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South African Students Travel Service (SASTS)


SASTS is a not-for-profit (section 21) student and youth travel organisation dedicated to providing high quality, affordable international educational and work exchange programmes to students and young people.

SASTS has played an integral role in facilitating student and youth travel for almost 40 years and is well equipped to help students realise their travel dreams. Working with reputable and internationally recognised partners and being members of international associations such as the Federation of Experiment in International Living (FEIL) and the World Youth Student and Travel Confederation (WYSTEC), SASTS programmes are run in accordance with guidelines put in place by these international organisations.


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Yes, I recommend this program

I had a little bit of a different experience in that I decided to do this after my study abroad program. I was already used to the area and felt very safe where I was. With that being said, I moved in with a host family and really became a part of the township culture. It was a great experience after driving by there for months while I was attending the university down the street. The area is a short walk from the college scene and you are literally right on top of a railroad that leads into Cape Town. While I wouldn't stay in the township at night, there were enough things close by. As long as you practice safety precautions while out and about and are respectful it's a very safe place to be! The kids you work with are amazing and you'll gain a new perspective quickly from working with them. They come from very little but have a light in their eyes like you couldn't believe. The teachers are awesome as well and passionate about what they're doing.

Yes, I recommend this program

From the beginning to the end of my trip, I enjoyed my life in Cape Town as much as possible. The organization, the staff, the other people- everyone made my time so incredibly wonderful!

To start with, I got picked up by the "host dad" at the airport. Then we went to my home for the next three months: a big house with a lot of room, a nice kitchen, garden and a big living room. I shared my room with 5 other girls that came from all over the world. I quickly felt really comfortable and everyone was so nice to me. In the next weeks, we had so much fun together. We went to the beach, to our workplaces, the city or just having a drink at our favorite bar in town. Our house had one of the best and safest locations in Cape Town, so I always felt really safe.

Every Monday until Friday I worked in a creche. I was supposed to sing, dance and play with the children which were between two and four years old. Not only the children were unbelievable nice, but also the teacher have been friendly at all. They were very interested in my German culture and how I am feeling.
Although the kids have been veeeeeery energetic, I always had so much fun and couldn't stop smiling. Sometimes, I just thought what these kids make them so different from the German kids. Well, I quickly recognized that the little Africans do not ask for mobile phones, tablets or other electronically stuff to play with. No, these children asked me to put a doll with a blanket on the bag so that they can "cook" lunch for me...

Always when I came home from work (that was around 12 o'clock a.m ;-) ) I was asked how my day has been so far and how I am feeling. That was great. In addition, I was able to have some "specials" on my trip to South Africa. Once I did a gigant skydive. Furthermore I joined several (cheap) trips around Cape Town and see the most beautiful beaches I had ever seen!

I would really commend everyone not just to work. But also life your live there. Enjoy every moment as much as you can. Be a "yes- sayer".

All in all, this was one of my most wonderful trips in my life and I would definitely go there again. SASTS - thanks so much for your support!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would change is that I should be cooked in the house itself. We got food in a small cafe/restaurant, and that was not that good.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I just came back home from one of the most enjoyable months of my life, from Cape Town, South Africa.

I volunteered with SASTS after a recommendation from a friend last August for about a month. I was placed in the township of Kayamandi with a gracious host family and put into a school where I got to teach some of the coolest kids ever. I lived an adventure volunteering as I connected with my learners in grade 6, and even took some of them out to experience Cape Town. I was able to teach English grammar, mathematics, and computer literacy. I even tried my hand at a TON of excursions offered like sky diving, hiking Table Mountain, safaris, shark cage diving, bungee jumping, surfing...geez what else?? Besides the learners I connected with that came to my home stay everyday after school, I met some pretty cool volunteers from all around the world that I hung out with on my free time. Yes I did a lot, and SASTS didn't mind that I would take some time off to go and experience all the amazing things South Africa had to offer.

The whole time I kept in touch with Clyde, the head of the organization, and let him know of my adventures and he would contact me to check up. I was in good hands the whole time. A friend recommended this to me and now I am recommending it to people as well. If you volunteer here, go out and make the best of it because South Africa has so much to offer. I guarantee a very, very good time.

What would you improve about this program?
To be honest, everything went very smooth. The entire staff I met was very friendly.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I arrived in South Africa with a mind full of thoughts. How would my family be? How would I get along with the children, the teachers and my tasks??
I am from Germany. That means: Two completely different cultures had to live and work together, hand in hand.
I was told a lot of security stuff by my organization especially concerning night time and the care of health. Too much, if I am honest...
Unfortunately I only spent five weeks in SA but it was the time of my life in the end.
I loved everything beginning with the children, my host family, the whole mentality, the food and the people.
Everyday was special in its own way and this was just magic.
I learned a lot about life and the things you need and which are nice to have but unnecessary to survive...
The children are full of love and next to a simple pencil they mostly just needed a hug and nothing more.
The african lifestyle is easy, sometimes too easy when you are told to be picked up at 2 p.m. and no one arrives till 3.30 p.m..
So this is one point that could be improved for forthcoming volunteers.
So if you love working with children and if you are prepared to give a lot of your personality to someone who gives it back twice to you than participate in this program and I promise you'll definitely have the time and experience of your life.

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Yes, I recommend this program

My name is Memory Manyimo,come from Zimbabwe and i was the first Zimbabwean ever to volunteer with SASTS.My placement was at a preschool and it was eight weeks long.
The overall experience was very rewarding and enjoyed every bit of it.Cape Town is a beautiful city and during the weekends i had plenty of time to sight-see and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The preschool i was placed had a mixed group of both middle and lower class to the children were bit of a challenge as i had to learn each one's individual needs but i enjoyed playing and teaching them.Am sure i made a difference in their lives.
My host family were such lovely people who made me feel at home, Charlene the host mum was a very good cook and i looked forward to her every meal ,she was always full of surprises.i do not mind going back to volunteer again in a different country though to explore and travel other places. The SASTS staff did support me during my whole stay except noone came to pick me up on the last day, the host family had to cater for that expense.
The experience changed me in a very positive way, i realised my passion for working with children and right now am in the process of opening my own preschool. The neighborhood i stayed was not a very safe place , this one time the host mum's car which was parked outside was stolen when we where wide awake sitting in the lounge. Shooting happened during the day and innocent people where caught up in the gang fights.
The program costs were not appropriate for what was offered as i still had to pay money for accommodation at the volunteer house and had to cater for my own meals.I would have appreciated it better if i was told beforehand that the money i was paying was for Monday to Friday, i would have come prepared financially.The local community were nice people and staying with a host family was also great, as i got to live with 3 more volunteers from different countries. I brought a sleeping bag in the hope of going out camping but did not manage.Socially i had fun with other volunteers and visited most of the 'must see ' places of Cape town. One event i attended that i enjoyed immensely was the Cape Town Carnival festival. i would without regrets recommend this program to a friend.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Memory Manyimo

Memory Manyimo, 25-years-old, is from Gweru, Zimbabwe. She works as the Operations Director at the Celeste Early Learning Center.

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I decided to volunteer because I love traveling and sightseeing and I believe I have the capabilities to make a difference for people in need.

Morning: My day to day activities as a volunteer were fun. I woke up to a ready made breakfast and packed lunch. I was attached to a Tinytubbies Day Center which consisted of a nursery for children of ages 0 - 2 and a preschool for ages 3-6. I was placed at the preschool for the older children. In the morning from the host house, I walked 15 minutes to the nursery where later on we where transported to the preschool.

Work started as soon as I got to school, I helped in unpacking of lunchboxes, labeling them and checking of report books for each child. I assisted in teaching and maintaining order in the classroom. We had a snack break at 10:30am where we served the children with fruit and afterwards the had outdoor activities for 15 minutes.

Afternoon and Evening: Lunchtime was served at 12pm and I assisted in feeding and putting them down for a nap. We took turns watching the kids and having lunch. After lunch I was dismissed at went back home to rest. Supper was served at 18:30hrs and it was always a delight. Supper was served at 18:30hrs and it was always a delight.

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Weekends and Highlights: During the weekends I used to go to Cape Town by train which was a fun-filled journey, yet scary at times to be in a new place. We would explore and sight see the magnificent Mother City. This trip allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and embark on a journey to the unknown not knowing what to expect and where you wold be staying. I got to meet people from all over the world with different cultures and beliefs and yet still managed to make friends. The beautiful city took my breath away and it was the best trip ever in my life there was never a dull moment. My volunteer experience also had a great impact on my career, it made me realize my passion for children and right now am still in the process of setting up my own preschool.