VACorps - Cape Town Engineering, Arts, and more Internships

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About

The Volunteer Adventure Corps 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
  • Tailor-made internship placements in all fields of interest.
  • 24/7 Support. We're your safety net throughout your time in Cape Town and here for you every step of the way.
  • Weekly Friday Excursions that are included in your program cost.
  • Program Housing: all our interns live together in program neighborhood of 'Obz'.
  • Program extras: from Xhosa-language lessons, meal plans, to 10-day VAC Travel trips, we have your African adventure covered!

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

95%
based on 53 reviews
  • Growth 9.3
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 8.5
Showing 16 - 30 of 53
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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
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Manuel
10/10

Business Startup Internship

Background: I had just graduated from University and I did not have any internship experience. I searched for a possible place to go, and South Africa caught my eye! It was far from home and so pretty based on the youtube videos / pictures I saw.

Application: I applied and the process was fast, straightforward. I received my placement and began emailing with someone direct from VAC. They provided a really detailed what to expect document. Seriously I knew everything I needed to know before arriving.

1st Day: My 1st day two people went with me to the train station and took me direct to the office building I would call the office for the next several months. My internship was amazing! learned so much and inspired me to love startup ecosystem.

Activities via VAC: Every Friday we would go and do activities, now these would vary. Sometimes it was a hike, or going to the Winelands, Tea tasking, To events around the city. Seriously anything - and take advantage of it. When I arrived I knew no one, a week into it I became close with the people I lived with. Then when I went on an activity right after that I became so close with everyone. I still try to keep in contact with them, even those who live in my State.

My Internship: I had a really open office, we all became close to one another. We sometimes would play cricket inside the building. I got the chance with some seriously brilliant people, they were so impressive to be around. I was luck enough to get another internship with one of the companies after my “main” internship and that turned into an even more! We became so close! I even came back to Cape town to intern again with them, and then decided to stay longer 2 times after that.

If you have questions: VAC was so helpful when it came to any problems or questions I may have, they were just a WhatsApp away! Plus the houses we lived in were so cool, pretty, clean, and also AMAZING friends were made.

Post VAC: To tell you how much VAC has affected my life, I was able to intern for a long time, made brilliant connections in Cape Town's startup world. Met some friends for a lifetime. I was able to return to Cape Town and be with another startup. And finally - when I returned home I was able to get my dream job at a startup in my home city and in the exact role. When talking about my experiences that made me qualified for the job I regularly referred back to my experiences in Cape Town. I should also mention, when I arrived I actually had no idea what I had planned to do as a career, well VAC put me on the path I am on right now. Working in operations at a tech startup in Chicago.

Best Memories: Waking up for a hike on the MANY mountains that surround the city. Being able to be part of some major events at my work. Also my work, we use to go on outings together to help become closer. Going to many tourist sites all over the city multiple times. Even the simplest experiences like binge-watching Lord of the Rings in our house with all of our roommates. All these memories will last me a lifetime.

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, I am having a hard time thinking of things. I guess maybe the only tip I can think of is more on an applicant side. I recommend that an applicant really ask questions, make sure to just make a list and send them. Trust me they will go out of the way to help you and answer anything for you. They provide a lot of info off the bat. Like where to get cash, how to get around, basic sites to see, how to pay for electricity etc.
Yes, I recommend
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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
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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
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Gabriela
10/10

VACorps -SA

This was an experience of a lifetime! I had the best time in Cape Town. My internship provided me with opportunities I would have otherwise not had without VACorps. I learned more than I could have ever imagined as a medical intern due to the fact that I got hands on experience as an undergrad student. On top of that, the friendships I made were incredible. The staff were always there and wanted us to explore. They helped us plan excursions and even sometimes came with us! I would go back in a heartbeat.

Yes, I recommend
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McKown
10/10

Formative Life Experience

I had a truly formative life experience during my time as an intern with Volunteer Adventure Corps. Not only was the work I was doing fulfilling and life changing, but I found that the camaraderie with other interns, immersion into South African culture, and the intern outings shaped my perception of influence. I was able to realize the value and importance of how things that are unknown to me allow me to develop a fuller and truer sense of myself and my surroundings. Specifically, I developed curriculum and instruction for a nonprofit organization. I lived with interns and local Cape Town residents that helped encourage fun outings and memories. I also was able to fully realize my passion for adventure and thrill seeking during my time in Cape Town. I was able to go shark-cage-diving, bungee jumping, visit an elephant sanctuary, go on a safari, and gain PADI scuba certification.

Yes, I recommend
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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
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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
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Hollie
10/10

I Love VACorps

I could write a novel about all of the things I have learned while being in South Africa. I chose Cape Town originally for the amazing scenic views. I pictured myself laying on the beach, climbing mountains, and seeing wild animals. When I arrived, I did all of that and so much more. My favorite part of being here was learning about the culture and people of South Africa. Everyone I met here was so inviting and friendly. I learned how to ask for help when I needed it, take chances, and slow down. I found tranquility in nature as well as the busy streets of the city.

At my internship site, I was overwhelmed by the differences in the school system at first. Luckily, I found that everyone at the school was so willing to help me learn as a professional as well as share my experience and ideas freely. I was able to try educational practices I had learned in my college courses without worrying if it would work or not. My mentor was always helping me along the way. We celebrated my failures and successes. I learned how to work along side of professionals in my field. I cried on my last day of teaching as I hugged and said goodbye to the students who helped me feel so at home in South Africa. I was thanked by all of the teachers, some I barely spent time with, and felt so appreciated.

I will never forget the mountains, the beaches, the Addo and the garden route, but I will miss the people I have met here and friendships I have formed the most. After about two and half months of being here, I am so sad to leave. I feel like a different person leaving here. I am more knowledgeable about the world, people’s perspectives, who I am and who I want to become in the future. I want to thank VACorps staff for holding my hand along the way but also letting me go on my own to explore this beautiful country. I know I will be back someday soon.

How can this program be improved?
It can’t!
Yes, I recommend
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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
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Samuel
9/10

VAcorps rocks!

I absolutely loved my study/work abroad experience which couldn’t have happened without VAcorps. I first heard about VAcorps through one of their alumni and was instantly hooked. His unbridled excitement about the program intrigued me so I quickly applied for the program. The application/interview process was simple and done over Skype. All my questions about the program and Cape Town were quickly answered during the video calls. After being admitted, VAcorps helped me find an internship with a well-respected video/photo production company.
In the weeks leading up to my departure for Cape Town, VAcorps helped me find housing with other students which was a huge relief. Once I arrived, a VAcorps employee picked me up at the airport and dropped me off at my house providing me with a cellphone so I could let my family know I had arrived safely. Over the next few days, I was given an orientation of Cape Town which helped me get familiarized with the city. In addition to the orientation, on my first day of work a VAcorps employee came along on my commute to show me how the trains worked as well where my office would be.
Between work and my new friends, the next four months were some of the best times I can remember. At work, I learned a great deal through hands-on experience while also still having plenty of time to explore this new country. The weekly VAcorps activities were always fun and provided a great way to bond with other students in the program. Over the next few months, I explored South Africa with the help of VAcorps which organized scuba diving courses, hiking trips as well as a week long adventure to Mozambique.
What stood out to me about VAcorps was its integration of housing, job placement and trips. Through its various programs, I quickly made friends from across the world while exploring this beautiful nation. These friendships make the study abroad experience exponentially more enjoyable.

I would highly recommend VAcorps to anyone looking do an internship in Cape Town. The owner of VAcorps, Sean, is a top-notch guy who goes out of his way to make sure that all of the students in the program love their stay in the mother city.

How can this program be improved?
I felt the program was a bit overpriced but it provided great support.
Yes, I recommend
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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
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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
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Ayelet
8/10

Great overall

My time with BAC was absolutely he best time of my life. I grew so much and learned a ton about life in Cape Town and met some amazing friends. Honestly, the program was pretty expensive for what they weee offering; it would've been a lot less for the same experience just to get housing on my own. However for a first time traveler to Cape Town, it was nice to have a support system. Also, it isn't the fault oF VAC, but safety was really an issue, and I wish they would have warned us more prior to going, and accompanied us more when going home after events at night.

How can this program be improved?
Better preparation and information before starting the program.
Yes, I recommend
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Cara
7/10

Cape Town

I'd like to say I chose Cape Town because of the many different opportunities and experiences it had to offer, but in reality, Cape Town chose me Cape Town has allowed me to grow as an individual and meet so many different people from all over the world. VAC has given me the experience and opportunity to grow as a professional and give me lifelong skills and memories that I can use to become a better social worker. With the help of VAC, I would have never found the friends that very quickly became family. This is a once and a lifetime experience that shouldn't be missed out upon. I was able to call Cape Town my home for 3 months and interned at Baphumelele Children's Home in Khayelitsha. My internship placement has given me so much insight on the cultural differences around the world. It has given me a better understanding of how the unequal distribution of wealth really impacts a nation. My internship placement has also shown me that even though the people living in the townships may have it worse than some they never once give up their will or hope to keep moving forward.

Yes, I recommend

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About VACorps

The VACorps internship program creates custom 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 --...