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.”

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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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