WorldTeach South Africa was incredible! Before departure, the WorldTeach office was great about answering any questions I had.
In country, the program coordinator is fantastic! You learn a great deal about the South African education system and about the townships where you are working.
Volunteers usually work in two different townships near Cape Town, helping with holiday programs (tutoring, mentoring, etc) in a primarily Xhosa township during the schools' winter break, and in a 'coloured' township once school resumes.
Overall I felt safe throughout the trip. In general, I felt comfortable walking around both townships, and WTSA is great about safety. The trip coordinator will warn you of any areas that may be dangerous.
Both my school experience and my experience with the holiday programs were very positive. The students are wonderful and the administration and teachers at the school were very welcoming.
You typically live within walking distance of other volunteers, and in general, you see most of the other volunteers and the program coordinator every day. This is great, because it allows the whole group to become very close.
This was my first time outside the US, but it was a pretty easy transition, especially because we were in such close contact with the other volunteers and the coordinator.
Certain aspects of living in South Africa take some getting used to. 'Africa time' can be frustrating at first, and planning and scheduling are less common than in the U.S. Once you accept this as part of the experience, though, you can feel like you are really being immersed in South African culture.
On the whole, I would absolutely recommend WorldTeach South Africa! My time in South Africa was one of the most exciting, inspiring, and eye-opening experiences of my life!