Global Internship Program

Public Affairs: Internships in Cape Town

  • Dates

    Internship Abroad: June 24 – August 19, 2023

    Online Courses: June 26 – September 1, 2023

  • Location

    Cape Town, South Africa

  • Vaccine Requirement

    COVID-19 vaccine required for participation by program provider.

  • Program Fee

    UCLA Undergrads (4 – Units): $5,531

    UCLA Undergrads (8 – Units): $6,647

    *Fees are subject to change by action of the UC Regents. Click here for full fee disclaimer.

Located on the southern point of the African continent, nestled between flat-topped Table Mountain and Table Bay, Cape Town is truly a stunning city. From white sand beaches and blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, to an innovative art scene, world-rated restaurants and colorful architecture, Cape Town has something for everyone. UCLA and it’s local partner VACorps have identified enriching social justice focused internship opportunities to provide you with great practical experience to jump start your post college career.

Internship placements are approximately 8 weeks long. VACorps places students at internship sites  based on personal career goals, interests and experience. While completing the on-site internship, students will also be enrolled in 1 or 2 online courses, earning 4-to-8 units of academic credit. Online courses follow Summer Session A and will last for a total of 10 weeks. Student’s looking to receive financial aid must be enrolled in 2-courses during the program.

Application Timeline

Application Opens:  October 24, 2022

Application Closes:  December 4, 2022

Final Payment Deadline: February 10, 2023

Cancellation Deadline: February 15, 2023

Please do not enroll in a Global Internship Program unless you are sure you intend to participate. Remember that your deposit is nonrefundable. See our Cancellation Policy. The cancellation deadline is February 15, 2023 at 11:59PM. Paid program fees (minus $300 nonrefundable deposit) are refundable until February 15, 2023 at 11:59PM.

Eligibility, Selection and Placement Process

Eligibility Criteria

  • Undergraduate Public Affairs major or minor
  • Minimum of 90 units completed by end of Spring 2023
    • Units can include transfer credit
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Good academic standing
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccine required for participation by program provider (VACorps).

Selection Process

Students who apply that meet the eligibility criteria will conduct an advising call with VACorps, our partners in Cape Town. Through this advising call VACorps will learn more about each applicant’s qualifications, experience and career goals. The call will help VACorps determine whether the applicant is a good match for available internship opportunities in Cape Town. After the call is completed, VACorps and UCLA will decide whether to offer the applicant acceptance into the Cape Town Global Internship Program based on their qualifications and the pool of applicants.

Acceptance Decisions

Applicants will be notified of acceptance decisions in early January.

Placement Process

Students selected for the Cape Town program will need to place their program deposit first, in order to be officially enrolled in the program. After enrolling in the Cape Town program, a placement coordinator from VACorps will work with each student one-on-one to find the best internship match. Internship placements are customized to a students’ personal and career goals, interests and experience. Students will intern approximately 32 hours per week at their internship site. Total work hours and mode of work (in-person vs hybrid) will depend on their specific internship site needs.

Disclaimer

The Global Internship Program provides all participants with meaningful internship placement opportunities. Students must be realistic, however, about the level of their internship placement. Students with limited or no work experience, limited leadership or volunteer experience, no specialization courses completed, or other kinds of related activities, will be placed in an entry-level position in their requested industry.

Documents to Prepare for Your Application

Resume

As part of the application process, you will be asked to upload a current copy of your resume. Please take time to appropriately format and spell check your resume before submitting. For assistance with your resume, you can use the VMock tool provided by the UCLA Career Center.

Motivation to Enroll Questionnaire 

As part of your application process you will be asked to complete a questionnaire. Responses should be well thought out and demonstrate why you are a strong candidate for the Global Internship Program. It’s highly encouraged to prepare your responses in advance on a Word document and then copy and paste to the application once you apply. The maximum word count for each short-answer response is 125 words. Please see the questions below to assist you in preparing your answers.

  • Personal Introduction: Please give some  general background on yourself and why you are interested in participating in the Global Internship Program? (125 word maximum)
  • Location of Interest: What makes you interested in interning in the particular city or country you selected for your program? (125 word maximum)
  • Career Goals: Within your career field, which specific sector are you interested in working in and what do you hope to gain from this global internship experience? How will this experience assist you toward reaching your career goals? (125 word maximum)
  • Why should you be selected? What do you think makes you stand out as a strong candidate for the Global Internship Program? Why should you be selected for the program? (125 word maximum)

Internship Placements

South Africa Placement Options:

  • Advocacy Groups
  • Economics
  • Global Health
  • Government and Politics
  • Law (Human Rights focus)
  • NGOs
  • Non-Profits
  • Social Work
  • Urban Planning (limited)

Examples Placements:

Please note that these are just a few examples of student placements from past years and there is no guarantee that these same placements and/or project roles will be available for future terms. There are many more placements available in Cape Town than those listed below. Your internship placement will be determined through an interview process to match you with a company or organization aligned with your skills and interests.

Internship Hours

Students will intern approximately 32 hours per week. Total weekly work hours and mode of work (in-person vs hybrid) will depend on the specific internship site needs.

Curriculum

Program Courses

All students are required to enroll in the PUB AFF 195CE course while attending the program. Students who wish to earn more units and/or apply for financial aid, may also enroll in the CESC 130 course as well.

  • PUB AFF 195CE (4 units) ~ Mandatory
  • CESC 130 (4 units) ~ Optional 

Please note that in order to be eligible for financial aid, students must be enrolled in both the mandatory course AND the optional course (total of 8-units).  

Course Descriptions

PUB AFF 195CE: Internship Course (4 units)

Prerequisites:  None

Public Affairs (PUB AFF) 195CE is a 4-unit course designed around an individual internship experience. You will take your academic knowledge beyond the classroom, and in your papers and during one-on-one meetings, you will analyze your organization and work experience within an international context.

  • Public Affairs Majors: PUB AFF 195CE may be petitioned to fulfill the Public Affairs 187AX Capstone requirement. Contact the Public Affairs Capstone Advisor and Coordinator for more information on the petition process. PUB AFF 195CE must be taken for a letter grade and 4.0 units if you wish to use this course towards Public Affairs major requirements. Pass/no pass is allowed for students who are not planning to use this course toward major requirements.
  • Public Affairs Minors: You may petition PUB AFF 195CE to be used toward one Public Affairs minor upper division elective. Contact a Luskin counselor for more information.

CESC 130: Intercultural Communication in the Global Workplace (4 units)

Prerequisites:  None

This 4-unit course is designed to help students critically analyze their own cultural values and beliefs and the impact they have on their communication. It will provide students with strategies and tools to more effectively communicate and to manage intercultural conflicts in the global workplace. Students will study and critique intercultural communication theories, review relevant case studies and discuss first hand experiences from their global internship. This course must be taken for a letter grade. Auditing and pass/no pass is not allowed.

  • Public Affairs Majors: CESC 130 may be petitioned to satisfy one Public Affairs upper division major elective. Contact the Public Affairs Capstone Advisor and Coordinator for more information on the petition process.
  • Public Affairs Minors: You may petition CESC 130 to be used toward one Public Affairs minor upper division elective. Contact a Luskin counselor for more information.

Budget and Financial Aid

Budget UCLA Undergrads (4-Units)  UCLA Undergrads (8-Units)
Program Fee $5,531 $6,647
IEI Fee $61 $61
Airfare (estimate) $2,000 $2,000
Meals & Incidentals (estimate) $1,600 $1,600

*Fees are subject to change by action of the UC Regents. Click here for full fee disclaimer.

Program fee includes:

  • Tuition
  • Internship placement
  • Single room in large home accommodations. 
  • Airport pickup
  • On-site orientation (including welcome meal).
  • Optional social and cultural activities
  • 24/7 on-site healthy and safety support from the VACorps staff
  • Health insurance.

Personal Expenses NOT Included:

  • Round trip Airfare to Cape Town
  • Personal travel during program
  • Costs for medical expenses and emergencies
  • Meals and entertainment expenses
  • Transportation to/from housing to internship site

IEI Fee

All undergraduate students will be charged a $61 IEI fee per summer. The IEI (Instructional Enhancement Initiative) fee is a course materials fee that is charged in order to support the use of technology in undergraduate education at UCLA. For more information please click here.

Budgeting

We recommend that you budget accordingly to cover optional sightseeing, laundry, emergencies, etc.  How much to budget depends on your travel, entertainment, and souvenir choices. It is always best to overestimate your spending. Take the time to research the cost of living in your destination and the activities you want to participate in while abroad.

Purchasing Airfare

Students should not purchase their flight to Cape Town until informed to do so by UCLA.

*The purchase of a fully-refundable and/or flexible airfare is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

Financial Aid

Financial aid for Summer Global Internship Programs is available to qualified UCLA students. Students must be enrolled in a total of 8 units (2 courses) to be eligible for financial aid. For details about the financial aid application process, please visit the Financial Aid section of this website.

On Location

Arrival

Our partner organization, VACorps, will provide airport pickup for your internship program. You will be responsible for making your own arrangements back to the airport at the end of the program.

Accommodations

Students will reside in single room accommodations in a large house with other interns in the Observatory neighborhood of Cape Town. Observatory is a hip area bohemian area of the city with many cafes and restaurants. It is also home to the University of Cape Town and only a short 15 minute train ride to downtown. All rooms come with bedding, basic WiFi, fully equipped shared kitchen and shared bathroom access.  The commute takes an average of 30-60 minutes from lodging to internship sites. Please see the following videos for more  information on the Observatory neighborhood and housing.

*Please note that these large homes are co-ed, but every student will have their own private room.

Meals

Meals are not provided. You will have access to fully furnished kitchens shared kitchen space in your house to cook.

Optional Social and Cultural Activities

This program offers weekly organized events around the city that are free to join with the other internship program participants. Please see the following videos for a quick look at the culture series and weekly trips. 

Travel

Travel to Cape Town

All Global Internship program participants are required to purchase and arrange their own travel accommodations to Cape Town. Students should not purchase their flight to Cape Town until informed to do so by UCLA. Students will receive specific arrival instructions to assist with arrival to program housing.

*The purchase of a fully-refundable and/or flexible airfare is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.  

Visa Information:

A South African visitor’s visa is issued to all US passport holders upon arrival in South Africa.

For non-US citizens, you may be required to get a visa in order to intern in South Africa. Please contact the UCLA International Education Office regarding your visa eligibility for the program.

Personal Travel

The Global Internship Program is an intensive 8 week experience. Internship sites will expect students to complete their weekly hours and will not be providing vacation days during the program. Although it may be possible for students to conduct short weekend trips, all longer trips should be conducted prior to or after the conclusion of the Global Internship Program.