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Volunteering, gap year and career break in Australia

Teach English in Perth in Western Australia to refugee children in schools with Intensive English Centres (IEC).

The IEC was established to give refugee children, who have just arrived in Australia through the United Nations Refugee programme, the opportunity to learn English and adapt to the Australian education system before going into mainstream school education.


Start Dates All year round, subject to school holidays - you choose your start and finish dates. Programs begin every Thursday, therefore you should plan to arrive in Perth on a Thursday. Inductions take place on the next day, Friday, you then have the weekend free to explore Perth, ready to start working at the Project on Monday.
Duration From 4 weeks to 6 months, subject to visa requirements
Requirements Minimum age 18, no qualifications necessary (just a good dose of enthusiasm). If you're teaching English, you must be fluent in English.
What's included
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Payment Protection Insurance
  • Accommodation
  • local in-country team support and backup
  • 24-hr emergency support.
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Cost of Visas (if a visa is required)
  • Airport pickup and return (but we can arrange this for you)
  • Food
  • Daily transport to and from your project
Who can do this Project? All projects are open to all nationalities.


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You'll work closely with the children in small groups, as an assistant teacher, to help them as much as possible. You'll also have the opportunity to work one-to-one with the children to really give them the attention they need. Many of the children's English is very poor, so this is where you can make a real difference.

Class sizes vary between 10 and 15 children in each IEC class and you will be teaching children between the ages of 4 and 12. The lessons you'll teach generally last for 40 minutes and the school day runs from around 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Your working day will be around 4 to 5 hours of teaching and preparing for your lessons.

The schools employ a number of teachers to work in the IEC Centre who speak the children's native language and this helps tremendously when the children start to learn English.

As well as teaching English, you'll be able to get involved in a number of other subjects within the IEC Centre, such as:

  • Sports
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Maths
  • Art
  • ... and possibly other academic subjects.

This project runs during the school terms. The school terms are as follows:


  • Term 1 Monday 1 February - Thursday 8 April
  • Term 2 Monday 26 April - Friday 1 July
  • Term 3 Monday 18 July - Friday 23 September
  • Term 4 Monday 10 October - Thursday 15 December


  • Term 1 Wednesday 1 February - Friday 7 April
  • Term 2 Monday 24 April - Friday 30 June
  • Term 3 Monday 17 July - Friday 22 September
  • Term 4 Monday 9 October - Thursday 14 December


  • Term 1 Wednesday 31 January - Friday 13 April
  • Term 2 Monday 30 April - Friday 29 June
  • Term 3 Monday 16 July - Friday 21 September
  • Term 4 Monday 8 October - Thursday 13 December

PLEASE NOTE: If you choose to undertake Teaching at the primary schools in Perth during Term 4 (Oct- Dec) your project may be disrupted for 2 weeks due to school swimming lessons.

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Your accommodation is a lovely Hostel located in the CBD (Central Business District) of Perth - very central, close to the main train station and shopping district. The Hostel is friendly and relaxing, making it ideal for long term stays.

You'll most likely have your own room, but will share a bathroom with others on your floor. There is an excellent kitchen and storage area for cooking meals and plenty of space to relax.

Entertainment at the Lodge currently includes a pool table, cheap internet access, arcade machines and cable TV (Foxtel), to name a few, but with all the sunshine Perth has, you’ll be out and about enjoying the many outdoor activities!

You are literally a stroll from the Swan River and free CBD transport. Trains and buses are also only a few minutes away to take you to Fremantle, King’s Park or to the many other things to do in the region!

The city centre boasts great shopping, restaurants and pubs, or you can head over to Northbridge for more pubs, nightclubs and multicultural cuisine.

You'll get to work via bus, which stops outside your accommodation.


Not included but that we recommend a weekly budget of AUD$70 - $100

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Accommodation in Perth while volunteering


You will fly into Perth airport (Perth is the capital city of Western Australia). The following day you'll be given an Induction and Orientation.

A little about Perth:

Perth was built on the banks of the magnificent Swan River over 150 years ago and is now a city rich in culture and filled with theatres, art galleries and museums. The city is modern and vibrant - a fun, friendly and 'laid back' place, with clear skies and a sunny climate.

Western Australia is locally known as the 'state of excitement!' Some of its more famous attractions include Kings Park, Scarborough Beach, Fremantle and the Swan River. Fremantle (or as the local’s call it, ‘Freo’) is the city’s port and is rich in history.

At weekends there are lots of markets, alfresco style cafes and other outdoor types of entertainment to explore and discover.

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About Australia and Perth