Orange Intern has been working with the U2U Foundation and the University of North Carolina to create internships. We are responsible for the implementation of the UNC Honours Study Abroad program.
The Cape Town Program was launched in 1999 as a Burch Field Research Seminar, with private support from alumnus Lucius Burch 111. Because of its success, it has been offered as an internship Honors semester abroad program since 2001. Students arrive in August and after a detailed and informative orientation week before beginning their internship programs at various social development agencies and NGO’s throughout the city and surrounding settlements.
Students are placed in the different settings according to their academic backgrounds, skills and interests. The student internships are conducted 3 days per week and on the other 2 days, students attend lectures at the University of Cape Town. They attend the course conducted by the UNC professor who accompanies the program to Cape Town and they attend a course in South African History and the History of Apartheid conducted by Chris Ahrends and Julie De Nicola. The 3rd element of class is in the form of a reflection class where students are able to process the information and experiences they are exposed to while in South Africa and to gain greater personal understanding of how their time in Cape Town transforms and shapes them.
In 2011, Dee Reid, Director of Communications of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s College of Arts and Sciences visited the 2011 internship program in Cape Town and wrote the following article for the Carolina Art and Science magazine:
Internship – Living History
Carolina students were confronted by living history lessons everywhere they went in Cape Town. They interviewed black and white South Africans and asked them about their experiences during and after apartheid.
The group also attended a service at St Georges Cathedral, conducted By Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who prayed in 3 languages – English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans. “I was really impressed by that” UNC junior Miriam Tardif-Douglin wrote in her blog. “It’s such a sincere symbolic way of including everyone (or most everyone) in the service.”
Afterwards, the revered Nobel Peace Laureate who led South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation commission, showed up in the cathedral’s basement café wearing a Springbok jersey in honour of the country’s rugby team.
And after discussing Mandela’s life in their class, the students took a ferry to Robben Island, where Mandela lived in a tiny cell for 18 of his 27 yearsof political incarceration. The tour was guided by a former political prisoner who had been locked up there with Mandela and many other leaders of the anti-apartheid movement. The guide told of former political activists who were detained and “disappeared”(killed)without ever being charged or tried. He acknowledged that officials may have outwitted themselves when they imprisoned the country’s leading political activists in one location. Mandel and other inmates continued to organise for social justicefrom behind the bars at Robben Island. Mike Steele, a junior majoring in Political Science, appreciated these special learning opportunities. “We talked about Robben Island in the class and the next week we went there and interacted with people who lived through it, “Steele said. To read about it is different to talking to peoplewho had been through it.”
(Reprinted with permission from Carolina Arts & Sciences magazine, published by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s College of Arts and Sciences)