Social Science Internship in South Africa

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About

Travel to Cape Town South Africa and learn about its unique political history and landscape. See where Nelson Mandela spent his time fighting for freedom for the people of the rainbow nation. When you are not visiting scenic and cultural sites, you will be collaborating with community leaders and working on community development programs in some of the diverse and color townships in and around Cape Town.

Highlights
  • Trip to Robben Island and District 6.
  • Workshops and discussion groups with community leaders.
  • Hands on experience in working together as part of a diverse multicultural team.
  • Experience one of the most scenic cities in the world.
  • Stay on our campus which is located in one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world as voted by Forbes magazine 2018.

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Alex
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Internship

My 6 month internship in Cape Town turned into 2 and half years of life-changing experiences. This program fuelled my passion for social change with a beautiful combination of positive and challenging experiences that taught me invaluable lessons about my resilience and capability. I was able to identify my passion for teaching, and return home to do a teaching degree safe in the knowledge that it was truly what I wanted to do.
Being so far away from friends and family was a real challenge, but the support from the team was beyond what I could have imagined, and I truly felt like I was held and part of a team looking out for each other.
The experience of working in the location was eye opening and heart warming all at the same time. The sense of community is beautiful to behold, and they envelop you in culture and laughter like nowhere else I have ever been.
Treading the fine line between volunteering sustainably and being the ‘saviour’ is something that many volunteer organisations struggle with. I believe that my experience in Cape Town showed me what true sustainable aid and impact can look like.

I am forever grateful for the work this internship enables me to do, both in the community and in myself.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go with an open mind. If you have already decided on the type of experience you want or are going to have, you are limiting yourself. Be open to change, challenge and experiences you cannot plan for!
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Tilda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time in Cape Town

I first arrived in Cape Town in 2011, and it forever changed me. I was meant to go to Cape Town for three months, and ended up working there for over two years. These were years which formed me, and I will be forever grateful for that experience.

South Africa has a unique history and culture which makes it intriguing, dynamic and collaborative and gives you a feeling that you do not want to leave. South Africa has its fair share of problems which you will not only learn about during your program, but you will also get the opportunity to contribute to the solution by giving back to a community which is openly excited to work together with you for sustainable impact.

In addition to being years of personal growth and endless days and nights of laughter and joy, doing an internship is essential for your career. It provides you with chance to stand out from the crowd and learn transferrable skills such as cross-cultural skills, flexibility, resourcefulness and social skills, skills which are needed in ALL jobs. During my time, I kept a journal with all the experiences and challenges I faced during my time working in the townships, this later became my key document when applying for jobs as I could always provide clear examples of when I demonstrated and applied the diverse skills.

Remember that you only live once - make the most of it!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
When I first arrived I believed that Cape Town would be scary and that everyone was struggling. That is not the case. Cape Town is filled with talented, outgoing and driven people who wants to change their lives. Little did I know that they would be the once who would change mine.
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Jennie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Jennie Rasmussen

A 12 week volunteer experience, turned into so much more. I fell in love with South Africa as a country and all its beauty, the people and their resilience. I loved meeting volunteers from all over the world with the same motivation to help others. I ended up living and working in South Africa for six years. It became home and was a journey self discovery, cultural understanding and filled with amazing experiences. Unintentionally, I gained far more than I gave.

I learnt what Community really meant. I’ll never forget the first time I visited a South African Township or “Location” as the residents call it. I’m still not sure exactly what I expected, but instantly I felt an overwhelming sense of community. Children playing happily, no electronics in hand, shops on the side of the street opening up for the days business, people making their way to work, the smell of fresh meat being braaied on the streets. Community members that are proud, positive and work with what they have. Creative and resourceful. People work hard, often supporting multiple family members. Conditions are not the best, education isn’t great, and there aren’t the opportunities, but still this sense of pride shines through every day.

Volunteering is a mutual learning experience and every person that you meet is your teacher. There are a lot of organisations out there doing great work, made up of passionate people with a desire to make a difference. It is important to do your own research, to make sure you gain everything you can.

For me, it felt like more a cultural shock moving back to the UK. My travel/volunteer experience helped me to grow as a person, I have a wider understanding of the world and more of an appreciation of the opportunities I have had growing up. I am a parent myself now, and as soon as my daughter is old enough, we will be volunteering again together.