American Intern Regina Muller explains why a Cape Town Internship is a great idea.
It is old news to college students that internships are imperative to making your resume stand out to future employers. The question is no longer should I intern? But rather WHERE should I intern? Four months ago, I traveled to Cape Town, South Africa for an internship (Content Writing for a Photography Organisation) – and I can’t recommend it enough. Here my top 7 reasons for embarking on an internship in Cape Town.
1. The insanely cool restaurant & bar scene
When I return to the States, what I’ll miss the most about South Africa is the food. The city streets are lined with bustling restaurants, each exuding their own style, vibe, and decoration to locals and tourists alike. Whether it is a small corner brunch stop or a classy Italian restaurant, the food is fresh, local, artisan and 5-star quality. The owners and chefs are personable and inspiring, and certain to give you a warm welcome whenever you come by to eat. During my Cape Town internship, my tastes have expanded by miles, simply because I have the opportunity to try new and delicious foods every day! At night, the streets come alive with a bar scene perfect for everyone. There are lively clubs, hipster holes-in-the-wall, famous hotels to stop by for drinks, and hundreds of uniquely vibing bars. Even if you aren’t about the nightlife, you won’t be able to resist stopping at some of these memorable locations.
Okay, I lied. What I’ll miss most is the coffee. I, like most collegiate Americans, am completely addicted to caffeine. Before Cape Town, my normal order was a medium iced caramel swirl from Dunkin Donuts. I honestly don’t know if I will ever be able to go back to that now. The highest quality coffee is essential to Cape Townians; even convenience stores have fancy cappuccino machines that brew a delightful cup right before your eyes. The first time you order coffee in South Africa, be sure to ask for a flat white. It will be the best decision you’ve ever made. Oh, and a quick tip – South Africans rarely take sugar in their coffee; it’s so good, you’ll find you might not need it!
3. The incredible landscape
No matter where you are in the city, the stunning Table Mountain is within view. One of the 7 new natural wonders of the world, Table Mountain is an adventure and nature lover’s dream. There are hundreds of hiking trails, each presenting different challenges, views, and landscapes. Lion’s Head Peak is also a gorgeous mountain in Cape Town; the first time I climbed it I felt like Samwise carrying Frodo and the Ring up Mount Doom. It was such a rewarding experience once I finally made it up, however, and the view is unlike anything I’ve seen before. Lion’s Head is very popular for sunrise and sunset hikes. It has an amazing view of the ocean as well as the city; the photographic opportunities up here are limitless. And the beaches! Where do I even begin? The water is crystal clear while you stand in it; beautiful blues and turquoises from high up on the mountains. It’s ice-cold but refreshing and satisfying. The beaches are miles and miles of perfect white sand; my favorite part of the weekend is taking off my shoes to walk along the beach, and sunbathe for hours in the sun.
If you are coming from Europe or North America, your country’s currency is much stronger than the South African Rand. You’ll find that almost everything in Cape Town, particularly food and drink, are so affordable they border on unbelievably cheap, while still maintaining high-end quality.
5. The bustling city life and active community
Cape Town is a hub for small businesses, unique start-ups, and entrepreneurs with incredibly inspiring life stories. Most stores and restaurants are privately owned and managed by people constantly thinking up new ideas. It is impossible to run out of fun and interesting activities to take part in during your internship in Cape Town – Capetonians love their social lives! Wine tasting, art galleries, film screenings, food and craft markets, surfing, shopping- the list of both leisurely and adventurous activities goes on and on.
6. The wildlife
The other day, I took an uber through the Cape Town. While driving on the busiest city street, which winds along the mountains, we passed by seven wild zebra, relaxing and grazing by the road. South Africa is known for its incredible safari and game viewing opportunities. Private reserves are located just outside the city as well as throughout the country. If you have dreams of seeing any of Africa’s Big Five (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion & buffalo), you must visit. My internship gave me the opportunity to travel across South Africa to the Greater Kruger Area, and go camping in the wild, surrounded by hyena, lion, and leopard. It was the most amazing adventure of my life. If you are an animal lover, you must experience a game drive in a wildlife reserve.
7. Shatter your comfort zone as you know it
I’ve lived in America my whole life- I’ve traveled to Europe, Central America, Australia, and Canada. South Africa has changed me for the better; my outlook on life, my dreams, my goals, my confidence. I can’t imagine a life where I didn’t come here. The culture and experiences you will share in South Africa will take you out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons. At the same time, it is the most westernized country in Africa, making it sort of a stepping stone before exploring the rest of the continent. Go on and do that internship in Cape Town – you won’t regret it.
For four months, Regina has been a Content Writing Intern at Penda Photo Tours & Penda Trust. We are sad to see her go! Thanks for all your writing, Regina!
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