English School Assistant with NGO, Cape Town

Help migrants and refugees FACE a big obstacle when looking for a job by improving their language skills.

Do you have an interest in migration and refugee issues? Are you passionate about teaching? This English school assistant internship might be exactly what you are looking for.

During this internship, you will be working on the English School project from this nonprofit organization in Cape Town. Every term around 350 students from different African countries enroll in their program. You will assist with day to day administration and management of the school as well as teach English classes two afternoons. An excellent opportunity to make an impact and contribute to cultural, social and economic integration between migrants, refugees, and South Africans.

Cape Town, South Africa
Social NGO
English teaching, coordination, administration
12-26 Weeks
From USD 2382

This organization started in Cape Town in 1994 as religious assistance to different communities of migrants but soon expanded to offering more tangible assistance as they were confronted with the problems experienced by refugees from Angola, the Congos, Rwanda, Burundi and other African communities. In 2003 a secular non-government organization was started to run these projects, the Scalabrini Center of Cape Town (SCCT).

Migration is perceived as an opportunity by this organization, so they are on a mission to alleviate poverty and promoting development in the Western Cape while fostering cultural, social and economic integration between migrants, refugees, and South Africans. In providing their assistance they advocate respect for human rights and use a holistic approach that considers all basic needs.

Every month around 2000 people visit the center, which offers service through six main programme areas:

  • Advocacy: Protecting, promoting and advancing the rights and freedoms of migrants and refugees by providing paralegal advice and practical assistance to individuals on a walk-in basis. In addition, this team works on driving deeper systemic change in the South African society and immigration and asylum systems.
  • English School: Providing a specialized English language school for refugees and migrants.
  • Employment Access: Providing a gateway to employment by providing support to foreign nationals who are legally entitled to look for work in South Africa. The organization provides a combination of skills training, professional development, and resources needed for success in the job market.
  • Unite: A unique extra-curricular curriculum for grade 8-11, which provokes a deep exploration of the themes of identity, integration, and diversity to promote activism and critical thought in youth living in South Africa.
  • Welfare: Accessing services for migrants and refugees in need. Through a process of consultation, they assist individuals to access basic services such as medical care, schooling, shelter, South African Social Grants (SASSA grants) and assistance with advice/application for voluntary repatriation.
  • Women’s Platform: A multi-national network of women that strengthens individuals to enhance economic independence and integration into the broader South African community.

Education is key to a successful life. One of the biggest obstacles migrants and refugees face when looking for a job is their lack of language skills. This organization provides an effective low-cost service aimed at eliminating this language barrier, focusing on communication skills in order to facilitate a socioeconomic integration while providing opportunities for networking and community building. Presently the English School enrolls around 350 students per term from a variety of African countries. What they offer:

  • Classes from Monday to Friday each week, offering five levels from Beginners to Advanced. The school has developed a South African based curriculum designed to assist students with their integration in Cape Town. In several of the beginners’ level courses, students, along with learning English, learn about their rights as refugees and migrants and the necessary basics to a successful integration.
  • Read and Write programme: for those students who struggle with literacy.
  • English Alive: an extracurricular programme that offers students the opportunity to participate in Drama Group, Debate, Tai Chi, Afrikaans, Film Screenings and Body Mapping Workshops at no additional cost.
  • At the end of each course, students have the opportunity of writing a test and receiving a certificate at graduation.
Your Responsibilities
  • Day to day administration and management of the school. This includes planning for and helping to execute large events such as graduation, exams, and registration together with the English School Manager, along with small daily tasks.
  • Help manage and act as liaison with the volunteer teachers as well as the students and help to represent English School at team meetings and events.
  • Teach a class two afternoons a week.
  • You are encouraged to contribute to the development of the school through the generation of ideas, activities or projects.

This internship offers lots of learning and development opportunities. The working environment is highly interactive; working when necessary with other departments such as Advocacy and Employment Access Program as the English students are often their clients too, you are exposed to learning about the legal problems students face with documentation and the way the law functions in South Africa, the lives of refugees in their country of origin through conversing with them, the reasons for their departure, living within their new community in South Africa, their struggle to fit in as newcomers and much more. Offering them the language education they need to build their new lives is just as rewarding for the intern as for students. It’s all about making a positive change in their lives.

Lastly, leaving your own mark is possible. Whilst the beginning, mid and end of the term are very busy periods, there is room enough for personal creativity during the remainder of the term. This means that personal projects are possible! In the past, interns have developed projects such as a digital literacy course aimed at newcomers, a nutrition course, and an HIV awareness course, and there are some many more opportunities!

What you’ll do
  • Work along side the coordinator to keep the administrative system of the school functioning smoothly
  • Accurate register recording
  • Preparation of venues and materials for ad hoc courses and events and assist in maintaining these venues
  • Editing
  • Accurate printing and distribution of documents
  • Teaching (Depending on placement test, English language ability and understanding of English language structure and function)
  • For the phase in which the English school is, you sometimes need to undo and redo tasks as we try to continuously refine our operating system
  • Confident in using a computer
  • Team worker
  • Reliable and willing to help and lend a practical hand where needed
  • An understanding of the respectful principles of adult learning
  • A servant-leadership disposition is important in order to be able to effectively deal with many and diverse people in a fluctuating environment
  • Hard working and dedicated to serving our clients and work alongside a diverse team
  • Commitment of 20-40 per week

This organization also offers internships in Communications, Human Rights and Advocacy, Female empowerment, Empowerment of Refugees or an all-round position.


You’ll be staying at the Lenox, a comfortable guest house in the heart of Cape Town. Built in the old Cape Dutch style, the Lenox is characterful and spacious. It has a garden with a barbeque area, a large dining room, and several other communal spaces. Shared bedrooms take four to eight people, and there are plenty of single rooms available as well (at an extra fee). You’ll be walking distance from a wide range of shops, cafes and restaurants, and at a great spot for some of the touristy highlights Cape Town has to offer as well. (As well as for views of Table Mountain!)


You can start your internship every week, so your final starting date is based on what suits you and the organization the best. Please keep in mind this organization is closed for four weeks of summer holiday in December and January.

What you’ll pay (2023 rates)

3 MONTHS USD 2,382
4 MONTHS USD 2,949
5 MONTHS USD 3,517
6 MONTHS USD 4,084

At Roots, we do everything we can to make your internship experience smooth and hassle-free. We offer an all-inclusive service, which means we will help you find the right internship (we believe we are great matchmakers!), help you with visa arrangements, book accommodation for you in Cape Town, give you all the pre-departure information you need before arriving, pick you up from the airport and check in with you while on your work placement to ensure you feel supported.

What you are paying for:
  • Transfer from Cape Town International airport to your accommodation and back on arrival and departure day
  • Accommodation based on a dorm room (4-8 pax). If you prefer a single room, please contact us for availability and prices
  • Two meals (breakfast and dinner) a day from Monday to Friday
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • On the ground support during your stay
  • Free WiFi
  • Assistance with finding the perfect work placement
  • Supervision during your internship
  • Check-in and feedback as well as a reference letter after your internship
  • Your own account on a career development platform that offers content and courses focused on exploring different career opportunities
  • Reference letter at the end of your internship
  • A discount on weekend activities, exclusive to Roots interns
  • Flights
  • Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Lunch, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Meals during the weekend
  • Transport to the office
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities

Optional extra:

Personal Development Sessions
To help you optimise your personal and professional development during your internship, we offer individual monthly sessions with a professional consultant. These 1,5-hour sessions offer opportunities to set goals, reflect on your experience, and ensure your internship will benefit your career as much as possible.
Monthly fee: USD 65
Workshop: Exploring the Nonprofit Landscape
To give you a full understanding of the nonprofit sector in Africa, we offer one-off individual online workshops by a South African digital marketing and fundraising specialist. You’ll learn about the needs of the nonprofit sector, best practices in nonprofit management, and sustainability of fundraising initiatives. You’ll also be given a large amount of useful resources.
Workshop fee: USD 65
Cape Town, South Africa
Social NGO
English teaching, coordination, administration
12-26 Weeks
From USD 2,382

Working with this organization really gave a good perspective on how things work within a nonprofit and that was very valuable for me. They also work with a vulnerable population, which means working at this NGO and with these people makes you develop important skills such as how to communicate certain things or talk to people who don't speak your language as well. So I sometimes helped at the English school as well.

Lola, The NetherlandsRefugee and Migrant Charity Internship, Cape Town
  • Gain practical experience in coordination, daily operations of running the school and teaching English
  • Help eliminate the language barrier for refugees and migrants and facilitate their social-economic integration
  • Learn about African culture and the lives of refugees in their country of origin
  • Gain insight in the challenges refugees face living in their new community in South Africa
  • Live and work in Cape Town, arguably one of the most stunning cities in the world.
  • Enjoy exploring South Africa’s many highlights during your time off
3 MONTHS USD 2,382
4 MONTHS USD 2,949
5 MONTHS USD 3,517

See Detailed Rates

How to apply?

If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:

  1. Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) and send your CV to info@rootsinterns.com.
  2. We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.
  3. If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.
  4. If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, get started with a detailed booking form, and we’ll give you all the information you need to prepare for your upcoming adventure.
  5. Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.

Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form on the right. We’ll be happy to assist!

    If you have any questions about this opportunity, please ask us by completing the form below.


    Conservation Education Internship

    Open for applications

    Conservation Education Internship

    Conservation Education Internship

    8-26 weeks

    Bela-Bela, South Africa

    Education, monitoring, research, community outreach

    Help spread important information on the ground hornbill in local communities

    girl empowerment internship

    Open for applications

    Education Internship, Female Empowerment, Zambia

    Education Internship, Female Empowerment, Zambia

    Min. 8 weeks

    Livingstone, Zambia OR Remote

    Education, Facilitation, Research

    Help develop educational materials to uplifts girls and women in this African community.

    yoga internship Cape Town

    Open for applications

    Yoga Internship, Cape Town

    Yoga Internship, Cape Town

    8-26 weeks

    Cape Town, South Africa

    (Yoga) teaching, program development, communications

    Teach yoga to bring upliftment to both individuals and the larger community.