If you’re in college or just out of school and need some work experience, try an internship. Care to make things real interesting? Why not intern abroad? Although it does mean a bit more leg work and a whole lot more cash, an internship abroad can set you up for a solid career at home or in another country. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you should absolutely consider internships in Africa.
Although some people won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole, Africa internships can be some of the most eye-opening experiences of your lifetime. While infrastructure looks a little different here, there are still plenty of hands-on skills to learn and competitive career skills to develop. Especially for students interested in the Humanities, history, post-colonial economic development, or trade, Africa is a great fit. Take a leap of faith and see the world’s second largest continent in a whole new light. When you’re done with your internship, you might opt to go home with some crazy stories and new skills, or who knows? Maybe you’ll decide to settle there for the long haul.
Whatever you decide, Africa’s a big place with lots of countries to find international internships. You can intern in Islamic countries to the north like Egypt and Morocco or find wildlife internships in Africa in Tanzania, Kenya, Nambia, and Rwanda. Don’t like the outdoors? You could even work in big-city offices and business districts in Ghana, South Africa, and Nigeria. Paid internships in Africa may be a bit difficult to come by, but don’t let that discourage you from exploring one of the most misunderstood—and magical—regions in the world.
Now’s the time. Our community of travelers shares their favorite trending destinations, the 10 best places for Africa internships in 2018!
1. South Africa
South Africa is one of the most popular places for not only internships in Africa, but for paid internships in Africa. Find yourself in a multilingual office where people speak Afrikaans, Zulu, English, and any other of South Africa’s 11 official languages. After hours, go for a curry with your workmates in Durban, to the pub in Jozi (Johannesburg), or the beach to giggle at penguins in Cape Town. Popular internship placements in South Africa include business, tourism, healthcare, social entrepreneurship, and wildlife conservation.
Recommended program: Intern abroad in Cape Town with VACorps
Forget Disney! Africa isn’t only Simba and the Circle of Life. Experience a different side of the continent with Africa internships in Morocco. This North African country is also the best place to learn Arabic and soak up the sun on the Mediterranean coastline. Go bargain hunting for the perfect lantern, scarf, or tagine in local souks or dune hopping in the Sahara. Find the mother load of internships in Rabat, but don’t discount opportunities in Fez, Marrakech, and Tangier in fields like human rights, business, government, and hospitality.
Recommended program: Intern abroad in Morocco with World Internships
There is a land far, far away. It’s called Addis Ababa, a famous Ethiopian city revered by Rastafarians the world over and home to the majority of internships in this African nation. Head to this land-locked country for Africa internships in fields like healthcare, international development, government, and agriculture. You can even intern on a coffee farm in the country that practically invented the bean! Haile Selassie!
Recommended program: Intern with Blessing the Children International in Ethiopia
Sorry to break it to you, but Ghana isn’t just the name of a favorite chocolate bar in Japan! It’s an entire country and one of the best places to start your journey in the West African workplace. Although the country is rife with natural beauty including the world’s largest lake, you can find some of the best internships in Africa here. Land office placements in Accra, environmental science internships in Kumasi, the garden city, and hospitality gigs in Tamale. Other popular internships in Ghana include healthcare, engineering, and international development.
Recommended program: Intern in Ghana with Performing Arts Abroad
The best thing you could ever experience in Africa is the majesty of the Victoria Falls, one of the world’s natural wonders. Why not travel to Zimbabwe to do just that and get some work experience too? Although this South African nation is no stranger to political conflict, don’t let that scare you from working in one of the continent’s most resilient countries. Harare and Gweru are some of the best places for internships in Africa in medicine, development, and NGO/social work.
Recommended program: Intern abroad in Zimbabwe with African Impact
Like Morocco, Egypt offers interns a peek inside a distinctive side of Africa. This ancient land is so much more than King Tut, pyramids, and mummies—all easily discoverable while doing summer internships in Africa (or even more long-term ones!). Experience business placements in modern-day Cairo where minarets co-exist with Coptic churches and skyscrapers. You can also swim with the fishies in Hurghada on a marine biology internship or teach English to the Bedouins in the desert under the starry skies.
Recommended program: Intern in Cairo with Reach Out Academy
Although you won’t find many paid summer internships, Africa certainly makes up for this with glorious nature. Tanzania is the perfect place to intern if you care the natural world. Work to save the species of the Serengeti National Park or with local communities that live in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. You can also find intern opportunities in human rights, healthcare education, and community development in Dar es Salaam and Arusha.
Recommended program: Intern in Tanzania with Cross Cultural Solutions
Looking for a whole new ballgame when it comes to international internships? Try the Central African nation of Cameroon. You can practice your French and work on worthwhile projects like building websites for local NGOs, teaching English, and counseling domestic violence victims. If you think you’re the next Meredith Gray or Dr. McDreamy, become an expert in tropical medicine while doing medical internships in Buea, Yaounde, and other areas.
Recommended program: Intern in Cameroon with SIT Study Abroad
If you’re after a more fast-paced, city-oriented African experience, sign up for internships in bustling Kenya. Popular places to intern in finance, journalism, and marketing include Nairobi and Mombasa, but don’t overlook service learning placements in more rural parts of the country. On the other hand, if you dream of tracking lions, wildebeests, and other savannah species, there are plenty environmental conservation and wildlife internships in Africa here. You’ll especially love finding summer internships in Africa in Kenya—the weather is 👌.
Recommended program: Intern in Kenya with ELI Abroad
Take your international internship experience to an unconventional level in Namibia. This southwestern African country is not only home to the world’s oldest desert, it’s also where you’ll find some of Africa’s most surreal landscapes. Most of the internship opportunities in Namibia are in education, medicine, human rights, and sustainable development. Work in the ever popular Windhoek or in more remote locations like Gobabis or port-city Swakopmund.
Recommended program: Intern in Namibia with Augsburg University
A note from GoAbroad
We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.
Learn more our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here.
Browse more of this year's report on top destinations for international internships
- Best Destinations to Find Internships Worldwide in 2018
- Best Destinations to Find Internships in Europe for 2018
- Best Destinations to Find Internships in the Americas for 2018
- Best Destinations to Find Internships in the South Pacific & Asia for 2018
- See ALL top destinations for ALL travel