Doing your Internship Abroad: here is why you should consider South Africa
For many, doing an internship abroad is a mandatory aspect of one’s study program. Perhaps you already know where you want to do your internship, but it can also be that you are still doubting about it. We can give you eight reasons you should consider doing your next Internship in South Africa!
1. Most people speak English
South Africa is home to eleven languages. Due to the colonial past, English is a widely spoken language, especially in the cities. Although you have to take into account certain accents that come with it, it is most of the times easy for you to make yourself understandable during your stay in South Africa as the language barrier is almost gone.
2. Getting a visa is relatively easy
Unlike some other African countries, you can get a visitor’s visa (does not apply to all nationalities) which is valid for 90 days upon your arrival. This visitors visa allows you to do volunteer or charity work at a non-profit organization. If you decide to stay longer you can always apply for an extension of your visa during your stay. You can also decide to apply in advance for a volunteer visa at the South African embassy which is valid for longer than 90 days.
3. One of the most stable countries in Africa
Compared to other countries on the African continent, South Africa is a relatively stable country. At this moment, the country is not involved in any war, neither there are conflicts between local inhabitants. There are certain preconditions which have to be taken into account when traveling to South Africa, but generally, South Africa is considered as one of the few stable countries found on the African Continent by foreign governments giving travel advice.
4. Beautiful Nature to explore
South Africa has beautiful nature and there are many ways to get engaged with it. From having a breathtaking view at Cape Town City from Table Mountain in Cape Town to spotting the big five in Kruger National Park in the Eastern part of South Africa. South African nature is diverse and easily accessible. As an intern, you have enough spare time to go for a hike or a trial, have a picnic in a park, spot animals on a Safari or have a relaxed and enjoyable day at the beach. Many things are possible and above all, worth seeing and doing!
5. Great Climate and all-year-round Destination
South Africa has a great climate. The overall climate of South Africa characterizes itself by warm and dry Summers and humid and chilly winters. However, due to the size of the country, this differs per place, depending on where you will be doing your internship. Keep in mind that if you are from the northern hemisphere, the seasons are the other way around as South Africa is South of the equator.
Spring is from September to November, Summer is from December till February, Fall is from March until May and June until August are the winter months. February is the hottest month in South Africa, and June has the least high temperatures. December has the most sunshine, while July is considered a month where there is more chance of rain. Still, South Africa is an all-year-round destination. Good to know if you plan to go to South Africa in June or July for your Summer Internship!
6. The wide range of internship possibilities in the non-profit Sector
You have a wide range of internship possibilities within the non-profit sector in South Africa. Nonprofits do not only need hands to do volunteer work, but are also eager to work with interns that can support them with skills in various areas such as marketing, fundraising, and communications. Moreover, most of the nonprofit organizations offer you valuable working experience and at the same time the opportunity to do something good.
7. Modern City Life
Besides nature, South Africa is also known for its relatively modern cities, compared to other cities on the African continent. Partially due to the colonial past, most cities in South Africa have a western look-alike and atmosphere. In the city centre, you can find modern shopping centres, asphalt roads, qualitative museums, and well-maintained public spots to hang out. This is handy to know, especially when you are not really in for a cultural shock.
8. The Cultural Diversity in the Country
Many know South Africa as the rainbow nation as this name refers to the huge amount of cultural tribes, groups, and ethnicities that lived together in peace during the post-apartheid. Some sources also state that the way different tribes, groups and other ethnicities live together in South Africa is something that cannot be found elsewhere in Africa nor the rest of the world. The phrase: ‘rainbow nation’ was once said by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and later on used by Nelson Mandela.
Furthermore, South Africans are proud of their culture and protect the elements that make that culture firmly. Such as the many local languages and certain traditions. Additionally, you have a wide range of tours, museums and other places which you can visit, which will give you an even more thorough background and understanding of the country itself, its culture, and its people which adds a valuable layer to your internship experience.
So, enough reasons to start packing your bag and plan your new adventure in South Africa as an intern or volunteer!
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