VACorps Internships in Cape Town

Video and Photos

About

VACorps is a unique organization that has transformed the lives of countless young adventurers through careful program design and a sincere passion for what we do. We at VACorps steadfastly continue our time-honored tradition of creating legends; bold African adventurers who will speak about their experiences in Cape Town, South Africa and its neighboring countries for the rest of their lives.

We create customized internship placements in Cape Town, South Africa for students and young professionals in all fields of interest. Our diverse and extensive list of companies and organizations will give you the opportunity to intern within the field of your choice! Whatever your interests, we will aid you in achieving your goals while you explore one of the world's most vibrant cities.

We're a full-service program dedicated to providing our participants with a life-changing experience in the Mother City, both personally and professionally.

Highlights
  • Tailored internship placements in all fields of interest
  • 24/7 On-the-Ground Support
  • Weekly Cultural Excursions
  • Program Housing
  • Weekly Culture Series

Questions & Answers

A 6-month internship is $3250, or $300 for each additional month after 3 months.
I worked for a fashion based video production company called Big Sky Productions in Cape Town. I would scout locations, photograph casting calls, help out on set, shadow the producers in pitch meetings, general maintenance of the office, as well as shoot my own projects for the company using their gear. I would work some days until the wee hours of the night, and other days I was in before the sun...

Reviews

97%
based on 29 reviews
  • Growth 9.3
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.9
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 8.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 29
Default avatar
Neha
9/10

Cape Town

I really enjoyed my medical internship working at Retreat Community Health Centre. | was able to circulate through the different departments at the clinic including trauma, emergency, maternity, obstetrics, chronic disease etc. I was also able to watch and assist with medical emergencies and my personal highlight at my internship sight was being able to watch and assist with deliveries and newborn check-ups. I was here for a total of eight weeks and loved every minute of it. I will definitely miss all of the amazing people that I've met here and living so close together in Obs. One of my favourite tings that I did here was the Garden Route trip where I got to walk with African elephants and bungy jump off of the worlds highest bungy bridge. Throughout my entire stay here, the VAC staff was always very helpful and planned amazing weekly activities for us. I am most grateful for the VAC program for my internship placement and for enabling me to meet such amazing friends here.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kaitlin
10/10

Cape Town

I chose Cape Town for my internship because I have always wanted to come to Africa since I was a little kid. I saw an advertisement for VAC on an internship website and I decided to email for more information. I want to become a travel nurse so I wanted to see what nursing was like in other parts of the world. Cape Town is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I was at Maitland Cottage Pediatric Hospital and Heidelveld Community Clinic for my internship. I was able to observe many different things such as, PT/OT, wound care, surgeries, sutures, family planning, urgent care, HIV clinic and prenatal check ups. I was able to talk to many nurses and doctors about healthcare and it was interesting to hear their perspective on healthcare. My favorite part about interning here was Cape Town itself and I loved having Table Mountain and Devils Peak in my backyard and the beach was very close as well. Everyone that I met while I was here was so nice and welcoming and I will definitely miss that as well as the beauty of the city. I was here for 2 months and I personally wish that I would have been able to stay for 3 months. There is so much to do and see in Cape Town and it is very hard to pack it all into 2 months. The weekly VAC activities help you see a lot of the hikes and a lot of the outdoor activities. I am grateful for the people I met and the endless memories that I made in Cape Town.

Yes, I recommend this program
Tom
9/10

VAC review (18th June-9th September)

After studying abroad my freshman year of college, I knew I wanted to travel more in the future. After a friend of mine came home from Cape Town and told me how much she loved it, I started to do more research on the city. My advisor at school recommended VACorps to me and that is how I made the decision to do an internship here. I have absolutely loved my last two months in Cape Town with VAC. I did my internship at a medical clinic in a township and I learned a lot about the public health problems in Cape Town and how different the healthcare system is from home. My two months in Cape Town flew by and I was never bored. There is always something new and exciting to do in this city. There are so many amazing restaurants, hikes, vineyards, and beaches in the area that we always had something to do after work. Hiking was one of my favorite things to do here and my favorite hike in Cape Town was definitely Lion's Head at sunrise. The highlights of my last two months were going on the Garden Route, shark cage diving in Hermanus and sky diving. Having the VACorps staff for support while I was in Cape Town was so helpful. Anytime I had a question about the city or needed help planning an activity they were willing to help and give their advice. Having the weekly VACorps activities every Friday was really fun and a great way to meet other interns. One of the things I will miss most about Cape Town are all of the amazing friends I have made here through VACorps. The decision to intern in Cape Town was one of the best decisions. I fell in love with this city and I can't believe my time here is over, but I know I will be back soon!

Yes, I recommend this program
Corrie
9/10

Human rights pre-law internship in Cape Town

I chose to come to Cape Town because it's in a country that's always fascinated me, and I thought it would be the perfect place to do a human rights internship. I learned so much here, not just academically speaking, but I also learnt so much about the culture and about myself. Overall, I think the most important thing I've learnt is that I am so much more capable than I thought I was. I've gained so much confidence in my own abilities, and learned more about my own potential in life. I've been in Cape Town for 10 weeks, and I think the best advice I could give a future intern would be to come here with an open mind, and be prepared for experiences you never thought you would have. Say yes to things you wouldn't necessarily ordinarily say yes to, and don't be afraid to speak to new people. VAC are so great at looking after us interns, and the weekly VACtivities are a great way to see more of the country and get more out of your stay here. I can 100% recommend Cape Town and VACorps for an incredible experience you will never forget!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alex
10/10

Cape Town, and VAC, Changed My Life Forever

I would like to offer my utmost thanks to the lovely, empathatic, compassionate, and hopspitably-heroic humans that make up VAC; from Carmen, who picked me up at the airport upon my arrival and welcomed me with ahomely warmth and her ever-present grin, to Oliver, who came down to Muizenberg—the suburb of my internship—for a surf and lunch check-in long after I had finished my time with VAC, everyone involved deserves a thousand cheers and then some for their beautiful creation. VAC allows young adults to not only see THE most beautiful (historically, culturally, physically, and otherwise) city on Earth, but to hear, immerse, grasp, and truly feel Cape Town like no other program I have prior experienced. VAC provided the safety net I needed when assimilating myself with the surrounding environment, and, when it was time to do so, I flew, like a baby bird, out of VAC’s motherly watch and fortified nest, and saw, felt, and met the bona fide Cape Town. Not just people, but true friends I made in Cape Town. Friends, whom after a mere 5 momths together, I can safely say may as well be my best friends for life. Cape Town allowed me to see all the good, all the bad, and all else, and now, I truly believe...

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Chieh-Hui
10/10

Unforgettable once in a lifetime experience

Being able to volunteer in Cape Town during my college career was life-changing to me. College times could be frustrating, confusing at times trying to figure out what is your true passion, who you are, and what are you looking for in the future... Having the chance to explore Cape Town, volunteering at various facilities and learning about their unique culture, values and history by interacting with the local communities, I've definitely found it the amazing way to self-learning and expand my vision.
I really appreciated the opportunity VACorps has given me to be able to travel with a group of intelligent and passionate young individuals and experienced professors/leaders that guided us to learn about being open-minded, being respectful, being curious about cultural backgrounds, being humble to history and appreciate the community, relationships, education, kindness and grow from experience to understand who I truly am in order to make more mature decisions after graduation.
I definitely recommend this program to all undergraduate students (junior/senior) to participate this, it will become an "unforgettable once in a lifetime experience" that will forever take a big part of our memories and growth.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Hailey
9/10

Wonderful Adventure

VAcorps provided just enough support and assistance to really make the trip what we wanted of it. We we're not coddled which allowed us to explore Cape Town to the fullest. The internships were interesting, but make sure to clearly communicate what you want to do and expectations, if not you may not get the experience you hoped for. That being said the staff was very accommodating with any concerns or issues. Definitely take the chance to explore the views, local culture, and if you have time drive along the garden route for an amazing time. This program is excellent for travelers who want to take an active role in the process but may not be as good for more passive or unconfident travelers.

How can this program be improved?
Communication between the internship sites, staff and interns could use improvement.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Cassie
10/10

Legend

Without VAC I would not be who I am today. I started at an internship that wasn’t the best fit for me but VAC listened and made adjustments and got me into the most perfect job experience I could hope for. 8 years later and I am still working in the same field! The living situation was amazing. I lived with people from all over the world, it was easy for everyone to get along because we had so much in common. VAC taught me so much about growing as a person and respecting different cultures I am still trying to hit a new country every year and expand my travel experience. I still keep in touch with many of the people in my program! My advice to anyone looking to explore or have a new experience or a new start or just expand your knowledge is to get out of your comfort zone and take a chance and you will be rewarded with forever friends and memories.

How can this program be improved?
The program was very laid back. On “Africa time.” My only suggestion might be that they try to be more organized? But that is difficult when you are dealing with so many free spirits <3
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Margaret
10/10

Life Changing Internship Abroad

I spent three months as an intern in Cape Town, South Africa and I learned so much. It was truly a life-changing experience! My internship was challenging, yet essential to my professional growth and VACorps is to thank for the opportunity. The program provided everything I needed and supported me fully through it all. Everything regarding my internship and the VACorps program exceeded all of my expectations.
Not only did this internship guide me to understand cross-cultural differences in the workplace, it also gave me a unique and unmatched experience that I wouldn’t have gotten if I’d stayed in the U.S. It helped open my mind to new ideas about politics, geography, language, socioeconomic status and so much more. I experienced a city that is more fiscally divided than any place I’ve been, a place where corruption, crime and hunger are all too common. But I also experienced more love and acceptance there than any other place I’ve been. The people I met were welcoming, loving and eager to get their stories out and to learn about my work and where I came from. I experienced a sense of community and respect for others, and I saw hope everywhere I looked, and going to another country than yours offers a more enriched learning experience on all fronts.
Living in an area so rich in culture and diversity gave me a new perspective on life and allowed me to absorb an incredible amount of history, cuisine, stories, people — the list goes on. The experience fueled my passion for traveling, and I learned that although sometimes discomforting, change will bring happiness. And without a doubt, I believe the best way to bring variation to life is through travel.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Daniel
10/10

Cape Town Service Learning Trip

Traveling to Cape Town has had an amazing impact on my life. Being submerged in this culture has allowed me to grow as an individual through the meaningful and amazing connections I formed. I volunteered at Site B clinic in Khayelitsha and collaborating with the nurses and doctors here have made me a better registered nurse here in the United States. My favorite memory of this trip I had was going to an authentic South African barbecue and playing with the children on the street. This trip has only benefitted my life and has allowed me to succeed in my college and nursing careers because of having this exposure to diversity.

How can this program be improved?
I don’t have any recommendations for improvement. I believe the organization provided excellent service throughout the 3 week trip.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sara
10/10

Ubuntu

While interning for VA Corps in South Africa 5 years ago, I learned the word Xhosa word Ubuntu which translates to "I am as we are." Since this experience that saying has become a way of life to me. To say my internship was life changing would be an understatement. It has shaped my career as a physical therapist, it has given me a motto for life of kindness and openness to others and gave me a clearer understanding of what a vision of togetherness means. As an example, I was a physical therapy intern at Athlone School for the blind. One of my favorite memories was when a bus driver saw the children with visual imairments playing soccer and said " I thought this was a school for the blind" and I proudly stated "It is. " Together we can help each other to see the world.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Ryan
10/10

My VAC Experience

My experience as a VACorps volunteer in Cape Town, SA really opened my eyes to a whole other side of the world. I was able to gain useful knowledge and skills that have helped guide me to my career as a future physician assistant. My time in South Africa also enhanced my cultural awareness and understand of South African culture and history which has given me a deeper interest in learning about other world cultures. Being a VACorps volunteer teaches you things that you cannot read in a book or watch in a documentary.

How can this program be improved?
The security could use a greater improvement and finding safer areas to house volunteers. Maybe add more cultural and technical training prior to the start of service.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Thomas
10/10

An internship of a lifetime

I contacted VACorps in 2015 as I was looking to do my M.A. internship in South Africa but couldn't really find anything interesting on my own. I was quickly invited to have a Skype session with one of the team members and was immediately made comfortable and felt part of a family. Within a week after officially signing up, I received my first opportunity and before I knew it, was on my way to Cape Town.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by a different team member in my new accomodation. She gave me an introduction to my new neighborhood, general recommandations about Cape Town and helped me settle in. The free Friday VACtivities, an organized trip to Mozambique and the overall support of the whole team made my stay some of the best times of my life.
Choosing VACorps was a great decision and allowed me to grow so much as an individual. If you're looking into going to Cape Town, then look no further and contact VACorps, they will have something in stock for you.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Mary
9/10

Hurdles and Triumph

From the very beginning VACorps was excellent at helping me meet my university requirements overseas. I was placed at a shelter that did not go well. Being so far away from home and my support network was scary during this time. I was able to find support within the VAC team. They were very kind about the situation and helped me find a new and better placement that was more willing to meet my university requirements. I am very thankful for that help and support.
They not only helped with the placements but helped me get out of my comfort zone and try new and exciting things in Cape Town. I am very happy that I made this decision to come to Cape Town it was full of hurdles but in the end there was triumph.

How can this program be improved?
The program could be improved with more of the activities done on weekends or later in the evening to help with work hours.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jessica
9/10

A great city, wonderful group of people, communication with Internship Location needs work

I worked as a VA Corp Intern at Retreat Medical Clinic. I was a pre-med college student the summer before my senior year. My goal in participating in the VA Corp program was to gain international medical experience. The living environment was wonderful and having an organization I could turn to if anything came up (example I lost my debit card while in Cape Town, my only means of obtaining cash from the ATMs, and they were able to provide me cash and charged a credit card), but the relationship between the Retreat Clinic and VA Corp was clearly only loosely established. I was introduced to a few nurses on day one, but on day two it was new staff who did not know I was going to be there and did not know what I should do (or what I was able to do). One nurse had me drawing blood, and then the next day I was told I could not touch a patient. The rest of my three month internship was me walking around the clinic asking to help in random divisions, but there was no structure and I was not able to do or see much. This is not how my housemates' internships were at other clinics, but for this particular clinic, the experience was not very valuable. Cape Town itself was amazing though and I do not regret my decision to experience the country in this way with this organization. Had I been placed in a different clinic I think my experience would have been very different.

How can this program be improved?
The relationship with the place of internship should be well established before any person is paired there, expectations should be flushed out, and the cost of the program was very high considering you still had to pay housing, transportation, etc. The only thing the cost covered was having a support system so you aren't just dropped in a relatively dangerous city, for which I am very grateful, and Friday excursions, but it seems the cost is taking advantage of financially privileged students for which I was not (I worked two part time jobs during college in order to afford this experience).
No, I don't recommend this program

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

Meet the Staff

About VACorps

The VACorps internship program creates tailored placements in Cape Town, South Africa. We consistently receive rave reviews from program participants, parents and university administrators alike because we devote all our energy to one purpose --...