Gabriel is studying at the University of California, San Diego pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Health. He joined the VACorps program in June 2022 and participated in a public health internship at an NGO in one of Cape Town’s townships.

“As a global health major, I wanted to come to Cape Town because of the diversity, and the developing field of medicine in South Africa as a whole.  I was able to learn a ton from my internship, as I was able to participate in lab work, which is something completely new to me. This involved conducting various diagnostic tests on participants as well as learning about research in general. My goal of being immersed in a foreign health setting was achieved!

While here in Cape Town I especially enjoyed the amazing hospitality of the South African people. The individuals that I met both at work, or out on the town were really what made this place so special to me. Perhaps the best example of this was on my last day of work, while my coworkers and I enjoyed a celebratory cake, they all gave me hugs and were singing my name as they told me how I will be missed. I was here for about two months and will miss the South African people more than anything. It is such a happy and joyful culture compared to what we have back home. People here rarely seem to stress and are always looking to have a good time. I think that two months was the perfect amount of time for me, and if others were coming I would advise them the same. Another tip I would have for them is to bring their most trusted medicines, in case they get sick.

The VACorps staff are truly wonderful. So helpful in all situations, as well as knowledgeable and caring. Never mind the fact that they are all so much fun to hang out with on the Friday activities! They were some of my favorite people that I met here in SA and I could never speak highly enough of them. They are the best part of VACorps, and took us out on wonderful adventures and taught us all about the culture we came to be a part of.”

View Public Health Internships

Meet our most recent VACorps program alumni:

  • Human rights internship participant

Laila Wheeler, California, USA (2023)

Laila Wheeler is studying Public Affairs, Education, and Sociology at the University of California Los Angeles. She participated in a human rights internship from June - August of 2023. "Traveling to Cape Town was genuinely [...]

  • Innogen Naylor - education internship

Innogen Naylor, Vermont, USA (2023)

Innogen joined the VACorps Program as part of her Gap Year in January 2023 and participated in an internship at a local school for learners from Zimbabwe who are attempting to integrate into the South [...]

Avital Strauss, Illinois, USA (2023)

Avital joined the VACorps PRogram as part of her Gap Year in January 2023 and participated in an internship at an NGO that supports and serves underprivileged communities in one of Cape Town's townships.  [...]

William Monkarsh, California, USA (2023)

Will joined the VACorps Program in January 2023, as part of his GAP year, and participated in an internship at an eco-tourism company in Cape Town.  "My experience with VAC has definitely been life-changing. [...]

Clancy Erickson, North Carolina, USA (2022)

Clancy recently completed her BA in Human Services Studies at Elon University. She joined the VACorps program in September 2022, and participate in an internship at an NGO that supports refugees in Cape Town. [...]

Dylan DeRosa, New York, USA (2023)

Dylan joined the VACorps program in January 2023 as part of his Gap Year and participated in a human rights law internship.  "Cape Town and the VACorps have provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience [...]

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