Teaching English in Ethiopia: Volunteer as an Assistant Teacher in Addis Ababa

James Pia teaching in Ethiopia
James Piazza with students

Go for a unique volunteer experience teaching English in Ethiopia in order to foster the young talents at school. At the hostel which accommodates boys and girls from 12 to 18 years old, you will be teaching promising students. They will be very gratefull for the opportunity to develop their English skills. Often, the students come from poor neighborhoods, and therefore highly appreciate the opportunity to learn English and grow personally.

The project takes place in the hostels in Addis Ababa, situated in Sumit, a quiet and safe neighbourhood, 20 minutes drive from airport and 5 minutes walk from railway station, public transport and cafés.

James Piazza photo with all students
In the Class Room

The hostels accommodate at the moment 50 students (22 boys and 28 girls) age between 12 and 18. This project provides excellent schooling for severely underprivileged yet academically very promising students in Ethiopia empowering them with skill that will enable them to transform Ethiopia’s future. As a volunteer you will teach the students the necessary things that will help them in developing their interpersonal skills. The top-most requirement of the project is to develop the overall personality of the students by encouraging extracurricular activities, art & craft, group discussions, teaching & communication.

Teaching English and more at the school in Ethiopia:

  • Teaching English (Tenses, Grammar, Speaking, Pronunciation, etc)
  • Teaching Mathematics (According to the standard of the Students, Class-wise syllabus)
  • English Lab & Math Lab & Illustrative Activities of Teaching
  • Helping the students in completing the syllabus
  • Helping the students in completing their home-work
  • Problem-solving sessions with students
  • Helping any student that is struggling
  • Group-discussion sessions with the students & teachers
  • Teaching the students about hazardous effects of tobacco chewing, smoking, intoxication etc.


Day 1 – Arrival

James Piazza and his class
Volunteer Teacher with his students

Your meeting and pickup point will be at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
You will need to notify us of your arrival time at least one week in advance. Many international airlines fly in and out of Addis Ababa International Airport. In the event that your flight is cancelled or changed, contact the country coordinator ASAP.
Once you have arrived a representative of our in-country team will be waiting for you at the meeting point in the arrivals area of Addis Ababa International Airport (ADD) with a smile and a placard with your name on it. Once you have met the team, you’ll then be taken to your accommodation at the students’ hostel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and begin to familiarize yourself with the hostels and surroundings.

Day 2 – Orientation

Orientation session will take place on Mondays and will be conducted by the local coordinator. They will talk you through everything you need to know.
They will explain to you in-depth about:

  • Ethiopia, culture, religion, behavior & cultural responsibility
  • The volunteer organization, your program & other projects
  • The regulations on changing your plans (if required); adding additional programs or extending your stay
  • The basics of Amharic (Ethiopian language)
  • Any additional excursions that you may wish to sign up for
  • Safety advice
  • Places to visit, food and other suggestions to make the most of your time here
  • The code of conduct, which you will be required to sign.

Your coordinators will explain the details of your program as well as the schedule for the week ahead.

Days 3 – 6 Teaching English at the School in Addis Ababa

James Piazza and family study session
James Piazza and family study session

Monday to Friday you will join your coordinator at the hostel, going through all the buildings rooms to comprehend the students’ way-of-life. During the week, volunteers typically work 4-6 hours in a day. Volunteers work as a helping hand to the hostel students to teach English, Math, Science and Geography. Sometimes sports and arts & crafts are also required on the initiate of the volunteers to make the education fun and more learning. The students come from a very deprived background are far away from enjoyment and general Western amusements, so volunteers should share their feelings, love and affection to make feel them wanted and loveable. Full details are provided during orientation.

Day 7 – Free Day

For those continuing their program for subsequent weeks, Saturday and Sunday will be free for exploring. You can explore locally with other volunteers or travel further afield on one of our excursions, take some time to relax and soak up this amazing culture! After the final week, your program ends on Saturday.

Unique Teaching Experience

This is an incredible opportunity to gain real-world teaching experience and work alongside bright enthusiastic young minds, while also getting to experience all the beauty of Ethiopia. Whether you are already a professional teacher, or want to try out volunteering as an assistant teacher, the project is for you!

Start Dates & Duration

  • Location: Addis Ababa (New Flower), Ethiopia
  • Arrival Airport: Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
  • Available all year round
  • Every Saturday of the month, orientation takes place Sundays and work at the project starts Mondays.
  • You can choose to volunteer from 2 to 24 weeks.



Fees and what is included with the volunteer program

  • The program fee is paid directly to the host organization.
  • All of the projects incur a registration fee of  U$ 149.00 on top of the program fee.

Bedroom with ensuite bathroom (breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

Free Week of Cultural Activities

What’s included in the volunteer in Ethiopia program fee?

  • Pre-arrival assistance
  • Airport pick-up & drop
  • Orientation about project, country and rules
  • Accommodation (double bedroom with ensuite bathroom) on the top floor of the student’s hostel
  • Breakfast & dinner – Authentic Ethiopia meals
  • English speaking project manager on project to assist. Italian, Spanish and Hungarian also spoken
  • Emergency assistance (if required)
  • Travel support in Ethiopia
  • Certificate of Volunteering
  • Cultural week activities!
  • Traditional coffee ceremony
  • Visit to Mercato (the biggest open-air marketplace in Africa)
  • Cultural visits to Holy Trinity Cathedral
  • Traditional Ethiopian dance
  • National Museum of Ethiopia, where it is possible to see “Lucy“, the most famous fossilized remains of early hominids.

What’s NOT included in the volunteer in Ethiopia program fee?

  • Airfare
  • Visa
  • Project transportation
  • All Personal expenses
  • Medical on related expenses (full private medical cover highly recommended)

There are no hidden costs. Iko Poran is an NGO based in a developing country. We are dedicated to helping you help others, at the lowest possible price. We are interested in making volunteering abroad more accessible so that more people can help do really important work.

Program cancellation policy

Before arrival in Ethiopia:

  • Cancellation before15 days- No refunds
  • Cancellation before 30 days- 50% refunds
  • Cancellation before a month- 75% refund


Accommodation & Meals

For all of our Addis Ababa, Ethiopia programs you have an accommodation for throughout the period of your stay. A bedroom (with ensuite bathroom) living alongside our students in our hostel within a welcoming and familiar environment.

Full details of the accommodation are available in out Pre-Departure Guide.

Both are great options and we’re sure you will have a fantastic time!



Volunteers work 4 to 6 hours daily, Monday to Friday.

You must be at least 20 years old at the start of your placement. All volunteers must have adequate volunteer travel insurance.



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More Volunteer Opportunities in Ethiopia

You can choose from responsible and authentic volunteer projects in Ethiopia, all designed to give boarding students skills and knowledge for their future careers. No matter what your specific knowledge or hobbies are, there is something for everyone!

As a volunteer teacher, you can teach your skills to the students in Addis Ababa. In addition to teaching English, you can also familiarize students with photography, fine art or music and singing. Moreover, you can practice yoga with the students in Ethiopia, do a wellness coaching or create an organic vegetable garden and educate students about environmental awareness.

You can even introduce teens to digital computer and Internet technology. If you want to strengthen the self-esteem of the female students, you can join the project to strengthen the role of women.

There are also a few sports talents in the school who are looking forward to being trained with a volunteer sports teacher!

With your volunteer work as an assistant teacher you contribute a lot to the future of talented students in the school!

Finally, there is a renovation and construction project, where volunteers and students gather to paint their class rooms.

Volunteering Abroad

We offer highly affordable volunteer abroad programs in many countries.