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Volunteer Teaching in South Africa

Do you have a passion for teaching? Do you love seeing the light in a child’s eye when they learn something new? How often do you dream of traveling the world discovering new cultures in exotic locations? If this sounds like you then volunteer teaching in South Africa will be perfect for you.

South Africa is a highly multicultural country with a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Nature and history lovers alike will find great value getting to know this destination. From relaxing on sandy beaches and surfing big waves to

exploring savannahs and sipping wine in vineyards South Africa is a must for everyone’s bucket list. Art lovers will enjoy taking in the vast amount of street art inspired by the lives of freed-slaves and politics.

Sadly, the lack of funding and resources mean that children in the poorer areas of Cape Town, made up of both locals and migrants, often lack basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills that are essential for them to communicate effectively, get a good job when they grow up and fully integrate themselves into the greater community.

When you join teaching program in South Africa, you will help assist local teachers to give children a more personalized learning experience. Supporting local teachers and children helps them to gain the valuable educational skills they need to become well-rounded adults and engaged community members.

As a volunteer you will also help make school a fun place to be by organizing recreational activities such as art, music and sports. Volunteer teaching in South Africa not only gives the children the skills they need to create a better future, but it helps strengthen local communities.

Be part of the change you want to see in the world and enquire today about becoming a volunteer teaching in South Africa. Contact IFRE today.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Volunteer Responsibilities & Impact

As a South Africa teaching volunteer you will work with either Kindergarten, Pre-school, Crèche schools, Primary schools, or Secondary schools based on your preference and skill set. Your tasks will include helping teachers with lesson plans, assisting teachers in class, help students understand the content, work as a substitute teacher when required and perform school related administration.

You will also get the fun job of organizing educational games, songs and sports activities to give the children a more enriching day. As a volunteer you will likely also assist with fundraising and annual school functions and events. Children of all ages will thrive having you there as a volunteer to support their educational journey. You will rest-assured every night knowing that your day was spent carving a better future for children in need.

Skills and Qualifications:

No formal teaching experience or qualifications is required for people over the age of 18 who want to participate in south Africa Volunteer Teaching Program. The most important skill you bring to the table is your passion for teaching and helping create a brighter future for young people.

Patience is a must for this role as you will be working with a range of children of different ages and learning abilities. We encourage you to use your own initiative to help resolve problems in the classroom and lend a hand wherever possible.

Before starting please to develop a basic understanding of the school structure and challenges the education system in South Africa faces, especially for those working in primary and secondary schools.

Those working in secondary schools are required to have the ability to handle basic administration tasks. While not mandatory, people with a working background in education or teachers’ qualifications as always welcome as they will be able to provide more impact in children’s educational journey.

As someone who is passionate about helping less fortunate children and teenagers learn every day will be unique and rewarding. Your patience and ability to have a flexible schedule will help show the children you have a strong desire to truly see them meet their potential. You will typically be expected to start work between 8 am and finish around 2:30 pm.

First Day: 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. You will receive an orientation of your school, the tasks that you will be required to help with, your schedule, and any housekeeping and safety advice you may need to know.

  • Weekdays: This is an example of what a typical volunteer day will look like once you get started:
  • 7.00 to 7.30 AM: Enjoy breakfast at the volunteer hostel and get ready for a day of teaching and learning.
  • 7.45 AM: Head off to your placement. Assist the teacher with morning lessons and provide students with the valuable help they need to fully understand the topics.
  • 12.00 PM: Enjoy lunch playing with children or getting to know your fellow volunteers and the local teachers.
  • 2:30 PM: Volunteer work usually finishes for the day. After your rewarding day of helping advance students learning you will have the afternoon to head home and socialize with your friends, explore all that Cape Town has to offer, shop for supplies or prepare lessons and resources for the next school day.

Volunteer Teaching in South Africa: Dates and Fees

IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can still start your chosen program on any day of the year.

In 2020, Schools in South Africa will open only in the following dates.
First Term - (13)15 Jan - 20 Mar
Second Term - 31 Mar - 12 Jun
Third Term - 7 Jul - 18 Sep
Fourth Term - 29 Sep - 2(4) Dec
School accepts volunteers every Monday for teaching English except holidays

Our Fees

Since 2006, IFRE has been the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to volunteer internationally and make a positive impact in the lives of others.

We believe in 100% transparency.

Rest assured, we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly fee is paid in the host country directly to your host family and project (via country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.

Volunteer Program Fee (US$)

Duration Teaching Projects
  1 Week   N/A
  2 Weeks   $450
  3 Weeks   $600
  4 Weeks   $750
  5 Weeks   $900
  6 Weeks   $1,050
  7 Weeks   $1,200
  8 Weeks   $1,400
  9 Weeks   $1,550
  10 Weeks   $1,750
  11 Weeks   $1,900
  12 Weeks   $2,050

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day ( below 28 years) and $4.49/day ( above 28 years) »

How your fee is allocated?

Program Fees Cover:

  • Accommodation (host family)
  • Food (only breakfast and dinnery)
  • Airport Pick up/Transfer
  • Program Orientation
  • In-country support
  • Personalized project
  • Pre-departure information
  • Certificate of completion
  • Fundraising ideas and letters
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

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Accommodation and Meal

When you join Volunteer Teaching in South Africa, you will live in a volunteer house. Our Volunteer House is located in Cape Town’s most bohemian suburb, Observatory! Affectionately called “Obz” by the locals. It’s an arty district that is home to a huge melting pot of various people, sights, sounds, tastes and cultures!

Our Volunteer House is a dormitory style accommodation where you will share room with fellow participants. There are between 4-8 volunteers per room. The House is located close to the City Centre, restaurants, supermarkets, and all the tourist spots the city has to offer.

Breakfast and dinner is included Monday to Friday and lunches and weekend meals are excluded which the volunteers have to cater for. The Volunteer House provides a clean, comfortable, safe and secure living-environment for all our volunteers – the house is strictly used for our program participants and not open to members of the public.

Learn more about Cape Town volunteer accommodation and delicious meals.

Free Time and Weekend Exploration

South Africa teaching volunteer projects are based around Cape Town. As the capital city of South Africa and a popular tourist destination there is a lot to do. Cape Town is a major destination for immigrants and expatriates giving it a diverse, vibrant, multicultural essence. You will be volunteering Monday to Friday giving you plenty of time in the afternoons and on weekends to explore the city and its surrounds.

The climate is similar to that of the Mediterranean with mild and moderately wet winters and dry, warm summer. Local staff will always be happy to advise you, so you will never run out of things to do in your free time all year around. Popular sights include visiting Table Mountain National Park, City Bowl, relax or surf at numerous beaches, visit Chapman's Peak Drive, The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Two Oceans Aquarium, and much more.

Discover more about how you will spend your free time and weekends in and around Cape Town.

Safety and in Country Support

IFRE takes our responsibility for your safety incredibly seriously. All our projects and facilities are carefully vetted for safety, and we support you every step of the way from the moment you book until you are finished with your project. While you’re volunteering, your in-country coordinator will be available to assist you with anything you may need.

Discover more about your safety and meet the wonderful in-country support team.

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Volunteer Teaching in South Africa: FAQs

Arrival and departure

You need to fly into Cape Town International Airport for your volunteer work in South Africa in teaching English project one day prior to the start date. We recommend you be sure to inform your local country coordinator in South Africa about your flight itinerary in advance of your departure and stay in touch if you experience any delays. This way we will be able to reschedule your airport pick up time.We don’t offer airport drop-off services to our volunteers once the project has ended.


It is compulsory to obtain a tourist visa in order to be eligible for our teaching volunteering programs in South Africa. It’s advised to get a tourist visa before arriving in South Africa by visiting the Embassy of South Africa at your home country prior to your departure.

Depending on your country of origin you can also get a tourist visa on arrival at the Cape Town International Airport. For visa-on-arrival, you need to have passport valid for at least 6 months. Once in the country, you can extend your visa for up to 3 more months by visiting the South African immigration offices.

Citizens of countries such as Russia, Canada, Argentina, most of Europe, the United States, and Brazil can apply for on arrival visa for volunteer work in South Africa. Check out for more information.


The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for South Africa: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza.

You must visit your local travel doctor and ask talk to them for vaccination advice for your volunteering trip to South Africa.

For further readings:


Volunteer Health and Safety

Safety tips for your volunteer abroad trip

Any other important information you want to share about this project?

You are required to provide a Police Clearance Certificate and be an active volunteer who is passionate about teaching to be a teacher in South Africa.

Why volunteer in teaching English project in South Africa?

South Africa Teach English Volunteer Program will give you an eye-opening insight into the lives of people in Cape Town. This life-changing volunteer experience will give you the opportunity to help countless people, change lives for the better and help stabilize communities through education. The impact that your time has teaching in South Africa has is undescribable and will be not only a highly rewarding experience for you but also for the locals that you help.

You will get the opportunity to educate children

As a volunteer teacher you will get the opportunity to teach young children and teenagers in some of the rural schools of South Africa. Training students in english, maths, science, computers, art music and sports will add great value to their education and help them improve the skills of these children and teenagers in need.

You will gain an understanding of the education system of South Africa

Another key benefit of volunteering in South Africa in teaching project is that volunteers get to learn about a new and different education system. This has proved to be an enriching experience in itself. Learning about foreign teaching methods can help advance your own career back home by helping you develop new teaching styles and skills.

You will gain valuable work experience of teaching international

Volunteering in South Africa benefits not only the children but the volunteers as well. The valuable experience you will gain by volunteer teaching in South Africa will look great on a resume and help you advance your future career in academia.

You get to advance the level of education of deprived South African children

The majority of the population in South Africa face a lot of hardships getting the education and developing the english skills they need to thrive. By participating in a teaching South Africa volunteer project, you’ll provide the resources people need to learn english and other skills effectively.

You will learn new ways to handle a class

As the old saying goes ‘You learn something new everyday’. Professional teachers will learn as much about how to improve or enhance your teaching techniques back home as teachers in training. Meeting different students and teachers will provide you with new insight into education everyday. When you volunteer to teach in South Africa will also share your own teaching methods with students and teachers which will also benefit them in the long-run. This willingness to exchange knowledge and skills with people who need it make this a truly rewarding experience for everyone involved.

Volunteer Programs in South Africa

No matter what your passion for volunteering is, IFRE offers variety of volunteering opportunities such as work in child care, sport coaching, social welfare, health care, wildlife volunteering in South Africa.

IFRE Teaching Volunteer Opportunities In Other Countries

Teaching volunteers are needed in other countries other than South Africa. See IFRE teaching volunteer opportunities in countries such as Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, Ghana, Kenya, Argentina, Ecuador and Mexico. With IFRE teacher volunteer programs you can help build a brighter future by educating young people around the world. Contact us now to learn more about how you can help with other teacher volunteer programs worldwide.

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