Frequently Asked Questions
Answers about interning in Cape Town
Questions About The Placement
Once you have joined our programmes and we begin our search for the best suitable placement for you, we will begin sending you offers from various local organisations. Included in each placement offer will be details about the specific organisation and information about what sort of projects and tasks you could be involved in.
The only restrictions in terms of the length of your stay are the visa regulations for South Africa. If you want to be in Cape Town for longer than three months you will need to obtain a volunteer visa, which we can help you with.
Completing an internship is about gaining experience to help you on your career path, learning new transferable skills to increase your employability and discovering where your passions, strengths and weaknesses lie.
We have extensive local knowledge, and one of the fundamental reasons we started these programmes was to share our passion and enable visitors to experience the beauty, depth and infectious soul of the City.
Our team lives centrally so are never far away, and we pride ourselves in the seamless 24 hour on the ground support we provide to all our participants..
As you can experience four seasons in one day in Cape Town, it is a good idea to bring a wide range of clothes!
Completing an internship or volunteer placement at an organisation is absolutely no guarantee that you will be offered a paid position at the end of it, however if you make a great impression and really add value to the organisation, there is no reason why it couldn’t.
Our programmes are an amazing way to make important and life-long contacts in your specific field of work, and these contacts could help you at any stage of your career.
Completing an internship or volunteer placement is a wonderful way of getting your foot in the door of the working world and gaining invaluable experience.
We find that the longer our participants stay at their placement, the more they learn and gain from the experience.
However, if you are planning on staying in Cape Town for over 6 months, then we can explore more than one option for you.
Also, we can facilitate weekend volunteering opportunities for anyone who is interested.
We can also provide certificates of participation upon request.
However, if when you start your placement you really feel that you will not benefit from working in your chosen organisation, we can make arrangements to find you a new placement.
We ask that you give at least a week to try out your role, because often it can take time to settle in to your organisation and be given proper responsibilities.
If after this time you still feel you will not gain from the experience, we will make arrangements to find you another placement.
However, we welcome people at all stages of their lives so if you are looking to have a meaningful career break please don’t hesitate to enquire now!
Our team and the local organisations we partner with can assist you with any documents and assessments you need completed in order to gain academic credit from your university.
Bridging Gaps Programmes are suitable for people looking for Gap Year opportunities abroad, post-graduate international work experience and meaningful career breaks.
They are also ideal for university students looking to gain academic credit.
Questions About Fees & Costs
Bootstrap is our placement only package. The internship and volunteering opportunities we provide in this package are extensive and our placement search is customized to suit your personal interests and goals. We will find you the best suitable placement in a wonderful local organisation and we will guide you through all your pre-trip preparations. This package includes no added extras. The programme fee for our Bootstrap package is £995. This is a one-off fee which stays the same for any lengths of stay in Cape Town.
Concierge is our fully comprehensive programme package. We will find you the best suitable placement in an inspiring local organisation in Cape Town. All our programmes are completely customized and we base our placement search on your skills, interests and personal and professional goals
As well as assisting you with all your pre-trip preparations, you will be provided with some useful items at the beginning of your trip to help you settle into life in Cape Town as quickly and easily as possible. The Concierge package also offers airport collection and dropoff, a great variety of accommodation options and includes some added extras to make your Cape Town adventure that little bit more special! As a member of the Concierge package you will also be entitled to discounted rates on many of the exciting outdoor activities Cape Town is home to. The programme fee for our Concierge package is £1495. This is a one-off fee which stays the same regardless of the length of your placement.
Choose us because:
Our internship / voluntary placements are customised
All the learning experiences we offer in Cape Town are wonderfully flexible. The dates and durations of our programmes are for you to decide, and the high quality opportunities we provide, are tailored to your needs. It is imperative to us that during your Cape Town experience, your professional and personal goals are met and we ensure this by working closely with you right from the beginning of the application process.
Our internship / voluntary placements are personalised
An important part of the Bridging Gaps experience is that we really get to know YOU.
From the starting point, right through to the end of your adventure, you will be supported and guided by Lucie and Julian. We will work closely to help you create your ideal experience before you arrive, and then we will be the first faces you see when you land in Cape Town. We will accompany you to your first day of work, and throughout your trip would be delighted to show you the hidden gems of the City!
All of our internship / voluntary placements come with extensive local support
At Bridging Gaps we focus on the one destination we are most zealous about, Cape Town. We have extensive local knowledge, and one of the fundamental reasons we started these programmes, was to share our passion and enable visitors to experience the beauty, depth and infectious soul of the City. We both live centrally so are never far away, and pride ourselves in the seamless 24 hour on the ground support we provide to all our participants.
All Inclusive: Our internship / voluntary placement service takes care of everything that you need.
Not only do we offer a variety of exciting programme opportunities, we also help you plan and arrange every other aspect of your Cape Town adventure. We will assist you with all your pre-trip preparations, plan and book your accommodation and transport, and help create your ideal personal itinerary by exploring the different tours and activities the City has to offer. We also organise great weekly events for all our participants to join, and we do our best to ensure affordability for every aspect of your trip. (Concierge only)
We truly care for the Cape
We really value the power of volunteerism in South Africa and believe that in creating opportunities for yourself through participating in our programme, you will also be creating opportunities for the people of Cape Town. As an intern or volunteer, you will not only be contributing to the economy through tourism, but you will be volunteering your skills, knowledge and time to organisations which will benefit hugely from your help.
Responsible travel is the heart of our programmes and we want to aid you to make educated and responsible decisions which will only impact the country in a positive way.
In both of our programme packages- Bootstrap and Concierge the programme fee is a one-off fee which stays the same regardless of the length of your placement
Yes we do require a deposit when you apply for a programme with us. The exact amount is detailed in our programme comparison page. Your deposit is 100% refundable up until 2 weeks after we send you your first placement offer. When we do send you your first internship or volunteer offer you either have the choice to accept it straight away, or we can continue searching for other placement opportunities for you until you are 100% happy. Alternatively you have two weeks to decide if you want to pull out of the programme completely and you will receive your full deposit back.
Your deposit payment is due at the time you apply to be part of the Bridging Gaps programmes and that is when we will begin our search for the best suitable placement for you.
We will then continue searching until you are 100% happy we have found the right organisation for you, and three weeks after that, your programme fee balance will be due.
This question answer:
Since South African law prohibits any foreign national doing any form of paid work in the country without a valid working visa, all the opportunities we provide are unpaid. It is incredibly difficult to obtain a working visa for South Africa because you have to be sponsored by an organisation before you even arrive in the country.
However, we will support and guide any of our participants who want to raise money to go towards their trip to Cape Town.
We are happy to advertise individual fundraising pages through our various social media platforms and will assist in arranging any fundraising events.
Past programme participants have also been successful at raising money directly through their universities and schools.
Since every aspect of our programmes is customized to suit your individual travel plans, budget, and preferences, the cost of accommodation is not included in the Bridging Gaps programme fees.
However your fee does include the arrangement of your accommodation.
We offer a number of differently priced accommodation options in Cape Town, each suitable for different people.
Let us know your preferences and we’ll find you the ideal accommodation for you!
Questions About Timing & Logistics
It is up to you when you arrive in Cape Town and when you begin your placement.
The only exception to this is over the Christmas period when most business in Cape Town close down from the middle of December to the middle of January.
The duration’s of our programmes are also flexible.
As soon as you have decided which field you would like us to explore for you, it is advisable that you get your complete application in to us because the longer we have to search for you the better.
If you are hoping to arrive within a few months of applying that is also fine, we will just have less time to finalise all the details of your trip.
We have a rolling admissions process but we do recommend that you send your complete application in to us at least 3 months before you want to begin your placement.
This ensures we have enough time to find you the best suitable placement as well as helping you with arranging every other aspect of your trip.
We advise that you bring your normal cell phone with you and then when you arrive, we can provide you with a South African SIM card loaded with a small amount of airtime.
It is your responsibility to ensure your phone is unlocked to all networks.
Alternatively, you can bring your normal phone and leave your home SIM card in it, to use it for internet access and messaging services such as WhatsApp.
We can then provide you with a simple non smart phone with a South African SIM card, which you can use to make local calls or send local text messages.
Questions About Support & Social Scene
As we work with so many local organisations here in Cape Town which all provide such unique opportunities, and our placement search is based completely on your individual skills and interests, it is unlikely that there will be another Bridging Gaps participant at the same organisation as you.
There may however be other foreign or local interns at the organisation where you are placed.
Yes of course! As part of your pre-trip preparations we will assist you with arranging visas and insurance as well as booking flights.
We will guide you through all your pre trip preparations and then once you are in Cape Town we will be your main contacts.
As soon as you arrive you will be provided with both our personal cell numbers and the Bridging Gaps emergency phone number.
Both of us live very centrally and will never be more than a short walk or phone call away if you ever need anything.
We will keep in regular contact with you to ensure your placement is going as well as possible and we would be delighted to show you all the incredible places and activities Cape Town is home to.
During the lead up to your trip we will introduce you to any other Bridging Gaps interns and volunteers who will be in Cape Town at the same time as you.
Then, once you arrive in Cape Town you will meet all the other programme participants at our weekly social events.
Once a week we will either organise a dinner and drinks night at a new restaurant in town, or arrange an exciting activity or place to visit over the weekend.
During our social events it is also likely you will meet some wonderful local Capetonian’s and we often find that many of our participants form great friendships with their colleagues at their host organisation.
We therefore have a range of different people on our programmes and we really feel this adds to everyone’s experience of Cape Town!
It is an amazing opportunity to be part of a community and meet people from all over the world who you will share your incredible experiences of Cape Town with.
We have no doubt you will make friends for life by joining a Bridging Gaps programme today!
Yes absolutely! We love it when groups of friends join our programmes together!
Participating in a placement abroad and experiencing life in another country is an incredible thing do with your friends and we definitely recommend it.
If you apply far enough in advance we will do our best to ensure you all get to live in the same accommodation.
Yes this is a service available on our Concierge package!
We encourage all interns and volunteers to see as much of South Africa as they can, and do as many activities as possible during their time in Cape Town.
We have partnered with a number of reputable tour companies and activity providers in the Western Cape and we would be delighted to assist you in the planning and booking of anything you would like to experience.
We can also offer you a discounted rate on backpacking accommodation, Garden Route tours and much more!