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Journalism and Media Internships in Cape Town, South Africa

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life Changing Experience with VAC!

Having left Cape Town over two years ago I’d say this testimonial can be deemed tardy at best. However, in defense of being called lazy, I find the timing fitting for what I want to say about my time in South Africa.

See, I didn’t intend to push writing this piece back, nor to leave the brilliant employees of VAC waiting for something I promised I would get to them promptly. In fact, I sat down to write this at least 12 times and couldn’t find the right thing to say until it hit me: maybe there wasn’t a right thing or a right time or a right way. And so began my true reflection on my time in the Mother City…

It had been my dream to go to Africa since I was, oh, five years old. Then, after building up an exceptional knowledge of chick-flicks, at about age 11 I adapted my dream and decided that there was absolutely no option but to go to Africa as a journalist as soon as humanly possible. Being the stubborn little piece of work that I am, I set out to make that goal be achieved however I could- I went to college while going to high school so I could graduate with credit; I took summer classes while in Uni so I could get out as soon as possible; and I worked my booty off to get good grades. To top it off, before I had even graduated, I applied for and accepted this internship in Cape Town. Life was going perfectly according to plan.

Then real life hit. Within weeks of graduating and moving back home for the summer, I was smacked in the face with the reality that life can’t be planned. I fell in love; I learned that I really didn’t hate my little suburban hometown; and I realized that, at 21, maybe I wasn’t ready for my childhood dreams to become my lifetime career. All of a sudden, being a journalist in Africa and bopping around the world wasn’t all I wanted. Yet Africa still beckoned.

I won’t pretend I wasn’t apprehensive when I got on the plane, and I won’t say that all those worries were “swept away in an instant upon landing because of the overwhelming magic of the city.” No, my first few days were brutal- I was jet lagged, I was confused, and, for the first time in my life, I was homesick. Yes, my dream was coming true. Ye, the city was beautiful. Yes, the people I met were amazing. Yes, VAC employees went above and beyond to make us feel at home. But I was still so lost.
And then I started to find my groove. As I started work, felt more comfortable in the city, and got to know the people around me better, I began to realize just what I was doing there. Sure, I was making my dreams come true, but more than anything I was learning that maybe the world has a different dream for us than we do for ourselves. All throughout Cape Town there is a spirit of joy and appreciation that I had never experienced before. Even in more marginalized areas, people still had such a contagious positivity that I couldn’t help but feel it, too. From “Africa Time” to taking half days on Fridays to enjoy the outdoors, Cape Townians had such a love of life and what it has to offer that it was impossible for it not to resonate within me. I learned that things don’t have to happen how you think they “should” but to appreciate the beauty of the unknown. Yeah, maybe it wouldn’t work to run on a perpetually late schedule in the corporate world anywhere else- but that’s what makes Cape Town and its people special.

So here I sit, back in the U.S. and with my life never more jumbled than it is now, and yet I have never felt more content. I not only don’t know what’s next, but I don’t even know how to go about figuring it out. But thanks to the lessons that Cape Town, its inhabitants, and all of the wonderful people at VAC I’ve learned that’s okay. Things more than likely won’t work out how I thought they would when I was 11- but, really, what would be the fun if they did?

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Cape Town Will Sing Me Home

As most of the experiences in my life have come, interning in Cape Town for six weeks was by
chance. It was the middle of December, my internship in Johannesburg had just fallen apart and I
was in urgent need of help. So I began a desperate search for an internship, looking everywhere and
losing hope fast but as luck would have it, I stumbled upon Volunteer Adventure Corps. From the
moment I found it, I was sucked into the magic. From the get go, the staff at VAC helped me
immensely in a very short window of time. Before I knew it I was in Cape Town, South Africa totally
unprepared for the greatness of the journey I was about to experience.

As I am a South African by birth and passport, coming back and being a tourist here was a little weird
and a lot of fun. I was able to immerse myself fully in being a South African for the first time in 12
years. This is a truly precious gift that VAC enabled me to have. Cape Town has burned a fire in my
heart that will never go out. From the beaches to the mountains to the people -- I have fallen in love.
For the past 6 weeks I have been living in some kind of dream state. Going from my film internship
by train, working up to 12 to 15 hours on some days then catching up with my mistress, the city, was
absolutely unreal. Cape Town has pushed my capabilities to places that I didn’t know it could go.
From watching breath-taking moon rises on the top of Lion’s head to surfing with my boss in
Muizenberg and taking selfies with penguins in Simon’s Town, my world has been imploded and
restored by this city. The people I have met here have been truly magical. They helped me build a
family in a place I thought I was going to be alone. The kindness of everyone I have met here has
truly touched my heart and changed my perspective on my life. Having lived in so many different
places for such short amounts of time I always called myself a pot plant, but Cape Town has for
once, allowed me to put down some roots. This has been a journey I will never forget. I will be back.
Cape Town has so much to give you, if you only let it. Thank you VAC and everyone that I met here
for this unbelievable experience. I’m very grateful. In Cape Verde there is a term known as Sodade.
This describes a great longing and missing for a place or a person. I know that from the moment I
leave here my Sodade for Cape Town will sing me home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

BigSky for Big Dreamers

VAC coordinated my film production internship with BigSky Productions based in Cape Town, South Africa. My experience there was invaluable. I was able to assist the team on major shoots with celebrities, as well as, use their equipment to film for my own projects. This internship helped me to gain experience on all levels and refine the necessary skills it takes to thrive in the film industry. Now, I have my college degree and am gainfully employed at a production company back in the states. I credit much of my success to my experience at BigSky in Cape Town.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Internship Placement

    10

Film Production in Cape Town, South Africa

Having never been over seas before, VAC was a godsend in helping me become acclimated to Cape Town, South Africa. Thanks to VAC, I was able to go to Cape Town immediately part of a community of people where I could go hiking with, scuba diving with, dining with, and ultimately push myself to find new inner strengths. Through the program, I was able to take some Xhosa speaking classes, become a certified scuba diver, and intern for Black Media where I filmed/edited numerous events (surfing competitions, DJ conventions, music festivals, soccer tournaments, etc.)

Sure you could probably find many programs that provide similar services, but I guarantee you will not find people as inspiring and fun as the VAC staff. They are always looking to have a good time, and are willing to share that with everyone. On the other hand, When I had to go to the hospital for health concerns, VAC also made me feel comfortable and secure as they constantly checked in to see how I was doing. I went to Cape Town to gain an internship experience (which VAC also helped me locate and secure), but thanks to the VAC staff I gained so much more. When you are looking to join an internship program of any kind you should be looking for the ones that are going to cultivate your skills in all aspects of life. At its core, this is what Volunteer Adventure Corps strives for. I definitely recommend the program to anyone looking for an adventure.