The Internship Experience:
Sustainability internships are between 6 and 8 weeks in duration. Up to three interns will be assigned to a specific placement within the same organization.
Your application will be reviewed and you will be matched with one of our internship site partners according to your field of interest and skill set.
You will be hosted by companies and organizations that operate in the fields of environmental education programs, the green economy sector, conservation, climate change research centers, and organizations working with communities and food security. You will be assigned project/research-based work that will directly benefit your host organization/company. These placements and projects will be dependant on the program manager’s review, your area of academic interest and the needs of the specific organization at the time of your arrival.
Internship Schedule and Time Commitment:
Internships work hours will be from Monday through Friday, from 09h00 – 17h00, or 08h00 – 16h00, with the exception of a half day on Fridays to allow interns to participate in VACorps Social Excursions. Placements rely heavily on the work of interns, so it will be important for you to commit to your internship as if it were a job.
In addition to the general orientation program provided by VACorps, participants of our Immersive Sustainability Internship program will receive a special 1-day orientation that is facilitated by the program manager. The content will cover topics specifically related to Sustainability topics in Cape Town, South Africa as well as guidance in how to get the most out of your internship.
During your internship, you will be directly supervised by your site supervisor, and are encouraged to take initiative to identify ways you can contribute, especially in the areas of interest to your site.
During the program, you will meet with other Immersive Sustainability participants one evening a week at the VACorps office for a 1-hour seminar or discussion. The aim of these meetings is to allow the program manager to connect with you in an advisory and mentorship capacity and allow you time for facilitated group reflection away from your respective internship sites to discuss project progress and other relevant issues.
Bi-Weekly Discussion and Reflection Themes:
- A broad introduction to sustainability topics in South Africa
- Unpacking the complexity of sustainability in South Africa and in a global context.
- Current policies, challenges, and successes in sustainable development in Cape Town, South Africa
- Review of internship site projects
- Continued reflection and review on internship project progress
Optional extra session: Special advisory session for all students preparing graduate school applications or preparing to find jobs in the field of sustainable development.
The program manager:
Robyn is a sustainable development consultant born and bred in Cape Town. She has a master’s degree in Sustainable Development from the Sustainability Institute at the University of Stellenbosch. She has worked in environmental conservation, climate change, gender and education. However, most of her work focuses on food security, rural development and the food system within South Africa. In her spare time, Robyn strives to bring awareness to South Africa’s big sustainability challenges through writing, and was chosen as a finalist for the Reuters Good Food Media Award in 2018.