Programme FAQs

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Are starting dates flexible?

To some extent starting dates are flexible. We have recently introduced recommended arrival days in order that interns and volunteers get to meet each other straight away and it also speeds up the time between arrival and orientation so that interns on a shorter programme are able to make the most of Cape Town from the very beginning! Read about set arrival dates here.

Are the internships paid? Do you offer any paid opportunities?

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.

Are the start dates and durations flexible?

Yes, all our internship and volunteer placements have completely flexible start dates, however we do suggest arriving in Cape Town on one of our recommended arrival dates ahead of your internship. These arrival dates coincide with our group orientations and airport collection services.

The only exception to this is over the Christmas period when most businesses in Cape Town close down from the middle of December to the middle of January.

The duration’s of our programmes are flexible.

Are there any prerequisites to join your programmes?

No, there are no prerequisites to join our programmes however, it is beneficial to have some previous experience in the field you are hoping to find an internship/voluntary placement in.

Can I come with my friends?

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.

Can I earn academic credit through my internship?

Yes absolutely!  All the local organisations we work with are happy to complete any required documentation from your university in order for you to gain academic credit for your internship.

Can I use my mobile/cell phone in Cape Town?

In Cape Town mobile phones are known as Cell phones and ‘credit’ is called ‘airtime’.

We advise that you bring your normal cell phone with you and then when you arrive, we can guide you in setting up a South African SIM card which you can load with 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.

Can I work at more than one organisation during my time in Cape Town?

Usually we limit our placement search to one organisation for you because it is more beneficial to yourself and the organisation if you only commit to one place.  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.

Can you assist me with booking any travelling I would like to do while I am in Cape Town?

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!

Do I need to be enrolled in school or university to do this internship?

No you do not.  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.

Do I need to pay a deposit in order to join your programmes?

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.

Do you have deadlines?

There are no deadlines to apply to be part of our Bridging Gaps programmes.

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.

Do you offer any scholarships or grants?

We cannot offer any scholarships or grants for our programmes.

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.

Do you offer internships and volunteer placements in cities other than Cape Town?

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.

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.

Does the program fee increase if I stay longer?

No it does not! This is common to internship placement providers in SA, but we do not increase our fees for longer placements.

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

How long can I do my placement for?

All the opportunities we provide are very flexible in start date and duration.  We charge a one off programme fee which stays the same regardless of how long you do your placement for, and you can decide exactly when you would like to begin and end it.  In saying this, please note that most of the organisations we work with do require at least a one month commitment because of the time it takes to train you and start giving you responsibilities.

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.

How long will my internship last?

All the internships we offer are completely flexible in duration so it is up to you how long you stay in Cape Town for!  Some of the companies we collaborate with like to have an intern commit to at least 4 – 6 weeks so the longer you can stay for the better your chances of being offered an internship will be.

How will I meet other people once I am in Cape Town?

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 on our organised social events.

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 weekends.

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.

Is the cost of accommodation included in the program fee?

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!

Is there a chance of being offered a paid position at the end of my internship?

This very much depends on how you perform during your internship and your internship company itself.  In the past we have had one or two interns who have been offered permanent positions in their internship organisation so if you make a great impression, this could be you!  Many of the companies we work with do not have the resources to be able to employ people in paid positions though so there is no guarantee of this happening.

Is there an age limit for this internship?

The minimum age you have to be to join our programmes is 18. The average age of our Bridging Gaps interns and volunteers is 21-26.

What does it cost to do an internship or volunteer placement through Bridging Gaps?

Here at Bridging Gaps we understand the importance of people’s individual needs, especially when it comes to travelling and working in a new country. That is why we have two different tailored programme packages, each with different levels of specialised features included in the price, and each suitable for different people looking for different experiences of Cape Town.

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.

What if I don’t like my internship when I start it?

As we do everything we can to ensure that your placement will be the right fit for you, we hope that this will not be the case.  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.

What is the difference between an internship program and a volunteer program?

The volunteering opportunities we provide here at Bridging Gaps are less career-orientated than our internship programmes, and more focused on serving the local population of Cape Town. By lending your skills, experience and time to help some of the most vulnerable communities in the Western Cape, you will be changing people’s lives for the better.

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.

What should I wear for my internship?

Appropriate work attire is specific to each organisation we work with but, in general you will find that you can wear more casual clothes than what you are used to back home. There are only a few placements which will require you to wear formal work clothes, and we will let you know if this applies to you. We suggest that for your first day you dress smartly, and then you will be able to gauge what appropriate attire is going forward. For most volunteer placements you will be able to wear casual clothes, however revealing clothes of any kind are not suitable for any placement.

What type of work will I be doing during my internship?

The types of tasks and projects you will have as an intern depends on the internship organisation you choose.  We base our customised placement search on your personal and professional goals and we do our best to match you up with the most suitable local organisation.  Each internship offer we send you contains information on the organisation in question and the types of responsibilities you could have as an intern.

What will I do for my placement?

We work with over 400 local organisations here in Cape Town and each of them offer very specific opportunities so it is difficult for us to provide examples of the sorts of responsibilities and tasks you will have, until we have chatted to you further about your individual interests, goals and skills.

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.

What will I get at the end of my internship?

We will provide you with a certificate of participation and you will also receive a reference letter from your internship supervisor at your host organisation which you can use for future job interviews.

When do I need to pay the remaining balance of my programme fee?

The balance of your programme fee will be due 3 weeks after you have accepted a placement with us.

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.

When is the recommended time to arrive in Cape Town?

We offer 2 collection days a month which will be discussed with you during your pre-trip preparations.

When should I apply to the programmes?

We ask that you apply at least three months in advance because it can take time to find you the best suitable placement and we will continue to send you project offers, until you are 100% happy it is the right one for you.

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.

Who are the other people that join your programmes?

Our programmes are suitable for people looking for an exciting gap year adventure, university students and post graduates wanting to gain valuable work experience, and those looking for a meaningful career break.

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!

Why should I pick Bridging Gaps over other internship providers in South Africa?

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 Cape Town adventure, you will be supported and guided by the Bridging Gaps team. We will work closely to help you create your ideal experience before you arrive, and will always be on hand to give you placement advice, provide guidance on things to do in the city, arrange appointments or help you overcome any challenges you might have.

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 all live centrally so are never far away, and pride ourselves in the seamless 24 hour 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 wide variety of exciting programme opportunities, we also help you plan and arrange every other aspect of your South African adventure. We will assist you with all your pre-trip preparations, plan and book your accommodation and transport, and help create your ideal customized itinerary by exploring the different tours and activities the city has to offer. We also organise great social events for all our participants to join, and we do our best to ensure affordability for every aspect of your trip.

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.

Will there be other interns at my internship organisation?

As we work with over 450 local organisations in Cape Town, and we find you an internship based completely on your personal interests and goals, it is unlikely that there will be another Bridging Gaps intern at the organisation you work for.  However, there may be other local or international interns from other organisations like ourselves.

Will you help me to arrange my flights and visa?

Yes of course! As part of your pre-trip preparations we will assist you with arranging visas and insurance as well as booking flights.

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