Deputy Operation Coordinator Internship in South Africa or Costa Rica


Build project management and leadership skills as you act as a role model for young volunteers on a transformative expedition

This is a unique program with exciting benefits and broad transferable skill-building. You’ll accompany a team of young people on a service-based expedition and set the stage for their personal development.

You’ll join an organization that arranges volunteer expeditions to exotic locations where young people can build life skills, confidence, and global awareness. These expeditions focus on volunteer projects for sustainability and community development causes and are designed to inspire and empower young people to become global citizens and leaders.

Your role will be to oversee the expedition to ensure both the successful completion of the projects and that volunteers have the optimal opportunity to learn and grow. You’ll support and collaborate with a team of Venturer Managers to provide general guidance, arrange training sessions (for both volunteers and venture managers), and advise in the case of safety incidents.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop strong leadership and project management skills
  • International incident management, adventure tourism, and youth development experience
  • Strong development as a team player collaborating with international staff
  • Work alongside our operations staff to develop Expedition operations, administrative, and logistics experience
  • Support young people to develop core skills on the adventure of a lifetime
  • Gain insight into sustainable community development


This organization is a global powerhouse in the world of volunteer work. Active since 1978, the mission of this organization has always been to support young people to make change, both on their projects and within themselves. They arrange service-focused expeditions that provide their volunteers with opportunities for transformative personal growth. These expeditions equip volunteers with vital life skills, broaden their perspectives, and give them the confidence to become global citizens and leaders.

A crucial part of these expeditions is ensuring that all volunteer activities are done in an ethical, responsible, and sustainable way. The organization collaborates closely with local sustainable development initiatives to find sustainable solutions to issues of poverty, low education levels, food insecurity, and unemployment that volunteers can contribute towards.


Your role as an intern will involve you in all aspects of managing expeditions. From planning training programs to responding to safety and security incidents to logistical support, you’ll do it all. The ideal candidate will have already worked with the organization as Venturer Manager, or have relevant experience in a similar Adventure Leader role.


  • Deliver 121 sessions with all Venturer Managers aimed at personal development 
  • Support PCs to manage behavioral concerns and support management of code of conduct breaches or performance issues  
  • Support Expedition Medical Leads & Wellbeing Coordinators with management of first aid kits, and mental and physical health advice where required.
  • Ensure activities are conducted in line with relevant risk assessments code of conduct, and safety guidance and escalate accordingly 
  • Act as a link between the out-of-country office and project teams, providing support where required  
  • Plan & deliver quality training sessions tailored to individual learning styles and needs 
  • Provide support to project teams in managing day-to-day and more serious incidents in line with the incident management guidelines


  • Previous experience with Raleigh International at Venturer Manager level or above, or able to demonstrate relevant experience and transferable skills from other previous roles  
  • Intermediate or above English language skills, verbal and written  
  • Strong time management and organizational skills  
  • Understanding of sustainable development issues and responsibility in regard to cultural respect
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to provide advice, support, and mentoring to others
  • An understanding of safeguarding issues, mental health issues, and being comfortable in supporting others  
  • Ability to respond to emergencies in a calm, methodical manner, in accordance with organizational response plans
  • Willingness to be flexible and adapt to the needs of the program, including working long and irregular hours, with variable days off, and moving between proactive and reactive working styles to meet the needs of the program


During this internship, you’ll be joining volunteers on their expeditions. You will choose whether you travel to South Africa or Costa Rica where you’ll spend the majority of your time at the organization’s field base. These field bases are compounds with housing and a workspace for office-based members of the team that also serve as the start and end point of expeditions.

Situated either just outside of Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa or within view of Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica, you’ll stay in shared rooms or dormitories with shared communal areas. You’re sure to make close friends with the other members of your expedition team!

Safety & Support

Safety & Support

This organization has established support systems for all their expeditions, so interns can feel safe and secure. Interns will also be part of this safety and support system. As part of your internship, you will be first-aid trained and will take responsibility for the health and well-being of your volunteer group.



The field base in either country has Wifi available, although their remote locations mean connection can be limited.



All meals will be provided for you throughout your internship and cooked by yourself and volunteers on rotation. In Costa Rica, expect to eat many rice and bean dishes, while in South Africa you’ll have plenty of maize meal and chakalaka. You and your team of Venture Managers will also be given a small food budget for extra fruits and snacks.

Location details

Location details

You’ll choose between two of the most exciting internship destinations in the world: Costa Rica or South Africa.

Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with untamed natural landscapes featuring rainforests, volcanoes, and stunning coastlines. You’ll be based in Turrialba on a remote farm, surrounded by mountainscapes and deep forests.

South Africa is a land of rich cultural diversity, important history, and all of Africa’s most iconic wildlife. Based just out of Great Kruger National Park, you’ll see the best of African Bush and an impressive cast of wildlife.


Fee Breakdown

Internship programs have fixed start and end dates which can be found below.

What you’ll pay (2024 rates)

5th June – 31st Aug 2024 (13 weeks) USD 200 SPECIAL OFFER

18th Sept – 15th Dec 2024 (13 weeks) USD 3,200


  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • An academic internship eligible for university credit. Check with your university to confirm if this internship qualifies for credit or alternatively we can assist you with purchasing transfer credits.
  • Accommodation in a dorm/shared room
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Daily meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • All project transport
  • Project training and equipment
  • Raleigh t-shirt
  • Exclusive travel kit discounts & advice
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement and other preparations
  • An orientation program with your supervisor
  • On-site supervision and support during your stay
  • Regular check-ins during your internship with your supervisor
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship


  • Flights to Hoedspruit, South Africa or San José, Costa Rica
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Outdoor travel kit (details provided upon application)
  • Drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities


Some of our most commonly asked questions for programs in South Africa.

What can I expect from a NGO internship in South Africa?

During your internship in South Africa you can expect to meet people from around the world, as well as indulging yourself into the culture of this beautiful country! If you want to know more about what to expect, make sure to check out our top 7 reasons for an internship in Cape Town.

Will I have time to explore South Africa during my internship?

Yes! We partner with various activity organizers that can offer discounts exclusive to Roots Interns, for example, a road trip through the Garden Route and bungee jumping off the world’s largest natural bungee. You may also explore the country on your own and we are happy to give recommendations.

Am I able to do an internship while on a study program in Cape Town?

Yes! You are able to do a part-time internship with certain organizations so that you can continue your studies, while also gaining valuable work experience.

Will I receive a stipend of any kind during my internship with Roots?

Unfortunately, no. When working with a nonprofit organization, your internship will be unpaid, but there are many ways to fund your internship. Your experience will bring a wealth of knowledge and opportunities for both professional and personal growth that are invaluable!


LOCATION: Costa Rica or South Africa
PROGRAM FOCUS: Volunteer Organization
TASK FOCUS: Project Management, Facilitator, Mentoring
LENGTH: Min. 13 weeks
COST: From USD 200


  • Gain international experience working for a meaningful cause
  • Build practical skills in project management and youth development
  • Develop extensive insight into sustainable development and volunteer coordination
  • Make an impact for young volunteers and the communities they serve
  • Join thrilling expeditions to an incredible destination


If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us.



We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


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