Cape Town Summer Internship Program

Course of Study - Internships - Eligibility - Cost - Housing - Apply

Important Dates

  • December 6, 2019: Applications closed
  • January 13, 2020: $2,000 deposit due
  • January 24, 2020: Resumes due
  • March 9, 2020: Final payment due
  • May 30, 2020: Arrive in Cape Town
  • July 25-26, 2020: Program ends

During this 8-week summer program that combines internships and site-based learning, students can earn WLU credits while developing a deeper understanding of the business climate, history and culture of Cape Town, South Africa. Located at the tip of the African continent, Cape Town has a vibrant start-up culture with a growing emphasis on social entrepreneurship which affords students opportunities to be matched with NGO's, non-profits, and government agencies based upon their professional interests. Students will intern about 30 hours per week.

As part of the course of study, students will participate in a number of activities designed to foster a deeper understanding of South Africa's culture, history, ecology and business environment.  The marquee event will be an excursion along the south-eastern coast of South Africa with accommodations/safari at a private game reserve.  

This program is ideal for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors with interests in many areas (see the course of study below). The Cape Town Summer Internship is open to all W&L majors.  

Faculty Program Directors

Professor Dennis Garvis (; Professor Robin LeBlanc (

Course of Study

Students will receive 7 hours of WLU credit:

Contemporary South Africa Politics (3 cr. POL 286). This class examines the post-apartheid politics of South Africa. Initial focus is on the Apartheid era, emphasizing the politics that led to the rise and fall of the National Party Government. This includes an apartheid overview, an account of the transition process, and how this process structured the post-apartheid political system and societal landscape. Current questions, from national identity to economic inequality, are also explored. Overall, students will have the tools to look beyond an uncritical adoption of the "miracle rising" and "rainbow nation" discourse on South Africa.

Internship Class (3 cr. INTR 453-01 Cape Town). This experiential course explores cultural, organizational, and internship differences through the challenge of working in another country. Students are introduced to a number of functions by which organizations operate, all of which is summarized in an online portfolio.

Orientation Class (1 cr. BUS 401, Winter term). Introduction to Cape Town, South Africa, and Southern Africa.

Contemporary South Africa Politics (3 cr. POL 200-level course)

This course aims to give students an introductory account of the post‐apartheid political landscape in South Africa. The course includes an overview of apartheid followed by a detailed account of the transition process and how this structured the post‐apartheid political system and societal landscape. The course will then examine some of the most important questions facing South Africans, from national identity to economic inequality.  Upon completion of the course, students will develop the tools to look beyond an uncritical adoption of the miracle rising/rainbow nation discourse on South Africa through interactive lectures, documentaries and field trips to the District 6 museum, the SA Parliament, and Robben Island.

Internship Class (3 cr. INTR 453-02 Cape Town)

This course explores cross-cultural differences as well as internship differences. Class meetings and a web portfolio will apply your reading to your experiences in Cape Town and surrounding areas.

Internship Opportunities

As part of the 8-week internship experience, students will work about 30 hours a week. Cape Town internships are available to all W&L students in a variety of fields such as: Advertising, Public Health Policy, Graphic Design, Entrepreneurship, Human Rights, Medical and Health Care, Social Work, Tourism and Hospitality, Animal Science and Wildlife, Economic Development, PR and Communications, Event Management, Education, Environment and Sustainability, Finance, Journalism, Marketing, Microfinance, Publishing, Sports Management, Web Development, and Youth Development.

Students will submit a resume to the program coordinator and will be matched based on professional interests.  Students should plan on being available for SKYPE interviews with prospective employers.


This program is open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in any major. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required at the time of application.

Students are not eligible to study abroad if on academic or social probation during their semester abroad. Students accepted into study abroad programs who are then placed on academic or conduct probation will be liable for the full costs of the program even if they withdraw from the program.


The estimated cost of the program is $8,400 for the Summer 2020 Term (subject to change). Included in this program fee are: tuition for 7 credits, secure housing, global medical insurance, and internship travel, plus escorted excursions to Robben Island, District 6 museum, Stellenbosch Winelands, and a three-day safari at a private game reserve (some meals included). Students are responsible for their own airfare, cell phones (apx. $40/mo.) and daily meals. Financial support available for students already receiving need-based financial aid from WLU. Contact either Prof. Garvis or Prof. Le Blanc for more info.

Please note: the cost is subject to change in case of significant currency variations or increases in the cost of services. We will make every effort to inform students of price changes in a timely manner. 


Students will be housed in off-campus in efficiency apartments, near public transportation and local amenities. Students will be assigned a roommate (singles available for $500 supplement). Please contact the program director if you have special housing requests.


The applications for the Summer 2020 Cape Town Internship Program are available here.

The deadline to apply for the program is Friday, December 6, 2019.

You are in! What should you pack?

  • ID: Bring your passport and an alternative form of ID.
  • Clothing: Cape Town has a laid-back, coastal city vibe and professional attire is business casual (khakis and button-downs for men, pants/skirts and sweaters for women).  Some start-ups are VERY casual (jeans, sneakers, and hoodies) so be sure to inquire once you have finalized your employment offer.  June and July are winter months in Cape Town with cool nights but the days can be warm (like April in Lexington). Packing for layering is best.

Housing and Excursions


  • Centrally located in the Cape Town City Bowl
  • Magnificent views from every room: Table Mountain, Cape Town City, the harbour, Table Bay
  • Safe, clean, and comfortable studio apartments
  • Shopping/Dining/Public Transport are steps away

Escorted Excursions

Robben Island

More than just a penguin colony, this UNESCO World Heritage site was Nelson Mandela's prison for 18 years and is a symbol of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

3 Day Safari

Relax in the abundance of wildlife South Africa has to offer while on a 3-day safari at a private game reserve (some meals included).

Stellenbosch Winelands

As part of the Cape Winelands and similar to Napa Valley in the US, this area is a popular attraction and economic driver in South Africa.