Sophie Clarke
Australia, Australia

I never realised just how homesick I could be for a city that I did not grow up in, where my family doesn’t live, and that is a gruelling 40+ hour journey away from my actual home city in Australia. Yet here I am, sitting at my desk back in Brisbane, trying to summarise the amazing 4 months I spent in Cape Town with VAC and very much pining for the Mother City, the experiences I had and the company of all the wonderful people I met during my stay, feeling like I am missing home.

I arrived in Cape Town in February 2014 and had intentions of staying for 6 weeks to complete a human rights and law internship at a NGO primarily focused on refugee advocacy, education and training. Within two weeks, I realised just how insane I had been to think that 6 weeks in this city would be enough, so without so much as a second thought I confirmed a second law internship at the Legal Aid Clinic at the University of the Western Cape, booked a seat on the amazing Namibia trip run by VAC Travel, deferred university for the semester, changed my flight and informed my slightly shocked family and friends that I wouldn’t be home for another few months. It was unquestionably the best decision I’ve ever made. I would highly recommend an internship through VAC to anyone looking to gain experience in a professional yet challenging environment, as I worked in situations and obtained skills I wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to do or acquire. That’s not it though – it’s so much more. You get to live in an incredible and diverse city where there is never a dull moment, there are endless opportunities to explore the wonders of Cape Town, South Africa and neighbouring African countries through the VAC Friday Activities and VAC Travel, and you will undoubtedly meet some of the best people you can ever imagine. It is something I never wanted to end, and was easily one of the hardest goodbyes I’ve ever had but was an experience of a lifetime and I’m already planning my return.

So thank you Sean, Oliver, Vanessa, Thomas, Marvellous, Andrew, the rest of the VAC team, and, of course, the interns who made up my little Cape Town family.