• South Africa
    • Cape Town
4 - 12 weeks

Program Details

Hiking Surfing Wine Tasting
Year Round
Apartment Guesthouse
Primary Language
Age Min.


Starting Price
Price Details
Contact us today for a full breakdown of all of the associated fees associated with the VACorps Gap Year Program.
What's Included
Some Activities Airport Transfers Some Park Fees SIM cards Tour Guide Wifi
What's Included (Extra)

To learn more about everything that is included in the VACorps Gap Year experience, please email admissions@vacorps.com

Jul 01, 2021
May 19, 2022
15 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The VACorps Gap Year Program is a transformative experience that will help prepare you for the world that awaits after you finish high school. You will gain real-world work experience, make new friends from all over the globe, and have the time of your life as you explore the most beautiful city in the world.

As a participant of our program, you will join a community that feels like a family. When you arrive in South Africa, we make it incredibly easy for you to adjust to life in Cape Town and call this city your home. From your very first day in the country will guide you through a comprehensive orientation that ensures you will take full advantage of every moment in South Africa.

You will immediately be networked with other participants so that you have a peer group to relate with as you quickly adapt to life in a new city you'll soon be calling home. Gap year students live together in the gap year house, which is another highlight of the VACorps Gap Year Program experience.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Gain personal and professional development through your custom internship placement at a local organization in Cape Town
  • Live abroad in one of the world’s most beautiful and adventurous cities!
  • Attend VACorps Weekly Meet-Ups and culture series and discover Cape Town's beautiful sights, attractions and culture
  • Live independently in a designated GAP year house with other like minded adventurers
  • Enjoy plenty of travel opportunities to attractions like the Garden Route, Mozambique, Kruger National Park, and Cederberg Mountains

Popular Programs

Gap Year Sustainability Internship

Make an impact, build your resume and gain valuable field experience in a professional environment during your sustainability internship in Cape Town. Intern at an organization that promotes sustainable social, economic, cultural, and environmental development. Regardless of your focus, you will gain an understanding of the challenges and triumphs of sustainability efforts in South Africa.

Film and Media Gap Year Internships in Cape Town

Gain hands-on learning opportunities during your GAP year in a culturally unique environment. Cape Town has a bustling film and media industry and is an ideal place to gain experience working within a foreign media while producing work that will help you develop your professional portfolio. If you are studying or interested in pursuing a career in film, production, media, journalism, or photography, VACorps can provide you with exciting internship options.

Gap year business or start-up internships in Cape Town

If you are interested in studying towards a business degree and are hungry for emerging market exposure, a business/start-up internship in Cape Town will provide you with an enriching professional experience. Whether you are looking for experience in a fast-paced private company or would prefer to apply your knowledge and work for an organization that helps the underprivileged, VACorps will customize an internship that will help you work towards your goals and objectives.

Refugee Internships in Cape Town

If you have an interest in human rights and social services and a desire to gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers, then a refugee internship is a great option. You will be placed in a professional organization that is committed to improving the lives of refugees in South Africa by providing them with a wide range of social services that will assist in helping them integrate and succeed in local society.

Program Reviews

9.77 Rating
based on 30 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
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  • Housing 9.8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 30 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

No place in the world like Cape Town!

VACorps has given me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to intern in and explore Cape Town. There is no other place in the world quite like Cape Town and I will forever cherish the memories I have made here for the rest of my life. I interned at a spectacular organization that helps children in need, and I was able to get an insight in to social work with children.
The VACorps staff are some of the sweetest, nicest, and most helpful people I have met in Cape Town. I appreciate how they were so willing to help me out when I needed it.

2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

This program exceeded my expectations

I had an amazing experience in Cape Town through VACorps. I came in, not sure what to expect, but it exceeded my expectations. Cape Town itself was absolutely beautiful, with lots of fun activities to do. The site I attended, Haven Night Shelter in Wynberg was a great experience. The workers their were amazing, they were kind, funny and accepted me as one of their own right away. The work there was very fulfilling, knowing that I was helping people in need get back on their feet. I'm grateful for all the friends I met through VACorps as well. I became close with many of my roommates, and I will surely keep in touch with them. Overall, it was a great experience and I'm very happy that I came.

2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Liberating, engaging and so much fun!

When I was looking for a program to do for the first chunk of my gap year, I knew I wanted to go someplace interesting, do something engaging, and grow as an individual. VACorps has facilitated the chance for me to do that all x100. Throughout my time in Cape Town I have learned so much about my field of interest (Human Rights), my hobbies (turns out I LOVE early morning Atlantic swims), and myself.
I came to Cape Town for three months (just under 12 weeks total) and have had the most amazing time. As someone who had been to Cape Town briefly before, I really came for the internship but had the joy of exploring the aspects of the city I hadn't seen before. Three months was the perfect time for me. I did everything I wanted (pro tip: ask the departing interns for a list of what they enjoyed most, which became my Cape Town bucket list), and had my remaining few weeks to revisit my favorite places. Exploring the markets, venturing up the mountains, and trying every type of food imaginable has been the greatest adventure.

Beyond simply being in Cape Town, I loved the balance that VACorps provides. It is so great to live with a group of interns while still having my own work to go to every day and the independence of creating my own experience. The whole-group meet-ups ~2x a week are a great way to get to continue getting to know your peers and exploring the city but don't confine yourself by taking up too much time. We have the freedom to participate in the VACorps program when we want, and also have our own experiences when we want. Additionally, the VACorps staff is incredible. Simply having someone to call is always reassuring, but the lengths Kus and Kholi and everyone on the team go through to ensure we are having a good time is wonderful (they're also just super fun to hang out with - and have photoshoots with ;) ). I am going to miss all the adventures and laughter greatly.

Overall, VAC has been one of the most liberating, engaging, and enjoyable times of my life, and I am so grateful to everyone here who made it so great. Observatory is my home, and I can't wait to come back and visit again sometime soon!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Honestly, not much. I think overall VACorps was an excellent experience, and the program provides the perfect balance of community and independence. Any things I would have done differently are mostly just personal changes (ie, visiting certain markets sooner, knowing seasons for various activities).
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My incredible 2.5 months in Cape Town

I chose the VACorps program to both broaden my international experience and make new friends from all over the world with different backgrounds. I have had such a great time in this program and have experienced so much in Cape Town. The natural beauty of the city and the beautiful rich culture of its people is incredible. This is a place I will never forget. I stayed here for 2 and a half months, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. The weekly activities always are so much fun, and add to the sense of community here. Some advice I would give new arrivals is to try to go out and see as much as you can while you have the time. There is so much to both see and do.

17 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An unforgettable adventure

During my gap year I have had to navigate many COVID related restrictions with gap programs and travel. I was looking for an experience that would be in person and as normal as possible. It was suggested to me to look into travelling to Cape Town as it was less impacted by COVID. After speaking with VACorps and asking many queastion I decided to take my chances and travel half way round the world. I never regretted my decision and had an amazing time! I was able to explore Cape Town with other interns and work as a teacher in a local school, both incredibly rewarding experiences. I grew immensely as a person during my time here and I think this is a trip that I will remember for the rest of my life. Being able to experience Cape Town both in a professional and social manner allowed me to understand South Africa differently than a regular tourist would. During my time here I was not only able to explore Cape Town but also Pretoria and Kruger National Park for a six day safari!

A typical week as an intern would be working at your site during work days of course and then meeting up with other interns for dinner and social events in the evening. Every weekend we go on a VACorps trip in and around the city and will then organise our own trip on Saturday or Sunday. VACorps is definitely a social program and all of the interns enjoy spending time with one another and explore Cape Town and experience South Africa as a group. As a whole I thoroughly enjoyed my Cape Town experience and highly recommend it to any future interns who are looking for an adventure.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I travelled with maybe six other interns to the far north of the country and saw firsthand the big 5 animals of Africa and travelled on more that 3,000 km of roads that stretched throughout the Kruger National Park. This was an incredible experience and I would highly recommend it to all future interns.
20 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The VACorps program is truly one of a kind!

My VACorps and Cape Town experience was nothing short of incredible. Just a few months ago, I had no idea what to do with the end of my gap year and was searching for an experience that would throw me out of my comfort zone while still providing the support of a strong community, staff, and culture. For my internship, I worked at a local, small-scale urban farm-based in Gugulethu. I spent half my time working on the farm, planting vegetables, and cleaning up the plots for harvesting. The other half of my time was spent on a community Newsletter for the farm. With my internship, I was given full creative license to write, design, layout, and print a newsletter for the farm to be distributed at local markets. It was a wonderful experience and I felt like I got an amazing split of in-person labor and business development. One of the best parts of this program is the independence VACorps gives. You will be meeting new people, making your own decisions, and living in South Africa with the ability to do whatever your heart desires. I really appreciated the way in which the program provided a safety net for me and everyone in the group; I felt like I could call anyone if I needed help with anything but didn’t feel any pressure or restriction with what I was doing on a day to day basis. This allowed me to explore Cape Town and all its resources to the fullest. I had the best food, jumped off a bridge, jumped out of a plane, hiked Table Mountain, paddle-boarded the Waterfront, embarked on safaris on the Garden Route, and hit the beach in my spare time, making for an experience that I truly believe cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world. Even better, I did it all with my friends that I had just met, all hungry for an adventure and ready to take on Cape Town. It made for a particularly unique bonding experience and I will be in touch with them for a long time. I learned so much in my seven weeks here and my one regret is not staying longer. This program is truly one-of-a-kind and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to challenge themselves while making friends and memories you will not forget!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Absolutely nothing - I loved my time in Cape Town, and am grateful to everyone who made it such an awesome experience.
20 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

You won't find a better way to spend time during your gap year

My time in Cape Town with VAC was absolutely amazing because of the stunning location, supportive staff, and the incredible friendships I made with fellow program participants and coworkers at my internship. I am taking a gap year, and so as someone who hasn’t yet started college, I have not yet spent much time living independently. Spending my first time ever “on my own” in Cape Town was perfect because there was always something to do. Observatory has amazing restaurants and bars for nights after work, but more importantly, Cape Town has bucket-list level adventures every weekend only a short drive away. Surfing at Muizenberg, wine tastings in Stellenbosch and Franschoek, skydiving, bungee jumping (a few hours away…), and countless others were some of the highlights of my weekends. Then being able to do all of these amazing things with friends who are just as eager to explore this new place as you are is a special experience. While I was living “on my own,” the VAC team is always there to answer any question or help with anything at all, and the office is just a few blocks away in case of an emergency.

What really makes the VACorps program stand out, though, is that your time there isn’t spent just running around as a tourist, most days you are working. My internship was with an Urban Farm in Guguletu, where I was helping harvest, plant, weed, and improve the infrastructure on the farm, while also helping my fellow interns manage social media, and digitize records for the farm. Most of my days were spent on-site at the farm, where I really experienced life in a way that is very different than anything I have seen at home. I was working closely and becoming friends with people born and raised in the townships of Cape Town; I got to hear about their lives and share stories of my life back in the US. I formed connections with people I would never have met, or even really thought about unless I had come to Cape Town. For this, I consider myself extremely lucky to have found such an amazing internship.

Cape Town has something for everyone, and doing it all with VACorps is a must because they help make Cape Town yours. By finding you an internship that suits your interests, then offering tons of activities and suggestions of places to go, you’ll never find a better way to spend 3 months.

21 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An Adventure Unlike Any Other

VACorps gave me an experience that was everything I was looking for during my gap year, and so much more that I never expected. One of the challenges of taking a year off from university is the difficulty of finding other people in the same position as me. VAC provided that with a group of ~20 students who had all been through the same experiences as me and all decided that they would rather spend their year in Cape Town than following the rest of our peers into university. Interning at a small scale farm in Gugulethu taught me more about the world than I thought possible and revealed to me the experiences of so many people who - aside from the circumstances of their birth - were so much like me. I had the opportunity in between weeding the plants or tilling new plots to explore the lives of those I was working with and gain an appreciation for what I was able to create with my own two hands.

Starting my time here with a trip to the Kruger National Park was an unparalleled way to begin this adventure. I got to know my peers well on the plane and bus rides and by the time we reached the game reserve, I felt as close to them as some of my oldest friends from back home. Over my 10 weeks here (I recommend 8-10), I have learned more about myself than I thought possible. I have considered my place in the world and my responsibility to those in it all while exploring what I know the address as "The Greatest City in the World". There is adventure around every corner: trips to the Garden Route, tours of the townships, unforgettable nights out, beach days, and if you're feeling up to the challenge, bungy jumping or skydiving. All of these experiences have shaped me into the person I am now; when I begin university in the fall I will be far more prepared than I would've been had I started last year. Now, I am ready to take advantage of all the world has to offer. If you have some time off, or are considering an adventure unlike any other, I cannot recommend VACorps enough. It is the perfect balance of structure and freedom and will give you memories to last a lifetime.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Bring a lot of clothes you don't mind getting dirty and stay on guard while you're there. While nothing bad ever happened to us, there were incidents nearby.
20 people found this review helpful.

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