Claire is studying a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Speech Science at the University of British Columbia. She joined the VACorps program n May 2019 and participated in a speech Pathology Internship.
“I have had the most amazing time with VACorps! I first chose Cape Town as my destination because I had never traveled abroad by myself and wanted to experience a very different culture and lifestyle. What I have learned, seen, and taken in during my stay at Cape Town has exceeded my expectations beyond everything. I have been greatly exposed to the people, customs, and rich history of a deeply complex nation. The aspect I loved most about my trip was that I had the ability to focus not only on professional development, but also my development as a traveler, global scholar, and just plain individual.
Everyone at my internship site was more than willing to share their knowledge and wisdom regarding their professional experiences and own opinions. And even more importantly, my supervisor, Juliette, always emphasized how important it was for her to learn from me as well and invited me to share my own insights. I loved helping to plan Chattertots every week and getting the opportunity to see the administrative side of the speech pathology field. So much work, thought process, and creativity goes into this profession and it is just crazy. In addition, I had the best time visiting clients as a got to see a giant variety of communication disorders that can be encountered by a speech pathologist. This led me to weigh the pros and cons of working with some populations, while also gaining insight into what clientele populations I would like to work with in the future. But most of all and by far-my favorite thing about my internship will be the people at my internship site, Megan, Vee, and Amanda are the absolute best, everyone should get to intern with them! In terms of my personal and professional development, I believe I took the initiative to ask more questions and help out in any way that I could whether it was cleaning up, filling out client notes, etc.
I have learned the value of curiosity and to ask questions about many different things. I would advise people to come for at least a full 6 weeks to truly take in all that Cape Town has to offer as there are so many different things to do and even as I leave I am aware that there are many areas and avenues that I was not able to explore. Be open to doing different things during your stay here-from going outdoors and taking hikes to exploring food markets to attending exhibits- you have to do it all! The thing I loved the most about Cape Town was the amount and variety of different people I met along my travels, not just in VAC but in many different places. I have realized that everyone has a story and if you are fortunate and wise, you will take all the time to listen!”