Join our international team in the spectacular city of Cape Town and work with children from the local townships while developing teaching experience and qualifications on this long-term internship.
The internship begins with a 12 week volunteer project, where you will learn how to plan and deliver a range of educational programmes in local township schools and educare centres, gaining experience in teamwork and leadership.
After successfully completing this phase you will then undertake a 12 week work placement where you will further develop your teaching skills and assist in the running of educational programmes (including child care, sports, and creative play) for young children. You will work with a range of partner organisations or assist the GVI team in the operation and management of our project. With both pathways, you will work alongside professional community development teams, gaining valuable experience throughout.
After a successful internship, qualifying candidates may be given the opportunity to work for GVI or selected partner organisations in South Africa, or in other countries around the world where GVI operate. Field work positions can be paid or unpaid, range in duration from one month to one year, and availability varies. Qualification for possible GVI positions is at the sole discretion of Global Vision International.
All internships are geared at developing your leadership and role model skills, allowing you to develop a variety of key soft and hard skills that will put you a step ahead the rest of the pack. GVI have been running community development, education, and conservation projects since 1997 and our highly experienced field staff will help you gain and improve vital skill sets to improve your future job prospects.
"I interned in Gordon’s Bay, South Africa, on the Community Development Project and it was the most eye-opening, intense and amazing time of my life! It may sound an exaggeration…but believe me, it’s not! The people you meet, the children you teach, the places you visit, the friendships you build…everything together makes this experience truly inspiring. It feels great talking and spreading the word about such a reliable organisation and, above all, the great experience I had!!"
These updates cover all programs in this location
South Africa Video
Life on the Internship
Your First 12 Weeks
The internship starts with an orientation, during which you will learn about South African customs and cultures, life inside the township, common Xhosa sayings as well as training on the current curriculum, lesson planning and child/classroom management.
From Monday to Friday you will work with children in the local township at one of our various educational centres. The days usually run from 8:30am - 4:00pm and you may need to spend an hour or two each day preparing for the next day's lessons or doing self-study specific to your internship requirements.
After successfully completing your 12 weeks of training you will start your work placement. Typically the placements are educational-based project initiatives either with GVI or one of our local project partners. Over the 12 week placement you will develop further skills in teaching, health & safety and project logistics, leadership, and support the day-to-day running of GVI’s or our local partners' community development programmes.
You will live in an attractive coastal village close to Cape Town and Stellenbosch, with direct exposure to local culture and communities. Accommodation will be in houses/apartments with shared rooms and bathrooms, hot running water and electricity.
What's Not Included
GVI runs educational programmes in schools and educare centres in the townships surrounding Cape Town.
Depending on where you are placed you may be expected to assist in the following areas: outdoor exercises and games; arts and crafts; music and drama activities; storytelling; assistance with homework; working with special needs children; health workshops; numeracy and literacy; and sports
Please note that it is not possible for you to choose exactly where you would like to be placed. We hope that you will be flexible and open-minded enabling us to place you wherever the need is greatest at the time and wherever we feel that your skills, interests and experience can be best utilised.
How this project makes a difference:
Many of the primary schools in townships are severely overcrowded with over 50 students per class meaning that teachers are unable to give each child individual attention to help them develop and grow. GVI has designed a project providing individual coaching sessions to those children that have difficulties reading and writing.
What's Not Included
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate in programmes assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems, but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your downtime or further afield either before or after your programme. Below is some information on trips and travel options in South Africa.
Optional Side Trips
Cape Town Cultural and Activity Weekend
This trip includes 2 nights in Cape Town near Long Street so that you can sample the lively weekend city life. On Friday afternoon, you will travel through to Cape Town after finishing your volunteer work.. The Saturday is a free day and you may wish to take the opportunity to visit some of the following iconic Cape Town attractions: Robben Island, Table Mountain, District 6 Museum, Castle of Good Hope or the Green Market Square craft markets. Sunday includes a full day in Cape Point and a visit to an African Penguin colony. You will have the opportunity to explore the Cape Point nature reserve on mountain bike where you may see antelope, zebra, ostrich, seals and possibly even whales. During the day, you will enjoy a picnic lunch on one of the reserves beautiful beaches.
Visit a private game reserve which is located one and a half hours from Cape Town. Here you will enjoy lunch and an afternoon safari before returning home. Transfers to and from the project accommodation are included. There are many other fantastic trips in the area around Cape Town that can easily be arranged once in-country such as shark cage diving, skydiving, wine tasting tours, Hermanus day trips for whale watching (seasonal) or a typical township experience.
Further Travelling Opportunities
South Africa has such a wealth of fantastic opportunities for further travel. In Cape Town, you have easy access to the famous Garden Route, chances to explore the Cederberg Mountain range or take more time to enjoy the vibrancy of Cape Town. Other possibilities include the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains, the beauty of the Kalahari Desert, historic Zululand, the fantastic Southern Coast, the world-renowned National Parks of Kruger and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, and many more amazing options in this stunning country.
Meet Andy, our brilliant community officer in Cape Town, South Africa. In the States he was involved with Habitat for Humanity and volunteering at the local soup kitchen, but coming to South Africa with GVI was his first time volunteering abroad.
He first heard about GVI through a friend who had nothing but good things to say about it. So he looked into it a bit more and saw how much of the focus is on sustainability which he really appreciated and so shortly after signed up to come out as a volunteer. Since then he has joined the Cape Town team as a valuable and energetic member.
His favourite part of the whole experience of GVI has been working with all the kids and our project partners at the sanctuary where the Cape Town team operates.
"Seeing them grow and progress and being able to contribute to it has been beyond rewarding."
Transport and Logistics Manager
Introducing the amazing Moses, our transport and logistics manager in Cape Town, South Africa. What he loves most about working at GVI is seeing the hard work volunteers do in the township as well as creating a positive environment for the little ones.
Moses is an invaluable member of the Cape Town team, ensuring all the projects run smoothly.
He was recently married (2015) where he travelled for the first time in his life to the UK. He enjoyed the vast differences between the ways the British celebrate Christmas to how it is celebrated in South Africa.
Meet Alex, our awesome education officer in Cape Town, South Africa. She got the travel bug from a very young age but only travelled solo from the beginning of 2014. She circumnavigated the globe, starting in South Africa volunteering with another organisation teaching in KwaZulu-Natal and continued to Indonesia, Australia and across the USA before finding her way back to Cape Town and GVI. As soon as she left South Africa, she knew she wanted to come back and GVI stood out as the organisation she wanted to work for.
She has a degree in philosophy and psychology and believes an open mind is a must-have for any traveller.
"If you try to over plan or over-prepare, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Just go with whatever happens. The best travelling experiences I’ve had are when everything has gone wrong."
Meet Karissa, our vibrant country expert for our Cape Town and Thailand, Phang Nga, hubs. She loves travelling and has had her fair share of travelling too. Her first solo travel was to New Zealand to work as an Au Pair, followed by Fiji for over a year. She then travelled to Thailand, where she met her South African partner and worked as an English Teacher at a public High School.
Karissa is TEFL qualified and has first-hand experience of working abroad. What first attracted her to join GVI? “The amazing volunteer projects and stunning locations across the world.”
She moved to Cape Town in November 2015 from her home country, the USA, and is loving every minute of being able to call South Africa her new home!
South African Country Director
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven country director for all our projects in South Africa. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.
When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!
Service Learning Manager Cape Town
A sustainable development extraordinaire with a great commitment to create sustainable solutions for local communities. Katie has worked in South Africa for many years before her role with GVI and after completing her Master's degree in International Education she joined our team of professionals.
Her credentials include over eight years of volunteering, teaching, managing, and leading international education programs around the world. This includes working in zero-waste policy communities in New Zealand, and in an orphan bear refugee center in Croatia.
As our Service Learning Manager she is excited to use her experience designing experiential education programmes and managing community programmes.
Director of Programs
Meet Danny, our Director of Programs. Although he’s based in Playa del Carmen, Danny oversees the development and running of all of our field operations. He started out with GVI as our Country Director in Mexico and quickly became an invaluable part of the team.
Although being Director of Programs is a pretty demanding job, Danny manages to find time to do the other things he loves in-between. He’s an avid photographer and is always training for a triathlon or ironman.
What’s Danny’s favourite aspect of his job? “Starting new projects – we get lots of request for assistance and it’s difficult to decide when funds are limited. The evaluation process and those initial talks with local partners are very interesting. Seeing projects grow from an idea to full programs is very exciting. I also love the relationships you create with local organisations, they become friends and we jointly work to achieve the project aims.”