A nice holiday but not more - not at all worth the money

Ratings
Overall
4
Growth: 1
Support: 8
Fun: 9
Housing: 9
Safety: 9
Review

I was interested in Human Rights, and was asking for a placement where it would be incorporated with law. One of my other goals was to get to know the people and culture. Unfortunately, my internship was remote only - and I would totally understand that, due to Covid and the lockdowns.

But: 1 - I asked for an internship where I could be on site. I was fine with some remote work, but I really wanted to get to know people here. As a result, the only South Africans I got to know where those who worked with VAC and Uber drivers. I had interesting chats, but I wanted to meet South Africans, ideally some who work in the legal/human rights field and get to know them and their lives and motivations.
And 2 - I'm pretty sure the internship is always remote work, I don't think there even was a work place for interns. We did go to court a couple times, but once it was closed, the other time was to drop off papers, and then it was just to ask for a rescheduling. So no real cases or true legal insight.

I realized quickly that this internship placement wasn't for me - there were about 8 other interns, almost all of them working remotely, all doing the same tasks. It was boring, and one of the interns I spoke to even considered studying something else, because it didn't appeal to her at all and she was really worried that law was the wrong choice. I would have been too, if I hadn't done an internship right before I came to Cape Town. So, two weeks in I asked for another internship. Unfortunately, it was not possible to find another placement, so I spent 2 months doing almost nothing and having a holiday. It was nice, but far too expensive - if I wanted a holiday, I could have had a far better trip for much less money.

I met a lot of people though, and learned a lot about the US - far more than I learned about South Africa. The staff at VAC were great, and always there to assist or just for a very nice chat. Of the other interns some had great and amazing internships, others not so much - and some didn't care because really, they just came to party. So it is quite a toss up whether you land a good internship or not, and for that amount of money I wouldn't risk it. So unfortunately, I cannot recomment VACorps.

I was looking for professional experience, and I wanted to know if human rights was a field I'd want to work in in the future. I wanted to experience South Africa and get to truly know the people, their problems and the good things. I was very disappointed that none of those goals were met after spending 2 months and a small fortune there.

Would you recommend this program?
No, I would not
Year Completed
2021