Sofia Cagliero
Milan, Italy

Sofia (pictured far right) joined the VACorps program in January 2021 and participated in a business start-up internship as part of her gap year.  She will begin her studies at Harvard in September 2021. 

As I was planning my gap year, I was instantly drawn to VaCorps. The beauty of Cape Town and the opportunity to intern abroad with a group of students really interested me: there’s something about living independently in a foreign city that is really hard to beat. My time in Cape Town definitely feels like the embodiment of “work hard, play hard”: while we all had our own different internships and work commitments, the social aspect was definitely a huge part of why I loved my experience in Cape Town so much. I really feel like when you have a routine and have work responsibilities you’re able to appreciate the city you’re in much more: from sprinting to the beach after work to exploring new neighborhoods and trying out new food markets we all really made the most out of our time in Cape Town. I definitely learned to be more adaptable here in Cape Town: I grew to enjoy the feeling of being out of my comfort zone and trying new things, as well as just accepting that many things in life are unpredictable. Additionally, I learned to appreciate teamwork much more through my internship. We always worked on tasks as a team and I really valued that experience. I remember that I met my bosses for the first time at Kirstenbosch botanical gardens for a picnic and I was thrilled to meet them after interning virtually for them for the first two weeks of my job.

I love how much Cape Town has to offer: there’s really nowhere else in the world in which you can go straight from a 3-hour hike to a relaxing afternoon on the beach. I’m also a huge fan of the food scene here: during my three months here in Cape Town, I’ve spent almost all of my Saturdays at the Old Biscuit Mill food market (it’s INSANELY good).

I would recommend people prepare for coming simply by speaking with previous interns and the VAC staff, it’s really the only way to get a feel for the experience. I’m extremely grateful for the constant support VACorps provided. I knew that if I ever needed anything, even at the craziest hours of the night a VACorps staff member would pick up the phone and help out. You’re really living the best of both worlds, living independently in a foreign city while having the certainty that if anything were to happen the VACorps team would be there to support you.”

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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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