Finding an internship in South Africa

Internship in South Africa
Updated 2022-11-06 11:19

The end-of-study internship represents an important step in a student's curriculum, so why not take advantage of this time to discover another country, or another culture and take the opportunity to perfect your English if it is not your mother tongue. South Africa is the ideal country for this.  

It is the most dynamic country on the African continent, especially in the tertiary sector: tourism, hotels, international relations and the arts, but also in import-export since the country deals with important markets in Europe as well as in China and Asia.

Why do an internship in South Africa?

South African universities welcome many students from other countries, and companies are very open to recruiting foreign trainees. As the working population is relatively young, they trust interns more and are ready to give real projects to those who get involved. As the country is constantly developing, it is the perfect setting to gain professional experience. Moreover, the cost of living in South Africa is not very high and the exchange rate is extremely favorable. Rents in South Africa are affordable, and there are many shared apartments available.

Mastering English is, of course, a prerequisite, and obtaining a student visa to South Africa for the duration of the internship is essential. Taking the risk of doing an internship with a tourist visa means taking the risk of being expelled from the country and being banned from the territory for a certain period of time.

If you are doing an internship in South Africa with a non-governmental organization, you must apply for a volunteer visa. These visas can be obtained from the South African Embassy in the country of origin, and all the requirements can be found in our article "Visas for South Africa".

Which sectors are recruiting in South Africa?

The sectors that recruit the most are tourism, hospitality and marketing because the country attracts a large European clientele, and trainees with a good command of French, Spanish and German are in high demand.

The humanitarian sector recruits for wildlife conservation projects, nature and environmental protection, education projects for disadvantaged children and health programs.

Finding an Internship in South Africa

There are two options for finding an internship in South Africa, either through targeted internet searches or through a placement agency. There are many agencies offering internships in South Africa.

Regarding the application, the C.V. and the cover letter must, of course, be written in English.

The working conditions during the internship in South Africa are identical to those of the company's staff. The maximum working time is 9 hours per day and 5 days per week. Overtime may not exceed 3 hours per day and 10 hours per week and must be agreed upon in advance between the intern and his/her supervisor.

Internship in the humanitarian sector in South Africa

Volunteer internships in NGOs can be found by contacting organizations such as AIESEC, IAESTE, Global Placement, or Go Abroad. To be eligible to volunteer for NGO projects such as EVS (European Voluntary Service), GVI (Global Volunteer Initiative) and Workaway, you must be between 17 and 30 years old.

It is preferable to start looking for an internship six months in advance in order to have time to make all the necessary arrangements for visas, housing, insurance, etc.

Doing an internship in South Africa is an unforgettable experience; the beauty and diversity of the landscapes, the wildlife, the kindness of the inhabitants, and their sense of welcome cannot leave anyone indifferent.

Useful links:

Volunteer World

Internships SA

Home Affairs South Africa


GVI Charitable Programs

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