Course description

Are you seeking a highly relevant global experience in your field of study that enables you to develop professional skills and offers you a thorough cultural immersion in a unique African country?

Our Custom Internships enable you to develop and apply your theoretical and practical knowledge in a supervised placement. You are matched with a local host organization according to your level of study, existing skills and desired fields. A specific internship plan is developed in advance of each placement. Academic credits are available, and you will be expected to complete some key course requirements.

In addition to the placement, you will benefit from a pre-placement orientation, a weekly classroom or field session with interdisciplinary training, and a weekly formal supervisory meeting.

While we cannot guarantee that we will find a suitable host organization for you, placements are typically available in a range of fields. This includes medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, allied health, oral health, mental health, veterinary medicine, business, social innovation, global studies, communications & media, law, development, education, sustainability, engineering, or natural resource management. Custom placements are available year-round, with flexible durations (minimum 4 weeks). A special summer placement option (5 weeks or 9 weeks) starts on June 30 and includes a safari experience.

  • Combine a highly relevant global experience with professional skills development and cultural immersion.
  • Work with local colleagues and develop your intercultural communication skills, confidence and adaptability.
  • Gain new insight through a unique African perspective on development and nation building.
  • Explore the progress and challenges towards development of a highly diverse African nation.
  • Broaden your personal and professional network, and build lasting international friendships.

What’s Included?

  • Placement and supervision at a host organization
  • Pre-placement orientation
  • Weekly interdisciplinary training session
  • Weekly meeting with the internship supervisor
  • Accommodation – either in a host family with breakfast and up to 5 dinners per week (what to expect) or at a local guesthouse with breakfast
  • Personal meet & greet at the airport and transfer to the host family or guesthouse
  • 24/7 emergency support by GEI staff


What Isn’t?

Not included are the transportation to/from the destination airport (including international airfare and taxes), visas, immunizations, health insurance, transportation outside of the orientation days, meals outside of the orientation days and the homestays, personal expenses and other extras.

Academic credits

Academic credits are available at an additional fee from the U.S. academic school of record.

Enrollment requirements

Students should have already acquired a theoretical foundation and preferably a practical skill set in their discipline. To be eligible to apply for this course, students can be enrolled in any major and minor. Enrollment is generally reserved for juniors, seniors and graduate students, or by consent of the faculty sponsor. Professionals are welcome to apply for participation without credits.

Course requirements and student evaluation

  • Course participation and engagement (40%)
  • Weekly reflective journal or blog (15%)
  • Internship report (15%)
  • Essay relating to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (30%)



Kari Cousins, a proud Cape Townian, is the Instructor for our custom internships and research placements in South Africa. She is passionate about creating positive social change and is an active participant in many civil society organizations in Cape Town. She has earned several master’s degrees in the humanities, law and environmental social sciences, and has worked in the corporate and non-profit spheres as well as in academia.


Frequently ranked one of the best places to visit on the planet, Cape Town is the gateway to this program. Our South African projects take place here, more specifically in the township of Langa. Students are typically hosted by fully vetted families in the township, who are part of our hospitality development project.