Chase, pictured on the right, joined the VACorps program in March 2021 as part of his gap year and participated in a sustainability internship at an Urban Farm in Cape Town. Chase will begin his studies at Princeton in the fall of 2021.
“VACorps gave me an experience that was everything I was looking for during my gap year, and so much more that I never expected. One of the challenges of taking a year off from university is the difficulty of finding other people in the same position as me. VAC provided that with a group of ~20 students who had all been through the same experiences as me and all decided that they would rather spend their year in Cape Town than following the rest of our peers into university. Interning at a small-scale farm in Gugulethu taught me more about the world than I thought possible and revealed to me the experiences of so many people who – aside from the circumstances of their birth – were so much like me. I had the opportunity in between weeding the plants or tilling new plots to explore the lives of those I was working with and gain an appreciation for what that I was able to create with my own two hands.
Starting my time here with a trip to the Kruger National Park was an unparalleled way to begin this adventure. I got to know my peers well on the plane and bus rides and by the time we reached the game reserve, I felt as close to them as some of my oldest friends from back home. Over my 10 weeks here (I recommend 8-10), I have learned more about myself than I thought possible. I have considered my place in the world and my responsibility to those in it all while exploring what I know the address as “The Greatest City in the World”. There is adventure around every corner: trips to the Garden Route, tours of the townships, unforgettable nights out, beach days, and if you’re feeling up to the challenge, bungy jumping or skydiving. All of these experiences have shaped me into the person I am now; when I begin university in the fall I will be far more prepared than I would’ve been had I started last year. Now, I am ready to take advantage of all the world has to offer. If you have some time off or are considering an adventure unlike any other, I cannot recommend VACorps enough. It is the perfect balance of structure and freedom and will give you memories to last a lifetime.”