Joe Oelfke
Washington, USA

After watching the 2010 World Cup in, seeing pictures and videos, and learning about the culture of the country and its people I knew that South Africa was a place I needed to visit at some point in my life. When I learned that my program at school offered an internship in Cape Town through VAC I realized I would finally have my chance. Thanks to their hard work and willingness to answer all of my ridiculous questions, everything from the application process to getting settled in my house to helping us plan trips went very smoothly.


My experience in Cape Town was one I will never forget. Working as a PT at a school district in Gugulethu was an experience unlike anything I’ve done prior, and both my coworkers and the kids I worked with definitely left an imprint on me. Every day, regardless of how tired I was from the non-stop sightseeing and activities, the kids helped keep me going with their fun attitude toward ‘physio’ and the looks on their faces when I walked in to the classroom. I was also lucky enough to be placed at Maitland Cottage for the second half of my internship, which also was incredible. The happiness that some of my kids showed when they found out they could return home from the hospital really made me feel like my work made a difference, and that was a pretty incredible feeling.


On top of the amazing internship experience, all of the ‘VACtivities,’ our Garden Route trip to bungee jump, ride elephants, and do a horseback safari, and paragliding over the city were the icing on the cake. Cape Town and my time with VAC was truly an unforgettable experience and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in travel and working abroad. Thanks VAC Team!