Clara Veerkamp did her internship from October 2011 to April 2012 at Living lands, a non-profit organization in South-Africa. This organization works on the conservation and restoration of ecosystems so that they can function sustainably.
I had just finished my first MSc year, when I began my journey to South Africa. It was here where I could finally work on a real world case and put theory into practice. I had the opportunity to be actively involved with an organization and contributing to something ‘real’. I had to organize meetings, writing feedback documents, coordinate a project and met several people from fruit farmers, to nature conservationists, government officials, disaster managers and so on…
At the moment, Living Lands works on three different landscape. Therefore there are several possibilities to find an internship (or/and thesis research) in different topics. For more information about Living Lands visit their website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRESENCE Learning Village (PLV)
Living Lands hosts and facilitates students at their `PRESENCE Learning Village`. Most Living Lands members live here as well. It´s a really special place at the boarder to the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve (a World Heritage Side!), surrounded by a stunning scenery.
But don´t worry, it is not getting too quiet. There are always some other people around. Students coming every year to the place to do their internship and/or thesis research in the area. They are from different countries and have different scientific expertise. I really appreciate the diversity of students living at the PLV during my stay. We often had inspiring and interesting talks during diner, talked about our work and ideas or planned the next trip to the beach or city.
Plan time for holiday
South Africa is a beautiful country and you should not miss the opportunity to explore this. It has huge mountains, white sandy beaches, big cities and remote areas. It is very easy to rent a car or hope on a backpacker’s bus to travel through the country and expierence the South African way of life!. It’s a mixture between African tradition and European life style. Of course, in some areas (especially in bigger cities) you should be more careful and not walk around alone. But most of the time you will meet friendly and open people who are inviting you for a ´braai` (South African BBQ) or showing you around. I was amazed by the South African hospitality.