Tessa (pictured centre left) is studying pre-law at the University of Michigan. She joined the VACorps Program in May 2019 and participated in a Human Rights Law Internship at a refugee legal advocacy center.
“Coming to Cape Town was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. On top of being placed at the perfect internship site, I was also able to completely immerse myself in an entirely different culture than the one I was used to. Even though I spent a mere two months here, I became a completely different person. I am now more open-minded, more adventurous, more grateful, more educated, more passionate, and frankly, I have become a better version of myself. In terms of my internship, my supervisor helped me hone my skills as I assisted in his court cases and even partially wrote a submission to the South African Law Reform Commission.
During my downtime, I packed my schedule with every activity imaginable. I took a weekend trip to Garden Route and got to walk with some elephants. I visited the wine tram in Stellenbosch and found my love for red wine. I went to every market in Cape Town every single weekend, my favorite being the Oranjezicht City Farm market. I tried my hand at hiking (I am not as good as I would like to be). I ate my way through Cape Town and became a regular at Rust, Panchos and Mr. Lin’s. But I think my absolute favorite part about Cape Town were the people and relationships that were created during this internship. Without them, Cape Town would not be my absolute favorite place on this planet.”