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Study & Work SA – Program Outline

In the past few years South Africa has become a popular destination for all travellers, in particular adventurous youth and student travellers.

In order to protect its own people from foreign competition, South Africa does not allow any foreign students to do paid work in South Africa. The only exception is a cultural exchange programme which we offer in association with our partner organisation, SASTS Working Adventures.

The International House’s (IH) ‘Study & Work SA’ programmes provide young people with the opportunity to stay in a supportive and friendly environment when first arriving in Cape Town. This allows them to become comfortable with the language and culture before transferring to a project or workplace. There are several types of work for which our students with a cultural exchange visa would be eligible.

Eligibility for a Cultural Exchange Visa
  • Open to full-time tertiary level students or recent (6 months) graduates.
  • Age range restricted to 18-25 years old.
  • Must have sufficient funds for 2 months living expenses (post study).
  • Applicants must accept the conditions of the non-placed work programmes.
Cultural Exchange Visa Requirements

The length of the Visa is 12 months and would be issued in accordance with flight details i.e. from date of arrival in South Africa.

However, issuances can differ from Country to Country, and sending organisations may need to contact their Consulates for further information on visa restrictions.

It must be applied for at least 3 months prior to the intended dates of travel and applicants will have to provide the following as a minimum:

  • Proof of student status
  • Copy of CV/resume
  • Copy of valid travel insurance
  • Validated copy of passport (valid for 13 months after arrival date)
  • Police clearance
  • Copy of medical certificate
  • There is no better way to study, travel and work around South Africa than on the IH ‘Study & Work SA’ programme.

One can sample the real everyday South Africa whilst meeting the locals and, in some cases, earn money to cover personal expenses at the same time.

It’s a great opportunity for young people to add a line to their resumes, to be totally independent, make new friends and visit some incredible places.

Study & Work English Language Course Details

Start off your travels by joining us at IH Cape Town for 4 weeks of Standard English [or longer], while seeking for paid employment opportunities in South Africa. You can extend your stay should you wish, although these 4 weeks will provide you with the perfect opportunity to interact with other students, explore the city of Cape Town and its surrounds while actively looking for employment.

Accommodation is only provided to each student for the duration of their language course. The type of work and the choice of your work location are totally up to the applicant. While IH Cape Town will assist wherever possible to ensure the successful employment of each applicant, the responsibility resides with each applicant to secure favourable employment.

Non-Placed Paid Work Details

  • Hospitality / Tourism / Call Centre Industry / Advertising & Marketing / General Business
  • This programme is ‘Non –placed’ i.e. it is the applicant’s responsibility to find employment
  • Programme Includes: Cultural Exchange Visa- Valid for 1 year
  • 4 weeks Standard English course

Study and Internship English Language Course Details

Upon arrival in South Africa, you will join IH Cape Town for 4 weeks of Standard English before you commence your 8 -12 week internship. Should you wish to extend the duration of either your language course or internship period, this is possible although at an additional cost.

The initial 4-week language course at IH Cape Town allows you the perfect opportunity to interact with other students and to explore the city of Cape Town and its surrounds.

A wide range of positions are available in Volunteer projects, private game reserves, safari lodges, coastal resorts, tourism businesses and boutique hotels. Most tourism establishments are in scenic locations and will provide the intern with a first-hand experience of the natural beauty of South Africa.

Unpaid Internships:

  • Hospitality / Tourism / Call Centre Industry / Advertising & Marketing / General Business
  • Wildlife/Humanitarian/Sports and Youth Development
  • This programme is Unpaid
  • Programme Includes: Cultural Exchange Visa- Valid for 1 year
  • 4 weeks Standard English course


Счастливые студенты

“I would like to thank IH Cape Town for the beautiful time. I had the possibility to get to know amazing people from different countries of the world.”

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Marie Ritter


"I am able to say that I'm a better person because of Ih Cape Town. Ih Cape Town offered me the opportunity to meet new people; to be more open-minded and I am really thankful for it."

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Elizabeth Djanie Badjoko-Wa-Lileko


“Ih Cape Town is an amazing English school. It’s location in Sea Point makes it a safe place, with a safe surrounding. Teachers are awesome. Each teacher has unique qualities and is very loveable. I don’t regret any second I spent here. I truly fell in love with the school and with Cape Town.”

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Salmah Hani. Sait

Saudi Arabia

"I really improved my conversation and my English level. I met a lot of new friends. I am delighted about the school and the teachers."

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Carlos Climent


"Ih is an amazing school. The teachers do their best to make sure that we students learn the language in a way that we won’t forget. Besides the teachers, the staff is like a family, takes care of us very well."

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Milena Silva


“I had the best moment of my life in IH Cape Town. I’m going to miss you guys.”

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Lucia Elisa Benza Tito


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