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Public Health and Pre-Medical Internships in Cape Town

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My time in Cape Town

I loved VAC & their assistance in helping me come to South Africa. they made it such an easy process and helped me feel comfortable through everything. They placed me at a health clinic where I got an experience like no other. I would highly recommend this experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

A month in Cape Town

The clinic where I was placed offers an experience that allows you to experiment with all different types of medical fields. your role is not strict, so once you find your niche you are able to have fun and learn a lot! My experience at the clinic will definitely help me pick a career path in the future.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

My month in Cape Town

I really enjoyed working at the clinic where I was placed because it gave me great nursing experience while exposing me to a new culture. I was exposed to many different aspects of healthcare and my nursing skills improved greatly as a result thereof.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    5

  • Social Life

    10

Medical internship

VAC placed me at a clinic full of doctors and nurses eager to teach while seeing the large amount of patients each day. My time at my internship site taught me medical skills, information and experience that cannot be learned from a book. Definitely the chance of a lifetime.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Heideveld Clinic

Through Volunteer Adventure Corps, I was able to intern at a clinic in the Heideveld township clinic. I learned so much during my time there and met many amazing people. Overall a really great experience and I hope to come to Cape Town experience even more!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Internship Placement

    10

Thriving in ZA

I was placed at a public health internship in the township. During my time there I was able to start my own policy campaign on stronger pre-natal care in townships, do patient education, write reports and more. It was a very valuable experience!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Really great!

VAC was great from the start to finish. My internship at Site B hospital in Khayelitsha township was everything I could have asked for. I got experience in the medical field and a new perspective on how others live. VAC was always there to help and were very supportive.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

VAC Review

South Africa has reminded me of the limited time each of us have. That rather than obsessing over plans and what could go wrong, its important to be present. Why not pursue the thing in the back of your mind that you’ll “get to” when you retire or have more money/time. South Africa also forced me to forget about my comfort zone altogether and that doing so usually results in amazing experiences. Cape Town introduced me to people, experiences, and challenges that opened my eyes not only to the world around me, but to the passion and potential within myself.

My time in Cape Town was better than I could’ve planned. Thanks to the dedicated staff at VAC, I managed to feel right at home halfway across the world. From shark cage diving to wine tasting and everything in between, not only did VAC help facilitate a great internship but they made sure I was able to check every item off of my Cape Town bucket list. I am thankful to VAC for helping make my trip an unforgettable and life changing experience.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Site B Clinic

For my internship, I shadowed doctors at Site B Clinic in Khayelitsha, mostly in the trauma department. I learned more about the daily life of being a doctor, especially in a disadvantaged area. I learned how to apply a plaster cast and do sutures. I learned how to talk to patients and to take their histories. It was an excellent experience to learn more about the medical field, especially the importance of taking into consideration a patient's life history, not just his or her symptoms. The doctors and patients were very friendly and welcoming!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Internship Placement

    10

AIDS Legal Network

Short version: I highly recommend VAC. The skills you gain will become a staple on your resume and interview spiel. The trips and services can they offer are sometimes , but their facilitation, support, and knowledge was worth it in my eyes.

Long Version:
When I applied, my application fell under the "human rights" umbrella, but much of the work I did was geared towards public health. I was placed with the AIDS Legal Network, a South African organization focused on people living with HIV/AIDS, the socio-economic factors that contribute to its spread, and how to prevent future cases of HIV.

Before starting my internship, VAC had placed me three different times. I was extremely picky, so this is not necessarily a stab at VAC. In fact, every placement I declined was met by VAC's suggestion of another, and another, and another. In the end, VAC suggested the AIDS Legal Network, and it was the perfect balance of grassroot, quasi-political organization I was looking for. I was able to conduct field research, work alongside partner organizations, participate in a multinational conference, and publish articles. Today, I'm working as a grant writer for an organization called The HIV Alliance, and the only reason I have that job is because of the ALN experience I was able to reference during my interview.

Apart from providing a professional springboard, there is something to be said about the ideology embodied by the VAC administration and family. The group is full of excitement and eagerness. I will admit, sometimes you find yourself surrounded by young people from every country except South Africa. The make-up of your social group is ultimately in your hands - it's easy to surround yourself by VAC participants, but by no stretch of the imagination does VAC restrict you from forming friendships with South Africans. VAC also organizes many trips around South Africa and beyond. I was able to travel Kruger National Park and Mozambique for a week through a trip organized by VAC.

These trips with VAC are not always the cheapest you will find. Sometimes they get group discounts, other times you pay the same price plus some in exchange for VAC's transportation, facilitation, and the staff's time. I went on trips that were great deals and others that were a bit more expensive, but all turned out great. VAC prides itself on bringing a South African experience to you, and every trip is packed with local food, sites, people, and events.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    6

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Township hospital intern

Working at the township clinic was a summer I will forget, from working with patients from the community to learning to suture in the ER with a surgeon, this internship gave me new tools and confidence that I will use as I pursue my medical career.