All you need to know about internships with purpose-driven South African organizations
So you want to do your internship in South Africa? Good call! This country has all the ingredients for an adventurous, meaningful, and rewarding internship experience. Whether you’re part of community development projects, doing field research surrounded by wildlife, or working on environmental sustainability programs, doing an internship in South Africa is likely to exceed your expectations. Here is all you need to know about doing an internship in South Africa.
Why doing an internship in South Africa is a great idea
If you’re keen to do an internship abroad, it’s worth considering South Africa as your destination. We’re not exactly objective, since we’re based in Cape Town, but consider this – South Africa has been a hugely popular travel destination for decades. It’s one of the world’s best destinations for safaris, it has metropolitan cities as well as colourful traditional tribes, and its natural beauty is both striking and diverse. Here’s how the Lonely Planet puts it;
“Black-maned lions framed against Kalahari dunes; powdery beaches lapped by two oceans; star-studded desert skies; jagged, lush mountains – this truly is a country of astounding diversity.”
Doing an internship in South Africa offers you the opportunity to live in and explore this beauty. It also allows you to challenge yourself in a foreign environment, while not giving up on any basic comforts. And if you’re a purpose-driven person, South Africa is a wonderful place to join a grassroots nonprofit organization, so that you won’t just gain valuable work experience, but also make a tangible impact to a cause you feel passionate about.
What to expect from your internship
There’s a wide range of internship opportunities in South Africa. You might be doing reforestation or land management work in rural areas, wildlife research in a national park, creative writing within an urban community project, or development work with refugees. Both the focus and the location of our internships in South Africa are hugely varied, so they inevitably offer different types of experiences.
What they all have in common though, is the fact that you’ll be welcomed with open arms into a small team of passionate people, and that your work as an intern will matter. You’ll be challenged in the best possible way, as you’ll be able to take on as much responsibility as you feel comfortable with, and really help drive the nonprofit you’re part of forward. You’ll see tangible results of your work.
Examples of inspiring internship opportunities in South Africa
- Nonprofit Sustainability Internship with Food Security Project: Help with the overall management and development of an organization that plants food gardens in underserved communities around Cape Town.
- Writing & Communications Internship with Dog and Youth Charity: Develop your writing skills white raising awareness for a nonprofit that partners rescue dogs with at-risk youth during an inspiring training program.
- Gender Based Violence Research Internship: Help map both the issues and solutions for a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting gender based violence; an issue that is prevalent in many South African communities.
- Fundraising and Business Development Internship with Environmental NGO: Assist with the development and sustainability of a nonprofit that runs reforestation, urban greening, and eco-education projects.
- Wildlife Photography Internship: Improve your photography skills while assisting conservation projects in the Greater Kruger National Park.
- Youth Social Work with Community Center: Join a grass-roots social development charity to support their valuable work and provide support to children with troubled backgrounds.
- Digital Marketing Internship with Animal Welfare Charity: Find yourself professionally stimulated, rewarded by doing impactful work, and – not unimportantly – surrounded by puppies.
Highlights of doing a nonprofit internship in South Africa
- Doing an internship with a South Africa nonprofit organization that’s doing impactful work is a rewarding experience. You’ll get an understanding of the nonprofit sector in an African context and you’ll get to create a change on a grassroots level. The work you’ll do will make a tangible difference on a social, environmental, or animal welfare level – and that’s a pretty great way to kickstart your working life.
- Doing an international internship is a wonderful life experience, plus a useful addition to your resume.
- You’ll get to explore this stunning country during your time off! South Africa is easy to travel around in, so it’s worth planning some trips to go on safari, embark on a surfing trip, or venture to some of South Africa’s most exciting cities.
- Be part of a South African team from your own living room! Yes, we also offer virtual internships, for those unable to travel. So if you’d like to contribute to a good cause and add international experience to your resume without the costs and hassles of travel, do check out our online internship opportunities with South African nonprofits.
How to apply for your South African internship
Have we convinced you to explore the option of doing an internship in South Africa? Here’s what to do;
- Browse through all our internship opportunities in South Africa to find the program that matches your skillset, academic focus, and desired learning outcomes.
- If you’re not entirely sure where to start, or which internship program might be the best match for you, get in touch with us, and we’ll help you figure it out!
- Follow these steps to fill out an application, once you’re ready. We’ll then reach out to set up a call with you – the first step towards what will hopefully be a successful placement! And don’t worry – we’ll help you with logistics, preparations, and visa applications. We’re available for support throughout your internship experience.