitals and communities.
  • Work to increase the personal risk perception among men and women by encouraging active participation in HIV/AIDS preventive education in the community.
  • Assist community HIV/AIDS organizations with outreach programs such as hospice care, recreational and educational programs, voluntary HIV counseling and testing, and educational seminars and conferences about the virus.

Note: In South Africa, many of our internship projects are based in rural communities, sometime located a great distance from the city limits of Cape Town. In each local community, we support multiple projects such as orphanages, schools, HIV/AIDS project, hospital etc. Interns can help or participate in more than one project during their experience. This multi-tasking presents a more varied internship experience and the extra help is greatly appreciated by the community.


How does IFRE help me when I am in the field? How can I maintain communication? Do you visit me?

Once your internship program begins, our local staff members stay in constant touch with you. However, when interns are staying far from our in-country office, our staff will visit every 2-4 weeks (if possible) and interns are always welcome at the office. We recommend that interns stop by the office once a week. If your project is located a substantial distance from our offices, then our local staff communicates by either email and/or phone.

We are available for you at the local office via email and phone for your entire trip. It’s our job to make sure that you are safe and healthy.


You can earn academic credit for most internship projects in South Africa. The best way to receive academic credit is by pre-arranging the project with your college/university. It is up to an intern to communicate with faculty/academic advisors regarding college credit for internship work PRIOR to applying to IFRE. Your college/university may require additional information prior to approval and may require students to submit pre/post research or other requirements.
Alternatively, you can earn academic credit through Seattle Central Community College (SCCC). SCCC offers college credit for a variety of international programs (study abroad, volunteer abroad, intern abroad, language studies and even cultural-exchanging home-stays). IFRE recommends contacting Professor Steve Tash (we can provide contact details) to further explore this option of receiving academic credit for your international internship. IFRE is not associated with SCCC and it is up to the intern to arrange to transfer SCCC course credit to their university/college of choice.


IFRE arranges accommodations and food (3 local meals per day) for the duration of your internship project. During orientation and training program, interns stay in our hostel in Cape Town. Our hostel is located in the heart of the city giving interns easy access to all parts of the city. Interns stay with a host family (aka “homestay”) during the internship program. Our host families are socially respected and are well versed in the art of hosting international interns. Host families offer a safe home, private rooms (occasionally rooms will be shared with other same-gender interns) and shared bathroom facilities with running water.

Interns will receive three meals of South African cuisine each day. Breakfast normally consists of cereal and toast; lunch is packed to take to your project and dinner is a nutritious home cooked local meal (meat & vegetables, rice or potatoes & salad). Host families provide typical meals that are traditional to South Africa. Throughout the internship project, our local staff stays in contact with interns either with face-to-face visits or via email/telephone. IFRE’s main office is in Cape Town and our in-country coordinator serves as a point of contact for local interns. If project placement is very far from our main office, then our local staff members maintain communication by email and/or phone and the local project director will serve as a intern’s contact. Upon program placement, personal placement documents provide specific details of accommodations and project.


Interns have free time for the duration of their project in the evenings and on weekends. While IFRE does not arrange activities during this time off, our local staff, members and coordinators can provide priceless assistance in making appropriate arrangements for travel in South Africa. Free time is perfect for social and physical adventure. It’s time to explore South Africa – it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world offering numerous opportunities for a truly amazing experience. Our IFRE local coordinators/staff are available to give interns free advice, travel tips and help with interns’ travel plans. All South Africa internship projects originate in Cape Town, however many project placements are located are beyond Cape Town’s borders.

The Wineland IFRE’s Wineland projects are located in Stellenbosch , the second oldest and one of the richest towns in South Africa famous for its wines, historical buildings, oak lined streets and university. Part of the Great Cape Winelands Region, Stellenbosch was established in 1679 primarily for wine production. The town contains many fine examples of historic Cape Dutch architecture, especially the residences and offices on Dorpstreet. The buildings have been carefully restored and many surround the town square, “the Braak”. Numerous wine estates and cellars can be visited in the immediate area. Hiking trails abound at Jonkershoek and Assegaai Nature Reserves.

The Garden Route IFRE offers projects on the Garden Route Albertinia, Knysna, Oudtshoorn and Riversdale.
The area surrounding Albertinia offers breathtaking views stretching from the coastal area along the Gouritz River, up into the foothills of the Langeberg Mountains. There are some local wineries outside Albertinia. The famous Gouritz Bridge offers the second highest Bungee Jumping spot in the country and the nearby Garden Route Game Reserve offers a chance for big game tracking. Albertinia is also a 20 minute drive to the stunning Stilbaai beach resort and 40 minutes from the seaport town of Mosselbay.

The golden beaches, tranquil lakes mountains and rivers of Knysna offer an unforgettable experience for water sports, hikers, horse riders and cyclists. Knysna is famous for its homegrown oysters, washed down with locally brewed beer. From the Knysna Quays on the Waterfront development interns can take a boat trip over the lagoon to the Heads and Featherbed Nature Reserve.

Oudtshoorn is known as the ostrich feather capital of the world. It is famous for the Cango Caves and Ostrich farms and lies inland over the Outeniqua Mountains. The Cango caves, a series of 80 caverns filled with stalagmites and stalactites are situated 29 km from town at the base of the scenic Swartberg Mountains. The natural treasures and breathtaking beauty of the area have been an inspiration to various artists and African wire art and curio shops are in abundance. There are also wildlife reserves and “Feather Palaces” – grand architecture built by those financially benefitting from the ostrich feather boom.

Stunning mountain vistas surround Riversdale. It is the floral kingdom of the Garden Route and a favorite destination for outdoor adventure and nature enthusiasts. Interns can visit historical landmarks, talented artists and entrepreneurs. Experience authentic farm life and country cuisine or enjoy the town centre with a fine selection of shops, services and sporting amenities. Embark on exciting mountain adventures in fynbos paradise with abseiling, rock climbing, hiking, 4x4 trails, bird-watching or casual flower picking!

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