My YFU Internship

By Annika, YFU South Africa intern in 2015

Why would you want to read an article about someone spending her days in an office? Everyone knows what that is like: Boring stuff all day long. Are you sure?

I went on exchange in 2011 and spent some wonderful months near Rome. After having finished school this year I opted for doing something useful with my time and exploring a new place before starting to study again at university. So I took a plane to South Africa and started my YFU internship at the Regional Office in Pretoria. And I can tell that it is definitely not a normal office job!

Working in a home office offers a few advantages. First of all you don’t have to drive to work, thus escaping the early morning traffic between Pretoria and Jo’burg. Instead you can have a relaxed breakfast, switch on your computer and start your day checking your mails while sipping a nice cup of coffee. And if the weather is great you can take your laptop and work outside.

First I was responsible for our inbound students and later assisted with the outbound students as well. And as you might have already guessed, dealing with exchange students can result in quite a few unexpected situations. That’s the spice in your soup, that’s what makes it interesting!

General administration is part of your tasks, as well as other things that come up, such as organizing and preparing orientations, following up with students and volunteers, answering questions and phone calls, sending out invitations, or writing a newsletter article.

And there is usually still enough time left for doing some sightseeing, travelling the country, learning Afrikaans or simply enjoying your free time with your wonderful boss who is your host mum at the same time, and with her family and other interns.

I would definitely recommend a YFU internship to anybody who wants to look behind the scenes of YFU in another country. You will be provided with some work to do, but also with plenty of great memories, the possibility to explore another culture and making new friends!