International volunteer and interning tours that build your life while you help others build theirs.

if i could...

About

Internships that contribute to a better world...

Do you want to work in the development or humanitarian field?

Gain valuable work experience while traveling the world, learning about different cultures, and giving back?

if i could... offers niche internships with reputable non-profit organisations based in Cape Town & Boland, South Africa; Hanoi, Vietnam and New Delhi, India. Our experienced team will find a meaningful placement for you, tailored to your skill set and interests, including: Youth development, Community empowerment, Public health, Human Rights, Women's Empowerment, Education, HIV/AIDS, Refugee/Asylum-seeking, Arts & Education, Government, Economic development, Social Work, Counseling & Psychology ... and much more!

NOTE: The internships are unpaid and require a $1,595 USD fee. A $300 deposit is required before your internship placement.

Founded
2007
Headquarters

2 Clyde St
Woodstock
Cape Town
8001
South Africa

Reviews

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

The if i could programme was very helpful in terms of placing me with an appropriate internship site at Lalela Project, providing on the ground support throughout my stay and organizing intern outings to explore the Mother City and get to know other interns interested in development work. The staff is incredibly welcoming and always open to discussions about living and learning in Cape Town. I recommend the if i could programme to anyone who is interested in learning about the development sector in Cape Town. If I could separates itself from other internship organizations by providing a strong support system while respecting the independence of living and learning abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
I suggest that the if i could programme do more frequent check-ins with interns as they are beginning their internships and I would have loved to see intern outings that involve more scenic locations like group hikes up Lion's Head for those who enjoy being outdoors. As others have mentioned, the programme fee was a bit costly but without this programme, I would not have been exposed to such great resources, new ways of thinking and lasting friendships.
Default avatar
Roxana
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I thoroughly enjoyed the If I Could program...and felt my placement at a women's support organization was a wonderful fit for me in terms of my studies at college. In terms of the If I Could support system, I feel that while I had a terrific experience, the cost could be lowered a bit as $1,000 is a lot for a student to pay either in SA or in the U.S.--and perhaps there could have been more coordinated intern outings and events. That being said, I would happily recommend the program as a placement program as the staff is lovely and wonderful and the peace of mind when coming to a different country cannot have a price attached to it.

My host organization was a terrific organization to work for and I'd recommend any person wanting to work in gender advocacy :) I feel as if I truly tested myself outside of the classroom and am leaving with a sense that I have skills to offer for making tangible social change in my own country.

What would you improve about this program?
See above :)
Default avatar
Kaitlin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had the most amazing experience through the If I Could... Program. The children I work with at my arts education host organization have taught me what it means to be resilient, what it means to forgive and what it means to love.

What would you improve about this program?
More group tourist trips/activities/opportunities i.e. Cape of Good Hope, District Six Museum, Bo Kaap, Old Biscuit Mill, Mzolis etc etc.
Default avatar
K.Evans
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If I Could...is an amazing organization and was a wonderful resource as I spent my summer in South Africa. They helped me to find an internship at Cape Town Child Welfare, placed me in a house in the beautiful Tamboerskloof area and had several intern outings, which allowed me to further explore the city. The staff of If I Could...are extremely welcoming and helpful, and I really enjoyed getting to know them, especially when they participated in the isiXhosa classes that were provided.

What would you improve about this program?
I would recommend If I Could... to any individual who is going abroad alone for the first time. It is critical to have a support system like the staff at If I Could... to ensure that you are safe, comfortable, and are making the most our of your internship. If I had to change one thing, it would be the cost of the program, but in the end, it was a invaluable resource.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Kaitlin Emmons

girl holding student

Kaitlin Emmons is an energetic sun worshipper with a slight travel addiction. Equal parts beach lover and secret nerd, Kaitlin one day hopes to pursue a career in teaching, photography, traveling or international policy… we don’t know yet. Kaitlin graduated from Bridgewater State University with majors in Political Science and Studio Art and concentrations in International Affairs and Photography. South Africa will always have a special place in Kaitlin’s heart and she plans to return one day after she has explored the mysteries and adventures the rest of the world has to offer.

Why did you decide to intern abroad with If I Could... in Cape Town?

If I Could... offered unique internship opportunities that were not available through other programs at the most affordable price. I knew I wanted to return to South Africa and If I Could... had the perfect internship for me.

What made this experience unique and special?

I interned with an amazing non-profit where I was exposed to the rawness of everyday life of children in several different townships. Visiting the schools multiple times a week and working through the medium of art created unique relationships in many communities which resulted in a wonderfully diverse experience.

How has this experience impacted your future?

My time in South Africa has taught me how to love, how to forgive and to never take anything for granted. The children I have worked with showed me the beauty of humanity and the meaning of family. This experience has redirected my professional path towards teaching art or working with kids.

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in Cape Town?

Take every situation for what it is, learn to love the speed bumps that arise for they teach the most important lessons. Come in with an open heart and let this experience change you.

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

woman at taj mahal

What is your favorite travel memory?

I arrived at the Taj Mahal at sunrise, with the sun slowly coming up and burning off the fog. It was early enough that it wasn't very busy yet, and you could see it standing magnificently in the distance. Because it's one of the most photographed buildings on earth I didn't expect to be so moved by it. But being from the United States there is nothing that has that sense of weight or architectural beauty on such a grand scale. I remember staring intently at the curving script meticulously carved in marble, and being in complete awe at the work of art that it was. It is such a rare treat to see up close, and you appreciate its beauty in a very different way.

Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

India is definitely underrated. I lived there for over a year, and completely fell in love. It's not for the faint of heart, but if you have a sense of adventure and can embrace the chaos, it's totally amazing. India is a place that brings your senses to life. There is so much sound, color, taste, and sensation that you feel more alive when you're there. And the natural beauty and stunning architecture are unlike any other. For a relatively small country it has a shocking amount of different cultures, languages, and climates. The opportunities to explore are endless. It's hard to say a specific destination is overrated, because you can always find beautiful or intriguing elements, but I definitely think that the beach resort vacations are overrated because you don't get a sense of the culture or people when you're shut away in a little resort enclave.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Investing in people. Whether they are clients or coworkers, when you take the time to listen and observe, and then respond in ways that support who individuals are as people, you can't lose. People want to be heard, understood, appreciated, and affirmed, so doing those things goes a long way.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

Unlike many other intern placement programs, we practice what we preach. We were first started in 2003 as a consulting firm in the development sector in Cape Town. Since then Creative Consulting and Development Works and the if i could... Internship Program have expanded and built longstanding relationships with major organizations through contributions to research, monitoring and evaluation, communications, and much more.

Our staff bring a deep understanding of development theory and practice gains through years of experience in the industry.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.

Any time we have an intern come back and say, “Wow, you all really went the extra mile! I was so thankful for all your support!” then I'm proud that we have helped our interns succeed. I've done many internships and international exchange programs and I'm extremely committed to making sure that our interns have really exceptional experiences, so I'm thrilled when I see that it has happened.

More Interviews