Valerie has a bachelor’s degree in Counseling and Psychology from the Open University and joined the VACorps program in February 2021 to participate in a psychology internship at a psychiatric clinic in Cape Town.  

“Visiting South Africa was always a dream of mine. It seemed so far away but yet a place full of beauty and adventure. During this crossroad in my life, and as an adult changing careers I thought: what better place to end this transition than in a beautiful city like Cape Town. I saw various internship websites and when I came across VACorps and read about the various programs and testimonials of other interns immediately gave me lots of positivity and trust. Since the first email, I sent VACorps until the end of my application process to come to Cape Town everyone was so welcoming, patient and made sure I understood the whole process while making me feel safe and confident in my decision. I really enjoyed going to Cape Point on one of the weekly activities with all the interns and part of the VACorps staff, it was a beautiful and unforgettable experience. One of the biggest highlights of my trip was going on the Garden Route Tour, I had just landed from Spain 2 days before, and here I was 2 days later going on a beautiful safari with the whole team, it really made my trip start with a big bang! I loved every second of it, and I will treasure those memories forever. I always felt safe and taken care of by the team as well as my internship site felt like one big family. I never felt alone or unprotected being so far away from home. The warmth and kindness everyone showed me mean the world to me and a little piece of my heart will always remain in Cape Town.

I recommend all interns looking for an adventure of a lifetime, an unforgettable experience while learning and gaining experience in their respective careers to choose VACorps. Whether you are in your gap year or changing careers at a later stage of your life like me, this is a beautiful, unique, and enriching experience. I learned a lot at my internship practice at the psychiatric clinic where I worked, it has given me a better understanding of what to expect in my new career as a psychologist, and I have also learned a lot about myself. I am forever grateful for the guidance, support, and everything I learned during my internship. I always felt part of their team, I never felt like an outsider nor even as an intern. Thank you for making me feel valued and for teaching me about all the unique experiences the world of psychology has to offer. I still have much to learn as someone starting in the world of psychology, but if my experience at the Clinic is a small taste of what is yet to come, then I am very happy and excited about the future.”

View Psychology Internships

Meet our most recent VACorps program alumni:

Teddy Mitchel, Colorado, USA (2021)

Teddy, pictured on the far right, joined the VACorps program in February 2021 as part of his gap year and participated in a manufacturing internship at a furniture factory in Cape Town. He is [...]

Pedro Assumpcao, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2021)

Pedro, pictured on the right, is studying engineering at Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Sao Paulo. He joined the VACorps program in February as an in-person intern at an NGO that supports refugees in [...]

Gabrielle Kaplinsky, Chicago, USA (2021)

Gabbie, pictured on the left, joined the VACorps program in January 2021 and participated in a hospitality and interior design internship.  She will attend SMU in the fall of 2021. "I chose Cape Town [...]

Katherine Pulaski, Michigan, USA (2021)

Katherine joined the VACorps program as a remote intern in January 2021 where she participated in the VACorps Human Rights Program.  "I chose this internship because I was excited at the prospect of engaging [...]

Sofia Cagliero, Milan, Italy (2021)

Sofia (pictured far right) joined the VACorps program in January 2021 and participated in a business start-up internship as part of her gap year.  She will begin her studies at Harvard in September 2021.  [...]

Luke B, New York, USA (2021)

Luke (pictured on the right) joined the VACorps program as part of his GAP year where he participated in an internship at a small tourism company in Cape Town. Luke will begin his studies [...]

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