Internships Abroad in South Africa

A Guide To

Interning Abroad in South Africa


310 Internships Abroad in South Africa


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Experience life in South Africa by interning with Connect-123. Programs for interns are available in a wide range of fields, including Human Rights, Economic Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Business and Health Care. Interns live and work in Cape Town, enjoying the cities rich cultural history, impressive natural beauty and pristine beaches. Programs are available to participants from all...

A group happily clapping

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VACorps is a highly acclaimed “Star-Rated” internship program in Cape Town, South Africa. Learn more about this unique South African internship program experience, whereby participants receive a customized internship placement, career mentorship and access to weekly cultural events in the world’s most beautiful city.

Volunteer Adventure Corps

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Recently named as the most entrepreneurial city in South Africa, Cape Town is the perfect place for a summer internship! With IES Internships, you are guaranteed an unpaid internship placement working up to 40 hours per week in a business or organization that suits your career goals. Build a global network of professional contacts and gain real-world experience all while exploring everything th...


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Help the local children in South Africa develop their musical skills through Performing Arts Abroad. Internship placements are available in the city of Nelspruit. Program fees include housing, excursions, and travel, medical, and accident insurance.

Boys taking their classes seriously

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Check out ELI Abroad’s many internship opportunities in South Africa. We have everything from architecture, engineering and finance to graphics, interior design, veterinary and wineries. Past interns rave about their placements and off-hours attractions that include a buzzing nightlife, great beaches and fabulous travel options. Programs fill up fast!

A group of students having their picture taken outside

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Gain experience with hospitality internships in South African, luxury, game lodges. Global Vision International (GVI) provides participants of this unique program with the chance to gain international work experience and develop valuable culinary and tourism knowledge. They can also engage with the country’s diverse culture and explore local wildlife.

Take pictures of wild animals

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CISabroad offers internships in Cape Town, South Africa that are available throughout the year. Students get a host of internship options to choose from, ensuring that their individual professional and personal interests are met. They also experience all the many exciting activities available in one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

City on the mountain side

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Experience working outside of the country with a Projects Abroad international work placement in South Africa. Travel and live with a host family in Cape Town for a month or more and engage in an interactive work environment. This program is open is open to all aspiring interns from different parts of the world.


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Learn the culture and lifestly of South Africa through an internship placement from the Institute for Global Studies. Participants will live in Cape Town, South Africa for a year and gain international work experience in a specific discipline such as Sociology, Tourism, or Anthropology. This program is open to participants worldwide.


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An international internship with World Internships in South Africa gives participants a front row seat to one of Africa’s most diverse and internationally active countries. Interns will be granted the opportunity to live in Cape Town, South Africa’s second largest city and the seat of the National Parliament. Internships in South Africa range from engaging, hands on internships in the fields of...


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Want to travel the world, gain valuable work experience, and learn about different cultures? if i could... offers niche internships with respected nonprofit organizations in Cape Town, South Africa, and New Delhi, India. Our experienced team will find a meaningful placement for participants, tailored to their skill set and interests, including Youth Development, Community Empowerment, Public He...


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Live and work in South Africa while indulging in its vibrant culture with GoEco. The internship program provides placements in the fields of Social Work, Animal Sciences, and Medicine.


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ISA Service-Learning provides students and recent graduates the opportunity to learn first-hand about social issues that communities around the world face. By partnering with community-based organizations and following a structured, reflection-based curriculum, you will learn how local professionals and experts are addressing these issues with the available resources while developing intercultu...


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Throughout the year, African Impact provides meaningful internship placements in South Africa. Interns from all over the world can engage in a 12-week long stay in various South African cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Kwa-Zulu Natal. Positions are offered in Social Sciences, Medicine, and Zoology.

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Interning Abroad in South Africa

It’s hard to think of a country more diverse than South Africa – in every sense of the word. With 11 official languages, this multiethnic society is a unique blend of African cultures with European and Asian influences. The range of this cultural diversity can be seen walking the bustling streets of Johannesburg, experiencing traditions first hand in a tribal village, or getting up close and personal with the magnificent wildlife of Kruger National Park. Internships in South Africa for international interns are just as varied and plentiful. South Africa – the Rainbow Nation – truly does have something for everyone!


Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa has a distinctly African buzz. Since it’s the financial capital of the country, interns in “Jozi” will find that internship opportunities abound in the finance, business, and entertainment sectors.

Cape Town is a more laid back city, with a cosmopolitan vibe. One of the world’s most beautiful cities, the nation’s “Mother City” is known for having an entrepreneurial spirit, so many internships allow interns to gain firsthand experience with start-up or social enterprise companies. Cape Town was named the World Design Capital for 2014, so design internship opportunities are plentiful as well. Additionally, interns interested in tourism or the wine industry will find a natural fit in Cape Town.

Durban is famous for its uninterrupted white sand beaches and warm Indian Ocean water, making it an especially great choice for interns interested in tourism. 

But the beauty of South Africa is not confined to its cities! South Africa is one of the top megadiverse countries in the world and nature lovers will find a vast network of diverse national parks. The country boasts two oceans, numerous coastal reserves, and over 20 national parks, and there are ample internships in South Africa available in both marine and wildlife conservation

Internships in South Africa

Internship opportunities in South Africa are as diverse as the Rainbow Nation itself. Business, marketing, and finance internships can experience the exciting world of entrepreneurship in a developing market. While Johannesburg is the country’s financial capital, there are many young and creative enterprises popping up all over Cape Town. The emerging field of social entrepreneurship is becoming quite popular as well, so there are many internship programs offered by South African organizations that are both for-profit and nonprofit, using specific business principles to tackle important social issues.

Regarding healthcare internships, given the high incidence of infectious diseases,  both pre-med and medical school students can often see conditions in South Africa not common in their home countries, including HIV/AIDS, parasitic infections, and tuberculosis as well as more common diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Interns interested in healthcare can experience internships in South Africa that are geared towards exceptional learning, alongside some of the finest medical professionals in the world.

Opportunities to work on human rights or public policy campaigns are especially poignant in the land where Nelson Mandela famously fought for social justice. Despite years of progress, massive inequalities continue to be seen all around the country – in terms of basic human rights, including literacy and education, healthcare, and safety.

Socially minded interns can make important contributions to organizations looking to redress these imbalances, especially through internships in education, social work, and youth development. While South Africans celebrate their diversity, their multiculturalism, and their history of immigration, there is still much work to be done in terms of economic and social inclusion.

Time Requirements. Many internships in South Africa have two month minimum requirements, in order to make sure interns have enough time to get well acquainted with their project and have time to really make an impact. However, other organizations that are more community service based might have internship opportunities in South Africa available for shorter times.

Salary & Costs

As with many international destinations, most internships in South Africa are unpaid. To ensure that you receive a return on your time investment, it’s therefore important to choose your internship program carefully and fully understand the placement you are committing to prior to departure. Most participants who intern in South Africa have found that the non-financial rewards, in terms of career-related experience and personal growth, can be substantial.

The South African Rand is volatile and currency fluctuations can make a big impact on trip costs. As of 2014, South Africa was a relatively inexpensive destination compared to Europe and North America. While flights to South Africa can be more expensive than to other destinations, on-the-ground costs, such as housing, food, and local transport, are relatively inexpensive..

Accommodations & Visas

Housing is available in most locations in apartments, dormitories, and homestays.  Given safety concerns, it’s very important to check the neighborhood and building security when making housing arrangements for your internship in South Africa. It might be worth budgeting slightly more to ensure that housing is safe and secure.

According to local visa advisors, all visitors to South Africa for activities not related to tourism require a visa, for any trip duration. The most common types of visas available to individuals interning in South Africa are the volunteer visa and the exchange permit. That being said, interpretation of visa regulations varies from consulate to consulate and it’s therefore best to contact a South African consulate directly for the latest information. Depending on the consulate, lead times are typically range from 10 to 20 days.

Benefits & Challenges

  • Social and Environmental Change in the Home of Nelson Mandela. Interning abroad in South Africa will allow interns to experience more than just South Africa’s natural beauty and local people, it will allow interns to see first-hand creative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, including poverty, provision of health care to disadvantaged populations, and how best to encourage entrepreneurship in an emerging market and history of strong social dilemmas.
  • English, but Not Really. Challenges include adjusting to a different pace and accepting that while English is widely spoken, it’s necessary to learn the nuances and slang of the locals (for example, the phrase now now doesn’t actually mean now). Build your global work experience and get to know this wonderfully unique country!
  • Camera … ACTION. South Africa is not a “sit on the sidelines” kind of country. Interning in South Africa will require interns to really learn how to get things done in a foreign culture and may leave interns amazed at the rate of change around them.
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