FAQ

You probably have a lot of questions. Below are some of the most common ones we receive from applicants and interns.

1. Is my internship destination safe?

Safety is an important issue, and many students and parents are concerned given the representation of South Africa and India in international media. However, these depictions don’t give you the full picture. Crime is avoidable if you take standard precautions that you would in any big city – i.e. don’t walk around by yourself at night in poorly lit areas, don’t leave your wallet in your back pocket, always lock your doors, etc. It is easy to stay safe in Cape Town and New Delhi if you take these precautions.

2. Is public transport safe?

Public transport is very safe to use in both Cape Town and New Delhi during the day, but we recommend that you use private transport at night. Hired taxis are a good way to get around at night.

3. How will I get to and from my internship site each day?

You will use public transport to get to and from your internship each day, unless otherwise specified by a staff member. Your orientation will include a transportation orientation where we will show you how to easily navigate the public transport system.Some interns choose to rent (or even purchase, for the short term) a bicycle while they are interning abroad. Cycling is a good way to get around, but is not recommended if you need to travel on highways or other roads with a high volume of traffic.

4. What if I want to rent a car while I am in Cape Town?

Some interns do choose to rent a car during their internship. Renting a car is not necessary, but some do prefer the increased mobility that a car provides. There are several car rental companies in Cape Town that offer discounts for long-term car rentals, such as Rent-A-Cheapie.

5. What if I have a health problem while I am interning abroad?

South Africa has a wonderful private healthcare system. The doctors here are well-trained and knowledgeable, and there are excellent hospitals and private clinics located all over Cape Town. If you have a health emergency, our staff is always on call to assist you in obtaining the medical care that you need.

6. What do I do about health insurance abroad?

We highly recommend getting health/travel insurance before you travel. With health/travel insurance through their provider at home, interns that incur medical expenses abroad can save their receipts and claim these costs with the health insurance provider at home, who will  reimburse accordingly. Many interns apply for an ISIC card through a local travel agency, as this provides limited international coverage for certain emergencies.

7. Should I bring traveler’s cheques?

We do not recommend that you bring traveler’s cheques, as there are limited providers who accept these cheques so it can be difficult to convert them to cash. We recommend that you use ATM and credit cards from your local bank, but please remember to notify your bank that you will be traveling internationally prior to your departure.

8. I need to book my flight soon, but my internship site is not confirmed. What do I do?

Although your internship site is not confirmed yet, we are confident that we will be able to organise you a fantastic internship that will coincide with your planned dates of arrival and departure. A significant number of interns choose to book their flight prior to the confirmation of their internship placement, so this is something you may want to consider. We understand the urgency of your position, and please know that we are doing your best to confirm your internship placement as quickly as possible.

9. I want to stay longer than 90 days. What do I do?

For an internship in Cape Town, you will need to apply for a volunteer visa through either the South African Embassy or your nearest South African consular office. Please check with these offices to find out the specific requirements of the volunteer visa. You will require a letter from us verifying that you will be undertaking volunteer activities during your stay in Cape Town, and we are happy to provide this. Please apply for the visa well in advance of your departure; we recommend at least a month.

For an internship in New Delhi, everyone must apply for their visa in advance no matter how long you wish to intern abroad. An employment visa is needed for travellers doing unpaid work or voluntary work/internships in India. The duration of the employment visa depends on the duration of the voluntary work or internship, but should not exceed 1 year. It is important to keep in mind that your visa period will start as soon as the visa is issued, so it is best to apply for a duration that will cover any additional time before you arrive in India, or ensure that you do not apply for the visa too far in advance.

11. I do not have US or European citizenship. What are my visa requirements?

While Americans and Europeans can enter South Africa on a free 90-day visitor’s visa obtained at the airport, this is not the case for all nationalities. Look at this helpful list of exempt countries.

All nationalities must apply for a visa to India in advance, please refer to our guidelines on this in your visa PDF document.

12. Do you offer any paid internships?

if i could… does not offer paid internships because we are not legally able to do so in South Africa or India. According to South African law, all internships are unpaid unless you are a South African citizen. We also do not currently have the capacity to offer scholarships to students, but feel free to speak with your university to find out whether any such scholarships are available and check out this article for funding your internship. We also recommend looking into the Foundation for Global Scholars.

13. How long does my internship have to be? Can I stay for less than 3 months/12 weeks?

While we recommend an internship duration of 3 months, we are flexible and will work with your schedule and needs.

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The if i could… team is here to help with any questions you might have about your trip to South Africa or India.

Contact us for more information