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Why Exploring Our Summer Internships in Africa is a Great Idea

By Moira Callahan

There’s a reason why summer internships are usually competitive, hard to find, and few and far between. College students who are unable to do an internship during the school year now have three short months to gain experience. At Roots we don’t have unlimited internships, but it is early to apply! We have over 15 academic focuses, but if you specialize in a specific area, please reach out to us! These are five reasons why you need to apply to our summer internships in Africa right now.

Sound interesting? FInd out more about our summer internships in Africa here!

1. You want to spend your summer doing something productive and rewarding

Ah, the call of summer. Warm days, cool nights, hanging out with friends. Its irresistible urge to just goof off and relax after spending the last nine months stressing out. But, as we all learned in quarantine, the couch can get boring. The beach can be spoiled by a bad sunburn. Instead you could do a summer internship that will keep you interested, help your career, and create meaningful change.

If you apply for any of our internships, you will be contributing to social good. Unlike at other internships where you only make coffee, we have a hands-on approach. If you work for an organization like Greenpop, you’ll be aiding their forest restoration program, helping with the urban greening projects, and providing communities with sustainable development and environmental art projects.

In the words of our former Greenpop intern Abdul, “I’ll admit that I had no prior knowledge about Greenpop and had very limited information about Cape Town. This whole experience was spontaneous and it suited me perfectly because, in addition to me traveling thousands of kilometres to explore a country I’m unfamiliar with, it allowed me to gain professional experience in marketing and writing.” If contributing to the treevolution is something you’re interested in, learn more here!

2. You want to have a different internship experience than any of your friends

Your friends might tell you about their summer internship around town, but we guarantee no one will have your experience. If you want to break out of the mold, exploring our summer internships in Africa would be a great start. Most people don’t get the opportunity to travel to Africa their whole lives!

In a world where we interact on a daily basis with people from other countries, the need for young professionals with international experience is high. Being able to talk comfortably about your experience engaging with a different culture will only help you in future interviews. Besides gaining valuable experience, your resume will be unique and eye catching. Trust us, employers have short attention spans, so stand out!

3. You want to receive meaningful professional feedback

While we appreciate all college professors, there’s a big difference between academic and professional feedback. There is no extra credit, no grade point averages, and no office hours in the real world. Being able to handle professional, and sometimes blunt, feedback is a skillset. Unfortunately, many universities do not offer internships or experiential learning during the school year.

Luckily, summer internships provide the opportunity to explore your chosen career path and see if you’re equipped for the challenges. All of our amazing program supervisors have had many interns, and strike the perfect balance between helpful and constructive feedback.

4. You want to get a jumpstart on your peers

Due to summer internships requiring a decent amount of perseverance, a lot of college students just don’t bother with them. If you want to get a jumpstart on your career, a summer internship will only help. When you build a resume you don’t want your only job to be scooping ice cream or lifeguarding at the beach. Employers like to see initiative in their prospective candidates, and experience in your chosen field will be sure to impress.

A summer internship with a nonprofit can also count toward volunteer experience, which shows employers that you have a positive attitude, you have a passion for helping others, and you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone. These are all very attractive attributes for employers.

5. You’re looking for an adventure this summer!

We offer internships in nine countries across Africa, all which offer unique travel opportunities. Mozambique offers crystal blue waters and white sand beaches while working at one of our marine life internships. Our various internships in Kenya are in Kisumu, a beautiful city sitting at the edge of the famous Lake Victoria. And while it’s never cold in Africa, May-August is considered the winter but with perfect 60+ degree weather. If you’re not a fan of sweating in the heat, visiting Africa during the summer is ideal.

While your friends back home will be going to the movies on the weekends, you could hike Mount Kilimanjaro or Table Mountain! There’s always something to do here, and your free time is completely yours to explore the country. With vaccines getting doled out, the possibilities are endless for the summer. But if you’re still not completely sure, we have remote internship opportunities. Remember, remote internships let you save money, cut down your carbon footprint, and accumulate digital skills in an increasing online world.