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START DATES

MOST SUNDAYS EVERY MONTH

PRICED FROM

495 USD + 249 USD REGISTRATION FEE

DURATION

CHOOSE FROM 2-24 WEEKS

MINIMUM AGE

18 YEARS OLD ON START DATE

SOUTH AFRICA ENGLISH TEACHING VOLUNTEERS

As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you will play a vital role in developing local children’s English skills. Consequently, as the students English levels improve, so will their future prospects. PMGY’s South Africa volunteer programs will see you help young children in Cape Town. Teach English in South Africa and a range of other subjects to underprivileged children from government schools. All within the stunning setting of cosmopolitan Cape Town.

 

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE UN’S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL NO.4 – EDUCATION
  • PLAN & LEAD CREATIVE ENGLISH LESSONS FOR STUDENTS IN CAPE TOWN
  • SUPPORT LOCAL TEACHERS WITH HIGH WORKLOADS & ENHANCE YOUR TEACHING SKILLS
  • EXPERIENCE ALL CAPE TOWN HAS TO OFFER FROM CENTRALLY LOCATED ACCOMMODATION
  • USE WEEKENDS TO HEAD ON SAFARI, CLIMB TABLE MOUNTAIN OR INDULGE IN WINE TASTING

BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM

South Africa adopts 11 official languages. It is a nation with huge potential. Much of its future hope lies with the youth of this great country. Huge steps have been made by the post-apartheid regime to implement a fully inclusive and comprehensive education system for all. However, the sad reality is that the quality of education received is largely dependent on location and family wealth.

 

Those with high-income families and a low cost of living correlate to more prosperous opportunities. Examples include private school and language school learning opportunities. Consequently, direct gateways are provided for children of a more advantageous background to get the top jobs in South Africa.

 

On the other hand, many young ones from disadvantaged communities don’t have it so easy. More specifically, they don’t receive a sufficient level of education to prepare them for the future.
Furthermore, the influx of refugees to emerging cities such as Cape Town is causing further conflicts. In the same vein, extra burdens are being placed on already under-resourced and overcrowded government schools. Most classrooms are filled with 40+ children to only one local teacher.

 

Many of the children that attend public schools we support come from broken homes. These are places where criminality and illiteracy are commonplace. Far too many children become a product of their environment and so become largely disengaged with formal education.

 

The further difficulty lies in the fact that the schools seriously lack manpower and the resources to tackle these issues. In addition, the schools will offer little or no recreational activities to help integrate some of the less enthusiastic learners.

 

PMGY South Africa volunteers provide assistance to primary schools in and around the popular tourist destination of Cape Town. The children are aged 6-13. Primary school teaching will be largely focused on core subjects such as maths, art and science. Above all, there is a focus on students to improve in English.

 

The primary schools are government based schools. In addition, class sizes vary from 15-40 pupils and ages from around 5-12 years old. As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you can expect to participate in the following activities. For example, supporting with lesson planning and execution as well as one-on-one support for students.

 

Furthermore, as a volunteer teacher in South Africa, you may be required to substitute for the main teacher. Other tasks expected when you teach in South Africa include leading physical education lessons and administration duties. In addition to this, you will be providing assistance for fundraising and annual functions/events.

 

Volunteer opportunities provided by PMGY offer a platform to make a positive impact when you teach English in South Africa. When working at our volunteer teaching English abroad projects in South Africa, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Many of these students will benefit from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in South Africa. As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.

TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES

Chapel Street Primary School – The majority of the 800 students who attend Chapel Street primary come from disadvantaged local communities. For instance, many of the students arrive at the school from the townships of Cape Town that suffer great poverty. This means that classrooms are often overcrowded and resources limited.

 

With only 24 staff members, the approximate ratio is 1 teacher to 30-40 students. Despite this strain, the teachers do their utmost to combat the economic and social hardships the learners face. Typically, the teachers achieve this through education, information and communications technology.

 

Most of the students who attend the school are between 6-13 years of age. Firstly, volunteers primary role is to assist the local teachers in the classroom. Secondly, volunteers will also be expected to lead lessons and support with sports education. Finally, volunteers may also have the opportunity to help with swimming lessons and art classes. PMGY volunteers provide invaluable support to overburdened local teachers and can build great bonds with the students along the way.

 

St. Pauls Primary School – Located in the iconic and historic Cape Malay community of Bo-Kaap, St. Pauls primary school is surrounded by colourful houses and steep cobblestone streets. The school is conveniently located within walking distance of the Cape Town city centre. However, most of the students come from townships. These are areas that are home to some of the city’s most impoverished communities. Most noteworthy, these townships often face challenges such as substance abuse and high crime rates. Consequently, schools such as St. Pauls primary are often seen as ‘places of safety’ for these children.

 

Volunteers at this school are placed in the younger/lower grades with children aged between 6-8 years. For these students, the focus is placed on language, basic math, art/music and physical education. Volunteers that teach English in South Africa largely work as a teaching assistant. Tasks include coordinating tasks such as reading groups and performing admin duties. In addition, teaching jobs will also see you work one-on-one with students who require an additional hand. Occasionally, volunteers may be given the opportunity to lead their own class. Moreover, volunteers may also be called upon to help in older classes.

YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY

As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you provide an important pair of extra hands. Subsequently, you play a vital role as a volunteer in South Africa in reducing burdens placed on local staff. In addition, extra support and teacher presence help improve discipline and overall class productivity. Troubled students and those with learning difficulties greatly benefit from the individual attention provided by international volunteers.

 

Volunteers will usually work as a teaching assistant. However, please note there may be times where you are required to lead a class yourself. It is not uncommon for this to happen when participants complete volunteer work in South Africa. Therefore, volunteers encouraged to prepare lessons accordingly in advance if so. Ultimately, it is essential volunteers spend time planning and preparing for each day. Consequently, this will allow you to get the most out of your project time.

 

The typical working hours are 7:45am-2:30pm Monday-Friday with a lunch break in between. Upon request, additional working hours/duties can be assigned. We expect volunteers to spend at least 1 hour each day planning activities and lessons for the following day. Weekends are your own free time.

 

Volunteers will need to make their own way to the English teaching project each day. Moreover, this usually involves taking public transport but sometimes projects can be walking distance from the Volunteer House. On average, it takes around 30 minutes to get to the English teaching project. Our local team will instruct you as to how to get to and from the project each day. Alternatively, you will be paired with a volunteer who has already been working at the placement you have been assigned to.

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN SOUTH AFRICA

Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education.

 

TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.

 

Township Projects – Please note, most projects we support are centrally based in the city within Cape Town. Projects in the township area represent a much more challenging experience both logistically and structurally.

 

Consequently, we do not promote or endorse projects in these locations. Should volunteers wish to experience projects in the townships this may be arranged on an ad hoc basis. This is dictated by the discretion of the local team. Volunteers are best to discuss such options with the team upon arrival into South Africa.

 

Resources – On the teach English in South Africa project, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their teaching English project experience.

 

Weekends – Your project work in South Africa runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our South Africa Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for South Africa. We offer the Garden Route Trip along with the Western Cape Trip with opportunities running every month.

CHOOSING A VOLUNTEER TRIP

Can people from outside of the UK or USA volunteer with PMGY?

Of course! Although PMGY was founded in the UK, with offices now extending between the UK and US, we welcome participants of all nationalities onto our programs. Within the last decade, we have hosted tens of thousands of volunteers from across the globe. From France to Italy, Mexico to India, Namibia to Russia and Ireland to China – these are only a handful of the countries volunteers have joined us from! We want everyone from across the world to have an equal opportunity at experiencing a different perspective on life, and make friends across the world.

Why are PMGY’s fees so much more affordable than other travel organisations?

The PMGY International Team works hard to ensure that our fees are kept as low as possible. Consequently, this makes our experiences as affordable and accessible without sacrificing the safety and quality of the overall experience.

 

Registration Fees to join our programs are assigned to the high levels of comprehensive support that we are renowned for. This includes telephone and online support staff available 24 hours each day, as well as detailed hand-guides and interactive webinars. Therefore, the remaining Program Fees to join the program go directly to our in-country teams, covering everything for your time volunteering. In general, these fees are reflected in your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country support and project upkeep during your time abroad. Furthermore, we make sure our fees are transparent, which is something our volunteers really appreciate.

 

Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger travel organisations with many shareholders. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the online age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures, an unnecessary high street presence and we are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests.

What are the requirements to volunteer in South Africa?

PMGY welcomes volunteers teaching English in South Africa of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 18 and there is no upper age limit. Furthermore, all volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. Of course, you do not need to speak the local dialect. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us in South Africa will go a long way.
 

As a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. Thus, we are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! However, medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.

 

Volunteering overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. Therefore, all participants must be fit in both areas. Consequently, if you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas, then these must be declared to us during your online application. If you have any queries regarding your suitability to participate, we recommend that you contact us before committing to the program.

What date should I arrive and leave the South Africa volunteer program?

For your volunteer trip to South Africa, you should book your flights to Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town on the Sunday start date. The airport code is CPT. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

 

The program ends on the Saturday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on this day.

When is the best time of year to volunteer in South Africa?

Feedback from volunteers teaching English in South Africa often suggests that it is best to join a PMGY project outside the European summer months. This is since June-August tends to be when we have peak numbers at each of our projects and volunteer accommodations. Conversely, outside of these months, there is typically the greatest opportunity to become fully immersed at the project and within the local community.

Are there any age restrictions to be a volunteer in South Africa?

In order to join as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you need to be at least 18 on the program start date. Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 18-25.

 

There is no upper age limit to our programs, and in the past, we have hosted participants up to the age of 70-years old. Whilst we have found that our more mature participants get a lot from the experience, at times individuals have found it more challenging to integrate with a younger crowd. Furthermore, some participants have perhaps expected a higher level of accommodation, the structure within the local community, and general overall communication at the project setup. Consequently, whilst we welcome volunteers of all ages, we stress that all participants should remain open-minded and flexible. Additionally, participants must appreciate that the majority of our participants are across the 18-25 age range.

When should I apply to be a volunteer teaching English in South Africa?

For the majority of our programs, you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the program. This is since some of our programs only have limited capacity, meaning that spaces get filled very quickly. Therefore, it is particularly important that you apply in good time if you’re looking to travel between our peak period of June and August. This is because spaces can fill up very quickly during this period. Furthermore, please only apply if you are 100% committed to joining the program. You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual project page. This will guide you through our online Application Process.

 

Indeed, once you have applied and confirmed your place on the program, it may be possible to change your start dates and this will not incur a fee. However, please note that this will be subject to availability and any changes should be made at least 60 days prior to your start date.

What duration would you recommend to volunteering for?

Based on feedback from previous volunteers teaching English in South Africa, we believe that 4-6 weeks is the ideal amount of time to volunteer in South Africa. Consequently, this means you have enough time to integrate into the local community and really get involved in a project. For one thing, you will be able to make a positive impact on community development. Additionally, you will have a greater opportunity to explore during your weekends. Volunteers teaching English in South Africa who join us for 2 weeks frequently tell us that this was long enough and wish they had stayed for longer!

 

For those looking to potentially join us for a longer period, we recommend checking out our Encounter Programs that offer a 2-4 week stay across 3-10 destinations.

Can I volunteer abroad with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?

You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer for the same project. However, please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you would be able to be placed in the same room.

 

Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we work hard to ensure that our host locations are safe. Firstly, volunteer safety in each of our destinations is monitored regularly. Each of our volunteer programs has been inspected by a member of the PMGY International Team. Additionally, PMGY closely follows advice published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Alongside the frequent contact we have with our local teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable or unsafe regions.

 

The PMGY International Team have visited and participated in every program we offer. Thus, we have carefully inspected every little detail of our set-up, from the living conditions to local neighbourhoods and even the food you’ll be eating. Through these checks, we are able to ensure that all of our projects are up to scratch. Furthermore, all of our local teams are experienced development professionals, with years of experience hosting international volunteers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground and assist volunteers 24/7 throughout their stay. Our teams are therefore always on-hand to assist in any emergencies that may occur. Additionally, our 24 hour international emergency telephone line is always accessible. PMGY’s in-country staff also have access to local medical professionals should these be required during a participant’s time with us.

 

When you join as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visas and dress codes. For any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network, with online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our advisers welcome participants to ask as many questions as needed for them to effectively prepare for their trip overseas. On a monthly basis, our International Team also hosts both an Introductory Webinar and Safety Webinar. These are interactive opportunities for international volunteers to learn more about our projects and managing their safety overseas.

 

When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the general volunteer program and your specific project. During this session, our team will also cover important safety advice specific to your country. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM-card. This is something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. In like manner, we will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

 

Although we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble-free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each program is as safe as possible.

When do I pay for my volunteer program? Can I pay in instalments?

In order to confirm your place as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you need to pay a 1 USD deposit within 7 days of your application being successful. Consequently, you are only required to pay the deposit once we can guarantee you a place on the program. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. The only exception to this is for applications made 60 days or less in advance of the program start date. In these instances, the full balance must be paid within 7 days of being accepted in order to secure your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application. This usually takes 24-48 hours from the application being submitted.

 

Payments made in advance of the 60 day window can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance, or book a flight with PMGY, then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking. Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur. Bank transfers can be accepted by UK participants only.

Can I use the program as part of a university or college placement?

It is certainly possible to be a volunteer teaching English in South Africa as part of your university or college placement. However, PMGY is unable to guarantee that your time as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa will fulfil the requirements of your establishment. Therefore, participants are encouraged to speak to a member of the International Team to establish whether the required parameters can be met. This should be done in advance of applying to the program. When appropriate, school/college/university representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements.

 

First of all, the PMGY International Team are able to complete paperwork after a volunteer teaching English in South Africa has confirmed their place on the program. Additionally, project staff in South Africa can also sign-off any paperwork that is required by your course tutors. However, while our team will do their best to complete any paperwork, we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university/college. PMGY regularly receives medical, nursing, childcare and psychology placement students on our projects globally, with ties with some leading universities.

 

If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programs could meet the placement requirements for your course, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting.

BEFORE YOU DEPART

Do you offer an online TEFL course?

For PMGY volunteers teaching English in South Africa, the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. However, if you’d like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory online TEFL course for English language teaching abroad.

 

At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is obviously hugely convenient. The course can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You have got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. Obviously, an hour here and there certainly adds up. Therefore there really is no pressure.

 

Once completed, you’ll not only have acquired key skills for teaching English abroad but also an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules in the future. There are 5 modules to this 60 hour course, covering aspects including ‘The Roles of the Teacher’ and ‘Lesson Planning’.

 

The cost of the course is 120 USD. If you’ve already signed up for one of our programs and would like to enrol on the online TEFL course then please contact us.

Can I fundraise for my volunteer trip?

With PMGY, the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive on the South Africa volunteer program. The fundamentals of this cover aspects such as accommodation, airport pick-ups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.

 

We do our best to keep our program costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing on quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Consequently, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip. In these instances, we recommend that volunteers teaching English in South Africa set up an online fundraising page to notify friends and family of your trip.

 

PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding for volunteers to create a personalised fundraising page for their trip. This professional online fundraising service allows you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.

Can I raise money for the projects?

The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415). This charity has been created to help provide financial aid and assistance to projects we work with on an ongoing basis. Importantly, the objective of the PMGY Foundation is prevention or relief of poverty for people living in the communities we support. This is achieved by providing or assisting the provision of education, training, healthcare and general living support. Therefore together, we hope that the support offered by the PMGY Foundation helps to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. Consequently, donations made to the PMGY Foundation will be directed to the projects most in need. This is determined by the trustees of the charity during our International Team overseas visits.

 

If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation, you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. 100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. However, please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas. For volunteers teaching English in South Africa looking for further information on how to raise money for their trip abroad, please visit our fundraising page.

How do I register for your online webinars?

Every Tuesday at 4pm (London time), the PMGY International Team hosts one of four pre-departure webinars. These last approximately 45 minutes each and importantly provide volunteers in South Africa with invaluable advice on their upcoming trip. The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the globe. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world, simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones. In addition to this, if any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so.

 

For individuals who have not yet signed up to one of our programs, but would like to learn more about us, we encourage you to join our Introductory Webinar. Across 45 minutes, a member of the International team will introduce you to the concept of volunteering abroad, our destinations and both social and safety aspects of our programs.

 

For volunteers teaching English in South Africa who have already confirmed their volunteering role on the program, there are three for you to choose from. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.

 

Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.

 

Program Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching community work programs.

 

Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.

Will I require vaccinations and malaria tablets for my volunteer work?

It is possible that as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa you may require a course of vaccinations in preparation for your volunteer work in South Africa. However, unfortunately, PMGY is unable to legally advise on these matters, since we are not medical experts. Therefore, it is vital that you contact your local doctor or travel clinic a few months in advance of your intended travel. Your local doctor/nurse will be able to advise you on vaccinations and malaria prevention you may need for entry into your volunteer destination. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

How do I arrange my flights to volunteer in South Africa?

When you apply to be a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, we cannot guarantee your place on the program immediately. Indeed, on receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the program and to assess your suitability for the specific project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your program has been confirmed by us in writing. Of course, once your place as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa has been confirmed, you are then free to book your flights either with PMGY or through a third-party travel agent.

 

After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. PMGY have an ATOL Licence to ensure any flights booked through us are financially secured by the Civil Aviation Authority. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.

Do you offer travel insurance?

Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our International Volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.

 

We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.

 

Please note that PMGY Travel Insurance is purchased in week-long blocks. Therefore, you should carefully identify how many days you’ll be away for, including the date you depart and return to your home country. Indeed, this will ensure that you select the correct duration of travel insurance. For example, if you’re travelling for 29 days in total, you’ll need a 5 week policy, not a 4 week policy.

How do I obtain a background check?

To become a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you’ll need to provide us with a clean DBS or Police Check before you travel. This is a check must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. PMGY have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.

 

If you hold a current DBS or Police Check, then we can accept this, providing it is clear and issued no more than 18 months prior to your program start date. You will need to upload a copy of this to your online portal after confirming your place on the program. Furthermore, the DBS or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your program start date.

 

If you don’t have a valid DBS check (also known as CRB or Police Check), then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK). This costs 23 GBP and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a CRB check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook, received once you have confirmed your place as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa.

 

For volunteers teaching English in South Africa from the US, you can apply for a background check through US Criminal Checks. It costs 17.95 USD and is usually processed immediately. Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange your own background check through your local Sheriff’s Office or governmental body.

 

For all other international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.

When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?

All volunteers in South Africa will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the program. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we do not send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.

 

This Handbook contains everything you need to know to prepare as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa. Ranging from what to pack to how to obtain a visa, we do our best to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Therefore, it is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you find any of your questions unanswered after reading through this, then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!

ON YOUR TRIP

Can I arrange a private room?

All of our accommodation options on the South Africa volunteer program involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our volunteers teaching English in South Africa.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Our teams will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa. Consequently, there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.

Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?

We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that impact project availability. This information can be found via our Holiday Dates page and in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change. In turn, these can unexpectedly affect project availability. Therefore in such instances, we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. These periods often provide volunteers in South Africa with a unique experience to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves. However, our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable/possible.

What is the dress code at the projects?

Dress code varies from country-to-country and sometimes from project-to-project. Importantly, we ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. Of course, we will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack. In addition to this, our local team will also brief you during your in-country orientation on arrival into South Africa.

 

The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover shoulders, chest, stomach and thighs. In a like matter, for men, shorts should not lie above the knee and shirts should cover shoulders. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Moreover, dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with. Therefore, our Volunteer Handbooks, outline preferred dress-codes in detail.

 

Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions. However, please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount of extra spending money you should take with you as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa can depend on a multitude of factors. Considerations include what you undertake during your free time and how many souvenirs you purchase! Therefore, if you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania or perhaps go trekking in South Africa, you will need to budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find 100-150 USD per week a suitable amount.

Will I be able to travel whilst on the program?

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time! Most of our programs have been designed so that you have weekends off. Therefore, this gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the weekend opportunities and travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures. During your time as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa, you are sure to make some travel buddies along the way!

 

Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities across dates either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. However, if you plan to travel extensively, please factor this into your flight itinerary. This is since we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering, as you have made a commitment as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa.

ACCOMMODATION

Volunteer House

 

During your time on the South Africa volunteer programs, you will live in our Volunteer House. This is located in Observatory – better known as ‘Obz’ by the locals! Home to South African’s oldest Astronomical Observatory, this is Cape Town’s most bohemian suburb; an arty district. The main entertainment area is located only a 10 minute walk from the hostel, along lower Main Road. During the day, this road is home to various boutique shops, restaurants and cafes. However, at night, the street comes to life, with a vibrant nightlife.

 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable. Moreover, Wi-Fi is available, but there will be a small charge via a voucher system. Each room has bunk beds with up to 8 people per room. These are usually single-sex rooms, although this cannot be guaranteed. Bathrooms are shared, with showers and western-style toilets. During the winter period (June to August) it can get quite cold, so please bring warm clothes. International volunteers are provided with a bedsheet and blanket. However, you may also choose to bring a sleeping bag or buy an additional blanket from the local store for extra warmth.

 

The house has a communal area for volunteers to hang out after completing volunteer work in South Africa. Moreover, the Volunteer House comes with sofas, a flat-screen TV and DVD player. In addition, there will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any chilled items. Each volunteer will be assigned their own lockable cupboard for the safekeeping of small valuable items. For example, this could be storing your passport and/or money. Therefore, volunteers are advised to bring with them a small lock to make use of these.

 

During our busiest months (June to September) on the volunteer in South Africa program, you may be placed at alternative accommodation. For instance, you could be placed in a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.

MEALS

During your volunteer trip to South Africa, volunteers will be provided with breakfast. You will need to purchase your own lunch and dinner during the volunteering week. In addition, you will need to budget for all meals at the weekend. Please note, that although the Volunteer House has a kitchen, this is quite small. As a result, cooking meals can be difficult and it can be more practical to eat out for lunch and at weekends.

 

Breakfast operates in a self-service format. Volunteers just help themselves and all cutlery and crockery are provided. If you fancy eating out there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and local amenities in the surrounding area.

 

Here is an example of the meals you can expect:

* Please note our local team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Most importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the volunteer program.

COSTS INVOLVED

DURATION

PROGRAM FEE

REGISTRATION FEE

TOTAL

2 weeks
495 USD
249 USD
744 USD
3 weeks
690 USD
249 USD
939 USD
4 weeks
870 USD
249 USD
1,119 USD
6 weeks
1,275 USD
249 USD
1,524 USD
8 weeks
1,605 USD
249 USD
1,854 USD
10 weeks
1,980 USD
249 USD
2,229 USD
12 weeks
2,340 USD
249 USD
2,589 USD
16 weeks
3,090 USD
249 USD
3,339 USD
20 weeks
3,825 USD
249 USD
4,074 USD
24 weeks
4,560 USD
249 USD
4,809 USD

* These fees apply to each individual application.

 

 

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY program, you need to pay a deposit of 1 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.

 

You’re only required to pay the 1 USD deposit once we can guarantee you a place on the program unless you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

 

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

 

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

 
 

OPTIONAL TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME – 45 USD

PMGY provide participants with the opportunity to contribute towards our Triple Carbon Offset Scheme. This not only helps eliminate your carbon footprint but helps the planet with a positive contribution every time you fly. The Triple Offset Idea for volunteers in South Africa works as follows –

 

🇰🇪 Kenya – 59 mango trees are planted in Kenya. These are capable of absorbing the total carbon emissions for a volunteer trip to South Africa and also help provide a sustainable income for local farmers.

 

🇮🇳 India – 80 days of access to a solar cooker are provided to a family in India. This means the family don’t have to spend on firewood and thus reduce their dependence on trees.

 

🇺🇸 USA – 1.25kg of rescued meals are provided to the homeless in the USA. This recycles wasted food reduces methane emission from food waste which is equivalent to 1lb of CO2 emissions.

 

This optional add-on can be added during the online application process or can even be added on at a later date. The offset platform is provided by our charity, the PMGY Foundation and ensures that 100% of contributions are put towards high impact projects around the world.

VOLUNTEER IN SOUTH AFRICA REVIEWS

   
  

COSTS INVOLVED

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PROGRAM FEE

  • ACCOMMODATION (VOLUNTEER HOUSE)YES
  • MEALS (BREAKFAST MON-FRI) YES
  • AIRPORT PICK UP (24 HOURS)YES
  • IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATIONYES
  • 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY SUPPORTYES

REGISTRATION FEE

  • 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SUPPORT YES
  • DEDICATED PMGY TRAVEL MENTOR YES
  • EMAIL & TELEPHONE SUPPORT YES
  • VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK YES
  • LIVE PRE-DEPARTURE WEBINARS YES
  • 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTIONYES
  • REGULAR PROGRAM INSPECTION YES
  • CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETIONYES

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • MEALS NOT INCLUDEDNO
  • TRANSPORT TO PROJECTNO
  • FLIGHTS TO CAPE TOWNNO
  • TRAVEL INSURANCENO
  • RETURN AIRPORT TRANSFERNO
  • VISANO
  • CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKNO

WEEKEND TRIP ADD-ONS

TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME

OPTIONAL 45 USD PAYMENT

  • TREES PLANTED IN KENYA59
  • DAYS OF SOLAR ACCESS IN INDIA80
  • HOMELESS MEALS PROVIDED IN USA1.25KG