• South Africa
    • Cape Town
4 - 12 weeks

Program Details

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


Starting Price
$2,750 USD
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
Jul 20, 2021

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

9.8 Rating
based on 25 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Housing 9.8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 25 reviews
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.
1 person 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.

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

I absolutely loved my time at VACorps

Cape Town an incredibly special place to live and work. The city is brimming with opportunities and experiences to be had– from thrilling safaris and terrifying bungee jumping to relaxing afternoons at the Clifton beaches or the beautiful flowing hills of Constantia and Stellenbosch Winelands. Yet possibly the best part about VACorps are the other interns you meet here. Never in my life have I met such adventurous, intelligent, and fun-loving people. It takes a special kind of person to take the unanticipated gap year route, and an even more unique and exceptional person to travel to South Africa alone and work as an intern here. The people here are seekers of unexpected journeys but also very devoted to the work they came to do. The amazing internships and work experiences that the VAC staff finds for you span every field I can think of. Even though I didn’t end up working in the initial workplace I was assigned to, I was even happier and more fulfilled at the one I finally ended up at. All in all, I could never have asked for a better group to experience this beautiful country with and I’m so happy I was able to come.

What would you improve about this program?
VACorps could maybe implement a voting system/choice board for Friday activities.
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My gap year internship abroad in Cape Town

I am so incredibly thankful that I chose Cape Town and VACorps as a place to intern abroad during my gap year. I was able to meet some of the most amazing people and experience places and activities that I never thought I would get to experience. I have learned so much about not only living on my own in a completely different country but a lot about myself as well. I feel like I became a lot more independent and learned how to work with people who are very different from me. I know this program has definitely prepared me for the future and I will miss everything about it!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have everyone arrive and leave at the same time.
8 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I would recommend this program to anyone

I cannot emphasize enough how happy and grateful I am that I chose to come to Cape Town with VACorps as part of my gap year. For one, I met some really wonderful people that I know I will stay in touch with long after this trip. We were an incredibly friendly and energetic group that had so much motivation to see Cape Town inside and out. What bonds us all is our common love for adventure, nature, and trying new things, and I found this spirit really refreshing after spending 13 years in the same school. The VACorps staff was so heartwarming, welcoming, and supportive in everything we needed. There were no bureaucratic hurdles or boundaries to what they could do to help us and always made themselves available to us.

I never expected that I would find myself overstaying my 90 allotted days in South Africa, but I did in fact leave the country, only to return and extend my visa. I really just love the independence I had here to live life as I would at home but with so many added benefits – i.e. hiking, beach, surfing, restaurants/bars, and so much more. Even when I stopped working my internship and was worried about not having enough to do, I knew that I would rather be here in Cape Town, have fun with friends, and explore a new culture rather than not working at home.

My internship was a truly South African experience – it was something I could not have done at home, and I am so glad that I chose the site that I did. The best part was that it was so unstructured and allowed me to use skills I already had to do something where I had no experience, but used my intuition to accomplish. My task was to create a brand new business/marketing/social media strategy for an urban farm, and, although I had no experience doing something like that before, I really enjoyed learning as I went and working with Manelisi, to set up something sustainable. I developed skills that I will definitely use going forward, and that I definitely would not have gained if I were at a larger company, for example, that had an existing business structure and that didn't give me as much authority/flexibility in my work.

Overall, the last 3 months in Cape Town have defined my gap year experience. I feel so much more confident in my decision to take a gap year because of the way I have grown in the last three months. I would recommend this program to anyone, and I am most definitely going to return to Cape Town with friends and family in the future.

What would you improve about this program?
Not much, honestly. I would maybe advise that VACorps solicit more input from students on what activities/culture series they would like to participate in so that it would raise levels of attendance as it began to fade with time.
9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The best three months of my life

This trip was the best time of my life. I have made so many memories and experienced so many things that will stay with me for the rest of my life, including skydiving, bungee jumping, Cederberg camping weekend, and my Kruger safari trip. I met incredible people along the way who have impacted my life and changed me far more than I ever thought possible. I have learned so many things and definitely look at life differently as a result of this experience. My internship was amazing and I know the skills and knowledge that I have gained from it will benefit a lot me later in life. Cape Town is an amazing place and I will definitely be coming back here in the future and would maybe like to live here one day. Thank you so, such a VACorps team -it wouldn't have been possible without you!!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Just be yourself and have fun. Don't work too hard because you don't need to.
9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Independence, adventure and the opportunity to explore my future career path

I chose Cape Town because it was one of the few cities that was open to American travelers at the time. I also have friends at home who were born in Cape Town and whose parents were raised there and they definitely encouraged me to go. I wanted to do an internship because I wanted to get a sense of the real world before studying it in earnest at University next year. It is hard to know what you really want to do career-wise without having any or much exposure to it. In other words, something may seem cool in theory but once you actually get there and start working in that field it may not be what you had imagined. VAC gave me the opportunity to explore my interests in hospitality before deciding that it is what I want to study in college and pursue long-term.

During my time in Cape Town, I learned that I am capable of so much more than I thought. The idea of college terrified me because of all the independence and having to figure out how to balance schoolwork with a social life and making friends with living my life and partaking in all the crazy adventures this world has to offer. It all just felt like so much to take on, but VAC gave me the opportunity to figure it out in a low-stakes environment. Yes, I was working in a professional workplace and needed to complete what was expected of me, but the mistakes I made there are not going to follow me the same way they may in college.

What I loved most about living in Cape Town was definitely the accessibility to so much. You are living right between a city, ocean, and mountains. There is just so much that you can do in Cape Town. I also enjoyed living alone with other people my age and learning together how to do it all. I will miss the energy that the gap students brought to the group. Someone always wanted to do something, so I was never bored or out of ideas of things to do. I stayed for three months and that time flew by quicker than expected. The VAC staff are nothing but incredible. I am most grateful for how they treat their program participants. They truly look at us like adults and not kids so they give us a ton of freedom but are also always there for support when needed. As a gap student, I feel that it was really up to me how involved I wanted to be with the VAC staff which I appreciate a lot. There were never any mandatory checkups or anything like that which made the environment more welcoming to stop by and say hello.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I was in the first group of gap students to arrive so I did not miss out on anything in terms of the group dynamic which I think is huge and definitely something I would suggest to other people looking at the program –– choose the earlier start option.
9 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers