Rachel's Cape Town Internship Review

    Human Rights  Internship In Cape Town, 2018


Bridging Gaps has got the social and internship sides down to a T. So, I would highly recommend it!

Bridging Gaps has got the social and internship sides down to a T. So, I would highly recommend it!

Bridging Gaps has got the social and internship sides down to a T. So, I would highly recommend it!

— Rachel
Human Rights internship in Cape Town review/testimonial by Rachel Willems

Rachel Willems

Cape Town Human Rights Internship

Rachel is a student from the UK. She has recently graduated from he university of Loughborough with a degree in social psychology and criminology. Rachel came to Cape Town in July 2018 for a three week internship. Her internship consisted of Human Rights and youth developem

Rachel's INTERNSHIP:
Nationality:NLD
Institute:
Course:
Internship Area(s):Human Rights  NGO
InternshipFocus Options:
Internship Year:2018
Internship Duration:3 weeks

Rachel Willems

Human Rights Internship

Rachel is a student from the UK. She has recently graduated from he university of Loughborough with a degree in social psychology and criminology. Rachel came to Cape Town in July 2018 for a three week internship. Her internship consisted of Human Rights and youth developem

Rachel's INTERNSHIP:
Nationality:NLD
Institute:
Course:
Internship Area(s):Human Rights  NGO
InternshipFocus Options:
Internship Year:2018
Internship Duration:3 weeks

"Best experience!"

Rachel Willems Review from Go Abroad | August 22, 2018

Doing this internship in Cape Town was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life, and a big part of that was the service provided by Bridging Gaps. Not only did they provide me with an internship that surpassed all my expectations, but they ensured that I had the opportunity to meet so many new people and explore Cape Town. They were so helpful both during my stay but also beforehand, answering any questions I had. I can not recommend this opportunity and this company enough!

Full Interview with Rachel


Rachel’s Thoughts About Her Internship


What were your reasons for wanting to come to Cape Town to do an internship?


Well, I wanted to do an internship in the first place because I needed experience in the field I wanted to go into. I thought it would be nice to go abroad. So, I looked at other places, but I have a personal tie to Cape Town; I was born in South Africa, I lived here for 5 years, I’ve been to Cape Town before. But it was all as a tourist, so you always only see the nice side. So, I think coming here, working here, I saw a whole new side to Cape Town and I still think its amazing. I also think this is a country with so many problems and if there were any way I could help that would be great, because I feel like in England sometimes its not really worth it. They don’t need as much help as they do here.

What type of internship experience were you initially looking for?


So I was initially looking to work with victims of domestic violence, but because of my short stay in Cape Town, that wasn’t really possible, so what I did was actually really different to what a signed up for, so I didn’t have the best expectations. BUT oh my gosh, its been amazing! Its been more than I could have asked for and its more relevant than I thought it would be, so Bridging Gaps did a good job with that to be honest!

How did your actual internship placement compare to your ideal internship experience?


Completely different, like I didn’t initially want to work with children, but it actually worked out really well. I got to develop projects for the NGO as well as assist with training parents and children, so I got both sides. The office side and the practical side- which was again really great. Not what I would have expected but really good!

Did you receive sufficient levels of supervision and guidance from your colleagues at your host organisation?


If it were in England, they would have been more like “what you doing?” every few minutes, but I think in South Africa they expect you to be more independent, which I think is good, because it shows that they trusted me to do my own thing and just finish what they asked me to do. But also, if I ever had any questions they were right there. At first, I wasn’t sure if I should ask for things all the time, but after I spoke to you, and you told me to take initiative, they were very responsive to that. They were always more than happy to answer anything but I was also given responsibility to work on my own which I loved.

Did taking part in your internship challenge you and help develop your skills?


Oh, it definitely challenged me! The community I was working in had massive problem and I freaked out the first-time I heard about bad things happening. I didn’t know how to process it all, but it definitely challenged me to realize that that this is the life that these people are forced to lead. I had to understand that to be able to help them, and I have to say that once I experienced that, I was like “okay, I know what I need to do now, I understand the situation, I’m motivated.” I see that it was a challenge, but I’m glad I stuck with it and over came it. I definitely got thrown in the deep end, it was quite a challenge, but I learned to balance what I know, with what they do, and with whatever they’ve seen and it taught me a lot.

Were you given adequate responsibilities during your internship?


Yes, so they write out these manuals which they use for training members of the local community against using drugs. Right at the start of my internship they asked me to develop them and It was more responsibility than I thought I would get! But I really enjoyed it, because it meant that I didn’t feel like I was just an errand girl. I wasn’t just there to make people coffee. I actually did something worthwhile.

Overall do you feel that doing this international internship was a worthwhile experience which will help you achieve your career goals?


100%!! I think I’m going to go into my Masters year having had an experience that no one else can say they’ve ever had. I’ve worked with a group of people that you don’t have access to in England. I was doing things that you just don’t have access to in England. So, 100% yes! This experience has literally given me a step up, and it has confirmed that what I’m studying is what I want to do.

Do you feel that you were given the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to your local host organisation?


Yes 100%. They are going to use what I’ve written up to train people in the future. So, you know, that’s great!

Rachel’s Thoughts About Cape Town

What fears did you have before coming to Cape Town with Bridging Gaps?


I didn’t know what to expect with my internship, so I was afraid of disappointment. I didn’t have many fears. I think just disappointment that I would not enjoy what I came here to do.

What do you think about those fears now?


I should not have been worried about that at all! Not at all. It was more than I could have bargained for.

After spending some time in the city, what is your impression of Cape Town?


Oh my gosh it’s amazing, it’s so great! You’ve got such a diverse range of things to do here- there’s so much to do and I haven’t even done all of it! There are really cool bars and restaurants, so many things to do and see. You’ve got beaches and mountains, there’s just so much to do here its actually insane! Many interns have said they want to move out here and I completely understand why! It is just an amazing place!

Would you recommend Cape Town as a worthwhile/enjoyable place to visit?


Yes to anyone who asks! Definitely!

Rachel’s Thoughts About Bridging Gaps’ Service

Did Bridging Gaps help you prepare for your trip sufficiently?


Yes, I spoke to Lucie almost every day, there was constant contact. She was always asking me “Is everything okay, do you need any more advice?” She scheduled a call so I could get all my questions out- she was on it and she was really helpful.

How was your experience of Bridging Gaps while you were on the ground in Cape Town?


Good, very good! You guys always check in and make sure we’re all ok. You guys organised so many things for us to do together as a group, like the safari weekend, which was great! I wouldn’t have gotten to know those people if it wasn’t for Bridging Gaps organizing this and encouraging us to go. It was good, you introduced us to people.

What was the best feature of the Bridging Gaps service?


Getting me a driver to work and back. I was talking to my driver today and he said “Some organizations would have insisted that you take an Uber, they wouldn’t help you find a driver or sort out transport for you.” So, the fact that Bridging Gaps took the initiative to get me a driver that would be there for me morning, night, whenever I needed him. It was great. Just great!

Would you recommend pursuing an internship in Cape Town with Bridging Gaps to other people?


Yeah, I would, it probably depends on what you want to do, but Bridging Gaps offers such a wide variety of things to do in Cape Town. There’s no way that you couldn’t find anything here. The accommodation you guys have here is great, you introduce us to the people and to interns from other organizations as well. Bridging Gaps has got the social and internship sides down to a T. So, I would highly recommend it!


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Want an experience like Rachel's?

We will give you an experience that adds to you personally, academically and professionally regardless of your age, education or experience. We will design your dream trip.

Enquire Now