The beautiful city of Cape Town is not only one of South Africa's administrative centers, but it is also one of the most popular places for those who are looking to take up internships in the country. If you are looking for an interesting way to add some spice to your life and to your resume, taking up an internship here can provide a very interesting talking point, and can also give you a great introduction to this beautiful and diverse country. Arranging and preparing an internship role for yourself can require some work from your end, and perseverance in order to find an appropriate provider or the internship, but if you do travel to Cape Town for this type of work then it can prove to be very rewarding and exciting experience.
Arranging Your Internship
South African immigration classify an internship as work carried out as a part of an academic course of study, usually after two years of study as the undergraduate goes into their third year of their course. This type of internship is generally unpaid, although some companies can offer to help with your living costs, and they can be arranged in the country for a period of up to six months.
There are a variety of different ways in which you can find potential internship positions. Some people will identify the organizations that they would actually like to work for in Cape Town, and then contact them directly. Alternatively, there are also websites available that provide lists of companies in the area who either regularly provide internships or those that are actively looking for an intern. Once you have found a company to support your internship, you will need to arrange a work permit and visa to travel to the country. Bear in mind that the whole process can take several months, so start your preparations early to make sure that you have a placement ready for when you need to travel.
The Different Types Of Internship Available
There are a range of different types of companies and organizations that accept interns in Cape Town, and these range from large companies working in fields such as IT and Marketing through to charities and non-government organizations. These roles can be used as a way to further the experience and knowledge gathered through your studies or you can work with charitable or community organizations to help further their work in the Western Cape region. Whether your field of expertise is in engineering, sales or even if you would like to pursue a career in sports coaching, there are placements available that could be suitable.
Researching Potential Internship Providers
One of the most important things for you to do once you have been awarded an internship is to make sure that you carry out a little bit of research about your internship provider to make sure that it is a placement that will be suitable and provide the experience and work that you are looking for. There are some situations where interns can be used as a form of cheap labor for companies, so if possible ask the company or organization to see if it can refer you to others who have carried out an internship with the company. Some charities may also ask for you to raise a certain amount of money before joining them on your internship, and it is especially important to do your research in these cases to ensure you are going to be working with a genuine organization in the region.
Work Permits And Other Formalities
The South African immigration rules do have provisions in place for those who are carrying out internships in the country, and these visas can usually be obtained for a period of up to six months. If you would also like to enjoy some time exploring the country, it is wise to maybe arrange a week or two within your internship schedule which you can use to go exploring too. Once you have arranged your work permit and the visa for your trip, it is also important to make sure that you have all your vaccinations in order before you travel, as there are some conditions that you can encounter in South Africa that aren't so common in other parts of the world.
Arranging Accommodation In Cape Town
In some cases, you may be offered subsidized or free accommodation through the company or organization that is supporting you during your internship in South Africa, and in most cases this is worth taking if the offer is available. Some placement schemes will also have links with universities, and in these cases you may sometimes be offered rooms in local student accommodation too.
However, if you do have to rent privately, it is worth knowing that you will need to pay one or two months deposit up front, as is common in many countries. Make sure you research the area where you are staying to make sure it is a safe place to live, and also compare the room with others to ensure the price you are paying is reasonable for apartments or rooms in that area.