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Cape Town Journalism | Cape Town, South Africa

Student on mountain top looking down at Cape Town, South Africa.

More photos from this internship can be found here.

This is the ideal opportunity for journalism students, communications students, and individuals with an interest in writing and/or publishing. Interns will gain experience working within a foreign media organization, while producing work that will help them develop their professional portfolio. South Africa is home to a very active and outspoken media that takes its role as the “fourth estate” quite seriously. During Apartheid, the government routinely censored media content if it contained any sympathies towards the anti-Apartheid movement. Today, freedom of press is alive and well in South Africa, and journalists regularly launch vocal opposition to controversial government practices.

Duration of Internship:

  • 11-12 weeks

Our partner in Cape Town is the leading internship provider in South Africa and has connections with a variety of journalism outlets throughout the city. Interns are matched to a host organization and a specific intern position based on their skills, experience and interests, the needs of the worksite, and position availability. All internship sites offer good learning opportunities.

A clearly-written, detailed cover letter and “Individualized Placement Statement,” part of the application process, will enable us to place you with a suitable organization.

Along with internship placement support, this organization also offers housing support, weekly social and cultural outings, and 24/7 on-call support, in the event of an emergency.

South Africa is home to a very active and outspoken media that takes its role as the “fourth estate” quite seriously. During Apartheid, the government routinely censored media content if it contained any sympathies towards the anti-Apartheid movement. Today, freedom of press is alive and well in South Africa, and journalists regularly launch vocal opposition to controversial government practices.

Interns will be individually placed in a specific company within the Journalism industry, based on their experience and interests. Specific job descriptions will vary by placement and the host organization’s current work and staffing needs. Positions are available in the following areas, based on the candidate’s experience and interests, the needs of the worksite, and position availability. All internship sites offer good learning opportunities.

Interns may work in the following areas:

  • Copy writing
  • News editorial
  • Magazine
  • Radio
  • Photojournalism
  • Broadcast journalism
  • Documentary Film
  • Online media

Academic Background

  • Journalism, English, literature, photography, film, graphic design, other relevant majors

Skills/Experience

  • Relevant hands-on experience via coursework, volunteer, and/or professional experience is beneficial.

Other Requirements

  • High level of: Maturity, personal responsibility, cultural sensitivity, professionalism, independence, demonstrated initiative, independent problem-solving skills, adaptability, and patience.
  • Positivity and a good attitude.
  • English

Estimated One-Time Expenses

  • IE3 Program Fee: $3,450
  • Host Site Fees:  $1,850*
  • Housing11-12 weeks: $1,450
  • House Cleaning Fee: $100
  • International Travel: $1,700
  • Recommended Immunizations: $400**

*This host site fee reflects a discount exclusive to IE3 Global Interns

** Costs vary based on medical history and insurance coverage

Estimated Monthly Expenses

  • Food: $300 ($75/wk)
  • Local Transportation:  $125 ($31.25/wk)
  • Recreation: $200 ($50/wk)
  • Personal Expenses: $150 ($37.50/wk)

Additional Expense Information

Budgeting Note:

  • Past Cape Town interns have suggested that incoming interns may want to bring additional money so they may participate in the wide range of activities Cape Town and surrounding areas have to offer.
  • Do some research about suggested activities for visitors and the related costs and think about if you will need to budget additional funds.

The Host Site Fees Includes:

  • Personalized placement
  • Airport pick-up/drop off
  • In-country orientation and tour of Cape Town
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Weekly organized social and cultural activities

 

The House: Accommodation is in private student-oriented housing in the Observatory neighborhood. Interns will have a fully-furnished private room, and shared common areas: living room, bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities. Houses have 24/7 security. A housekeeper comes at least 2 times a week.

Interns pay a $100 cleaning fee and a $250 refundable housing deposit, directly to the housing company. The $250 deposit will be refunded, assuming there is no damage done to the house.

House Wifi: Students pay ~$20.00 per month for wireless internet connection on 2 devices. Internet reliability and speed are not as good as in the U.S.

Other Utilities: Other utilities costs are split amongst the housemates.

The Neighborhood: Observatory, or “Obz” as locals call it, is one of the most exciting student neighborhoods in all of Cape Town. It features an eclectic sundry of nightspots and restaurants, and an atmosphere that is surprisingly cosmopolitan given its intimate size. Much of this unique vibe is attributed to the presence of many international visitors. It is not uncommon to overhear conversations in several different languages while walking along the street. Yet, Obz is also intrinsically South African. Living in Obz and experiencing its cultural and political vibes will help interns better understand, on a greater scale, the complexities of the “new” South Africa.

Observatory is popular among the international student/ volunteer community because it is located halfway between the city center and the False Bay coastline. Visitors have an endless selection of outdoor activities to choose from, such as hiking, surfing, scuba diving, golfing, outdoor concerts and wine tasting. Cape Town is surrounded by oceans and is home to many beautiful beaches! The city center, known to Capetonians as the “bowl”, is the ideal place to go on cultural excursions.

Olivia:

“Having interned before I expected my work to be similar to my last internship: Making copies, doing data entry, helping with mailings, answering phones. But here I am actually doing work that contributes to the company. So far, along with other tasks, I’ve written four articles for their blog and posted on their social media outlets. It’s amazing to work and create content that they are actually using. I feel that as time is going on my supervisor is gaining more trust/confidence in me and giving me bigger tasks. Last week I was able to attend a media press release and write an article on the information which was really exciting. But I don’t think that’s something I would have been given my first week, I think my supervisor had to see that I was willing to work hard and learn before she gave me the assignment. As far as the goals I set for myself, this internship is really fulfilling them. I wanted to improve my writing skills and I am doing just that. I can honestly say that I have learned so much about non-fiction writing through my internship though. I write a few articles a week for their website/blog, so it’s been a great opportunity to become more confident in this field of writing. I can also tell that I’ve been improving in my writing, because the more that I write and improve, the more difficult/important articles my supervisor gives to me.”

-Olivia, Portland State University

Here are some of the online articles Olivia wrote as an intern for Wild Magazine:

Lorin:

Lorin is a former Cape Town Journalism intern and University of Oregon Alumni. She majored in Advertising and going into her internship, had a strong interest in photojournalism. Lorin was an intern on the content marketing team, for GetSmarter. They are a high-quality online degree program partnered with Africa’s top universities. They are working to ensure career advancement and self-empowerment with the goal of changing lives through accessible higher education. Lorin worked on tasks that involved design, image sourcing, research, updating and copy-editing, video production and photography. Here’s how she describes her first impression of her workplace:

    “On the first day, my impression of the workspace was a sense of excitement and awe. The office itself is a large flat that houses over 150 employees. They offer complimentary coffee twice a day, gym classes, laundry services, organic meals and more. I was greeted with a fresh cup of coffee, a tour of the office and a welcoming display of balloons, signs and informational packets at my desk. I immediately felt accepted into my new community. My team and I even took a group-bonding hike up Lion’s Head at sunrise on my 3rd day of work. After speaking with my manager, Claire, and setting guidelines for a work schedule, it was clear that she was willing to be flexible with me so that I would still be able to explore Cape Town and attend VAC adventures. My colleagues are clever, kind and adventurous. I can tell that they have a lot to teach me about marketing strategy, professional development and Cape Town underground tourism.”

And here is some valuable advice she would give to future interns:

     “…don’t be afraid to over-communicate with your team about your position and what you have to offer and whether or not you feel like you are being utilized to the best of your abilities. A few weeks in I told my boss that I loved to design and that if she ever had a project that I could help with that I would be happy to create something for her instead of do research. After that, I was given many projects that involved designing infographics, blog titles, posts to go in the office, etc. I also told her that photography is my passion and that I would love to utilize the skills I have with a camera. After that conversation, a new project that involved me taking photos of places around Cape Town to add to their stock photo folder took place. It was a blast! The lesson being, speak up if you feel like you have more to offer.”

Lorin has made a career for herself as a visual storyteller. You can see some of her photographs from her time in Cape Town and the rest of her impressive professional portfolio here. Also, check out this short video, produced by Lorin, highlighting beautiful Cederberg, South Africa:

Margaret:

“I’ve never worked in a professional journalism setting before. This internship has been very helpful because I learned many different aspects of the professional journalism world even just in this first month, and in turn I am able to begin thinking about what part of that world I want to be involved in. My supervisor, who is the editor of the magazine I’m working for, has a relaxed schedule. I am often sent out to take photographs or interview someone outside of the office which makes for exciting trips and interesting people. I’ve learned a lot about the field, through interviews, photoshoots, and discussions with my supervisor. I’ve also attended many events to write stories about, which put me in contact with many other organizations and companies. It was exciting to learn about the industry and really dive into it.”

-Margaret, University of Oregon

Heather:

“I sought ways to contribute to the company. For example, during creative idea meetings I always had four or more story ideas and many were followed up on. My greatest accomplishment was getting to interview Bryan Buckely who directed the Oscar nominated short film ASAD. I also got to attend and write a review on the International Tattoo Convention held in Cape Town. Because of my enthusiasm for our .net page that allows members to post their own works of art, film, and creativity, I was made manager of the site. This position entailed choosing winners for competitions, messaging members concerning upcoming events, and promoting upcoming contests. Sarah, the Editor at one small seed, couldn’t have been a more patient mentor to me. Because of her guidance, I became more proficient in WordPress and properly writing interview questions and emails to potential contacts. She was encouraging when I succeeded and corrected me when I missed the mark.  We would bounce ideas off each other and she always made sure I was aware of any interesting events going on in Cape Town and invested into both my professional and personal life.”

   The experiences I had in South Africa have changed who I am and have shaken my worldview and challenged my assumptions in all areas of life. Being able to invest both professionally and personally was an opportunity of a life time and I anticipate future ventures that will build upon my three months on the other side of the world.”

-Heather, Western Oregon University

Kayla:

Kayla, former Cape Town Journalism intern and Southern Oregon University alumni owns Kayla Jill photography. During her time in Cape Town Kayla worked as a photographer for The Big Issue magazine. Click here to see some of her photographs from her time in beautiful Cape Town. The Big Issue is a monthly magazine sold by those that are experiencing homelessness and/or unemployment. Part of the magazine’s mission is to provide income generation opportunities and social support services for these marginalized populations.

Terms

Fall | Winter | Spring | Summer

Application Deadline

Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15

Basic Requirements

-Relevant degree, such as Journalism, Broadcasting, English, photography, graphic design, etc.
-Relevant hands-on experience is helpful
-Candidates may be asked to submit samples of published or broadcast work