Cape Town, you’re truly beautiful!
I’m Julia from Germany, the new Marketing and Communications intern with Roots Interns. After I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Media Science back home I ran into the Roots homepage while searching for an internship abroad. Since the Master’s program that I’m planning to do only starts in October, this is the perfect opportunity for me to jump on a new adventure in a foreign country, widen my mind and work on something meaningful during my internship here. Being new always involves a lot of exciting, sometimes even overwhelming impressions and feelings, which I would like to share with you. Let’s see which experiences I’ll collect along my way and what I can tell after the next three months about my internship in Cape Town.
Before coming to South Africa
I started looking for an internship almost four months before jumping on a plane to go on a 17-hour journey to arrive on another continent. I’d experienced a lot of positive effects on myself while being in foreign countries for longer times. Therefore, I knew I’d want to do my internship far away from home. I started searching for several positions in different countries and after a few days of applying, I found Roots.
While having the Skype interview for a position, I got a positive feeling about the organization, its spirit and the options it offered me. Therefore, I was excited about my acceptance. Suddenly, my intention to go to a foreign country became a reality. I started collecting information about everything I thought I should know about South Africa. Soon, I booked my flight tickets to get the adventure started.
Bye-bye cold Germany – Hello, sunny South Africa
I had plenty of preparations to do, such as packing my suitcase for South African fall and winter (which is still more like spring in Germany), preparing all the documents I would need, saying goodbye to my family and friends and of course to the cold winter in Germany. I felt ready to take off. While sitting on the plane a lot of thoughts and feelings came up in my head. Will my flatmates like me? Will I be able to work in a foreign country? Will I feel safe in South Africa as a 23-year-old female?
I’ve gone to a foreign country for a few months several times in my life before. Yet, I felt a bit nervous and anxious about it. But at the same time, I was super excited and happy to have this amazing chance. When I saw the first rays of the South African sun from the window of my plane, this overwhelming feeling crushed in and I knew that this internship in Cape Town is going to be a life-changing experience.
The First Week of my Internship in Cape Town
Staying in my accommodation means being surrounded by other interns right from the beginning. I was really happy about this during my first days! It’s a shared apartment with a nice view of Table Mountain in the middle of the city. Before I came to Cape Town, I felt a bit doubtful about living and sleeping together with several people for four months. After my first week, I can say it was the right decision. I now have the chance to meet many other interns from all over the world.
From showing where to do my laundry to advising me on the water situation in Cape Town, my flatmates were always very helpful. Being surrounded by them while walking the streets felt quite safe. As soon as it got dark outside we shared an Uber: the best way to get around in town. Regarding the water situation, I had to get used to a few things in the beginning. After my first days, I started realizing what crazy amounts of water I was using back home. My stay here has already changed my view on water consumption!
At work, everything felt new and exciting to me. There are a lot of tasks and programs I had to get used to. I felt in good hands, and not left alone at all. Writing the weekly newsletter about cool events in Cape Town and planning social media for the next days kept me quite busy. I will also be involved in the upcoming Reforest Fest of our partner Greenpop. Luckily, I will get the chance to join them at the Forest Camp. I’m very excited to help them run the Festival for the next two weekends! One of the first things I noticed was the special spirit in the office. People seem very focused but relaxed at the same time. Working on my laptop with this amazing view of Table Mountain still feels a bit unreal.
Weekend…I want to do and see as much as possible
After working at Roots for five days, the weekend kicked in. It was my first weekend in the Mother City, so I wanted to do and see as much as possible. Together with some of the other interns I went to the Oranjezicht Farmer’s Market, enjoyed coffee at the V&A waterfront, had a nice picnic in the Botanical Garden and got up at 5 in the morning to hike up Lion’s Head for sunrise. This was definitely the highlight of my first weekend in South Africa. It took my breath away for a few seconds. I feel confident that the next three months will be mind-changing, eventful, enriching and challenging in a positive way!