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Social work internships in South Africa
VACorps participants VACorps participants

Social work internships in South Africa

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Asante sana VAC

Why I chose Cape Town: I chose Cape Town because I had heard a lot of very nice things about it but also because I wanted to experience a different part of South Africa having been to J'burg and Durban.

What I loved most about interning in Cape Town: The vibe (the place, the people) is very nice and easy. There are also a lot of really cool places to visit (restaurants, tourist attractions, etc.). I totally enjoyed my stay and I wish I could have stayed longer.

My internship experience: My internship experience opened my eyes to a lot of things about myself. Working in a site where I met people with a wide range of psychological problems really sharpened my observation and communication skills (the language barrier aside) and enhanced my emphatic and compassionate side. I had to hit the ground running but it was a challenge that I welcomed with open arms and an open heart. I gained a lot of knowledge and skills (tools, approaches) that will serve me well in my professional career as a Counselor Pscyhologist.

Specific highlights at my site that I will never forget: I will never forget the staff at Philisa Abafazi - they made me feel welcome and were very supportive. But what I will really stay with me for a very long time is the desperation among some of the clients that I attended or met in the course of my internship. It humbled me and made me feel very fortunate to serve the Lavender Hill community.

What I love most about living here: I was in Cape Town for about 2 months and I loved everything about living here. I found accommodation a bit expensive compared to my country especially for short stays, but it is understandable.

Why I would recommend VAC program to others:
1. The program is well thought out and organized - the pre-arrival info and support, logistic arrangements on arrival, you name it. It is all spot on!
2. ALL the staff at VAC are great and very supportive. I felt good about the program from the very first email I received after my inquiry.
3. The constant check-ins by staff at VAC and the weekly activities help to keep interns and volunteers in touch with one another and with the program. It is very reassuring to know that you have a family away from home.
4. The program fee is reasonable.
5. I liked the fact that I had an option to choose my internship site based on the information that VAC shared about the available options.
I could a say a lot more but those really stood out for me. And YES! I will definitely recommend VAC to others.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Internship Placement

    9

Exceeded Expectations

My internship affected me professionally as I was able to implement a program of my interest. Having that responsibility of designing, organising and running the program was an educational and personal learning experience. I also became more confident and doing this reassured me that I'm in the right profession. Cape Town was so much more than I had anticipated. It was such a beautiful place filled with amazing people! Everyone at VAC was so friendly and extremely helpful. I felt safe knowing they were by my side my entire stay. I have no choice but to come back in the future!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Work Environment

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

My second home

I've never worked with people in such an intimate setting. It was a very emotional rollercoaster. I realised that I have a way with people in terms of providing comfort or a self esteem boost. I didn't think that the women would have such an impact on me. Working with women of similar backgrounds to me showed me that it doesn't matter what happens to you, it's what you do afterwards that defines you as a person. Such a valuable lesson that came at the right time.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

The existential act, not the existential word

Interning as a therapist here in Cape Town has been of tremendous value to my trade. To sit back and imagine a big change in your day-to-day life can be inviting. I'd say to this announce yourself to the actual change, get your sleeves dirty, and do it with all of yourself. Thanks VAC. Thanks South Africa.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Work Environment

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Internship Placement

    7

The One and Only Cape Town

Not knowing what to expect before I came here, it's been an amazing journey and an incredible experience I would not want to miss. With a lot of ups and a few downs, Cape Town and its people have taught me a lot about myself, other cultures and things I want to achieve. I learned about how an NGO in a totally different country is being run and how it has to function with the little means they are being granted. I got to work with underprivileged people and children which opened up my eyes to appreciate things more. I suppose you only get to experience that in the one and only Cape Town!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Work Environment

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Internship Placement

    9

Three Months in Cape Town

My experience in Cape Town was absolutely incredible. I met so many people from so many different countries. I'm so excited that I can go home with all these cultural experiences and stories to tell about my time here. While in Cape Town everything is preorganized: housing, host organization, activities, etc. By the time you get here your stress is lifted by the fact that VAC has taken care of the most important things already.