Projects Abroad Internships in South Africa

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Projects Abroad offers a variety of internships in South Africa in the fields of Nutrition, Journalism, International Development, Veterinary Medicine, and Law & Human RightsThis is your chance to enhance your professional skills in a setting where volunteers can make a profound difference. Visit our website for more details!

  • A project just for you. With hundreds of options in over 25 countries all supported by directly-employed local staff, we will work with you to provide the placement that fits your interests and goals.
  • Name your dates. Start any day you want and choose how long you want to stay.
  • A home away from home. Living with a local host family allows you to settle in and immerse yourself in the local culture for a more complete experience. Great for language study, too.
  • Friends from all corners of the world. Live and work in the same community as other Projects Abroad volunteers from over 40 countries. We will make sure you get to know each other.
  • All in one price. Prices include all of your major in-country expenses and pre-departure guidance. You just have to worry about making your flight. We will book that for you too if you want.

Questions & Answers


based on 7 reviews
  • Growth 9.3
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.1
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 7 of 7

Best Way to Spend Winter Break

I had an amazing 3 weeks in Cape Town. I went for an internship working on the international development program. I was placed at a community outreach center, Where Rainbows Meet, in a local township called Vrygrond. It was enriching and the best possible way to spend a school break. I loved the opportunity to not be a tourist, but actually, immerse myself in a culture completely unlike mine.

At work, I had a lot of self-direction in what I did, but some of my larger tasks included; researching and drafting a grant proposal, writing a quarterly newsletter, overseeing fundraising, and editing an annual report. I also chose to work with the kids in the Early Childhood Development Center when I had some free time. I was always learning something new at work and felt completely welcomed by the entire staff at WRM. I was touched and left in happy tears on my last day of work as the staff gathered to say goodbye and gave me a lovely handwritten letter with notes from everyone at the staff.

In my free time I explored the area through a peninsula tour, I went paragliding, going to local markets, surfing. and seeing as many sunsets as possible. All the other volunteers were lovely, it was sad saying bye, but exciting having a network of friends all across the world. It is thanks to Projects Abroad that I had such a flawless tripped, with an exceptional host family, organized social events, great internship placement, and connecting me to other amazing volunteers.

Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Emma, thanks so much for your great review!

So glad you had a great time in South Africa and that those tears were indeed happy tears! It sounds fantastic your experience involved the immersion into another culture whilst learning new skills personally and professionally.. and with some great Instagram photos by sounds of it too!
I am sure the team will welcome you back with open arms if you wanted to go again, did you know we also do a human rights course in SA too? You should totally check it out with some of your friends!
Emma, hope you had a great Christmas and New year!

All the best from us all at Projects Abroad,

Projects Abroad - Community Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
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Most Humbling Experience

I traveled to South Africa in May for the Nutrition Project. Living in Canada, it took me 3 flights, a 12 hour layover and 2 sleepless nights full of excitement before I finally landed in the beautiful Cape Town. Upon arrival, I was kindly greeted by one of the Project's Abroad staff who drove me to my host family's house. My host family was amazing, kind and generous, making my experience all the more comforting.

When I started my first day of placement, I was unsure of what to expect. Every day was different in regards to what we would do. One day would be based out of the baby clinic, another we would go teach at a small township just west of us, and on other days we would cook for the children of the Surfing Project. We worked with various age groups, ranging from infants to the elderly, however, every day was just as amazing.

I had the most humbling experience working on the Nutrition Project, and coming home to Canada, it made me realize just how much of a difference an organization can make. The people at Projects Abroad impacted my life greatly, as did all the wonderful locals, staff and other volunteers. I don't think I could have had a better experience. I can't wait to go back!

How can this program be improved?
This program is excellent!
Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Rebecca! We are happy that you were able to join us for our Nutrition project in South Africa. Indeed, it is a long way to get there, but your help and assistance there will go a long way too. I am sure all the people you helped with were very grateful to have you, both the kids and the elderly. It is amazing to see first hand what you are able to do if you set your mind to it. Thank you for sharing!

Yes, I recommend this program
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An Experience That Changed My Life

This summer, I went to South Africa as an intern, not knowing exactly what to expect. The staff had already told me what I would be doing in my unconventional situation, but that didn't stop it from being unconventional. As a 17 year old boy from Indiana, I entered a Projects Abroad program in Cape Town normally reserved for law students, working at the Projects Abroad Human Rights office. The experience blew me away.

For two weeks, I performed Human Rights work in the field of social justice that involved travelling across Cape Town to different schools, townships, and juvenile detention centers to perform recreational and educational activities with the kids. Projects Abroad also granted me the opportunity to design and present my own educational presentations on a variety of topics to help troubled youths between the ages of 5 and 17 dealing with very difficult situations. I was made to feel welcome by not only the staff, but the other interns in the office as well, despite my unusual situation.

The staff were fantastic, beginning to end. The coordinators helped in showing me around Cape Town, telling me about everything beforehand, and guiding me through the process of social justice work with the most gracious and accommodating manner. Projects Abroad has my undying gratitude for their hospitality in a place so foreign to me.

I also couldn't forget about my host family. My host mother, Faye, is probably the most kind-hearted person I've met. She was incredibly flexible in case of any complaint or issue and cooked two amazing (often-local) meals for us each day. There was no turning down a second serving with her, as there was always more than enough to go around. Our wonderful host father became our guide and driver, helping us to travel around, and my host siblings were all very welcoming. Faye and the others made South Africa feel like a home away from home.

I'll remember the beauty of stunning Cape Town for as long as I live. My time there has changed and shaped who I am. I would recommend ProjectsAbroad to anyone looking for a valuable intern experience and the chance to see beautiful places, help underprivileged people, meeting great friends, and take memories with them that will last a lifetime, especially if you are a college student preparing to study law, or already studying law.

How can this program be improved?
Add more non-legal tasks at the Human Rights Office.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Four Weeks of Adventures

I spent four weeks volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa in the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office (PAHRO). As a pre-law student, this was an unbelievable opportunity. I got to do real hands on work, on numerous cases, and help others at the same time. As the office offers free legal assistance, we have the opportunity to help many who would not otherwise receive it. The Cape Town office also has social justice projects. As the legal work often takes a long time, it is very nice to do the social justice programs that have more immediate results. The social justice programs include visiting juvenile detention centers, a women’s shelter, and a township. At the juvenile detention centers and the women’s shelter we gave presentations about rehabilitation and empowerment. It is very nice to see the change in the some of the boys and girls at the juvenile detention centers, and see their appreciation for our presence. Most other legal internships involve mostly secretarial work. Projects Abroad gave me the opportunity to make a real contribution to my cases and learn so much. Even in my short four weeks, I felt I made a real impact on the lives of my clients.
Projects Abroad does a really great job of structuring the programs. I always felt safe and that I had someone to rely on if needed, but also never felt overly supervised. I was still free to do whatever I want, but also knew a staff member would always be there to help if I needed it. Starting from the very day I arrived, in which I was met my friendly staff members at the airport, and taken to my host house with my amazing host mom.
In my spare time, there was more to do than I could possibly have imagined. The office creates a great place to make friends, and there’s always something being planned. I was able to go shark cage diving, a wine tour, the Garden Route safari, Robben Island, and so much more. Projects Abroad plans special events as well. I made some amazing friends and did some amazing things. It is an experience I would recommend to anyone in a heartbeat.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Journalism in Cape Town

My summer spent with Projects Abroad in Southern Africa is one that I will never forget. I stumbled upon their website inquiry form late one night while researching internship opportunities in Cape Town and was blown away by how supportive and helpful their staff was right from the get go. Within hours of submitting my request for more information I was connected with a volunteer coordinator who was able to answer all of my questions and help me get the ball rolling. This support was only intensified once I arrived in country. The entire staff at the Journalism Project (and head office) in Cape Town was always willing to share advice about great local activities, day trips, and sometimes, just a friendly face when you were feeling a bit homesick. A trip with Projects immerses you in the local culture immediately upon arrival. By living with local host families you get to experience the country in a way that you simply wouldn't as a tourist. Not only was my host mom a blast to be around, but she took care of us when we got sick. was always interested in how our day went, and would give us the inside scoop on amazing local places to check out. I felt so welcomed by her that the overwhelming stress of being jet lagged in a foreign country was gone right after she gave me a tour of the house, joined me for lunch, and helped me get settled. The Journalism project was a great experience and our editor in chief made it a point to get us out of the office and away from our computers and into the city. We attended other projects, were able to sit in on local Press Club luncheons, and got to hit the pavement and explore all of the different stories Cape Town had to offer. She also was incredibly flexible and helpful when it came to my college credit requirements. Filling out a pile of paperwork and surveys for me without even batting an eye. Down time was spent exploring with the other volunteers who quickly formed a close knit community even though people were coming and going quite literally every single day. Overall this trip was enlightening, exciting, and fulfilling in more ways that I could have ever imagined. I would recommend Projects Abroad to anybody looking to have an authentic work experience abroad with a safe and reliable company (who still know how to have a good time!)

How can this program be improved?
In all honesty the only thing that was stressful about this program was the price. My experience overall was fantastic but I would have appreciated a better breakdown of where my money was going. If you ask me, host families do NOT make nearly what they are worth.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Summer in South Africa

I decided to volunteer abroad as every now and then I like to do something that puts me out of my comfort zone, so I chose South Africa as I wanted to go somewhere that I had never been before and somewhere I didn't actually know much about, so I would be in a situation that was unfamiliar to me. I decided to go after leaving college as I believed the experience would help my confidence and independence for going to university – I figured that if I could go to a foreign country by myself and live with a family I had never met before, then moving out and studying for a degree shouldn't be a problem!

I decided to go with Projects Abroad because of the support that was given. Even before I had made my mind up at to exactly where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do, they were on hand to answer any questions that I could think of. I also liked the fact that the price covered everything for when you were out there, so once I got to South Africa I was just able to enjoy my time there,without having to worry about budgeting and therefore possibly missing out on certain opportunities, such as social events.

I was actually very surprised when I first came out the airport – people drove on the left hand side of the road and the road signs were familiar! Not too different from home. But the thing that really shocked me, which I think affects all visitors and volunteers, is the very distinct gap between the wealthy and the impoverished. Coming from the UK, this sort of obvious divide between the poor and rich does not exist. People are not living in houses which they have constructed out of whatever materials they could find. When I was driven past the oldest and second biggest township in Cape Town I realised that this was something I had never witnessed before.

I was part of the 2 week special placement, which I really enjoyed – even if it did go too quickly! My host family were some of the nicest people I have ever met. They made me feel so welcome and comfortable, and the food! Sometimes I do find myself wistfully thinking of the delicious meals that Faye used to cook – including homemade foccacia bread, which is probably my favourite food of all time now!

The first week I was there felt like a crash course in getting to know Cape Town and its history in Human Rights, as it included visits to places such as the Slave Lodge, the District Six museum and Robben Island.
I also got to visit several townships where I was able to talk to South African citizens. This included helping out at a soup kitchen, which many of the children attended. Those children displayed a tremendous amount of energy and love, attaching themselves to you at any opportunity! I definitely felt like a piece of my heart was left behind there.

At the weekend I had the opportunity to complete the famous “Garden Route” trip, which, although involving a 5am start, was definitely one of the best parts of my time in South Africa. The two days included a three hour safari, a walk with lions and the chance to ride elephants! My favourite part however was visiting the wildlife centre where I had the chance to interact with lemurs (and by interacting I mean having them clamber all over me!)

The second week was when I was really able to focus on the current Human Rights issues that South Africa is facing. I met people who are currently tackling these issues, such as those involved in the African Scholars Fund and Gun Free South Africa. These groups really made me aware of what exactly were the causes of children not being able to receive education and illegal gun ownership, and what was being done to resolve these problems. I finished the week by presenting to the other volunteers in the Human Rights Office on The Access to Sufficient Food in South Africa. I learnt a lot from researching it and I hope the other volunteers also learnt something new.

It was quite difficult to leave South Africa in the end. Even having been there for a short time, I had made friends who I know will be my lifelong pen pals and totally immersed myself in the new, exciting culture of Cape Town. A few days after I had returned I went to a local music festival which I have been going to for a few years. It felt rather strange to be standing in a muddy field in wellies, when a week before I had been seeing animals such as springbok and ostriches in the wild - which were on sale to eat at one of the food stalls!

I am already planning my next trip to South Africa with Projects Abroad, but it might be more wishful thinking seeing as I am about to become a student! But my advice to those thinking of volunteering is not to think about it too much, obviously planning for your trip is important but try not to get too caught up in what might or might not happen when you're there – just go for it, you won't regret it.

How can this program be improved?
To be able to stay out there for longer!
Yes, I recommend this program
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An impressive, educative and fun internship at the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office

The human rights project in South Africa is divided into a social justice department and legal services department. The nice thing about working for the legal services department is that you are actually helping people directly, which is a great feeling. You encounter real problems in the daily lives of people and it is great if you can give these people a hand in solving their problems. One of the clients was harassed by his landlord, after doing a lot of research I found out that it is really probable that the client can get some emotional damages for what happened. It is great if you can help such a person, maybe the problem is not entirely solved, but you can at least help such a person partly. The mock trial project, one of the social justice projects, was a great project to work on. The children were really enthusiastic, especially when we invited a judge to practice with them. For me it was a great experience to do some nice activities with these kids and debate with them!
The project was really well organised. The staff at the human rights office were really helpful. People were standing in line to ask questions to the staff and they always made time for you to help you out.

Yes, I recommend this program


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About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad is a global organization formed around the need for gap year programs abroad designed for students taking a break from studying. Since its inception, Projects Abroad has expanded to offer high school volunteer programs, and a vast...