Wondering if a South African internship in Human Rights Law internship is right for you? Check out how Patricia found success during a 10-week experience abroad interning to support a local NGO.
Tell us a little bit about your internship role, what were you doing?
During my internship, my role was to conduct regular human rights information sessions and support other local human rights Peer Educators in the community. I spent a lot of time planning and attending meetings with different stakeholders, working alongside different learners in one of the NGO school clubs, organizing events, doing research and writing proposals for funding and current events happening in Cape Town.
These tasks and roles benefited the organization in both the short and long term because it created a conversation between them and the locals. My host organization focuses a lot on youth empowerment and refugees/migrations. These are the most vulnerable populations in Cape Town whose voices are not always heard. My roles and tasks gave that population a platform to be heard in the community. It will start a conversation that will continue even after I have returned home.
How did your Human Rights Law internship contribute to your own long term goals?
My long term goal is to become a Human Right Officer. This internship contributed towards this goal because it showed me how human rights officers advocate for justice and fight for the underprivileged. So far, I have written many proposals, reports and concept notes. This directly applies to my future job since it will consist of a lot of research that will require me to write many essays on important issues that are currently happening
It was genuinely lovely to work with other people who had different educational backgrounds, and collaborating together to better the lives of others was incredible. It made me hopeful because it showed me that more people are willing to help the underprivileged. People are finally seeing and understanding the problems going on around the world and want to help. Walking around and working with people who have the same dreams/goals, and are passionate/into similar habits like me feels nice. I don’t have to change my personality to fit in, I felt very much accepted.
Would you consider your internship a personal and professional success?
I felt successful that I finished this internship since this is a step closer to my dream job. I came into this experience looking for personal growth, and this internship has done just that. I have proved to myself just how reliable, intelligent, professional and confident a woman I can be. I was able to see regardless of how the world wants to perceive me, I am an intelligent, beautiful black woman who has the right to go and be anywhere I choose. I will not let people, the racism, discrimination scare me away of achieve my goals.
This internship showed me how worthy, intelligent and capable I am of doing big things. More importantly, it has pointed me in the right direction for my future. During the internship, I contributed by sharing my ideas. I could speak freely and suggest ideas and activities that could help better the organization. It gave me the opportunity to meet wonderful women from across the world. Working with them, hanging out with them and all the laughter we shared was truly amazing. I realized that I am capable of making big moves when it comes to my happiness and success.
What advice would you give others interning abroad?
The best advice I will tell people is to be patient with yourself. Ask questions, listen carefully, be friendly and be willing to learn. Since you’ll be in a new environment and workplace, take your time and don’t be hard on yourself. As time goes by, you will find your groove and understand your role better.
How can I get started?
Our step-by-step guide on how it works provides you with more information on how to get started. The process is user friendly and there are two options you can take to get the ball rolling.
If you’re unsure of which internship program is right for you, you can simply check availability to submit an enquiry which will help us to point you in the right direction. If you want to chat over the phone, you can also find our full contact information here.
If you already have an idea of what you want to do, and when you want to do it, you can submit your application. It doesn’t cost anything and won’t take more than 5 minutes. However, your formal expression of interest provides the foundation for us to help you take the next steps.