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VACorps Professional Internship Program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    5

  • Social Life

    8

Exploring the woods of Cape

I have always been fascinated about visiting South Africa since my childhood days. I would love to enjoy the environment, culture and more over would like to look into the life style of tribes there.Africa being a very large continent with more than 800 languages and diverse ethnic culture, i have always been curious about being there.If i ever get an opportunity to be there, I will be fascinated enough to make documentaries, capture the photograph of wildlife.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Missing Cape Town

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.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    5

  • Social Life

    10

Internship in Cape Town

I was able to write papers for the UN and the government so it will appear on my resume. :) I got feedback and I got to understand how a governmental organisation works. It did stretch my comfort zone a lot, which was humbling (very). Personally I also realised that I really liked being a researcher and I might follow this path.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Internship in Cape Town

I loved my internship in Cape Town, South Africa. It was a life changing experience and I made amazing friends. I studied abroad in Europe and this experience was completely different. Living in the neighbourhood of Observatory and interning at an NGO enabled me to make South African friends and it immersed me in the culture much more than studying abroad did. I would recommend doing an internship abroad through VAC to everyone because it is an amazing experience and looks great on a resume!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Internship Placement

    9

IT Support Internship in downtown Cape Town

My experience in Cape Town has changed my life forever. From the moment I arrived at the airport, to

the final time I was dropped off, I grew as a person and a professional each and every moment. I can

attribute all of this amazing growth to the amazing VAC staff. Whether it was a 2am phone call looking

for some good late night food, or finding an idea for another amazing weekend excursion, every staff

member was only a phone call and 5 minutes away. The comfort I felt thanks to the VAC is a testament

to their dedication to the program and their individual commitments to each and every participant.

I am a computer security undergraduate at the Pennsylvania State University. The VAC went above and

beyond to create a unique internship program for me that challenged the knowledge I gained in school

to create a skill set that has become an invaluable discussion topic at every interview I go to. My jobsite

was incredibly welcoming and so supportive of allowing me every opportunity to experience any aspect

of Cape Town I could.

Between Friday VAC excursions, weekend trips with my roommates and other VAC participants, drinks

with my coworkers, and my internship itself, the only thing I was lacking was more time! My roommates

have become lifelong friends, and the VAC staff are people I will continue to admire for a long time. I

suggest this opportunity to everyone I meet, and encourage anyone with an open mind and an

eagerness to grow as an individual to reach out to the VAC and see what opportunities they can create

for you. My only regret is that I can’t do it all over again. Mike F, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. July

2010

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

VAC ensures the best experience, without a doubt

The Volunteer Adventure Corps definitely has the best placements in Cape Town. My placement was absolutely perfect. A place where I was not only able to learn more about marketing, but on many more field that I was interested in. The friendly VAC staff ensured that I felt comfortable at all time and helped me with every step along the way in preparation of my arrival, aswell as in Cape Town.

Looking back at my time in Cape Town, it was not only the placement that made it amazing, it were also the people who made it a truly unique experience! Not only during the divers friday activities or the optional VAC travels (Amazing amazing!) but just in general. You get the opportunity to meet so many new people and hear so many interesting stories from all over the world.

If you're still in doubt about doing an internship abroad, I would totally say to go for it! And I would definitely say that Cape Town with VAC is the best way to do this. Not only do you gain extremely valuable experience in a field that you want to work in or get experience in, you also create amazing memories and meet new friends for life!

A big Thank You to VAC!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Cape Town Medical Internship

My internship in Cape Town, South Africa, arranged by VACorps, changed my life. To say it was anything other than the best twelve weeks of my life would be a gross understatement. First of all, VAC is incredibly professional and supportive before you even board the plane to Cape Town. They go to great lengths to arrange a personalized internship experience for each accepted applicant and ensure that you feel comfortable and confident each step of the way. Once you arrive they provide a very useful orientation to the city and to your internship site. My internship was in a small clinic in a township outside the city center and I learned more about myself and about medicine than I had my entire life leading up to that point. Outside of the internship VAC ensures that you make the most of your time in the greatest city in the world by introducing you to a plethora of activities and some of the greatest people to share the experiences with. I would return to Cape Town with VAC in a heartbeat (and almost have on multiple occasions).

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Internship Placement

    9

Marketing Internship in a wonderful program

Ah, where do I start!
Well, probably by giving huge credits to the VAC staff and everything they did for me. No effort was too much to make my stay in South Africa a truly memorable experience. The team is super supportive, friendly and accesible, yet undoubtedly professional. My internship was a true learning experience, and the combination of a great internship placement with extensive support from VAC and other interns made for me to get superb grades for my placement semester. Special thanks to Program Director Oliver, how even taught me how to surf and thanks to Vanessa for being an amazing host on the Garden Route trip I went on.

Amazingly enough, I got another chance during my studies to do an internship. I tried to find reasons not go to the same country, same city, same internship program. I couldn't find a single one. So I extended my joyful experience through VAC with another graduation placement in which I wrote my bachelor thesis. Again, I was astonished by the city, the people, VAC, everything.

This winter, my parents were so eager to understand a bit of my Cape Town love and booked a family trip there. Guess what? They're hooked too, and planning on going again next year.

So, you may ask? Well. The best part of this is that I'm not alone in this. The amount of friends I have that are hooked to South Africa is reaching over a hundred. So I want to end by warning you:

Beware of VAC, you might get yourself hooked! ; )

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    10

Cape Town..where Life is Lekker.

The much anticipated trip to South Africa came to an end very quickly. Arriving an anxious and scared intern, leaving as if I left a part of myself in Cape Town. There are absolutely no words to describe the experience that I had in Cape Town. From the diversified culture, the amazing food, the countless adventures, and the unforgettable people, my time in Cape Town will never be forgotten. None of this would have been possible without VAC. The cool, (not much) older brothers and sisters that see you through the entire process. It is evident that they have a passion for what they do; and what better way to get to know the city and the country, than to have the locals lead you through it? A very special thank you to Vanessa Randon of VAC – without her, none of this would have been possible. From the very first skype session to unforgettable adventures in Botswana and Zimbabwe.
VAC set up my internship at EROS School for the Cerebral Palsied. I absolutely fell in love with the site. The staff was more than welcoming. The children touched my hearts in more ways than they can imagine. Although the physical therapy education is different in South Africa compared to the United States, there is no better way to test the limits of your skill set than in a different country, working with a completely new population. The internship site gave me enough freedom to grow professionally as a physical therapist, as well as a person. I was forced out of my comfort zone multiple times, however, I left that much more confident in my skills. I am more confident in my skills as a physical therapist, a role model, and a teacher, but little did I know that the children would end up teaching me more. The smiles on their faces is a snapshot forever engrained in my heart.
Aside from my unbelievable internship, my experience was completed by all the new “framily” members that I gained and the adventures we all went through together. If I took away all (maybe not all, but most) of the adventures that I had: all the beautiful hikes, shark cage diving, paragliding off Lion’s Head, bungee jumping off Bloukran’s Bridge, my amazing adventure in Botswana which includes walking across the Zambia-Zimbabwe border to go swim in Devil’s Pool on top of Victoria Falls, rafting and getting beat up by the Mighty Zambezi River, watching a pride of lions feasting on an elephant, sleeping under the moon and stars in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan in the Kalahari Desert (the list goes on), if I took most of that away and simply reminisce on each framily member, my time would have been more than worth it. The friendships that you build are forever lasting. I can confidently say that I have at least 30 couches I can sleep on all over the world, from Michigan, Alaska, Chicago, New Jersey, to Denmark, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and many more (obviously Cape Town is a given).
This in all of its entirety, has awakened the adventure seeking traveler and has left behind a part of the OCD-comfort seeking individual in me. As I said before, VAC is there for you from the beginning to the end. There is only one guaranteed regret, time. Arriving thinking three months would be forever and leaving Cape Town trying to extend my stay. I could go on and write about this for a while, but I will end it with my motto throughout my time in Cape Town and the famous slogan that everyone knows: just.do.it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

VACorps is THE #1 South African Internship Company.

My time in Cape Town sadly had to come to an end. Luckily, I left with all intentions of returning in the future. I am extremely grateful for finding a company like VAC to establish such an amazing experience for me. My routine of getting up at 8 o'clock every morning, making a pot of French-Roasted coffee, and heading into the Mother City on my scooter never got old. Some days I would head to Big Sky Productions where I was interning and other days I would travel to set and work on a photo or video shoot. My time in Cape Town has inspired me to finish school and venture back into the working world.
Without the help of VAC, I would not of felt as comfortable as I did jumping into my limited time in South Africa.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Internship Placement

    10

I can’t wait until I am able to return

As my last year of graduate school was arriving, I wanted to experience as much variety in my

internships as possible. My school, Pacific University in Portland, Oregon, sent students to Cape

Town last year through VAC. I spoke with the students who’d ventured to Cape Town and they

described their experiences as “a once in a lifetime opportunity” and “the best time of my life”.

After hearing their stories, I swear I wanted to book my ticket to Cape Town the next day! I applied

to VAC’s program and the rest was history. I was placed at an internship site called Tembaletu in

Gugulethu. Tembaletu is a school for children with disabilities. I kept an open-mind going into this

internship because I really had no idea what to expect. I completely fell in love with the students. I

know I was supposed to go into this internship teaching and providing the students with knowledge

on their ailments and disabilities, but ultimately the exact opposite happened. The students ended up

teaching me! I looked forward to going to work everyday because I couldn’t wait to learn something

new. I would join the Grade’s 1 and 2 in their classrooms as the teachers instructed on Xhosa lessons.

I was able to learn basic Xhosa with the children’s help. The students also taught me life lessons and

truly what to be thankful for in life. Every child I worked with, regardless of their situation, had the

best attitude and the biggest smiles on their faces!

Additionally, VAC was very helpful in providing opportunities to explore Cape Town. The Friday

activities put on by VAC were such a great way to meet new interns and try something new. I will

never forget some of the most beautiful and epic hikes I explored around the city. I tried surfing for

the first time in my life and now I can’t wait until I have the chance to go again! I rode an elephant

and fell in love with the gentle giant. This experience pushed me to leave my comfort zone and try

something new almost every weekend. Furthermore, VAC placed me in a house with so many other

interns. I have made some really good friends since I first arrived to Cape Town. I became friends

with people from all over the world... France, Switzerland, and Sweden; just to name a few. I will

never forget this internship because it afforded me the opportunity to be submersed in a completely

different culture. I can honestly say this has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life and

one that I won’t forget. I grew as a person and I can’t wait until I am able to return to South Africa!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    7

Graphic design internship

Everyone in the office was very nice and willing to help me. They understood that I have not had training in all the various areas of their own expertise, and they helped and guided me on the right path.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Internship Placement

    10

VAC Testimonial

After watching the 2010 World Cup, seeing pictures and videos, and learning about the culture of the country and its people I knew that South Africa was a place I needed to visit at some point in my life. When I learned that my program at school offered an internship in Cape Town through VAC I realized I would finally have my chance. Thanks to their hard work and willingness to answer all of my ridiculous questions, everything from the application process to getting settled in my house to helping us plan trips went very smoothly.

My experience in Cape Town was one I will never forget. Working as a PT at a school district in Gugulethu was an experience unlike anything I’ve done prior, and both my coworkers and the kids I worked with definitely left an imprint on me. Every day, regardless of how tired I was from the non-stop sightseeing and activities, the kids helped keep me going with their fun attitude toward ‘physio’ and the looks on their faces when I walked in to the classroom. I was also lucky enough to be placed at Maitland Cottage for the second half of my internship, which also was incredible. The happiness that some of my kids showed when they found out they could return home from the hospital really made me feel like my work made a difference, and that was a pretty incredible feeling.

On top of the amazing internship experience, all of the ‘VACtivities,’ our Garden Route trip to bungee jump, ride elephants, and do a horseback safari, and paragliding over the city were the icing on the cake. Cape Town and my time with VAC was truly an unforgettable experience and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in travel and working abroad. Thanks VAC Team!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    7

Internship with AIDS Legal Network

I spent the last three months as an intern with AIDS Legal Network based in Cape Town. I can easily say that it has been the greatest experience of my life thus far. I had the opportunity to travel all over the country and work with disadvantaged women of all ages. Thank you to VAC for finding me this wonderful placement.