For those seeking an internship placement working in the field of healthcare, there are a number of possibilities in the Cape Town area. This is a very popular and highly...
VACorps offers internship placements with a non-government organization in Cape Town, South Africa, that supports asylum seekers. Interns will equip refugees and asylum seekers...
Take part in Sustainable Development internships in South Africa. VACorps will customize the placement to match your academic, intellectual, and professional needs. VACorps...
Working as a within the South Africa media is the opportunity of a lifetime for any media/communications student! South Africa is home to a very active and outspoken media...
VACorps offers internship placements in Counseling and Psychology in Cape Town, South Africa. Many South African children have been infected, orphaned, and made vulnerable...
Internship at PASSOP
Submitted by Naomi Arthur - - | September 21, 2016
I will take a tremendous amount away from my internship for it helped me grow in many ways. Like most things in life, my internship wasn't entirely what I expected but in the end, this was actually a good thing. It taught me to be self motivated and empower myself to see the changes that needed to be done. The staff was so friendly and working with refugees was unlike any other work I have ever done before. I've truly grown from this experience and am really grateful for it.
Never be sad in Africa
Submitted by Kristina Wright - University of Birmingham | September 21, 2016
My internship taught me to be comfortable with my own initiative. I was alone for the first six weeks so I had to get over being shy. During my internship, I have had a platform to practice my social working skills which has taught me a lot. The staff was amazing and very inspirational too so I have also learned a lot from them personally.
Internship at ARESTA
Submitted by Rose Garber - University of Oregon | September 21, 2016
ARESTA gave me the opportunity to see hands on the struggles many South African citizens face. It was amazing to see the changes in communities after we implemented our programs.
My internship definitely stretched my comfort zone. I learned to go with the flow and become more patient and understanding. Professionally I learned that you will not always get praised or acknowledged for doing good work but that doesn't mean your boss doesn't appreciate it.
Hooked on Cape Town
Submitted by Tressa Thomas - University of Washington in Seattle | September 21, 2016
This internship really stretched my comfort zone. CTRC puts a lot of trust in their interns, so I had a lot of responsibility right of the start. I conducted interviews, processed finances, created a support group, taught human rights workshops and helped organize the CTRC Nelson Mandela day, plus National Women Day. I've learned so much about social work, the nature of poverty and education in South Africa, the effects of rape and war on women and African feminisim in general. My experience with VAC and in Cape Town was wonderful. The VAC staff is so frinedly and supportive, while Cape Town itself is the most beautiful and interesting city. After this experience, I can easily see myself coming back and staying for years.
Missing Cape Town
Submitted by Noelle - San Jose State University | September 15, 2016
Since I was in high school, I have always had a desire to go to Africa. After talking to one of my friends who described her experience in Cape Town as nothing short of amazing, I knew I wanted to go there. I went through VAC since my friend had as well and I was placed with two of the professional rugby teams in South Africa (the DHL Stormers and the WP Rugby team) working with the physiotherapists (if you didn’t know, rugby is life in South Africa). I read the VAC testimonials before arriving, Googled everything you can imagine about Cape Town, South Africa, and Africa in general. There is a solid chance that I hold the record of how many questions I asked Anna and Thomas before arriving (and during my stay) but nothing and no one can prepare you for this life changing experience.
My internship with the professional rugby teams was unlike any of my roommates/friends internships. My hours were never the same day to day, I had random weekdays off, the location changed daily (and sometimes I would find out less than a half hour before), I went in on the weekends, I had to leave my house by 6 AM usually… The hectic schedule was sometimes hard to keep up with, but that’s what made it special as well. It was true to the professional sport environment anywhere else in the world, I was able to get hands on experience with professional rugby players and I even learned a little bit of rugby along the way. Rugby is life in South Africa and the rugby players are heroic figures, so it was pretty special to be apart of such an amazing group of professional athletes.
I was also very fortunate enough to travel around Cape Town and do just about everything on the “bucket lists” of Cape Town. To name a few things -- I went shark cage diving, hiking, skydiving (in one of the coolest drop zones in the world -- Plettenberg Bay), wine tasting… I went to an authentic South African Braai in Khayelitsha and I got PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Certified… I was lucky enough to have traveled the Garden Route as well and I also flew/landed on a game reserve for a 3 day guided Safari at Kruger National Park. The list of adventure is endless...
Since coming home, I have been thinking about this next part on a daily basis, but I truly can’t express it in the “right words” so here goes:
I'm constantly asked "Were you ever scared?" Or "Did you feel unsafe?" when I tell someone that I spent my summer in South Africa. And I always answer without hesitation, "Every second of everyday". The journey wasn't always comfortable. I rarely ever felt "safe" and I cried almost, if not, every night. I can't express how devastating things I saw were, for example, a township. In the townships, some people live in/with nothing -- they may have a tarp over their plastic/cardboard walls or a wooden chair attached to a plastic bin for a chair (yes, I did see this creative chair invention and thought it was an awesome idea) or live in an aluminum type shack. I’ve never seen anything like that. I can attempt to describe this to whoever but no one will truly ever understand the overwhelming feeling of sadness that I felt the very first time I saw a township unless they've felt it too. But the ironic thing is that I honestly wish I stayed longer and I hope to be able to adventure throughout South Africa and other countries in Africa in the future. Africa is feared by many because it is "dangerous" but what people don't realize is that Africa is absolutely stunning and beautiful in so many ways as well. The townships may look like they have nothing, but they have happiness. One of my favorite days was attending a braai in the township of Khayelitsha, which opened my eyes to pure happiness. Our VAC vans drove in, and the kids lined the “sidewalks” of the street. They were hesitant to approach us or talk to us when we tried to approach them. But the second we brought a soccer ball out, their eyes lit up with instant satisfaction. These kids were SO happy. We spent the entire afternoon dancing, playing corn hole, and kicking a soccer ball around. One girl had a tiara on and this stick with a tire spinning on the end and her smile couldn't have been bigger watching that tire spin. It was easily one of the best days of my entire life. There is so much culture in South Africa, so many different languages, awesome locals, the best food and wine I've ever tasted, and the nature is one of a kind with beautiful mountains within a main city while zebras walk alongside the highway.
I find myself feeling more lost in my own home than I did while living in a third world country. And for all of this and more, I am grateful that I experienced Observatory, Cape Town, and South Africa. You meet an extraordinary type of person traveling to Africa, and I can attest to that because I know I have a special connection with everyone that I crossed paths with there. I know that I have made friends for a lifetime from around the world. I am grateful for everything -- the good, the bad, the awesome, the people, the places... And I am so grateful that it all will forever be apart of me and who I am.