Choosing to do an internship abroad is an exciting experience, promising to bring you face to face with new challenges, flavors, and cultures while you push your comfort zone. While some people flourish in this kind of environment, others may require a little bit more support.
Regardless of what type of personality you are, pushing your comfort zone and interning abroad is an unforgettable, life-changing experience.
Choosing to intern in Cape Town
Thomas first stumbled across the gender-focused internship opportunity on his University’s job board. On a whim, he made the payment to secure his commitment. He made this decision a year in advance, making sure that he couldn’t change his mind.
During the course of the next year, Thomas had very little time to think much more about it. He was finishing off his course in Psychology and gave it his full attention. It wasn’t until a week before his departure date that his nerves kicked in.
Preparing to arrive
Other than a trip to Florida at the tender age of 8, and a trip with his family to Mexico when he was young, Thomas had never been out of Canada’s borders – especially not alone. This would be the first time he was traveling abroad on his own. When asked about his expectations before arrival, he says that he never had any other than what he saw on YouTube shortly before leaving home.
He knew of the iconic attractions in South Africa – such as Table Mountain and Robben Island – but the rest would be a surprise. And a surprise it was!
First impression of Cape Town
Thomas admits that South Africa is an incredibly stimulating country. With so much to look at and experience, Thomas often finds himself marveling at his surroundings, becoming completely absorbed.
Thomas comments and says, “If I did have expectations, Cape Town has surpassed them.”
One thing that has stood out to Thomas is the friendliness of the locals – even Uber drivers! This makes things a lot easier when settling into a new place after pushing your comfort zone.
Tips to help settle
Whether it’s your first time traveling abroad, or your twentieth, it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed when traveling to a place for the first time.
For Thomas, choosing to intern in Cape Town was a big decision – even though it was rather impulsive. He was pushing his boundaries by traveling abroad alone for the first time, leaving his family and girlfriend behind for three months.
Thomas finds that taking loads of photographs and journalling has helped him settle and stay connected with his loved ones back home. He spends hours at coffee shops, watching people pass by and writing in his journal.
How do you adjust to a new space?
At if i could… we pride ourselves in having a support network unlike any other. If you are planning your internship for 2020, you can find out more on our home page.