How India will give you a whole new perspective on life

9 November 2016

“If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.” – Romain Rolland

From slums to traffic jams to extreme weather conditions, Delhi is a city where beauty lies in its chaos.

Home to the world’s oldest and most diverse cultures, Delhi is a perfect example of how people from religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Sikhism and Islam live together in one community. The well-preserved historical monuments such as the Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Humayun’s Tomb are like storybooks carrying great tales of the past. Set aside some time while you volunteer in Delhi to take a tour around some of these awe-inspiring cultural and historic sites.


But if you’re not in the mood for something ancient, you could visit India just for the food! Although Indian food is heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and traditions, the use of a combination of herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables make it an absolute delight.

What you can eat

Apart from the famous curry, what is worth trying in Delhi is the street food called ‘chaat’. Indian chaats are typically savoury snacks found on roadside food carts and are very tangy and spicy on the palate. Delhi is a city of culinary wonders and eating out in the capital is always a delightful adventure. From mouth-watering samosas to buttery paranthas on street corners, the city is known for its delicious fare.


As an if i could… volunteer from another country, you may find yourself in a fix when having to choose from a myriad restaurants. All kinds of cuisine are available and there is a place and an item on the menu to cater to each and every kind of palate and pocket. So, whether you are a vegan from Bali, a hardcore carnivore from Iceland or a steak lover from America, as long as you are ready to get your heart stolen by New Delhi’s food, you are in for a treat.

Who you’ll meet

Delhi-ites are very proud of their hospitality and you will find them to be one of the warmest people who treat their guests like gold. From a street vendor to a posh businessman, what you will notice in common is that they are always ready to help! If you are shopping at a local market and someone notices that you are unable to convey your message to the vendor, they will immediately jump at the opportunity to help you in translating. It is quite serendipitous to see that despite all the chaos, everyone finds a way to keep smiling and going out of the way to help strangers, especially foreigners.


How you can celebrate

Grey skies, misty air, heat relief, spicy food, foggy views, boots and scarves, jam-packed transport and endless opportunities for romance, friendship and travel – Delhi winters are the stuff that poems and songs are made of. There is definitely no dearth of celebration in Delhi, but December brings with it more festivity than most months; Christmas, new beginnings and plans for the new year mark the season. Besides the great weather (occasionally very cold though), there is a tangible festivity in the air with everyone experiencing end-of-year abandon. Offices shut, markets and malls get lit up and restaurants get creative with their menus. Praise the lord and just in case the day after Christmas is a downer, know that you have more days (until the second week of January) legitimately dedicated to relaxing and indulging in other fulfilling activities.


How it will change your life

We all look for experiences that broaden our perspective and change us for the better. India is far from a simple country. The culture shock you experience upon arriving there almost demands that you change your horizon and look at things in a way like never before.

When a stranger helps you or even when a child you helped touches your feet and folds hands to express how thankful they are to you, there is no way you cannot feel a feeling you have never had.

What we say about India can never do justice to what you can actually experience there, but rest assured you will not leave the same person.

Change your perspective this year and come and volunteer with us in New Delhi. Click here to apply today! 🎄


5 networking events to attend when you intern in Cape Town

17 October 2016

Despite its reputation, life in Cape Town is not only picturesque sunsets and world-famous wine farms. There’s a strong start up and entrepreneur culture in the Mother City, and that means there are many ways to get networking for good when you come and intern here.

And one of the things we really like about the start up networks that have grown here in recent years is that they are often set up with a good purpose in mind. Networking events are no longer just about making business contacts or sales leads — here in Cape Town, they’re becoming much more about sustainable, inclusive ideas that can serve the people of our city with creativity and purpose.

Here are five great, free events that happen in Cape Town every month (with a new theme each time) that we recommend checking out when you’re here:

Think Thursdays

THINK.Thursday is a regular meeting of like-minded activators to have energised conversations for positive change. They meet on the third Thursday of the month for an interactive talk or workshop, hosted by a young thought leader in a topic relating to social, environmental, economic, behavioural change etc. It is an opportunity to meet individuals to exchange and challenge ideas, and collaborate. Tickets are around R50 and the events happen at 75 Harrington Street in Gardens.

Get info about Think Thursday’s next event on their Facebook page.


Development Drinks

A Touch of Madness in Observatory and Project 90 by 2030 host a monthly get together for NGOs across all sectors. This event is an informal gathering to meet, chat, network and get to know the work of others, share experiences and create synergies.

Get Development Drinks updates on A Touch Of Madness’ Facebook page.

a touch of madness, observatory

Silicon Cape Tech Talks

The initiative aims to start a conversation and create a global brand — to plant a seed and foster the concept of the Silicon Cape in people’s minds and on their lips around the world as the emerging Silicon Valley of Africa. The talks want to create an environment and a perception of the area as a world-class location and destination that is not only capable of delivering but already is. Free talks take place at Workshop 17 at the end of every month and have topical themes.

Get Silicon Cape event info on their Facebook page.


Creative Mornings

CreativeMornings is a monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types. Each event is free of charge, and includes a 20 minute talk, plus coffee! The events happen on the last Friday of every month, in over 150 cities around the world. Each month has a worldwide theme that inspiring local speakers are invited to talk on.

Find out more about Creative Mornings Cape Town on Facebook.


Rise Cape Town’s Learning Lunches

Rise is a community of the world’s brightest thinkers and doers, from rising startups to industry leaders. They’re working together to create the future of financial services. They hold free lunch events roughly twice a month in the Woodstock Exchange.

Find Rise Cape Town’s next lunch date on their Twitter page.


Apply for an internship in Cape Town today to come and take advantage of these vibrant networks in the city!

Working with a Purpose – How Gandhi’s legacy inspires us

27 September 2016

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to love forever.”

These are some among many other quotes by the world famous activist, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi.

gandhi_suitWho is he?

Born on 2nd October, 1869 in Gujarat (the north west part of India), Gandhi later became the pre-eminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India. Gandhi’s father was the Chief Minister of Porbandar and his mother was a religious woman, who infused the Jain pacifist teachings of mutual tolerance, non-injury to living beings and vegetarianism to the family.

By the virtue of being born into a privileged caste, Gandhi received extensive education and went on to study at University College London at the age of 18.

What made him popular?

In London, Gandhi pursued the philosophical study of religions, including Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism and others. After clearing the English Bar and finding it challenging to work in India, in 1893 he accepted a year’s contract to work for an Indian firm in Natal, South Africa. His first encounter with South Africa and the then prevailing ‘apartheid’ system troubled him greatly.

Gandhi spent the next 21 years living in South Africa and railing against the injustice of racial segregation. He was also once thrown out of a moving train carriage, despite having a purchased ticket. The racial bias towards his countrymen encouraged him to become an activist and fight against segregation. He then founded a political movement, the Natal Indian Congress, which stood for non-violent civil protest. He began to gain fame with this method of protesting.


His motto of working with a purpose

Upon his return to India in 1916, Gandhi began his struggle, as a political and spiritual leader, to free India from the British rule.

He adopted non-violent techniques and promoted peaceful social disobedience throughout India and South Africa. In 1922, he started the Salt (Dandi) March, during which he and his followers walked over 230 miles to the sea to collect their own salt to oppose the heavy taxes being levied on salt by the British government in India.

His ‘work with a purpose’ motto also led him to invent the spinning wheel, known as the ‘chakra’ which allowed people to make their own clothes, rather than depending on the British.

He often felt that India would not be free until it learned to make things necessary for living. In 1947, Gandhi’s struggled efforts finally paid off and India gained its independence from the British rule.

Gandhi Jayani Celebrations

Each year, India celebrates Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, which falls on 2nd of October, in order to pay tribute to his life. The day is declared as one of the three national holidays in the country and all schools and offices go on leave, and some even conduct plays and ceremonies in Gandhi’s honor.

Popularly known as the ‘Father of the nation’ or ‘Bapu,’ Gandhi gave India and the world the principles of truth, non-violence and honesty, which are still remembered and widely used today. On the day of his birthday, the President and Prime Minister of India, along with other eminent figures pay their homage to the Gandhi memorial, situated at Raj Ghat in the capital of New Delhi.

We, at if i could… admire and believe in Gandhi’s words of wisdom, particularly this: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Through our growing partnerships in South Africa and India with grassroots organisations in need of skilled, young professionals, we offer opportunities to serve in developing nations and create impactful change.

Get started finding your purpose and apply today!

Celebrate the festival of lights and save $100 ✨

27 September 2016

This month is Diwali, the most celebrated Hindu festival of the year, and India is set to come alive with a multitude of lights, candles and fireworks, depicting the victory of light over darkness, as families come together to celebrate, eat sweet meats and ring in the New Year with fireworks. 🎊

We love celebrating the uniqueness of New Delhi (and Cape Town too), and so decided to find another reason to show you how good they are:

  • if you confirm your internship abroad with if i could… before Diwali on October 30th, you’ll get $100 off the programme fee.

There are many places to celebrate Diwali all over India and on an if i could… internship in New Delhi, you can experience this special festival and more first hand.

To take advantage of this offer, apply today and quote “Diwali” in the comment box at the bottom of the form!

Diwali Special Offer

Top Travel Apps for Interns

26 September 2016

All great travel apps have one thing in common: they all solve a problem you didn’t even realise you had! That said, being simply useful is no longer enough for app developers aspiring to greatness. Whether they’re cutting down journey times, pointing you in the direction of authentic cuisine or reminding you to apply sunscreen, these free travel apps will show you a new way to look at the world. So read on and plan your trip abroad!

Preparing for your trip

1. Skyscanner: While flight-booking apps are fairly plentiful on other mobile platforms, Windows Phone marketplace boasts a meagre handful. Thankfully, this clean-looking solution does everything you’d ever need it to, aggregating fares from airlines and the big travel sites to bag you the best deal. For those really keeping an eye on the purse-strings, there’s also the option to pin your search to your start screen and keep an eye on price fluctuations. Neat. Available on iPhone (free), iPad (free), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

2. PackingPro (okay it’s not free, but it’s great!): Anyone who says there’s no exact science to packing has obviously never tried to cram a pair of Jimmy Choo stilettos into the same suitcase as a giant inflatable beach ball. Thank the lord, then, for this. Tell it where you’re going, how long for and who with and it’ll spit out a suggested list of what you might need, split up into essentials (passport, currency), clothes, gadgets and more, with separate lists for additional family members. Available on iPhone (£1.99)

3. Entrain: There are plenty of theories floating about concerning the best methods for beating jetlag, very few of which come backed up with any serious scientific clout. Still, it’s generally agreed that gradually altering your sleeping habits before a trip is beneficial, and this clever app will help you do just that. Input your travel dates, destination and usual sleeping times and it’ll come back with personalised alarm clocks to soften the blow when you wake up on Tuesday afternoon convinced it’s still Monday morning.
 Available on iPhone (free)

4. TripAdvisor: Stripping away the glossy magnificence ladled on by just about every online travel agency out there, this is the place to find brutally honest reviews of hotels, restaurants, attractions and more. The user-base is notoriously hard to please, so be warned that you’ll most likely find exclamation mark strewn rants next to your favourite spots. Still, on the flip side, touch down in a strange city with nowhere to stay and you’ll only ever be a few prods away from the warts-and-all opinions of travellers just like you. Available on iPhone (free), iPad (free), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

Illustration09Arrival in a New Land!

5. WordLens: Now this is real sci-fi stuff – an app that instantly translates foreign text via your phone’s camera. Though the download itself costs nothing and comes bundled with a couple of demo settings, you’ll need to shell out £6.99 (via in-app purchase) for one of the language packs, with English and French currently on offer. A tad pricey, but worth it purely for the expressions of awe you’ll draw from bystanders. Available on iPhone (free) and iPad (free)

6. XE Currency: Don’t bother paying up for one of the many currency conversion apps out there in the digital hinterland – this freebie is slick, easy to use, and – best of all, since it uses live currency rates – completely accurate. It’s been downloaded more than five million times to date, so don’t even think about hopping on a plane without it. Available on iPhone (free), iPad (free), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

7. HopStop: Public transport information covering 68 (and counting) of the world’s biggest, busiest metropolitan hubs. So whether you need to pick your way across downtown Denver or catch a bus out of Norfolk, you should never be more than a few taps away from a neatly displayed, stop-by-stop itinerary. Available on iPhone (free), iPad (free), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

8. Foodspotting: While apps that aggregate crowd-sourced restaurant reviews may be ten-a-penny, those that focus in on specific dishes are a far rarer species. Luckily, this one works a treat, responding to your every gastronomic whim with user-generated recommendations from your local area. In downtown Madrid with a penchant for paella? Prod around a bit and within seconds you’ll be en route to the best in the city. Available on iPhone (free), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

9. Sunscreen: Until the bashful lobster look finds its way into the style zeitgeist, this is a crucial piece of kit for those venturing to sunny climes. Having detected the UVI rating of your current location, this nifty little app sets a countdown timer to alert you when you’re due your next slathering of sunblock. All you have to do is input your skin type and the SPF of your lotion, then kick back and soak up some worry-free rays. Available on iPhone (free)

contact-usKeeping in Touch with Home

10. Perfect World Clock: Does pretty much what it says on the tin, this one, providing easy access to the time in hundreds of cities and therefore averting arithmetic-induced stress your jetlagged brain could really do without. Nothing revolutionary, but still an essential download, especially considering the rather nifty option of adding several clocks as home-screen widgets. Available on Android (free)

11. Wi-Fi Finder: With data roaming charges still laughably high, knowing where to find a decent wi-fi hotspot is essential if you’re to keep the twitterati up to date with details of your latest sojourn. No need to charge through the city waving your handset around like a fly-swatter, though – simply fire up this handy app and follow directions to your nearest source of wireless internet. Best of all, the offline mode means you can download maps before you go, thereby dodging a massive bill. Available on iPhone (free), iPad (free) and Android (free)

12. WhatsApp Messenger: A cross-platform messaging system that’s slowly but surely rendering the text message obsolete. Data (that’s pictures, videos, sound clips and GPS tags as well as text) are sent using either wi-fi or your phone’s web package, so even if you’re sending a message to someone on the other side of the globe, there’s nothing to pay. Absolutely essential for keeping in touch with overseas chums, and, providing you can find some wi-fi, great for sending off-the-cuff holiday snaps back home.
 Available on iPhone (£0.69), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

Thanks to Time Out for these tips!

SunglassesAnd now for something totally cool, Cape Town specific apps from CapeTownMagazine!

13. A Walking Tour of Central Cape Town: Brainchild of South African tech company Tourism Radio and Cape Town Tourism, this mobile travel guide is the ultimate companion for a tour of central Cape Town.  Using GPS technology, the app will detect your location and alert you to popular nearby Mother City attractions.  From museums and restaurants to accommodation and shopping malls, the application has over 40 points of interest. The app helps you navigate the city thanks to a detailed map, with all points of interest clearly marked.  Not to mention, there is a category filter, which allows you select the attractions that pique your interest. And the cherry on the cake?  A Walking Tour of Central Cape Town is also preloaded with audio clips describing the must-visit spots. Basically, you can curate you own self-guided tour. Available on iPhone and Android (free)

14. Cape Town Maps and Walks: With a detailed, fully functional map of the city and numerous self-guided tour options, this app puts adventure in the palm of your hand. Tours for the Cape Town version of the app- there are over 450 cities that you can download- include “Landmarks of Cape Town”, “Museums of Cape Town” and “Cape Town’s Garden District”.  What’s more, the app works offline, which means that you don’t need an internet connection or data plan to use it- pretty cool, if you ask us.  The app is available as a Lite version, which you can download for free and includes walk details, descriptions and photos, but it does not come with the navigational tools, which guide you from one site to the next. For that you will have to download the Full version. Available on iPhone and Android (free Lite version, $4.99 full version)

15. Cape Town Creative: This free-to-download app not only sets out to connect creatives with potential clients, but it also allows users to access details of relevant creative sector operators. Known to be the first ever mobile events gateway for the local creative industry, the Creative Cape Town app boasts an event feed with map integration as well info on all the hip and happening creative and cultural activities taking place in the Mother City. Furthermore, registered app users will be able to showcase their work by uploading it to their very own mini-portfolio. So if you are looking to make the most of the Cape Town artistic scene, this app is for you! Available on iPhone (free)

16. Cape Town Love:
As the name of the app suggests, this download is all about sharing your adoration for our bustling seaside metropolis.  Developed by design studio Wild Measure in collaboration with the tech experts at Over, Cape Town Love allows you to add handcrafted, city-inspired and city-specific phrases to your photographs of Cape Town. Whether it is a snap of the penguins at Boulders Beach, a sunset captured at Camps Bay or a spectacular view from atop Table Mountain, this app lets you take your special moments to a whole new level.  But, of course, it is also all about sharing the love.  When you’re done composing your personalised work of art, you can distribute it directly from the app to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more. Available on iPhone (free)

17. Zomato Food and Restaurant Finder – Cape Town: Released in 2013, this app provides an easy-to-use restaurant discovery service that hinges on social sharing.  Not only is it perfect for budding and fully fledged Mother City foodies, but also for international visitors who are on the lookout for top dining spots in Cape Town.  The super user-friendly app allows you to browse through updated menus and images of some of the top eateries in your area. Furthermore, you can curate a trusted network of friends and discover new restaurants through them.  And, if you want to become a Level 5 foodie, you can document your food journey with reviews and images (you can add filters) and maintain an up-to-date list of all your favourite heavenly hotspots. Available on iPhone, Android and Windows (free)

18. Cape Town Bicycle Map: There’s no denying that bicycle culture in Cape Town is growing exponentially, and the Cape Town Bicycle Map is a perfect companion for your two wheel rides.  Officially recognised as 2014 World Design Project, the app allows cyclists to find safe urban cycling routes, bicycle-friendly venues, bike rentals, bicycle parking racks and much more. Not to mention, bike enthusiasts can also find info on what is required from them should they want to take their bicycles on public transport.  Additional maps detail mountain biking trails as well as leisure routes for local and tourists who want to (re)discover the beauty of the Mother City. Available on iPhone, Android and Windows (free)

19. Geek Girl Dinner Cape Town: Launched in early 2011, Geek Girl Dinnersets out to bring together the tech-obsessed women of Cape Town with a series of ‘geeky’ events (they include men as well).  The monthly affairs, which take place in and around Cape Town, feature a tech-related theme, guest speaker and a delicious dinner.  The app features pre and post event information and includes photos, speaker’s presentations and biographies and news relating to the technology industry. Available on iPhone and Android (free)

Contact us for more information