When you think ‘South Africa’ as a foreigner looking to take a gap year, your mind will most likely drift straight to working on a safari, riding an elephant to work, or sleeping in some hut in the middle of nowhere teaching English.
And guess what, all of those things probably are quite doable – minus riding elephants, because we quite like our elephants here.
For others, they might find themselves trotting to this corner of the globe in search of something a little more unique. Whatever the case, these programmes are a great start when looking into working in South Africa for your gap year.
Gap year ideas that will take you on a path you won’t find anywhere else
“It’s School to Surf” with the Gap Year SA Surf Programme
We’re fairly certain you’ve heard of spending a year teaching abroad by now. But, have you ever heard of a programme where you can spend your mornings teaching English, Maths or sports, and your afternoons learning how to surf?
Pretty cool, right?
How about one where you can also go horse-riding, teach art, learn sustainable farming or help feed the underprivileged? You can even choose to take part in helping abandoned and abused dogs! Gap Year South Africa has it all.
Not great at surfing? “Don’t worry, about a thing, because every Lil thing, is gon’ be alright.” The programme starts at the beginner level and you can work your way up.
This is a great route for foreigners taking a gap year in Cape Town, who are seeking an accommodation inclusive option and who love the outdoors. It also includes up to 3 meals a week.
Ride the wave @ www.gapyearsouthafrica.com/surfing
Dive in and Get Your Dive on with Coral Divers
Looking for a unique internship which leads you to become a qualified scuba diving instructor? Flip-flop your way over to Sodwana Bay in KwaZulu-Natal and spend the year learning just that! The programme works with PADI and is the biggest diving resort in South Africa.
Once you’ve reached instructor level, you can use the remainder of your work visa to gain real-life experience in your new field!
This programme is another great option for anyone visiting South Africa for a gap year because it includes accommodation.
Bonus? This part of South Africa sports warm, Indian waters for you to play in. Divers can expect around 400 dives over the course of the year.
Test the waters @ www.coraldivers.co.za
Aiming high with Amapondo Backpackers Lodge
This backpackers is situated in one of the most incredibly diverse and beautiful parts of Southern Africa. A place where cows roam the beaches and little huts dot their way across sandy hills. Amapondo Backpacker Lodge is situated in Port St Johns, a short hike away from the famous Coffee Bay.
Here, you can stay for as long as you like, for free, as long as you volunteer in some way towards the lodge.
The first thing to sink your shovel into is the organic vegetable garden. You can also help out with anything from plumbing to painting! If you’d like to get involved with working with underprivileged little ones, that’s also an option.
The Amapondo Children’s Project is an NGO which works with surrounding communities, to teach valuable language and life skills to young children.
Get digging @ www.amapondo.co.za
Finding the Gap for you
There you go, three unique work opportunities for both locals and foreigners looking to work in South Africa over their gap year.
If you’re looking for a work or volunteer visa in the hopes of working predominantly with animals, then head on to our “Where to Volunteer to Work with Animals in South Africa,” article.
Speak to a professional
We can help you with all Visa Applications in South Africa. We also feature a Free Online Assessment to help you determine your current status and which steps to take next. Contact Le Roux Attorneys today to assist you in applying for your work visa or volunteer visa.
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