Each year the FW de Klerk Foundation hosts interns from South Africa and abroad. The Foundation has a long-standing relationship with the Graduate Leaders Program of the Council of Women World Leaders, a network of current and former women prime ministers and presidents. Through this program, graduate students are placed in high-level policy organisations and ministries - including the FW de Klerk Foundation - in order to gain unique exposure to significant leadership and gender-related policy. The Foundation has also hosted students from the Harvard Kennedy School, as well as individuals who approach the Foundation in their personal capacity.
During an internship at the FW de Klerk Foundation, interns are given an opportunity to research and produce a paper on a topic of interest. Interns are also expected to write articles suitable for publication based on issues relevant to the work of the Foundation and its Centre for Constitutional Rights.
Other scheduled activities include visits to Parliament, and participation in Foundation activities, such as community service for Mandela Day, and assisting at, and attending, conferences and events hosted by the Foundation.
Justus Schneider (2018)
Bachelor in Sociology, Politics & Economics at Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany (2015-2018)
With part of my family living in South Africa for many years, I was privileged to visit Cape Town and other parts of the country several times. Nevertheless, when on holiday you tend to neglect the duty of being aware of the socio-political surroundings of the country you visit. In my opinion, only longer sojourns can enlighten you about a country’s political system, its culture, its identity, and its problems. Therefore, I was always eager to come to South Africa by myself and to be part of an institution whose goal it is to find answers and give advice to the current major political questions of the country.
The given opportunity to be a research assistant at the FW de Klerk Foundation was therefore perfect. It not only taught me about one of the most progressive constitutions of our time, but it also showed me how important the role of independent actors within social-political systems can be and how essential their work towards a well-functioning democracy is.