Project Description

Refugee Internship in Cape Town.

Although South Africa did not start recognizing refugees until 1993, it is now home to one of the highest populations of refugee and asylum seekers in the world. While many refugees travel to South Africa with the intention of drastically improving their lives, most find it difficult to find jobs, earn a sustainable living, and gain access to social services. Unlike many other African countries, South Africa does not have refugee camps. Refugees and asylum seekers live in urban areas and survive largely on their own. If they do need assistance, they are instructed to approach the local government structures. For this reason, a focus has been placed on professional social services to support this vulnerable population.

The VACorps internship program has a history of placing passionate individuals in the refugee services field in Cape Town. You will intern at a professional organization that is committed to improving the lives of refugees in South Africa (to understand how we locate your specific site, see how we find internships in South Africa for all program participants). Prospective candidates for our refugee internships should have a strong interest in social services, an understanding of the challenges that refugee and asylum-seekers face, and/or a background in human rights, development studies, international relations, or a related field.

The benefits of doing a refugee internship in South Africa:

  • Create an impact- While interning in refugee services, you will participate in the process of welcoming, integrating, and supporting refugees who seek asylum in South Africa.
  • Leave the classroom behind– During your internship, you will leave the classroom and directly interact with individuals who have been forced to seek asylum as a result of geopolitical events.
  • Live in the incredible city of Cape Town- An internship in Cape Town will provide you with the unique opportunity to live and travel in one of the most beautiful cities in the world! From exploring Table Mountain to witnessing incredible marine life of the Cape, your time in Cape Town will be an exciting one. Our weekly program activities will ensure that you make the most of your stay in our special city.
  • Gain valuable professional experience- After completing an internship in the refugee field in South Africa, you will gain invaluable international work experience in a demanding professional social service setting. It will also give you the chance to build your professional resume/CV.

If you are also interested in any of the following internship categories, we can potentially create an internship that will encompass multiple fields: South African human rights internships, Social work internships in South Africa and Counselling and Psychology internships in South Africa.

If you are interested in participating in one of our refugee internships in Cape Town, please contact us today to learn how to apply.

Get Started. Apply Now

Meet past participants:

Naomi Arthur

My overall time as a VAC intern will be an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life. You learn to grow as a person and truly embrace the fact that [...]

Demi Schiferaw

"Cape Town is definitely an amazing place to intern because you get to take advantage of the beautiful city and its vibrant in culture! There are so many interesting things to do on a daily [...]

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