Courtney is a 19 year old from New York, but she is currently studying at Northwestern University in Illinois.Interviewed on - 9 August 2016
I was interested in exploring a new city with other highly motivated students from all over the world.
This program was flexible and allowed me to gain classroom knowledge and real world experience with the internship. The course was rigorous enough to learn a ton.
I was most surprised by the vibrant and lively nightlife that exists in Cape Town. Cape Town is a cultural oasis and there really is something for everyone here; whether you are interested in clubbing, live music or performances, or a bar scene, you really can find it all in Cape Town.
Meeting new people from all over the world. This program attracts a very diverse group of people which I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet.
Very helpful in inspiring me to explore the city and live like a local.
The hardest part about being abroad was probably claiming the title "intern" in a country where that term is quite vague. What I mean by this is the work culture in South Africa is very different than that of the States, so an intern’s boss can have them doing all different types of high level assignments, which was challenging, yet very rewarding for me.
Also, remembering to integrate work and "play" can get difficult at times, because there were days when I was tired from a long day of work, but simultaneously I wanted to explore my new city!
I wish I had researched more of the history of South Africa, so that I had a better understand of their work culture prior to starting.
Wake up, go to class/work, go to the gym/hike, have dinner, and then go out and explore the nightlife. Weekends were jam packed with excursions or city exploration.
Trying new food spots or checking out markets!
Pack a wide assortment of clothing because Cape Town weather is quite sporadic and changes very often, so there are very hot dry days followed by a very foggy and raining days. Also, don't underestimate their winter season; it can get pretty cold and many stores or restaurants do not have indoor heating.
The biggest benefit of interning abroad is expanding your professional and personal network on a global level. I have been fortunate enough to have met, worked with, and formed relationships with my bosses, coworkers, and even some locals.
Yes! My time in Cape Town has been exceptionally fun and I've seen and experienced a ton of new things with new people. I wouldn't trade my two months for anything.
You will learn as much as you put in.
If I could intern abroad again, I would want to go somewhere in Southeast Asia. I'm very fascinated by quickly growing and advancing countries with rich cultural backgrounds.