VACorps Gap Year Program in Cape Town

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About

The VACorps Gap Year Program is a transformative experience that will prepare you for the world that awaits after you finish high school. Our program will help you identify your personal goals, values, and passions and incorporate them into your career and life plan. 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.

Highlights
  • Personal and Professional Development with a Tailored Internship Opportunity
  • Cultural Engagement with Local South Africans
  • Experience Living Abroad in a Foreign City
  • Cultural Immersion with VACorps Weekly Activities and a Culture Series
  • Independent Exploration with Extracurricular Travel Options

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.8 Rating
based on 10 reviews
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  • Housing 9.8
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.6
  • Growth 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 8 of 10
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Trey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An unforgettable experience

Frantically needing a place to go VACorps came in with a stellar option in a matter of days over my past December break. Aside from receiving a placement at an amazing internship site, I was also in one of the most beautiful places I have ever traveled to. Never have I seen mountains and the ocean perfectly interact as they do here in Cape Town. I learned a lot about my professional self and a lot about how I strive in foreign environments. Aside from the internship, VACorps provided some amazing activities including a Wine induced camping trip. An experience I will never forget! What a treat to live in Cape Town for 2.5 months.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
It is what you make of it. Expect to be self-driven and not need to be told what to do constantly.
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Elliot
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I will be back!!!

I came to Cape Town about three years ago but didn't get to stay long enough to do a lot of the things I wanted to do. When someone suggested VACorps to me as soon as I saw that the program was in Cape Town, I knew immediately that I had to come back to this beautiful city. VACorps was incredible throughout the entire experience. The process of applying on a very tight time span was incredibly easy and helpful, they made sure I had options in my internship in conservation, and they were very open and easy to talk to from the very beginning. I absolutely loved my internship, where I worked on the waterfront with an Eco-Tour group. I helped the captain around the boat and pointed out wildlife to the guests. It was incredible to learn about all of the city's conservation projects involving the ocean and sea animals. Unfortunately, because of Coronavirus fears, I only stayed for two weeks. However, those two weeks were absolutely amazing. Also, the activities VACorps puts on on Fridays are extremely fun! Overall, I am incredibly grateful to VACorps for giving me this opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and explore different subjects in a new city and an entirely different continent. They made the process so easy and fun and I wish more than anything I could stay longer. I will definitely be back!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you plan on joining the VACorps gap program, and I highly recommend you do, definitely come for a month or more. There is so much to explore in and around this city and you'll learn more in your internship than you ever thought possible.
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Maya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Perfect amount of support for a gap year experience

I am so grateful to VACorps for this amazing experience, and I am so sad to leave! Everyone I met here and everything about this experience has been amazing. I really enjoyed my internship but more meeting more everyone in VACaorps and all the activities:) I've loved living in the diversity of Cape Town, and I loved how open and supportive everyone was in my internship. I truly believe that an internship experience in the states would've been very different. I will miss how dynamic Cape Town is and all the different activities that a city surrounded by a mountain provides. I'm so grateful for all the activities (weekly meetups, weekend trips) that VACorps provides, and I think that the VACorps model provides the perfect amount of support for a gap year internship experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I stayed for 6 weeks in Cape Town, but I would advise an intern to stay 8-10 weeks.
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Fletcher
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A very special experience

When I was starting the process of planning my gap year, there were two places that I knew I had to visit. The first was New Zealand, and the second was Cape Town. I knew I had to visit both of the places, and luckily for me, I did. When I first arrived in Cape Town I left everything open, I didn’t try to guess what it was going to be like, I just came in open to whatever. I believe that is truly what made this experience so special, that’s what made it such a great time. The whole city is always moving, it’s always busy, it almost feels as though the city is living, like it has a soul. You really do feel it when you visit, it’s unlike anyplace out there.

I started my internship in film about a week after I arrived, and I learned so much in such a short amount of time. The main thing I learned however is what it really means to work hard and how rewarding it can be.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My main tips for coming to this city are to be open to anything, new experiences, new food, make new friends(very easy to do everyone here is so friendly.) Stay as long as you can, three months is a great amount of time to be here. The VACorps staff are so helpful you can go to them for anything, they are always there don’t hesitate to go and talk to them. Mainly though just have fun, enjoy yourself, live your life to the fullest.
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Grace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Wonderful Program

My time in Cape Town through VA Corps allowed me to grow as a person and work on my specific goals in a comfortable, organized, and independent setting. VA Corps provided me with structure but also room to learn things and grow independently. The orientation was informative and provided for a great start in Cape Town. All the staff of VA Corps are extremely friendly and are always eager to help. I’m very appreciative of my time in Cape Town and for everyone that made it possible!

My internship is a great introduction to film production and allows every intern to be involved in all sides of all the projects they take on. One of my main goals was to learn about some sides of film production that I did not receive at the one internship in film production I've completed. I have really enjoyed sitting in on meetings that the people at my internship have held. They have covered many different sides of film production and I feel that they have given me many valuable experiences.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go into the internship with a very open mind and to be prepared for a lot of different tasks. Be prepared to learn a lot of different things and to be very easy going with the day to day duties that occur at the internship and to just go with the flow.
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Jonny
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible memories and a fun and impactful work experience

At my internships site, interns are given such amazing opportunities and responsibilities, regardless of qualification/experience, which I really loved. I also appreciated the large network of other interns that enriched my internship. The general tone in the office was serious and passionate but balanced with friendliness and humor, which made for a fun and impactful work experience. My most memorable moments included teaching a digital literacy course and when one of the clients from the Employment Access Program brought us flowers to thank us for helping him find a job.

I will definitely most miss the people I have met through VAC, RentARoom, and my internship site. I love Cape Town and how there is so much to see and do, but I am lucky that I am going to be back in the near future. I think my time in Cape Town taught me that I really love meeting and interacting with new and different people in work and outside of work. I am most grateful for the people at VA Corps. I really appreciated how quickly Kholi, Khuselwa, Loyiso, and the rest of the team were to care for and love all the interns. I also enjoyed how the VAC team hangs out and does activities with all the interns because it allows us to create lasting memories and build a strong, genuine bond.

What would you improve about this program?
I would suggest switching around the schedule of orientation a bit. I think that some people can come away from VAC without that much knowledge about South African culture/realities and current events. If that could play a bigger role in orientation week, then I think people would make even richer and meaningful connections while in Cape Town.
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Mara
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

VAC gives you all the tools and options you need

When I decided to take a gap year, I was initially wonderfully overwhelmed with the amount of options that the world presented me. With each google search I discovered a new country, new possibility, and new adventure. I battled the decision between a structured program, traveling all around, or living more long term in a foreign place. When I found VAC I was immediately interested. Cape Town has been on my list of top cities to visit for quite a while. Growing up in Manhattan, I’m a city girl through and through and definitely consider that important in places I want to stay, but I love the outdoors and active adventures. All my life I had pretty much accepted the two lifestyles were mutually exclusive, except coming to Cape Town I realized I had found the exception. It provides a bustling city with numerous options, combined with dramatic and beautiful mountains, all bordering the sea. It still blows my mind that such a combination exists. The city has so much depth and culture and is home to a huge variety of people. With VAC’s help, the city is easy to navigate and easy to integrate within. There are activities every week to expose you to different facets of Cape Town living and they are encouraging of branching out and exploring all different neighborhoods and interacting with all different people. I found the transition seamless upon arrival and in no time at all I felt like I had been here forever. My internship provided me a daily routine and a place to stretch myself in a professional environment in a way I have not yet had the opportunity to do. VAC orients you thoroughly to South African culture and provides plenty of prep and knowledge on how to assimilate to whatever job you are doing. There is so much opportunity to meet amazing people and in my three months in Cape Town I have made friends I have no doubt I will keep in touch with long after my departure. The interns that come here through VAC come from all different backgrounds, but share the commonality of all loving Cape Town and seeking new friends. We are all joined easily by VAC activities and our proximity through housing in Observatory. Throughout the duration of my stay here, I struggled to find a single day when there wasn’t something I wanted to do, wether that was a braai at a neighbors house, an outdoor movie, a sunrise hike, a surf day, concerts, road trips, excursions, or just good food and good fun with amazing company. I lost appreciated the accessibility of VAC, whose office is just a short walk away at all times. Quick to respond and ready to help, I found that they put all worries about living in a totally different country at ease and provided all the support one could want. wether it is your first time traveling or you are a veteran, VAC gives you all the tools and options you need and leaves it to you to take what you chose and participate to your desired level, making it an ideal program for any aspiring intern.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Definitely reach out and be friendly because this is one of the warmest and most welcoming work environments I’ve experienced. Despite standing out a lot as a young American girl, everyone I met was so interested in getting to know me and in turn sharing their lifestyle. Also try and experience as many of the different departments as possible because one of my favorite things about the company is how interlocked and collaborative each department is and how they contribute to the mission as a whole.
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Matthew
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Internship was my favourite part

Along with my journey around the world, I knew I wanted to see more diverse cultures. Coming from New York and traveling to Australia and New Zealand this past year you really get to learn a lot about the different cultures. Cape Town has its up and downs but there's always new places to see and new things to do. My internship was probably my favorite throughout my journey. From working hands-on with editing films or doing graphic design, I can truly secure what I want to do in the future. Moonsport Tv treated me like family and I thank them for that. My internship being so close, there was always time for new activities. Through Vac with the culture series and Friday excursions, you always are treated like family. Not to mention making new life long friends along the way, No matter how long or short your stay is in Cape Town you will always have a different experience. From going on the garden route trip, which I highly recommend, you truly get to experience a new side of the world. From the people here and my roommates, I've learned so much about the different cultures around the world. Everyone has a different story and it makes you want to help those who need it. In the end, this is Definity an opportunity you should take in life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future interns is, always be ready to work. Be open to new ideas and techniques. Every day is a new day. Moonsport staff is very open and treats you like family not to mention you get lunch every day. That's unbeatable including the location. Hence all this be prepared and on time every day and show maximum effort.