University of Wisconsin–Madison

Internships in Africa offer “priceless knowledge”

This summer, students from UW-Madison headed to all corners of the African continent to complete internships. The African Studies Program talked to two interns about their experiences in South Africa and Uganda, and why other undergraduates should consider applying for internships in Africa this spring.

Lana Scholtz

Hometown: Waunakee, WI
Major: Fine Arts and Psychology, certificate in African Studies
Internship: Special Events Planner at Play Africa

Play Africa is a non-profit organization building Africa’s first children’s museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. Interns from UW-Madison can work in educational outreach, communications, exhibit development, farm to market coordination, fundraising, and event planning. To apply, click here.

What made you decide to pursue an internship in South Africa?
I was born in South Africa and spent my childhood there. Since moving to the US I have visited extended family living there a couple of times, however I have never had a completely independent adventure there, much less one where I would be working as a part of the community. This internship presented the perfect opportunity for me to have an independent and intimate reunion with South Africa and my extended family. Bonus: the work being done at Play Africa is exactly the kind of community based work I want to pursue.

Tell us about a typical day working at Play Africa.
Each morning I arrive with my coworkers at the historical landmark of Constitution Hill, where PlayAfrica is given a children’s room of its own. Play Africa’s biggest asset is for sure its welcoming and dedicated team. After morning briefings and meetings with the intimate team, each member carries on with their own part of the larger projects happening at Play Africa; these tasks usually involve reaching out to other organizations in the community, getting in contact with schools, and planning programs. If it were a day filled with programs and events, the day is spent preparing our spaces with activities for children and hosting them to interact with our inclusive and creative exhibits.

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