Looking for Internships in Cape Town? Intern Abroad HQ offers internships throughout the city center and surrounding suburbs of Cape Town. Interns are accommodated near the University of Cape Town, and have the ability to enjoy the popular student neighbourhood. Internships can be taken in the following fields:
- Business and Economics
- Education and Childcare
- Healthcare and Special Needs
- Law and Human Rights
- Management Organisation
- Marketing and Communications
- Tourism and Hospitality
Internships in Cape Town start every Monday and have a 2 week minimum commitment. Intern Abroad HQ offers the most affordable fees, starting at US$920, which includes 24/7 in-country support, Airport pick-up, Program orientation, Internship placement, Learning support service and Accommodation & meals.
Why take an internship in Cape Town?
South Africa has it all, offering beautiful scenery, temperate climate, friendly people, well-developed infrastructure, and exciting, urban, internship opportunities. Intern Abroad HQ had a chat with our local team leader in Cape Town, Elisha, to discuss some of your common questions in more detail. Here’s his feedback for you, about what it’s like to intern in Cape Town!
- What makes internships in Cape Town so special?
- What is the best thing about living in Cape Town?
- Will I be safe interning in Cape Town?
- How will I feel welcome during my stay?
- How do you secure the placements for Intern Abroad HQ?
- What is the best way to prepare for the internship?
- What advice would you give for short-term internships?
- How can I spend my weekends in Cape Town?
- What should I expect from the food and accommodation?
- What should I do for transportation in Cape Town?
- How much money do I need in Cape Town?
- When should I start planning an internship in Cape Town?
1. What makes internships in Cape Town so special?
We’re like a family! We have created a vibrant intern community in Cape Town which helps interns to live like locals and really feel welcome here. Our team use our local expertise and experience to always ensure interns are happy and that they receive a really personalised service. We understand that the greatest take-away students and young professionals can receive from their chosen internship program is the transformative experience itself. Our top priority being the exchange of ideas, culture and knowledge, in a secured and safe environment, which allows people to excel in their personal and professional growth - before, during, and after their time in Cape Town.
2. What is the best thing about living in Cape Town?
Nature! You can’t beat living between two oceans, surrounded by mountains. The number of things you can do here are endless. A simple Saturday can start with a sunrise hike on Lion’s Head mountain. This is located between Table Mountain and Signal Hill and provides amazing views (and a great work-out) 669 metres (2,195 ft) above sea level. After that, you could head to Muizenberg for an afternoon surf and then wind down the day by visiting a vineyard on the slopes of the Durbanville hills, for a relaxing evening. In terms of working with international students, I love their energy, it’s always such a blessing and joy to be around. Each intern and the relationship you form with them always helps you to grow as a person in weird and wonderful ways. For example, I once had a student challenge me to a race up to the top of Lion’s Head hahaha! (You’ll have to ask me in person if you want to know who won the race).
3. Will I be safe interning in Cape Town?
The biggest worry that I typically find myself counselling interns about during the program, is that they don’t want to leave! Of course, just like in any big city, safety is a concern and people should always be conscious of their surroundings when out and about. We provide interns with safety advice during the program orientation and will let you know about do’s and don’ts, etc. For example, since petty, opportunistic crime is always the greatest risk, it’s important not to leave things like cellphones sitting out on tables when you’re at a restaurant or cafe, or don’t hang bags on the back of a chair, when somebody could easily reach in and grab something. With some common sense and mindfulness, a lot of negative experiences can easily be prevented. During your first day, we walk you through all the safety tips and this will continue until until you leave, as we’re always giving reminders and advice throughout.
4. How will I feel welcome during my stay?
Coming to any new country is always a challenge for anyone, whether you’re planning on a short-term internship or a longer duration over the course of a few months. We want to help ensure that new arrivals feel welcome from the second they’re picked up from the airport. All logistical concerns are taken care of and interns needn’t worry about anything that’s our responsibility to handle. This means that you can focus solely on your internship, making new friends, and having a nice time - it’s our job to take care of the rest and ensure that every aspect of the experience is enjoyable. We provide 24/7 support, so should an intern need anything during their stay, they can rest assured that we’ll have a team member at the ready to help. Day One of your internship is mostly introductory and involves familiarizing oneself with the work team and work environment in which one will be interning. Depending on the internship placement that you’ll receive, your supervisor will tell you when you will start and finish every day, as this varies between different placements. However, most of the organizations we work with have a normal 9 to 5, Monday through Friday schedule, with lunch breaks.
5. How do you secure the placements for Intern Abroad HQ?
Firstly, applicants who are interested in a Cape Town internship need to apply online via Intern Abroad HQ. This is considered to be the first formal expression of interest and helps Intern Abroad HQ to provide guidance and answer any general question. After applicants have done this and then taken the next step via Intern Abroad HQ to confirm their participation, we will get in touch to start taking care of plans within Cape Town. One of our local team members will arrange a Skype call with you in order to gain a better understanding of what your particular needs are for the internship, as well as to assist with any other requirements or questions. During this Skype, we can also better understand your expectations, as well as your professional and personal characteristics. The reason we take this approach is to ensure that we can match you to a placement (within the internship field that you have already chosen) that best provides an environment relevant to your goals and capabilities. After this, and once we’ve got the best placement match in mind for you, we further liaise with the intern and their placement to ensure clear communication and expectations. Between our team and Intern Abroad HQ, we work cohesively to provide pre-departure support and prepare thoroughly for the arrival of a new intern to Cape Town.
6. What is the best way to prepare for the internship?
The most important thing for any intern who is coming to Cape Town is to come with an open mind. I have always encouraged people to use the acronym of “PPE” when thinking about their upcoming internship. This approach helps to ensure that people stay on track with their planning and personal development. We are committed to providing positive and productive internship environments, but interns must also play an active role in working toward creating their own meaningful experience. “PPE” means to keep in mind:
- Personal Goals (Soft Skills)
E.g. develop interpersonal skills, gain lifelong friends, cultivate a global mindset.
- Professional Goals (Hard Skills)
E.g. expand your work experience, develop cross-cultural skills, build an international network.
- Educational Goals (understand what’s needed for your university)
E.g. learn about the internship structure and requirements.
Intern Abroad HQ is instrumental in helping interns with this approach as well, both prior to their internship start date, during the program itself, and also after/wrapping up and experience. Your Intern Abroad HQ Program Manager will guide you before you depart, in identifying goals for personal and professional development. During the internship itself, the Intern Abroad HQ guided reflection program (covered in all internships) helps to foster the development of skills that are related to personal competencies, as well as skills related to better employability. They can also discuss with you any university requirements and provide guidance to you during the internship application process.
7. What advice would you give for short-term internships?
Time won’t be on your side and it flies! Make the best out it. It’s really important to maximise your stay and enjoy as much as you can - there is a lot to see and do in Cape Town. Keep in mind that Capetonians take things easy as well, so while it’s a good idea to be be conscious of how you’d like to spend your free time, try not to over-plan - you may find that when you arrive, you’re invited to join in with weekend activities that other people are doing. So don’t be shy - jump in, introduce yourself to others who are on the program with you, ask questions (ask where other students are from, ask about what internship they’re doing, talk to the staff at your internship placement to ask about their career experiences). You’ll learn so much in a short period of time if you’re proactive and prepared to be as communicative, curious, and independent as possible.
8. How can I spend my weekends in Cape Town?
We want interns to work hard, but also to have the time of their lives. We make sure that they can experience new cultures through networking with other program participants in various activities and outings that we organize. But again, everyone usually has their own list of things that they’d like to do in mind… here are a few of our favourite activities that you should consider:
- Climb those mountains! (Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head)
- Learn to surf (as long as you’re smiling, you’re doing it right)
- En vino veritas (Guided Wine Tasting tours around Cape Town)
- Take a Wildlife Safari
- Movie nights at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
- Summer Sunset Concerts at Kirstenbosch
- Visit Cape Point Vineyards
- Try Kloofing at Crystal Pools
- Visit Mzolis Braai for a hearty meal
- Check out the Woodstock Street Art
- Appeal to your inner foodie at the Old Biscuit Mill
- Take a Red Bus Tour
- Visit the Newlands Brewery
9. What should I expect from the food and accommodation?
Good food is good for the soul! We understand that good accommodation and food is just as important as a good internship placement. Having your own space (at the accommodation) makes it that much easier to adjust to a new country and culture. Our accommodation comes fully furnished and is specifically suited for short-term stays in Cape Town. You will share with other international and local students. You local Xhosa Chef (Ivy) can show you how to make some of our favorite local dishes.
10. What should I do for transportation in Cape Town?
Getting around Cape Town is as easy as hopping on a bus, flagging down a taxi, pedalling on your rented bike, or simply taking a stroll. The public transportation network in Cape Town is robust and most internship programs are easily accessible through public transportation. During your orientations we cover all this and we show you how it works on the ground. It’s important to ensure that you have budgeted money for public transportation use, since this is not included within your program fee.
11. How much money do I need in Cape Town?
A smart budget per month would be around US$300, as it will cover all the basic weekly costs, such as extra meals, cell-phone data top ups, and public transportation (internships in Cape Town include a packed lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday). However, if you choose to do tourist activities along the way - depending on what kind of activities you choose to do - then your budget could easily go up to around a US$1,000 a month. It won’t cost a lot to do activities such as hiking, surfing, visiting the Old Biscuit Mill (it’s an amazing food market) or checking out the Woodstock Street Art. However, if you wanted to do activities such as cage diving with sharks, a safari tour that’s further afield than Cape Town city, that’s when the prices can become more expensive and it’s best to research those costs in advance so that you prepare well.
12. When should I start planning an internship in Cape Town?
Intern Abroad HQ offers internships in Cape Town year-round and start dates are available every Monday. Like any good adventure, proper planning is needed and Intern Abroad HQ, alongside myself, are here to help with that. We think that it’s wise to give yourself a window of about 3 months. While it’s possible to plan an internship program within a shorter period of time, the more time you give yourself, the more time you allow for everything to be arranged as smoothly as possible. Plus, booking flights in advance can work out to be cheaper as well.
Apply online first. The application process is non-obligatory and free.
After applying, you’ll receive more details on how to confirm your internship placement.
To confirm, you’ll register online after your application has been accepted. This means taking care of the US$299 Registration Fee, which enables us to provide services and pre-departure support. Affordabla internship fees can be reviewed online.
Once you’re registered, the adventure begins!