APEX Foundation

Work and Travel South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa panorama

Cape Town panorama

Duration: Up to 12 months
Year round
Program Start:
Program Fee: $955
Age: 18 through 25
Student Status: Required, or up to 6 months after graduation
Participants from: All nationalities
When to apply:
Min 4 months before start


In the past few years South Africa has become a hot destination for all travelers and in particular for the adventurous youth and student traveler.

The majority of applicants find work in the hospitality industry, either working in one of the many vibrant bars, restaurants and nightclubs in Cape Town, or within the lively backpacking industry. There is no better way to travel and work your way around South Africa than on this programme.

Long Street in Cape Town in South Africa at night

Long Street in Cape Town

Student working as a bartender in Cape Town, South Africa

Bartender in Cape Town

Images from "This is Africa" FIFA concert

This is Africa!

You can sample the real everyday South Africa whilst meeting the locals and earning money at the same time. The choice of location is totally up to you – from the casual beach life of Cape Town to the hustle and bustle of the busy Johannesburg or the laid back surfer city of Durban. It’s also an opportunity for young people to add a line to their resumes, to be totally independent, make new friends and visit some incredible places such as the Kruger Park, Table Mountain, Robben Island and vibrant townships. Watch a part of the World Football Championship 2010 “This is Africa” concert.

How it works

Benefits of the program:

  • The program is a non-placement program, allowing students the freedom to find their own jobs
  • Working in restaurants and bars, offices, hostels, and outdoor activity work
  • The program runs all year around
  • Visa are valid for 12 months, thus giving enough time to work and travel around South Africa
  • Visiting some of the wonderful sights, from bustling cities and townships to exciting game parks and mountain ranges


  • Year round, any Saturday or Sunday

What comes after arrival?

  • After a successful Visa application the student can travel to South Africa and look for a job
  • The work placement officer meets with you and distributes useful information for finding paid work

Your accommodation:

  • Assistance in finding long-term accommodation from hostels to furnished apartments will be provided.


  • All participants are required to provide details of the cover to the program sponsor in writing before departure.
  • You can use insurance arranged by the program sponsor, or you can arrange your own.
  • Details of the sponsor-arranged insurance are available upon request.
  • APEX Foundation is not involved in arranging the insurance in any way and can not offer any kind of support regarding insurance whatsoever.


Age: 18 – 25
Student status: Full-time students or up to 6 months graduated
Experience: Not required
Required languages: English
Required level: Intermediate (or Elementary + language course)*
Nationality: Nationals of all countries are eligible
Type of visa: Exchange Permit

*You must be able to understand English in everyday situations, in this case you can go straight into the program. If your English level is lower we recommend to attend a language course in Cape Town before the beginning of the volunteer program.


  • All fees are subject to change without notice.
  • All bank transfer fees are always born by the participant.

Application Processing Fee: $50 (non-refundable)
Payable with your application, includes:

  • Processing your program application
  • Processing your payments for the program sponsor
  • Transferring materials and communication between you and your program sponsor
  • Responding to your email questions until your departure for South Africa
  • Check APEX Foundation Terms & Conditions for more details

Program Fee: $955
Payable after you are accepted, includes:

  • Documents required for visa purposes
  • Information package
  • South African SIM card
  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • Assistance in finding long-term accommodation
  • Assistance in long-term car hire if required
  • 24 hour emergency number
  • A GHS discount student card
  • Participation in the GHS Social Club (fees apply)

Note: To avoid any confusion, the Program Fee does not include:

  • International airfare and airport taxes
  • Airport transfer on departure
  • Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Visa fee (if required)
  • Excursions

Accommodation Placement Fee: $60

  • Non-refundable booking fee

Accommodation per week: $186

  • Self-catering
  • Double room
  • Ask for other accommodation options

Note: You are free to arrange your own accommodation, such as inexpensive room-share with your friends or other students. Great if you are planning to come for a longer time. A sensible strategy is to pay for the sponsor-arranged accommodation for the first few weeks and find your own during this period.

Miscellaneous fees:
Not everybody pays them:

  • Alteration of booking: $70
  • Administration Fee if extending the accommodation provided by the program sponsor: $35
Cancellations & Refunds
  • Once all visa documents have been sent: Cancellation Fee is 80% of the Program Fee
  • Visa denial: Cancellation Fee is 20% of the Program Fee
  • Cancellation by participant after the start of the program: No refund
  • Cancellation because of non-arrival of the participant: No refund
  • Cancellation of accommodation provided by the program sponsor 14 days or more before arrival: Administration Fee $80 is charged
  • Cancellation of accommodation provided by the program sponsor 13 days or fewer before arrival: Administration Fee $100 is charged
  • In the event a refund sent according to the applicant’s instructions is returned by a bank or the postal service as undeliverable or unclaimed, $20 administrative fee plus expenses are charged for each subsequent refund attempt.

How to Apply

You need to send the following documents to APEX Foundation (upload scanned copies to let us assure you that they are prepared correctly, before you post the originals):

  • An application form at least 4 months before arrival
  • Signed and completed declaration form
  • $50 Traveler’s check for non-refundable Application Processing Fee
  • A copy of your passport
  • 2 x colour passport size photographs
  • Certificate of University student status in English*
  • Copy of return flight ticket.
  • Travel insurance / medical cover in English*
  • Police clearance certificate – original copy accompanied with certified translation.

* Original copy accompanied by a translation made by a certified translator is acceptable.

You will receive:

  • Letter of Acceptance (LOA) to programme.
  • Letter of Declaration to be signed and returned to APEX Foundation.
  • A Cultural Exchange Programme Confirmation Letter.


26 Responses to “Work and Travel South Africa”
  1. enoch says:

    we are interested in your south african work n travel

  2. Zoltán Fehér says:

    I would like to ask that can i take work and travel possibility if im over 30 years¿?
    My best regards

    • admin says:

      Hello Zoltan, unfortunately these are the visa conditions, they can’t be changed or overcome. If you are still a student, you could try to Work & Travel USA program, we had a 32 years old Phd. student on it last year. Other than that, you could either volunteer in South Africa, or if you are in zoology or veterinary medicine, you could do an unpaid, yet top quality veterinary internship in one of South African amazing national parks. Finally, you could do a trainee program in the USA, but for that, you’d have to find your own placement, as that’s currently just a visa sponsorship program.

  3. florenc says:

    would like to ask can i work full time in south africa?? i im not student…… i m guy 25year

    • admin says:

      Hi Florenc, we checked with our colleague who actually issues the documents for students. She says that while you’d be the first person ever from an African country to apply for this program, there’s no regulation that prevents you from doing that. So if you want, read the program description above carefully to make sure you understand everything, and if you’d like to apply, just let us know!

  4. Nazar says:

    Hi, I’m really interested in your work and travel program, I’m student from Ukraine. Can I participate in your program?

  5. Tobi says:

    I’m Interested In This Program and I have a summer holiday that spans from May Till September is it still possible to join and get all necessary documents.? I’m really interested. Please Reply

    • admin says:

      Hello Tobi, thank you for your comment. Just to make sure – you do understand that this is not a placement program, right? I.e. that you have to find your job yourself. If you do and you meet the requirements (see the “Eligibility” tab above), we’ll be happy to help you apply!

  6. Blaire says:

    I am very interested in this program. I understand that it is not a placement program, but that you do offer assistance in finding jobs. Do you also assist in finding jobs in education? Specifically teaching.

    Also, does the 6 month post-graduate state refer to when the application is dated or for when the program would start? I graduated in dec 2011 and am looking to start in Sept/Oct 2012.

    • admin says:

      Hello Blaire, the “placement officer’s” job is to place people in unpaid internships in their career fields. So she will not be helping you to find a job. The service that this program offers is sponsoring you in accordance with the government regulations, i.e. making you legal – to find yourself a job. You can obviously consult with her as to where to look, but that’s about it. However, most people have already a few potential jobs pre-arranged, or at least researched before they arrive. You may start from links such as these to get a better idea where to look: http://www.jobs.co.za/ http://www.bestjobs.co.za/ http://www.jobmail.co.za/ http://www.careerjunction.co.za/ http://www.mywage.co.za/ As for the timing, it must be less than 6 months when you apply for the visa. So the time is getting a bit tight. Let us know if you’d like to apply!

  7. Ramesh sutaria says:

    Hello, I am interested in this program. I am 27 yr guy from India and full time working in travel industry, have 5 years experience. I am presently doing distance education in tourism. Can I apply for this program?

    • Misa says:

      Hi Ramesh, unfortunately no, you have to be between 18 and 25. Please check the Eligibility tab in the program description.

  8. Lisa says:

    Hi, I’m a Jamaican student just finishing up my first degree @UWI. Is it too late to apply for the upcoming year?

  9. anand bhavsar says:

    what is the step by step method of south african visiter visa

    • admin says:

      Hello Anand, you need to contact your nearest embassy of South Africa and ask there. Procedures are different in different countries.

  10. ya says:

    Hi, I’m really interested with this program. I’m almost 25 but my boyfriend is 26 already so what should he do? or any kind of visa he can hold? Can you email me about the detail how to live there and stuff i need to know also cost living there. I just graduated and would like to get such an experience. Thx

    • admin says:

      Hello Ya, thank you for your comment. We’ll be in touch over email because we need more information about you and your boyfriend to be able to give a clear answer and your personal information doens’t belong in a public space like this.

  11. Liesl says:

    I am from Cape town and would love to work and travel in other parts of Africa

    • admin says:

      Hi Liesl, this is a visa program for foreign nationals. If you are a citizen of South Africa, you don’t need this program.

  12. Thomas says:

    I am a 19 years old from United states, not in school at the moment but interested in a program like this. Do you need to be currently enrolled in school to get into this program?

  13. Fan Shilong(Bob) says:

    Hi Misa
    Since Summer W&T USA may not be available for me, I’m thinking of applying for W&T South Africa. Hope you can offer me some instructions on it.

    Looking forward to your reply
    Have a nice day

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APEX Foundation