Mia Salvaggio
North Carolina, USA

Mia (pictured on the right) is studying Mathematics and Exercise Sports Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined the VACorps program in June 2022 and participated in a Sports Science internship. 

My two months in Cape Town were some of the best days of my life. I came wanting to experience a people and a place vastly different from my everyday life in the US and that is exactly what I got. I learned so much about myself, the world, and what I might want to do with my life. I learned to be more independent and confident in who I am and that traveling the world is one of the coolest things you could ever do.

I did my internship at the Neuro and Rehab department of a large Sports Science Center.  I believe I became more confident in myself in a professional workplace. I enjoyed learning about patients’ injuries and what rehab was necessary for each patient. It was also very interesting to see the difference between the field of biokinetics (which doesn’t exist in the US) and physical therapy. I haven’t been sure what I want to do with my life but after this internship, I have a little more certainty that I’d like to go into a similar field to this.

The people in Cape Town are all so kind and the types of people that the VACorps program attracts are all so amazing. I have made some lifelong friends here and had some truly life-changing experiences. The hiking (and all other outdoor activities) was by far my favorite part as well as simply getting to know a culture so different than mine through being in a truly South African workplace every day and exploring the beautiful city. I would not recommend coming for any less than 5 weeks if you choose this program! It’s truly an incredible place and you have to be here long enough to fully enjoy every aspect of it. The VACorps staff are very organized and kind and want what’s best for their interns. Everything about VACorps and Cape Town is amazing!

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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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