Gregory is studying towards his Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Basel in Switzerland. He joined VACorps in January 2019 and participated in a clinical Psychology internship at a private psychiatric hospital.
“When I saw that VACorps offered psychology internships in Cape Town I didn’t hesitate to apply. South Africa and especially Cape Town have been on my travel wishlist for a while and the opportunity to live and work here seemed like a great opportunity to me. The application process was easy and quick, a day after my application I had already had my first phone call and things were falling into place quickly.
Cape Town is a very vibrant city and there’s always so a lot going on. I was never bored, and I always had plans about which adventure I wanted to go on next. I love how in Cape Town you find beautiful and calm places like the Kirstenbosch Gardens and nature reserves like Table Mountain, while just a quick ride away you can spend your time in a busy city. I stayed in Cape Town for 3 months and met so many nice people that I hope to stay in contact with. Many of us immediately bonded and we became like a big family going on hikes, adventures and to countless parties together.
It took me some time to get adjusted to the South African lifestyle and even though I have been traveling quite a bit during the past years, I experienced more of a culture shock than I expected. South Africa isn’t comparable to any of the other countries I’ve been to, it sure is something special. It might take some time to get used to public transportation not being very reliable and spending up to an hour waiting at the train station for the train, or to get used to not being able to walk home alone at night and having to take an Uber anywhere – but after a bit of an adjustment period I think everyone would agree that Cape Town is a beautiful place to live. And it’s Africa after all, what better place to become a bit more relaxed about everyday things and not being stressed out all the time?
I worked in a psychiatric hospital where I got to work and interact with various kinds of patients and staff, and I’ve learned a lot about psychotherapy and occupational therapy, things that I will happily take back home and use in my further career. My supervisor and the staff at my internship site were very helpful and always there for me whenever I needed something or wanted or needed to talk about something in particular. I really was a part of the team, as I was fully included in the daily work at the clinic.
The VACorps staff is always there to help and they do such a great job in providing us with all the information we need and seek, and the trips and activities organized by VACorps have always been a highlight of my week. Driving to an unknown place on a bus filled with people you love has always sparked great feelings in me. The trips to Cederberg, the Garden Route and especially Mozambique have been absolutely stunning, and I will definitely not regret going on those amazing adventures.
I think what I will miss the most is to see and do something new each weekend and the amazing people I have met during my time here in Cape Town. Anyone coming to Cape Town, come here with an open mind, be ready to face challenges, learn a lot about a foreign culture and prepare yourself to fall in love with a great city and its great people. You will not want to leave again!
Coming to Cape Town and interning with VACorps has been absolutely great and I’m happy I chose to come here. An adventure of a lifetime!”