Set at the foot of the Iconic Table Mountain, the city of Cape Town is a place of incredible natural beauty, diversity and vitality. As a visitor to the area you will encounter mountain wilderness, alluring beaches, charming wine estates and quaint harbours. You will also find yourself appreciating the vibrancy and colour of Cape Town’s cultural heritage, as well as the infectious soul of the city, on a daily basis.
However, Cape Town is also a city of stark contrasts. It is impossible to visit the area without being affected by the very harsh reality of poverty which defines the lives of so many people. Despite the abolishment of the Apartheid regime over 20 years ago, South Africa still faces huge social and economic challenges.
So, Cape Town needs you! One of the fundamental reasons Bridging Gaps was started was to support local organisations and community initiatives. By volunteering your time and skills to local companies and development projects, you can make a genuine difference in many local people’s lives whilst contributing to South Africa’s ultimate goal of economic stability and reduced poverty.
Bridging Gaps internship opportunities
Bridging Gaps Cape Town programmes is a facilitator of customized, professional internship programmes and volunteer projects. All our programmes are tailored to meet your specific interests and goals and we provide a wide range of opportunities in many different inspiring local organisations across a number of different fields.
Below we have outlined some of opportunities we facilitate; however, if you are interested in exploring a field which is not listed below, please don’t hesitate to enquire with us! Click here.
We work with a wide range of profit and non-profit organisations which provide a number of different advertising, communications and marketing opportunities. Whether you are looking to gain more corporate knowledge of these fields by working for a large company, or expand on and use your existing skills to assist a grass roots NPO, we have plenty of roles for you to explore. Some areas you could be involved in are: SEO management, marketing campaigns and strategies, social media management, web development, company promotions and announcements, commercial awareness, market research and data collection, designing media materials and networking events.
Animal and environmental science
The Western Cape is home to a wide range of beautiful conservation settings and this means we have some wonderfully diverse opportunities in these fields. As an intern or volunteer in these fields, you could be involved in: animal protection and rehabilitation, environmental protection and research, sustainable development education and the promoting of sustainable practices in relation to the environment. If you choose to volunteer your time in these fields, you will gain a greater understanding of the challenges of conservation in a different country, whilst experiencing the natural beauty of the Cape in daily work.
The city of Cape Town is home to a number of architectural wonders which reflect South Africa’s varied historical influences. It is an amazing place for architectural enthusiasts to visit, but an even better place to gain hands on, practical work experience. In our programme we facilitate opportunities in both commercial and residential projects, in a wide range of different companies. Exciting new opportunities exist within firms recognised for their practices of sustainable design. Some of the areas an architecture intern could be involved in are: restructuring of existing designs, creating models for new designs, conducting research on existing and potential new sites, collaborating with construction teams and meeting new clients to discuss upcoming projects.
Business and finance
Although huge disparities in economic wealth still exist in South Africa today, the Country is recognised as an exciting, emerging global economy. Cape Town is becoming an increasingly popular destination for business travellers, and more and more international business conferences are being held in the City every year. Completing an overseas internship in this field will really demonstrate to future employers that you understand how business works in a different country, and Cape Town is the perfect place to do this! Although this category is extremely broad, some of the specific roles you could gain experience in are: business consultancy, accounting, micro finance, commercial banking, marketing and sales, entrepreneurship, project management, strategic analysis and business development.
We facilitate a wide range of exciting event management internships in some of Cape Town’s most up and coming, vibrant companies. Opportunities are available in the fields of tourism, film, music, wedding and NGO work. Gaining hands on experience in the field of event management is essential, and all the organisations we work with, want to give you the opportunity to build on your skills and use your creativity to contribute to the seamless delivery of inspiring events.
In 2014 the city of Cape Town was voted the design capital of the world and a leading centre for creativity and innovation. Design is now a part of Cape Town’s daily discourse. Numerous design initiatives have been implemented to positively impact the city socially, culturally and economically, and these initiatives have also created a range of wonderfully diverse, ‘Design Internship’ opportunities. An internship in this field will expose you to new design techniques, increase your knowledge of specialised programmes and software and expand your creativity through exciting and challenging influences.
Studying engineering puts you on the career path to be an engineer, but completing an internship in this field, advises you about the context of your career. Gaining practical experience will give you a more informed idea of the areas you would like to pursue such as design versus manufacturing or consumer versus industrial. We work with some of the leading engineering firms in South Africa, and can facilitate opportunities in a number of areas: civil, mechanical, industrial or electrical engineering.
Our Cape Town programme offers opportunities in a number of areas within the South African education sector, which is currently facing enormous challenges. The schools and organisations we collaborate with would benefit hugely from volunteers bringing new ideas, resources and a fresh perspective to the work they are doing to improve education in this Country. As well as gaining a better understanding of education on an international scale, you will also get to interact with some incredible local teachers and children, who will be extremely excited by your presence! Within this sector we can facilitate education policy, teaching assistant, sports coaching, teacher training and general child care opportunities.
The depletion of the world’s natural resources and the aim of a sustainable future, are hot topics in most countries and cultures around the globe today. South Africa is no exception to this, because of the need for social and economic development, which usually has a negative impact on the environment. As a result, we facilitate a number of opportunities in both grass root NGO’s aiming to educate local communities on sustainable living, and large corporate companies researching renewable energy on a national scale. As an intern in this field you could be involved in research, environmental education, hands on field work, exploring and promoting sustainable economic development practices, and much more!
Film and photography
Cape Town has become one of the primary locations for the filming of international adverts, model photoshoots and award winning movies. The City is affordable to travel to and operate within, and coupled with the natural beauty of the landscape, it creates a perfect stage for all of the above. Interns in this field will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience working alongside creditable local and international producers and photographers, looking to impart their knowledge to eager assistants! This is the perfect chance to make influential contacts and build up your portfolio of work, whilst enjoying the scenic outdoors.
Since the end of apartheid in 1994, one of the fundamental aspects of South Africa’s constitution has been the defence of every individual’s Human Rights. However, despite this, the country still faces huge social and economic challenges, and in Cape Town there are a large number of government and non-government organisations attempting to address these issues and promote social equality. Our programme provides interns with the opportunity to assist some truly inspiring organisations with their work towards social justice and the promotion of Human Rights. Opportunities in this field could include working with refugees, the prevention of human trafficking and child labour and the advocacy of women’s rights.
Broaden your horizons by coming to intern at a reputable media company in one of Africa’s largest media centres. Cape Town’s publications reflect the diversity of its population and as a result, journalism is an incredibly exciting, dynamic industry to experience working in. We provide opportunities in print Journalism, TV or Radio and in all of these categories you will gain a wonderful insight into the mechanisms, components and underlying values of the media in Cape Town, a completely different social and economic setting than what you are used to.
In these highly competitive career fields, it is crucial that you are able to differentiate and market yourself successfully to prospective employers. An excellent way of doing this is by participating in an internship abroad, which demonstrates an understanding of international law and how the practice can vary from country to country. We provide opportunities in a number of different types of legal settings, from large corporate firms to small NGOs working closely with the Government to uphold various ‘Human Rights’ foundations. Interns in this field could have the opportunity to attend parliament and participate in various campaigns, carry out crucial research on certain legislation, assist with reviewing client files, prepare briefs and a whole lot more!
Medical and Public Health
In order to pursue any career in the field of healthcare, it is necessary to gain some kind of hands on work experience. However, completing an internship in a healthcare setting in the developing world, is not just beneficial for your career, but can also be a life changing experience. The challenges which the healthcare system in South Africa faces on a daily basis, provide an unparalleled learning environment for pre-medical students, medical students and qualified professionals. As in most Government hospitals in the country, the lack of equipment and human resources, along with the high incidence of infectious diseases, means that interns will have the chance to work alongside specialists with very different skills and responsibilities.
Our healthcare programme in Cape Town provides an ideal opportunity to expand your knowledge, immerse yourself in and contribute tremendously to the Public health system of South Africa. We have opportunities in a variety of settings: hospitals, community clinics, research establishments, children’s homes and NGO’s. These places can accommodate interns who are interested in clinical observation, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, nutrition, child life and public health.
Social work/youth development
Our youth development and social work programmes provide you with the opportunity to use your existing skills and experience to support some of the most disadvantaged members of South African society. All over the world today, those most affected by social inequality are the most vulnerable groups in society – young people, women, refugees and people affected by illness – and this is reflected in Cape Town. Doing a social work or youth development internship will give you the chance to positively impact the lives of those who need it the most, whilst working alongside some of the most experienced professionals in the field, who are trained to deal with challenging situations on a daily basis.
Voted the number one tourist destination to visit in 2014 by the New York Times, it is no surprise that Cape Town boasts a wide range of exciting and appealing tourism and hospitality internships. We provide opportunities in travel companies, local tour and adventure operators, hotels and backpacker organisations, and some of the areas interns could be involved in are operations management, customer service, food and beverage management, event planning and much more!
Bridging Gaps volunteering opportunities
Our volunteer programmes are less career-orientated 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. Whilst making a real difference, you will also become part of a new community family and form relationships which will stay with you forever.
Volunteering is an amazing way to learn more about the country you are visiting and the trials its people face. It will challenge your perspectives and test your personal abilities and through this you will learn an incredible amount about yourself.
We offer volunteer opportunities in all of the same fields we offer internships in, so please enquire through our internship opportunity page, or via this link: Enquire Now
We have published a free PDF guide that explains almost everything you need to know about visiting Cape Town.