Lila Hulser-Morris

Maryland, USA


Lila joined the VACorps Program as part of her Gap Year in September 2023 and participated in an internship at an eco-tourism company.

I chose Cape Town for my gap year because it’s a place I’ve never been to before, and friends who have done gap year programs in South Africa before loved it, so I thought, why not? I decided to do an internship to gain work experience before starting college. There are many things I love about interning, one of them being the opportunity to learn more about myself and what I am capable of as an individual. I realized that I am a lot stronger than I thought and pushed myself to do things I would never have done before. I will never forget the lifelong friends I made at my site and will always be thankful for my internship.

While working was a huge highlight of my trip, living in Observatory and being able to walk everywhere was also amazing. Coffee shops and stores were so close by, and I loved every second of it. I will miss it when I go home. I stayed in Cape Town with VACorps for about three months. If you adjust quickly, I’d say that’s the perfect amount of time. For me, I wish I could stay longer because it’s just now starting to feel like home. What really helped me adjust to a new place was the staff and the group activities we did, which were definitely one of the highlights of my trip. 

VACorps not only gives off a familial vibe but has actively transformed it into a reality for us. I am immensely thankful to VACorps for numerous reasons. The assurance that our entire household could depend on them during a frightening situation was profoundly meaningful and comforting.

I experienced a profound sense of satisfaction when I discovered my capability to engage in and successfully navigate activities that were entirely new to me. Witnessing my own growth and adaptability in tackling unfamiliar challenges provided a sense of accomplishment and fostered newfound confidence in my abilities. This revelation not only expanded my skill set but also significantly contributed to my personal development, highlighting the value of embracing and conquering novel experiences. Overall, this was an amazing experience with amazing people, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!