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.
“As I was planning my gap year, I was instantly drawn to VaCorps. The beauty of Cape Town and the opportunity to intern abroad with a group of students really interested me: there’s something about living independently in a foreign city that is really hard to beat. My time in Cape Town definitely feels like the embodiment of “work hard, play hard”: while we all had our own different internships and work commitments, the social aspect was definitely a huge part of why I loved my experience in Cape Town so much. I really feel like when you have a routine and have work responsibilities you’re able to appreciate the city you’re in much more: from sprinting to the beach after work to exploring new neighborhoods and trying out new food markets we all really made the most out of our time in Cape Town. I definitely learned to be more adaptable here in Cape Town: I grew to enjoy the feeling of being out of my comfort zone and trying new things, as well as just accepting that many things in life are unpredictable. Additionally, I learned to appreciate teamwork much more through my internship. We always worked on tasks as a team and I really valued that experience. I remember that I met my bosses for the first time at Kirstenbosch botanical gardens for a picnic and I was thrilled to meet them after interning virtually for them for the first two weeks of my job.
I love how much Cape Town has to offer: there’s really nowhere else in the world in which you can go straight from a 3-hour hike to a relaxing afternoon on the beach. I’m also a huge fan of the food scene here: during my three months here in Cape Town, I’ve spent almost all of my Saturdays at the Old Biscuit Mill food market (it’s INSANELY good).
I would recommend people prepare for coming simply by speaking with previous interns and the VAC staff, it’s really the only way to get a feel for the experience. I’m extremely grateful for the constant support VACorps provided. I knew that if I ever needed anything, even at the craziest hours of the night a VACorps staff member would pick up the phone and help out. You’re really living the best of both worlds, living independently in a foreign city while having the certainty that if anything were to happen the VACorps team would be there to support you.”