Grace is studying for her B.A. in Political Science and Psychology at the University of California. She joined to VACorps program in June 2022 and participated in a human rights Law Internship at a local NGO.
“I chose to come to Cape Town because my university was offering a global internship program in South Africa that partnered with VACorps. In the summer between my junior and senior year of college, I wanted to participate in a human rights law internship and also wanted to get experience living abroad. I did not know much about South Africa before arriving in Cape Town, but I soon learned just how beautiful and rich in culture the country is. Though it was nerve-racking to travel alone to a foreign country halfway across the world, the VACorps staff made me feel at home right away. Everyone at VACorps is extremely friendly and approachable. I felt comfortable coming to them with any questions and problems I encountered throughout my stay. Everyone has been eager to help us have the best possible experience. Though I love my moms, I will miss Kholi and Kus’s motherly energy when I get back to the US!
My 2-month long human rights law internship was incredible. I got to dive into human rights research and law from a new perspective. It was very interesting to explore South African political dynamics and compare them to what I know about the dynamics in America. My supervisor introduced me to new ways to conduct research and critically analyze academic sources. I will always be grateful for my experience at my internship site and will carry the skills with me into my professional career. Two months was a perfect amount of time for me. I was able to explore multiple different projects in my internship and form connections with people I would otherwise have never met.
The weekly activities were an incredible way to learn more about South African culture and to meet other interns in the VACorps program. In these activities, I learned traditional dances, the South African national anthem, and the history of different cultures in the country. VAC also helped connect me with different activities and experiences across South Africa. My favorite weekend here was when my house of interns went on The Garden Route Tour. We got to go on a safari, walk with elephants, and jump off the world’s highest bungee bridge. It was a truly unforgettable experience. I got to do so many things in Cape Town that I never thought I would get to do in my life. I am extremely grateful for my experience in South Africa and for all of VAC’s support along the way!”