Social Development Academic Internship, Cape Town

Travel to South Africa’s iconic city of Cape Town and work alongside social service professionals, while you contribute to developing improved frameworks. Social development in South Africa has a long-standing history, with its formal instruction predating that of the rest of Africa. The social development landscape is largely hampered by a misunderstanding of the scope of social service and characterized by poor resource optimization. On your placement, you will work alongside the Business Manager and Academic Supervisor towards creating community development proposals by sourcing and curating resources and data such as community profiles.

Your internship will comprise a balance of academic and experiential learning. You will be guided throughout your internship as you develop your capacity for research, action learning abilities, monitoring and evaluation and communication. Your analyses of the needs and assets of the community profiles you build will inform processes to improve resource management, thereby improving service delivery.

This internship would benefit those in the field of Social Development.


  • Develop valuable professional skills in the realm of social development
  • Be supported by a dedicated internship adviser
  • Visit iconic sites such as Table Mountain and Robben Island
  • Contribute to the development of resource management and improved service delivery

Quick Facts

  • Location Cape Town, South Africa
  • Focus Social Development
  • Recommended Credits Advised on request
  • Academic Prerequisites Research Skills, Understanding of Social Research Methodology

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Destination Description

South Africa’s Cape Town is arguably one the most stunning cities in the world. Framed between oceans and mountains, it’s surrounded by incredible natural beauty, with Table Mountain, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, an absolute highlight. Cape Town also a place of huge diversity, lively cultures, and a vibrant nightlife. Living here is dynamic and interesting, and weekends will give you a huge variety of exciting activities. You can, for instance, go to the top of Table Mountain, visit the historic Robben Island, venture to the iconic Cape Point, or hang out on some of the many beaches. If you’re into food and design, you can also choose to visit some of the trendy markets for some culinary treats and locally designed goods. Moreover, once you venture outside of Cape Town, you’ll find gorgeous winelands and stunning National Parks that are well worth a good road trip.


Learning Outcomes

Tasks for your internship can be customized around your skills and professional development goals, provided they are in line with the current needs of the community. You will be based at our project office, with the Business Manager and Internship Supervisor guiding you through your tasks and progress.

Throughout  the course of your internship, you will:

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of social development challenges in a South African context
  • Develop valuable professional skills in the realm of international development and NPO management
  • Build a strong research rapport
  • Be exposed to intercultural learning

In the implementation of your *research tasks, you will utilize Social Research Methodologies and compile your outcomes into a report. Implementing and reporting on monitoring and evaluation strategies, as well as evaluating their efficiency is a key task on your internship. You will also be implementing various business development tasks including fundraising activities, marketing and communication and developing various materials for both internal and external use. The facilitation of targeted workshops forms a significant component of your internship, as does appropriately reporting on outcomes.

Throughout the course of your internship, you will complete 180 hours of service and develop valuable experiential learning skills such as reflection, intercultural engagement, journal writing as a research aid, and presenting learnings. Weekly progress meetings with your adviser will ensure that you are meeting your personal and professional goals.

*If you intend to use any data collected or analyzed during your internship, arrangements must be made prior to your placement and may require additional documentation from a relevant credit-bearing institution for consideration by our board.

Service Impact


Social development in South Africa has a long-standing history, with its formal instruction predating that of the rest of Africa. The social development landscape is largely hampered by a misunderstanding of the scope of social service and characterized by poor resource optimization. With the fields of social service delivery not being prioritized within a country whose growth path is highly resource intensive, the result is a service which further degenerates and alienates a society which is already vulnerable.

On your internship, you will source and curate resources to prepare community profiles, create community development proposals and work towards streamlining presently flawed systems and processes, thereby improving service delivery.



  • WEEK 1

    Your first week will be dedicated to your orientation and induction. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the structure of your internship, including your tasks, setting goals, scheduling, community development, cultural integration, reflection, research and expectations – both personal and professional.

  • WEEK 2

    Your second week will focus on developing your contextual knowledge. You will be able to confidently begin implementing your tasks, which in conjunction with individual meetings with your supervisor, will allow you to develop your concept note.

  • WEEK 3

    In your third week, you will develop an understanding of NPO management. Over the course of the following weeks, you can expect to develop an in-depth understanding of how social development challenges and NPO management shape each other.

    You will also have your first meeting with your personal professional development coach, who will guide you through aligning your tasks to your professional goals.

  • WEEK 4

    In week four, you will develop your concept note into a research proposal for your final report. Your supervisor will assist you with the design and development thereof.

    You will have the opportunity to reflect on your progress at the half-way mark of your internship through your journal entries, and discuss it with your supervisor, identifying any challenges and creating possible solutions.

  • WEEK 5

    Your proposal will be submitted in week five. At this point, you will have the opportunity to critically analyze your cultural integration and reflect on it’s influence.

  • WEEK 6

    In week six, your proposal will undergo both peer review and review by your supervisor. You will have the opportunity to discuss your progress to date, both personally and professionally with your professional development coach.

  • WEEK 7:

    Week seven will be focused on preparing your observations, conducting further empirical research and planning the consolidation of your report.

  • WEEK 8:

    In your final week, you will embark on your final reflections, presenting your findings and preparing a handover document to ensure that your contribution to the project continues.

    You will have the opportunity to discuss what you’ve gained personally from the internship and your cultural immersion.

Available January to November
You can intern from 4-12 weeks
Flexible start dates available depending on availability and when you can arrive.

From $2000,

This fee includes:

  • all your accommodation
  • food 3 meals a day
  • Internship project transport
  • Support service for African Impact with daily guidance
  • several personal development session
  • Academic Support and guidance
  • Any administrative support to help you get credit with your home univeristy

You will be accommodated in a a safe and comfortable house within the popular area of Observatory which is right next to the CBD.  The house is a very short walk from the high street, where you can find shops and cafes as well as a good selection of bars and restaurants.

Logistics included and provided by African Impact are:

  • Participants will be collected from the airport upon arrival and transferred to base
  • You will be given a full orientation of the area and the work you will do, note you will have the support of our staff every day.
  • Accommodation is based in a privet areas of a nice backpackers, with simple, but comfortable shared rooms with communal ablutions
  • All meals for the duration of the project, with the exception of free days will be provided
  • Any transport required for program activities will be provided
  • Participants will be transferred back to the airport for their departure
  • You will have access to African Impact 24 hour support team meeting and working with them on a daily basis.