We love reporting back on the progress and ongoing achievements of some of our past nominees and award winners from time to time, so when something noteworthy crosses my desk, I often consider publishing it on the website. Former Dance Award nominees, A Sultry Flock, recently toured in South Africa, performing to sold out audiences throughout the country. The contemporary dance troupe received exceptional reviews in the local press.
After an exhausting tour with plenty of travel and back to back performances in 6 major cities the dance company decided to take a week off to spend some time in Cape Town relaxing and enjoying themselves. During their stay in Cape Town, they were introduced to the owners of African Sunrise Volunteers who assist students and graduates from all over the world who are interested in coming to volunteer in South Africa. As a student you may find you’re in your final year or have graduated and need work experience – you have two options: do your social work internship in your city or travel and do it in a foreign city. If you choose option 2 you will have to make another decision, what city will you intern in? Cape Town should be top of your list of choices, here’s why.
Social work internships abroad are fantastic learning experiences. They give you the opportunity to improve communities that require more aid than your own but can’t receive it from local volunteers. They also give you an insight into another country’s culture, a truly eye opening experience in itself. Interning abroad will give you the ability to adapt to an unfamiliar environment, because you have to work through cultural and language barriers, which is a great skill to have in any career. If financially possible, going overseas for your internship should be first choice.
Cape Town is a great place to do your internship abroad. It is both a strikingly beautiful place to visit and a hugely problem ridden city filled with inequality, providing ample social work for a young intern. As an intern you need lots of practice dealing with different situations. Cape Town provides case variety in abundance, from working with HIV/AIDS patients to refugee centers. The wide variety of case material will improve your skills as a social worker and give you invaluable work experience going forward.
If you are coming to South Africa from Europe and North America, you will find prices are lower than you would expect to pay back home. The favorable exchange rate and general low prices mean you don’t need to be of the rich few to be able to travel to Cape Town for your internship. Some organizations may even provide free meals or accommodation to ease the financial strain of the less financially gifted foreign interns. African Sunrise volunteers in South Africa are actively involved in multiple community based projects and are able to position their clients in the most suited project for their skills or qualifications.
English is a widely understood language in Cape Town. So if you are able to speak and understand English you shouldn’t have a problem communicating with the locals, who may have an Afrikaans or Xhosa background.
Cape Town is, like South Africa as a whole, a multi-cultural city where diversity thrives. There is no need to worry about dietary requirements or ability to practice your religion. Cape Town has strong religious communities, finding a place to pray is easy. Cape Town is also renowned for it’s wide variety of food so your dietary requirements will be met by at least one of the many restaurants throughout the city.
Cape Town is a large play and your activities may be spread out on either ends of the city. Transport in Cape Town is both reliable and safe. Recommended traveling methods include Uber, the MyCiti bus and meter taxis. These services are highly regulated and have experienced very few criminal incidents in comparison to mini bus taxis and the train service, both of which are unreliable to boot.
One must remember that an internship abroad is not all work. A lot of the fun comes from traveling around the city and seeing the famous sites. From hiking Table Mountain to going on world famous wine tours, Cape Town has something for everyone. The hardest part is having to decide what not to see and do during your stay as there is just not enough time to experience everything the Mother City has to offer.
Your internship in Cape Town is guaranteed to be both a holiday filled with dazzling scenery and a grueling work experience that will shape you into a fine social worker.