There is an increasing number of international students flocking to Cape Town each month. It seems that the City is a great travel destination for a vacation. However, it’s also great for students to gain credible work experience. This can be used in their respective fields that they are studying towards.
Being rated as the Top Travel Destination in the world by Tripadvisor.com last year has definitely added to the hype around the “Mother City”. However, online polls and exchange rates aside, there are many other significant reasons that have contributed to this massive influx of internship seeking students. To help shed some light on this we have put together a short list. So, why is Cape Town a top internship destination? Here are a few reasons.
1. An Excellent Geographical Setting
As the saying goes, “location, location, location”. This couldn’t ring any more true when looking at the fantastic way in which the city is laid out. Known as the Cape Peninsula, Cape Town cuts into the Atlantic ocean and is surrounded by water on three sides of the city.
In addition, it’s at the tip of the African continent, offering a view of both the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans on either side. This is a feature that makes it unique to any other city in the world. Added to this, the Table Mountain range stretches right down the centre of the entire peninsula. It then extends from the City Bowl all the way down to Cape Point, where the two oceans meet.
With the mountains and the ocean so close together, it enables you to be standing at the top of Table Mountain at 1000m high looking over the entire city. One hour later and you can be on the beach. Cooling off in the water and working on your tan under the African sun.
2. Rich Political History
As you may know, the country experienced major social and political turmoil during what is known as Apartheid. This era, introduced by the “Apartheid Government” saw the segregation of the population along with racial classifications. It was during this time that local heroes such as Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu fought against the oppression of the people of South Africa in what is locally known as “The Struggle.”
It’s also interesting to note that Cape Town is actually the oldest city in South Africa. The Castle of Goodhope being the oldest building in the country and dates back to 1652. The Castle was built by the Dutch East India Company as a halfway station for ships traveling from Europe to India along the “Spice Route”. It was during this time that a large number of slaves were brought in from Malaysia and Indonesia.
The Cape was later taken over by the British when it was discovered that South Africa was a mineral-rich country. These are some of the factors which now contributes to Cape Town’s diverse population. Locals include English speaking whites (British), Afrikaans speaking whites (Dutch), black, Indian and “coloured” people who call the city home.
Cape Town is possibly the most ethnically diverse city in South Africa. This is shown in the ” metropolitan” feel you experience when wandering around and exploring the city. Culturally, there is a lot one can learn by spending time in Cape Town.
3. Vibrant Development Sector
In light of all the political struggles experienced in South Africa, the country is now only in its 18th year of democracy. This has lead to massive gaps in society, especially in areas such as Cape Town where there is a diverse mix of locals.
The gaps between rich and poor are tremendous and this can easily be seen when you drive around the city. In some instances, you could be in some of the wealthiest suburbs in Africa. Here, property sells for hundreds of millions of Rand. In less than a 45-minute drive, you can find yourself in one of the poorest townships in the city, Khayelitsha. There, more than a million Cape Town residents call living in shacks with no electricity or running water home.
This is a stark contrast to the suburbs of Constantia and Camps Bay, where only a few wealthy citizens take up vast majorities of the land. Such factors have prompted thousands of organizations geared at social development and upliftment to come to the forefront in making a difference. Sadly, in most cases, the government cannot keep up with the massive demand for help that is needed.
4. Excellent NGO Infrastructure
As mentioned above, the rapid growth of the development sector has led to thousands of NGO organizations popping up all around the city. All are in a bid to keep up with all the social issues. Everything from Public Health and Social Development to Environmental Awareness and Economic Upliftment. These NGOs have come to the forefront in the battle against poverty and social division in Cape Town.
There are various sorts of NGO’s within the city. These include large organizations with big offices that roll out projects affecting thousands. Also, smaller community-based organizations that rely on volunteers in the community to assist in home-based caring. All could use as much support and man power as they can get.
If you would like to get involved in work that could bring about a massive change in the lives of so many people, all while having a great time and experiencing different cultures in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, then Cape Town is definitely the right place for you to intern. Visit our website www.ificould.net to view our exciting development based internships and let us help find the perfect internship for you in Cape Town.