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Internship in Africa --- Where to go (given my options)?

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
16 posts
Internship in Africa --- Where to go (given my options)?

Hi there!

A BIT OF CONTEXT: I feel lucky to have an awesome opportunity to do an internship in an African country this summer, for 8 to 10 weeks. The pay is the same despite of the location (and it's pretty good, even for US/European standards --- so money/costs shouldn't an issue.) The type of work is similar (it does vary a bit, but I have the baseline technical and business skills to make it work regardless of the specifics.) The most important thing to me is that the internship will be with a local company, and it will focus on creating social good for natives and helping the company create business opportunities and expand its operations. I am a single, straight male in my early thirties, and this is probably the last time I will get to do something like this --- so I'm looking forward to the experience! I am an experienced traveler (have been to 75+ countries, and have worked/studied in eight countries.)

QUESTION: There are 100+ options, but I have selected the nine I like the most. Of the listed options, I have only been to Cape Tow, South Africa. I have read about the other options and watched some videos, but I am pretty clueless about the actual experience of living/working there, and would appreciate any input that you might have. I believe South Africa would be the 'most comfortable' option, but that is very low in my list of priorities. I am also aware of some differences between East and West African countries, but nothing too off-putting so far. I do not speak any African languages, unfortunately, but I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and some German and French.

My options are (by city, in alphabetical order):

1. Abidian. Ivory Coast

2. Accra, Ghana

3. Cape Town, South Africa

4. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

5. Freetown, Sierra Leone

6. Gaborone, Botswana

7. Johannesburg, South Africa

8. Kampala, Uganda

9. Lome, Togo

I would appreciate any input you might have, and I'm also happy to answer any questions you think will help provide more context.

Cheers!

7 replies to this topic
Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel, Houston
Level Contributor
23,816 posts
177 reviews
131 helpful votes
1. Re: Internship in Africa --- Where to go (given my options)?

I'm not sure how this qualifies as Business Travel, but I do see you've posted in the Solo Travel forum, as well.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12357-k14354383-Internship_in_Africa_Where_to_go_given_my_options-Solo_Travel.html

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
6,555 posts
724 reviews
403 helpful votes
2. Re: Internship in Africa --- Where to go (given my options)?

There are probably two additional criteria you should consider:

- Language: It depends on your level of French. But Lome and Abidjan might me more complicated for you.

- Malaria: if you go to an endemic region, then you'd be 2 to 3 months on Malarone, which is a rather quiet active drug. In your list, only Gaborone and SA cities are not in. Of course, you should consult your GP.

Once these two points are cleared, it becomes a question of preference in my view (considering safety is a challenge in most of these places).

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
16 posts
3. Re: Internship in Africa --- Where to go (given my options)?

Thanks for all of your advice!

@bk_t1, I posted it here because I figured I would be working, and maybe if someone had advice on the local business environment I could use that information to make an informed decision 😊

@Swissdiver, thanks a lot! My French is definitely not good enough to 'live' in the language, and I might find it harder to make local friends; also, I agree that Malaria is a think in that part of the world --- I do think safety is the most important component, and among these options I suspect there are places that are 'safer' than other ones

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
6,555 posts
724 reviews
403 helpful votes
4. Re: Internship in Africa --- Where to go (given my options)?

I visited only some of these countries. So it is difficult for me to assess the security issue. There is however another forum where many participants know well Africa: https://www.businesstraveller.com/. Why don’t you have a try?

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
16 posts
5. Re: Internship in Africa --- Where to go (given my options)?

Hi Swissdiver, thank you very much for your suggestion! I just posted there (:

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
6,555 posts
724 reviews
403 helpful votes
6. Re: Internship in Africa --- Where to go (given my options)?

Hi Seik07,

I guess you're happy with the replies you got there...

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
16 posts
7. Re: Internship in Africa --- Where to go (given my options)?

Yes, they have been just great, thank you very much for pointing me in the right direction!

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