Derya is a recent graduate of Istanbul Bilgi University where he earned his bachelor’s in International Relations. He joined the VACorps program in November 2022 and participated in a political science internship. 

“It was the first time I was away from my home for so long (6 months) and the first time in South Africa, but all I can say is it was everything I had hoped for and more entirely!

The internship opportunity I’ve got has helped me clarify whether I’d like to pursue a career in it or not; additionally resulting in many network opportunities and perhaps future colleagues as well!

Living in Cape Town; it’s the one thing I’m gonna miss deeply prior to my return immediately. The climate, multi-cultural structure of the society; things you can do in your free time, especially the people, who are extremely friendly towards you from day one.

The VACorps staff are like that second family you hope you’ll get when going into a foreign family, always by your side, always supportive and caring towards your journey in every way. 

I’m forever grateful to all who have greeted us like family, and can’t wait come to come back for a visit in the near future!”

View Political Science 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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