Katie S
North Carolina, USA

Katie is studying towards a Computer Science degree at the University of North Carolina,  Chapel Hill.  She joined the VACorps program  in June 2019, and participated in a civic-tech internship.

“I came to Cape Town looking for adventure and new chances to get out my comfort zone. When looking for these adventures, I found great friends and made some of the best memories of my life. I owe VAC a huge shout out because my first weekend in South Africa was the VAC Hermanus weekend and I decided to go on the trip because I thought it would be a cool way to get to know people. I ended up meeting my best friends and we still always joke about how Hermanus was what brought us all together. I will never forget the feeling I got after jumping off of the world’s tallest bungy bridge on the Garden Route. That feeling really encompasses what Cape Town gave me; I felt like I could conquer the world and I didn’t want to ever forget what it felt like to take that leap of faith. I risked a lot in coming to Cape Town on my own and of course I was nervous, but I think being so far out of my comfort zone allowed me to discover so much more about myself and gain new confidence in my abilities. I especially gained a lot of confidence through my internship. This was my first work experience with computer science and I learned more than I even hoped I would. I was challenged, pushed, and encouraged just like I needed to be. I am so thankful for the opportunity VAC gave me to intern at Open Up and for setting up such a welcoming environment for me to learn and grow.

I got to pair program on a business portal website with a front-end developer. I learned HTML, CSS, and Javascript. The exposure to front-end development showed me the more creative and design oriented side of programming, and I found the front-end to be really fun and exciting. Because this was my first internship in computer science I was worried that I would realize I didn’t like coding or that I wasn’t good at it, but I actually gained a lot of confidence in my abilities. I feel rejuvenated with a fresh passion for coding, and I’m excited to explore more civic tech avenues back home in the states.”

View Technology Internships

Meet our most recent VACorps program alumni:

Chris Doe, Massachussets, USA (2023)

Chris joined the VACorps program in January 2023 as part of his Gap year and participated in a human rights internship.  I decided to come to Cape Town to do an internship because I […]

Nico Theunissen, New York, USA (2023)

Nico joined the VACorps Program in January 2023 as part of his Gap year and participated in an internship at a clean energy engineering company.  “Living in New York City, coming to Cape Town […]

Derya Tunçaral, Istanbul, Turkey (2023)

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 […]

Isabelle Ryan, Illinois, USA (2023)

Isabelle joined the VACorps Program in January 2023 as part of her Gap year and participated in a business internship.  “Originally, I was nervous about coming to Cape Town. I had never been so […]

Alize Serez, Istanbul, Turkey, (2023)

Aliza has recently earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Istanbul Bilgi University.  She joined the VACorps Program in September 2022 and participated in a Political Science Internship.  “The reason I chose Cape […]

Carley Adams, Ontario, Canada, (2023)

Carley is a recent MSc graduate of the University of Edinburgh, specializing in Medical Anthropology. She joined the VACorps Program in January 2023 and participated in a public health internship.  “Cape Town is such […]

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