William, pictured on the far left, joined the VACorps program in February 2021 and participated in a sustainability internship at a local NGO as part of his gap year. He will begin his studies at Washington University in St. Louis in the fall of 2021.
“My time in Cape Town with VAC was absolutely amazing because of the stunning location, supportive staff, and the incredible friendships I made with fellow program participants and coworkers at my internship. I am taking a gap year, and so as someone who hasn’t yet started college, I have not yet spent much time living independently. Spending my first time ever “on my own” in Cape Town was perfect because there was always something to do. Observatory has amazing restaurants and bars for nights after work, but more importantly, Cape Town has bucket-list level adventures every weekend only a short drive away. Surfing at Muizenberg, wine tastings in Stellenbosch and Franschoek, skydiving, bungee jumping (a few hours away…), and countless others were some of the highlights of my weekends. Then being able to do all of these amazing things with friends who are just as eager to explore this new place as you are is a special experience. While I was living “on my own,” the VAC team is always there to answer any question or help with anything at all, and the office is just a few blocks away in case of an emergency.
What really makes the VACorps program stand out, though, is that your time there isn’t spent just running around as a tourist, most days you are working. My internship was with an Urban Farm in Guguletu, where I was helping harvest, plant, weed, and improve the infrastructure on the farm, while also helping my fellow interns manage social media, and digitize records for the farm. Most of my days were spent on-site at the farm, where I really experienced life in a way that is very different than anything I have seen at home. I was working closely and becoming friends with people born and raised in the townships of Cape Town; I got to hear about their lives and share stories of my life back in the US. I formed connections with people I would never have met, or even really thought about unless I had come to Cape Town. For this, I consider myself extremely lucky to have found such an amazing internship.
Cape Town has something for everyone, and doing it all with VACorps is a must because they help make Cape Town yours. By finding you an internship that suits your interests, then offering tons of activities and suggestions of places to go, you’ll never find a better way to spend 3 months.”