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Off the beaten path

Internships in the Field of Education in Touwsrivier, South Africa

Do you want to get to know "real" life in South Africa, far away from the tourist traps? Do you want to take part in a project where you can really see what a difference you are making? Then these internship/volunteer opportunities in Touwsrivier, South Africa, are just the thing for you.

Travel to the place where our international coordinator Laura Hope also volunteered in various projects in 2023. She took a close look at everything and found the most suitable projects and facilities for TU Dortmund University students.

Touwsrivier is a town of about 10,000 inhabitants that is not on any tourist agenda - but that's what makes it so interesting! Just over a 2-hour drive from Cape Town, the town is surrounded by the beautiful mountains of the Karoo landscape, wine estates and is a true paradise for hiking. Zebras, baboons, various antelopes, rare rabbits and tortoises can be seen outside the city. Afrikaans is the main language, but not a prerequisite for work or everyday life, as everyone speaks English. Foreigners are warmly welcomed and integrated into the community, but with an unemployment rate of around 85%, everyone here leads a very simple - but modern - life. You will definitely learn during your stay how to be content with few resources and will admire the generosity and commitment of the local people.

Possible Internship Facilities

Depending on your interests, you can choose your area of work. A combination is also recommended (e.g. 2 institutions 2-3 days/week each) to get to know more about life in Touwsrivier.

The internships are not paid, but you can apply for scholarships (see below).

Children sitting at  tables and eating © L Hope​/​private

ABC Educare (daycare/preschool)

This "creche" provides full-day care for around 40-50 children between the ages of 1.5 and 5. The children receive two hot meals per day and learn the basics in Afrikaans and English to enable them to make the transition to school later on. Every week, a new theme is worked on (e.g. "Beach and Water" or "Farm Animals"), and you are welcome to get involved and be creative, both with lesson plans and playing indoors and outdoors. The small team here is very committed and welcoming.

Assignment: Full-time or part-time in combination with another facility

Special Needs School

Further information will be available soon.

Man preparing plates with food for children waiting © L Hope​/​private

Steenvliet Soup Kitchen

In this soup kitchen, around 80-120 children and young people (between the ages of 2 and 18) receive a warm meal after school (approx. 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm). The kitchen team always tries to offer activities for the children before the food is served and taken home. Drawing, dancing, sports, handicrafts: There are no limits to your creativity here!

Assignment: Only part-time in combination with another facility

Touwsrivier and Steenvliet Primary Schools

The two elementary school in the town teach up to grade 6. The language of instruction is Afrikaans, but it is possible to get involved in English in various subjects and age groups. In particular, participation in the Maths and Science Club or in the subjects of Mathematics and Science would be desirable.

Assignment: Currently only part-time in combination with another institution. A full-time internship may be arranged on request.

School building with garden in the courtyard © L Hope​/​private
Seminar building in a mountain landscape © L Hope​/​private

Lettas Kraal Training Centre - Tutor

Lettas Kraal is a private nature reserve about 30-40 minutes from Touwsrivier. At the Training Centre, young adults from Touwsrivier are trained as nature guides free of charge. Together with e.g. the Endangered Wildlife Trust, practical and theoretical seminars are offered on various topics, such as plant conservation, biology and animal welfare, astronomy, etc. Research on protected animal and plant species is also carried out some on site. After completing the one-year certificate program, participants are able to apply for jobs in the field of nature conservation or tourism. As a tutor you can support the work here either through your expertise in the natural and environmental sciences or through didactic approaches. Especially at the beginning on the program the students need help with using a computer and simple applications like Zoom.

Assignment: Depending on the time of year in full-time or part-time in combination with another institution

Organizational matters

This stay is best suited to independent students who are not afraid of challenges. We prefer to send several interns at the same time, which makes logistics easier and reduces accommodation costs.

Learn some basic Afrikaans beforehand! This is the main language in this region. Even if everyone can easily communicate with you in English, it is advantageous to know a little Afrikaans. A few phrases in Afrikaans are particularly helpful when working with small children.

There are no costs for arranging the internship via the International Office. We ask only that you bring a small gift for the host institution (such as puzzles, other items to be used there). You only have to pay for your travel, accommodation and meals.


There are various options for accommodation, depending on your interests, your budget and the period of time. It may be possible to find host families directly in the city. (costs vary)

The private and secure nature reserve Lettas Kraal is currently generously allowing interns to stay in a guest cottage for free. (2 people per bedroom) Lettas Kraal is 40 minutes from Touwsrivier, but the drive to town is on a beautiful and flat gravel road, so commuting is pleasant. You will live in the middle of olive groves and mountains that are perfect for hiking.


You will definitely need a car. We suggest renting a car at the Cape Town airport. If you are not already planning on doing this stay abroad with a group of friends, we may have other students going there at the same time as you, and you can rent the car togather and share the cost. 


There are a few small stores in town with basic groceries and household items. For larger purchases, drive 50 minutes through the vineyards to Worcester where there is a shopping center with stores for all needs.

You can apply for the PROMOS scholarship for internships lasting at least one month. You may find other programs on the scholarship website that could be suitable for your stay (e.g. Lehramt.International from the DAAD).

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis but should be submitted 4 months before the desired start date if possible. Please also note the application deadlines for scholarships, and apply as early as possible.

Send the following documents (preferably in one PDF) to Laura Hope in the International Office:

  • Letter of motivation (in English)
    Please elaborate on the areas in which you would like to work . Tell us where you would most like to get involved and why/what previous experience you have or what projects/activities you would like to do there.
  • Resume/CV (in English)
  • Study certificate
  • Transcripts of records (from BOSS, Studienbuch, etc.)
  • If available: Language certificate(s)
    B2 English language skills are required


E-mail Inquiries

General inquiries: going-abroad
Erasmus+ study abroad: erasmus-outgoings

Office Hours

(Only) Erasmus+ Study Abroad:

Office hours via telephone/zoom Hella Koschinski: by prior arrangement
Tel.: 0231 755-6247

Office hours in presence: only with appointment
Tue 9:00-12:00

General Inquiries - Outgoings (Studies/Internships/Short Programs):

Office hours via telephone / Skype (laura-hope) / Zoom (please send a link when you are online):  without appointment, open
Mon-Tue 10:00-11:30 & 13:30-15:00 (No Advising 27.5.-3.6.)
Tel.: 0231 755-4728      

Office hours in presence:  only with appointment
New appointments will be released 14 days in advance. If no appointments are shown as available, this means that all appointments for this time period are already booked.