Are you wondering if it is possible to study and volunteer abroad in South Africa? Well, it is very possible to volunteer while studying in South African universities if you get access to volunteer organisations or volunteer programs in South Africa. So, if you are a foreign student, you can spend your free time doing volunteer work or helping the local community.
In this article, you are going to gain insights on how to volunteer in South Africa while studying there. Please keep reading.
Tips for Volunteering Abroad in South Africa
There are many volunteering projects you can engage in if you want to make a difference while studying abroad in South Africa. They include:
1. Teaching volunteer opportunities for students in South Africa
South Africa is a great country to volunteer as a teacher more so as a math, science, IT or English language teacher. Teaching English is a great way of volunteering your skills to the local community more so because many people do not have basic literacy skills. What’s more, some schools in South Africa are often understaffed and underfunded, which makes learning English impossible for some underprivileged students.
So, volunteering to teach English in South Africa not only gives you an opportunity to share your knowledge with underprivileged children, but it also allows you to explore new places such as Simon’s town.
So, if you visit Cape Town, you can polish your English language by enrolling in an English course in Simon’s town, for example. As an intern volunteer or volunteer teacher, you will have a chance to work with local teachers by assisting them to prepare lessons and to teach using modern methods. What’s more, your volunteer work will also help to minimize the pressure for overworked local teachers.
2. Volunteer with Children in South Africa
There are many volunteering projects in Cape Town South Africa that entail working with children. So, as a higher education student, you can involve yourself with childcare projects, which will enable you to provide assistance to local children who are underprivileged. If you choose to work with children, you can get volunteer opportunities in community centres, day care centres, after-school programs, as well as orphanages.
What’s more, your work will involve supporting the functions of such centres, which will not only enhance your personal development, but also your professional development. So, you may be involved in giving educational support, mentoring the children and equipping them with life skills, or just playing games with them. In addition, you may also get involved in cleaning and cooking for the children.
However, your duties will certainly depend on your placement, but of importance is to give lots of attention, love, and care to the kids you will be working with. In addition, it is important that you have an open mind and heart when working with children.
3. Volunteering in South African Community Projects
There are many community-based volunteer projects in South Africa, which range from development, sports, education, as well as orphanages. So, if you decide to volunteer in community projects, you are likely to be involved in house building initiatives, planting gardens or trees, teaching children in your placement, as well as educating children and adults about HIV/AIDS and hygiene.
As an international volunteer, you will get to work in settlements with underprivileged families. If you work in a center, you will also be involved in planning day to day activities such as fun days, sports activities, and life skills lessons on the areas of HIV/AIDS and drug and substance abuse.
4. Environment and Conservation Volunteer Programs in South Africa
As a volunteer in Southern Africa, you can help conservations, particularly in Cape Town to conserve wildlife or national parks. What’s more, you can enlighten the local community on the importance of conserving the wildlife and their environment in general. So, if you choose to volunteer in conservation projects, your work may involve working in game reserves to conserve animals such as elephants, hyenas, different species of animals and plants. In other words, as a Southern Africa volunteer, your work will be to preserve the natural beauty of Cape Town and the surrounding environment.
To be able to volunteer in conservation projects in Cape Town South Africa, you have to be willing to make your hands dirty because you will at times be required to work in harsh weather conditions. Volunteering in conservation projects is a great opportunity for you more so if you love working with children, and you will certainly enjoy working with them in the awareness camps.
That said, if you are pursuing a science or environment degree, you can work as an intern volunteer at table mountain national park, aquariums and many other conservation programs, which will enable you to get the hands-on experience.
5. Medical and healthcare volunteering for students
If you are studying a medicine or health-related degree or program, you can work as an intern volunteer in public hospitals in South Africa. As a volunteer, you will be involved in educating patients about HIV/AIDS, TB and other diseases that afflict South Africans. You will also be able to treat and provide basic check-ups for the local community. Another volunteer opportunity involves indulging yourself in a healthcare teaching English.
Having said that, immersing yourself in medical volunteer programs enables you to learn about new technologies, health systems, new culture, and new skills from other international volunteers.
Why You Should Study and Volunteer Abroad in South Africa
1. Well rounded-education
Immersing yourself in volunteer projects is important because it enables you to acquire a well-rounded education. In other words, the volunteer experience will certainly inspire you to learn new ways of thinking, new cultures, languages, and to have a different outlook. With that said, joining a volunteer project in South Africa will certainly have a great impact on not only your entire life, but also your ambitions and mindset.
2. You will have a great Southern Africa experience
Apart from having great volunteer opportunities, South Africa is also a nice place to study in because you’ll also get to explore its rich culture, as well as its archaeological and political history. What’s more, you’ll also get to experience the outstanding natural beauty and wildlife. South Africa also has diverse and dynamic cities and towns such as Cape Town, Limpopo, and Jo-burg.
3. You get to experience the unending beauty of Cape Town
If you choose to visit Cape Town or volunteer in Cape Town, you will not only enjoy being an international volunteer, but you will also enjoy voluntourism. In other words, you will get to tour places such as Table Mountain, cape point, Robben Island, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, as well as botanical gardens such as Kirstenbosch.
While studying and engaging in volunteers work in Mother City, which is a nickname for Cape Town, you can also take time to visit the sandy beaches at sea point. Other great experiences while studying and volunteering abroad in South Africa include eating and watching live music in the bustling bars and cafés at camps bay.
You will also get to enjoy the shark cage diving South Africa tour that entails cage diving with the great white sharks. You will also get to visit the place Nelson Mandela was born, and enjoy South African meals at a Cape Town hotel of your choice.
4. International networking
Volunteering opportunities enable students to gain experience at an international level more so when they involve themselves with internships in conservations, hospitals, or schools. As an intern volunteer, such opportunities will certainly improve your professional resume.
Tips for Studying and Volunteering Abroad in South Africa
1. Time management skills are a must
Depending on the course you are studying, some courses require that students devote a considerable amount of time and energy. Therefore, if you wish to perform at your level best in both your academics and volunteer work, it is important that you manage your schedule effectively.
2. Request to be given a flexible schedule
Flexibility in your schedule is important if you want to accomplish your day to day goals. So, do not be afraid to ask the management of the company where you are volunteering to make your schedule a bit flexible. However, it is important that you do not overextend the time you will be given.
3. Make sure the internship or volunteer experience is beneficial
An interning and volunteer experience will certainly make your resume to look good. However, it is important to ensure that the project you choose will equip you with practical experience that will enable you to perfect your professional expertise. So, if for instance, you want to be an intern volunteer, you may want to ensure that the internship experience will meet your goals and needs.
In other words, it is important to ensure that the time you invest working as an intern volunteer has some great returns.
Cape Town South Africa is an incredible destination for students who are considering studying abroad or acquiring expertise through the various internship and volunteer programs in South Africa.