Conversational English Volunteer

Sila Vocational College - Arusha, Tanzania
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-708 Location: Arusha, Tanzania Sector: Education Category: Employment Skills Training Min Duration: 2 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Basic
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Volunteer Job Description

Sila Vocational College is in need of English speaking volunteers. English is the commercial language in all of Tanzania and therefore a requirement for employment at most private and public companies.

An Employment Skills Training volunteer at this college, who's native language is English is necessary to ensure the correct pronunciation of English words. The college does employ English teachers, however their native language is not English and they would appreciate help especially in their advanced English classes.

The core courses the college teaches requires the students to pass their English lessons as this is an important aspect to the qualifications necessary for employment in their related fields of learning. Examples would be the college's courses in Hotel Management and Tour Guiding.

An Employment Skills Training volunteer may be asked to assist in the English language lessons of any course taught at the college. They may also be asked to assist the English teachers in their program presentations.

If a volunteer's work period includes the month of December it should be noted that the college has a short holiday of one week and during this holiday volunteers would be free to explore Tanzania or seek other volunteer endeavors.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Teach English

An Employment Skills Training volunteer at this college would be required to teach English in any or all of the courses taught at the institution. They would be expected to have prepared English lessons in agreement with the needs outlined by the employed English teacher at the college.

Organize Debates

An Employment Skills Training volunteer at this placement would be expected to organize debate sessions for the students, in order to practice their English language skills. This exercise also provides the volunteer with an excellent opportunity to learn where the students are having the most difficulty in their English language development and gear their lessons towards correcting this problem.

Prepare Lessons

An Employment Skills Training volunteer would organize lessons to meet the needs of the students according to the students level of knowledge of the English language. The volunteer can use the resources at the school or create their own.

Create Curriculum

An Employment Skills Training volunteer would be expected to assist in developing an English curriculum that would be used in the school to teach the students English. This system would provide the necessary information that would detail the appropriate lessons to be followed by the teachers once the volunteer leaves or another volunteer takes over.

Host Organization Details

Sila Vocational College

Sila Vocational College is a college dedicated to teaching vocational skills to people in the Arusha communities of Tanzania.

Many students after graduating from secondary school can not afford to go on to university and find when seeking employment that they have not been adequately educated to obtain career oriented jobs. Many after searching for employment for a period of time, just give up and become "street kids." Others find, if they are able to get any type of employment, it usually is a low paying job with no chance for future advancement. Thus, many become discouraged; quit their jobs and join the ranks of the unemployed. To address this problem in the Arusha region, Sila Vocational College was established.

Sila Vocational College started with five students and one teacher. They now have four schools in the Arusha communities with enrollment at over one thousand students. This has taken place in a period of only eight years. The need for such specialized schools is in great demand and they are always seeking the funds to expand.

Sila Vocational Training Center has dedicated staff who strive to meet the specialized educational needs for the majority of the youth around the Arusha region. They have managed to implement the following courses at the center:

1) Hotel operations single subject Certificate and diploma courses 2) Full secretarial certificate course 3) English Language courses 4) Spanish Language courses 5) French Language courses 6) Certificate in customer service and communication skills 7) Galileo-GDS (Global distribution system course) 8) Tourism and Tour Guiding certificate and diploma courses 9) Childhood education both certificate and diploma courses

Sila Vocational College now accepts intern students from different colleges and universities who come to do internships with them based on their future careers. This has been a great experience for the vocational training students.

When They Were Founded

The Sila Vocational School was founded in 1995 by Mr Adam Shayo, who is the director of the school. He had a passion to provide skill oriented education to the youth that had graduated high school but did not have the necessary qualifications to obtain employment.

When the school initially opened with five students and one teacher, it taught tourism and hotel management.

How Are They Funded

The Sila Vocational College received its funds from the founder until it was opened and had increased enrollment enough, to pay for its costs through tuition fees. They are continuously seeking funds in order to expand their programs, as well as, their number of schools.

Donation Requests

The schools would appreciate any of the following donations:

Teaching supplies and materials. English books for teaching the English language, as well as. English books for recreational reading. CDs for learning English and Hotel Management books.

Placement Location Information

Arusha, Tanzania

The Sila Vocational College is located in the Moshono area which is the most quiet and peaceful part of the city. There are a lot of small shops in the area so volunteers need not worry about making small purchases.

The building is beside the soccer field and a secondary school, with a lot of banana plantations in the surrounding area.

The buildings of the center has as necessary resources and equipment required of a teaching facility.

The area is very safe the volunteers shouldn't be worried as the community around the area is very friendly and easy to interact with.

Transfer From BaseCamp

Leaving from the BaseCamp center hostile take a public transport (daladala) from the nearby Sheli stop and ask to get off at the Moshono station. From there turn left and walk north for about 15 minutes. Once you get to the big field stay on your left hand side and eventually you will see Baraa Primary School with the Sila Vocational College just beside the school field.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 4km
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:30

Weather in the Area

Despite its closeness to the equator, Arusha's elevation of 1400 mm on the southern slopes of Mount Meru keeps temperatures down and alleviates humidity. Cool dry air is prevalent for the majority of the year. The temperature ranges between 13 and 30 degrees Celsius with an average of around 25 degrees.

Arusha has distinct wet and dry seasons and experiences an eastern prevailing wind from the Indian Ocean, a couple of hundred miles east. Highest average rainfall occurs in March, April and May.

City/Village Description

The city of Arusha has an estimated population of around one million people and sits at the foot of Mount Meru. Mount Meru is the fifth highest peak in Africa; it is a few hundred meters shorter than Kilimanjaro which is the highest mountain in Africa and encompasses three volcanic cones; Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira (don't worry, they're not active!)

Arusha is surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscape on the planet. With easy access to the Arusha National Park, Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park there is never a shortage of things to do!

Arusha is considered to be one of the best African cities when it comes to great weather and tourism combined.

Arusha is a busy industrial and administrative centre. Some of the main manufacture products include textiles, beverages, processed foods, plastics and electronic equipment. It is well known for the African Congress Centre and the International Tribunal for the Rwandan Genocide.

Nearest Medical Clinic

AICC Hospital
Old Moshi Road
TEL 1: 0744299381
TEL 2: 2544113

Placement Address

Sila Vocational College

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Tanzania at our BaseCamp Center in Ngaramtoni - Arusha. Given that this placement is less than a 1 hour and 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers working here will have the option of living with us at BaseCamp or living with a host family.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Tanzania. Once you have completed our application, you can let our staff know if you would prefer to live with a host family. Otherwise, your application will default to having you live with us at BaseCamp.

If you have any questions about the difference between life at BaseCamp or life with a host family in Tanzania you can always give us a call or send us an email. Our contact details are listed in the footer of every page of the site.

BaseCamp Tanzania

BaseCamp Tanzania
BaseCamp Tanzania Address

Nelson Mandela Road
Kijenge Ya Chini Mt. Meru Gas Station
Ngaramtoni - Arusha, Tanzania

BaseCamp Tanzania Contact Details

Tel: 255 719 177 084
Mobile: 255 754 683 347

BaseCamp Tanzania is located in the Kijenge area of Arusha. The centre is located just a few minutes from the famous Clock-Tower and many amenities such as banks, internet cafes and international calling centres. You can also find some great local markets selling everything from fresh fruit and fish, to beautiful wooden carvings and amazing East African paintings! Arusha is a comfortable place to live with many of the conveniences of home, while still allowing travellers to experience the African way of life.

BaseCamp Tanzania is set up with a number of dormitory style rooms. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. The house has a large covered balcony on the main floor with a spectacular view! There is also a large common room on the lower level with a small resource centre containing books, magazines, movies, games and other African publications. Outside is a beautiful lawn and garden that overlooks the city and is an ideal setting to catch up on email, review some Swahili or just enjoy a quiet afternoon. Wireless internet access is available throughout the house, making it easy to stay in touch with friends and family back home.

The meal plan at BaseCamp is a 14 day rotating schedule of a variety of traditional dishes from around the country. This allows volunteers to try a wide range of Tanzanian dishes and to gain some knowledge of the food served and meal etiquette before living with a host family. For those who stay on in BaseCamp, the 14 day schedule allows for lots of variety.

BaseCamp Tanzania is also the training and orientation centre. Each day volunteers will spend part of the day in lectures or workshops at BaseCamp and part of the day exploring the city and learning how to get around comfortably on their own.

Living With a Host Family in Tanzania

Living with a host family in Tanzania is a fantastic way to gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for the people and customs of the country. Each home-stay will provide a bed and three meals per day for our volunteers. The majority of host families offer private rooms with only one or two volunteers living with the family.

Living with a host family can greatly enhance your performance at your placement. For one, it will have a huge influence on the speed with which you gain familiarity with the local language. This, along with your deeper understanding of cultural practices and beliefs that you are likely to gain in this environment, can go a long way to improving or strengthening your relationships with your team mates at work. Furthermore, a significant percentage of our host families are closely affiliated with the organizations with which our volunteers work. As such, even the evening meal or hanging out around the house can become valuable time during which volunteers can share their ideas and continue their support of their host organization.

All of this being said, living with a host family is not for everyone. It is very important for volunteers to honor the house rules in their host family and to be punctual. Also, depending on how remote your placement location, host families can be very rustic. Our staff in country can give you a better idea of what exactly you can expect from a host family in any particular community. However, in general, if these things sound like they might pose a challenge for you, we strongly suggest that you look at a placement within commuting distance from BaseCamp Tanzania.

How the Program Works

Our program structure and costing is completely flexible which lets our volunteers ensure that they only pay for exactly the degree of support that they want.

Option 1 - Free Services

Some volunteers prefer to coordinate their own accommodation, meals and other support while overseas.

Anyone is welcome to use our volunteer placement search tool to help in finding a placement that is well suited to their interests. Once someone finds a placement that they wish to work with, they are welcome to make all the rest of their arrangmeents on their own.

As well, our team of staff overseas are often able to offer a few helpful pointers for volunteers 'doing it on their own'. Just send us an email with your questions and we will put you in touch with our team abroad. We only ask that you keep your requests fairly general, as this type of advice is exactly how our team earn their living. :)

Option 2 - Placement Support - 250 USD

Other volunteers would like assistance in selecting and confirming their placement, but they plan to manage their own accommodation and other expenses on their own.

These volunteers have the option of choosing to only have our assistance with selecting and confirming their placement. This option also includes ongoing placement support while abroad, so a volunteer would be able to ask our team for help if things at their placement were not working out.

In providing Placement Support, our team works with each volunteer through email, telephone and either Skype or Google Hangouts, to ensure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of their placement options. Our in-country staff will put together a custom list of placement options for each volunteer that they believe are the most appropriate matches with the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Then each volunteer can work with our team both in Canada and abroad to go through each of the options and narrow-down their selection.

Option 3 - Full Program Support

For most volunteers who are volunteering for less than a year, they are looking for an option that includes their accommodation, meals, airport reception, country and program orientation and placement support. This is what our Program Fees are designed for.

We are proud of how over the years we have ensured that our program fees are amoungst the most reasonable of any program in the world while we continue to provide exceptional volunteer support both at home and abroad.

Our Program Fees and listings of what these do and do not include are listed below:

Program Fees

Program Fees - Tanzania

  Registration Fee
  1 Week
  2 Weeks
  3 Weeks
  4 Weeks
  5 Weeks
  6 Weeks
  7 Weeks
  8 Weeks
  Additional Weeks
All program fees are listed in US Dollars.

What is Included
  • Pre-Departure support
  • Placement consulation
  • Airport reception & transfer
  • 2 Day orientation
  • Accommodation (BaseCamp or host family)
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Emergency & placement support

What is Not Included
    Before Departure
  • International flight
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Visa costs where required
  • Work permits where required
    While Overseas
  • Daily transportation to and from placement
  • Transport to airport on departure
  • Placement fees if requried

Program Dates

Our regularly scheduled program start dates are the first Friday of each month, every month of the year. We strongly recommend beginning your program on one of these dates as this will allow you to go through our orientation alongside other international volunteers.

If you would prefer, our application will also allow you to select a custom start date for your program. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for a custom start date which ranges from 50 to 75 USD.

Jan 01, 2021 Feb 05, 2021 Mar 05, 2021
Apr 02, 2021 May 07, 2021 Jun 04, 2021
Jul 02, 2021 Aug 06, 2021 Sep 03, 2021
Oct 01, 2021 Nov 05, 2021 Dec 03, 2021
Jan 07, 2022 Feb 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022
Apr 01, 2022 May 06, 2022 Jun 03, 2022
Jul 01, 2022 Aug 05, 2022 Sep 02, 2022
Oct 07, 2022 Nov 04, 2022 Dec 02, 2022


These dates are the day that volunteers should plan to arrive on the ground in country. We can accommodate arrivals in-country at any time day or night on these dates.

Give us a Call
Canada / USA 866-646-4693 (toll free)
UK 866-646-4693 (toll free)
Australia 866-646-4693 (toll free)
International 613-353-3000
Send us a Message