Frequently Asked Questions:

CAPE TOWN Professional Experience PLACEMENTS

For professionals, graduates and students wanting to work in Cape Town.
Cape Town, South Africa: 13 January 2018  - 17 March 2018. 


Why is the company called Heavy Chef?

Our name comes from the saying ‘never trust a skinny chef’. We believe in walking the talk, rolling up our sleeves and eating our own food. We’re a community of action-based entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and graduates. In a world of talkers, we believe it’s the doers that are going to change it.


Why is the program called Professional Experience Programme?

This programme is specifically designed for professionals and business students who would like to have a unique work and study programme to stand out from the crowd, to change paths or start their own company. It is the combination of an internationally accredited online business course and a social entrepreneurship venture in Africa.


Why Heavy Chef’s Professional Experience Programme unique?

Heavy chef’s Professional Experience Programme has 4 pillars: work, connect, play and learn. Our professionals do not waste time in Cape Town. They get an 8-week work placement at a Cape Town- based social startup within the Heavy Chef network while they are participating in workshops and networking events with highly regarded local entrepreneurs. After their busy working days, they have access to social, sports and cultural activities that only Cape Town can offer. After 8 weeks in Cape Town, they have a 7-day Garden Route guided tour including a game-viewing safari. To top it all, they complete an online course held by some of the most prestigious universities in the world. As mentioned, our professionals do not waste time.  


What are the online courses I can choose from?

Currently, we have 4 very popular courses that are inclusive in the Programme.


Why Cape Town?

Cape Town is Africa’s Silicon Valley. It is one of the most vibrant startup cities in the world, with over 1000 startups operating in the CBD, and a host of accelerators, incubators and over 60% of SA’s startups based in the Mother City. Heavy Chef is the heart of the community here, hosting events featuring some of the most iconic business leaders in Africa.


Who is an ideal Heavy Chef Professional?

There is no ideal Heavy Chef Professional. Our programme is for the true entrepreneurs at heart, people who want to make a difference where it matters as well as people seeking personal growth and cultural exchange.


How can I ask more questions before arrival?

Upon acceptance, our professionals are invited to a group-chat, where they can ask all their questions regarding all aspects of the programme and more. For example, should they bring their own towels, etc… It is very important that our Professionals feel at ease before travelling to the other side of the world. We are there for them every step of the way.


Do I need a visa to come to South Africa?

UK and US citizens do not need a visa to visit South Africa. These citizens can stay in South Africa without a visa up to 90 days. However, whenever “work”, “employment” and “internship” is mentioned at the border, officers tend to become anxious. Therefore we encourage our Professionals to focus on exploring Cape Town as a tourist while learning new skills when asked at the border.

If not a UK or a US citizen, please find out HERE whether you need one or not. Heavy Chef will help you sending you all the supporting documentation you will need for your application.


Is Cape Town safe?

Cape Town is just like any other big city in the world when you are a visitor. It has its golden rules, which will be introduced to you during your welcome meeting. Accommodation was carefully chosen with your health and safety in mind.  All our accommodation sights have a 24-hour emergency line and of course, Heavy Chef staff members are always there to support you when needed. However, we ask you to take responsibility for your own safety by taking precautions and being vigilant at all times, as you would when visiting any other big city.


Do I need travel medical insurance?

A travel medical insurance is compulsory to be accepted onto the Professional Experience Programme and a proof of having a medical cover during your stay in South Africa should be sent to Heavy Chef.


Do I need any vaccinations?

No vaccinations are required if you stay with the Programme. During the Professional Experience Programme, you will be staying in Cape Town, which is the most developed and Europe-like city in South Africa.  You will not need any vaccinations for your Garden Route Trip either at the end of your stay.  Cape Town and the Western and Eastern Cape of South Africa ( which you will be visiting) are NOT affected by malaria. However, if you wish to explore more of South Africa in the remaining time of your visa permit, please read about the vaccination requirements HERE.


How do I know which company I can get placement with?

During your application process, we will work closely with you to find you the best placement that suits your skill set.


Daily Life

What is a typical day’s schedule?

Your schedule depends on your company’s set up and the online course you choose.  After a well-balanced breakfast, a typical day would start with a 6-hour work placement followed by a 2-hour online coursework. It will give you the time to enjoy the typical Cape town lifestyle after hours, such as visiting the local gym, going to the beach or having a walk at the promenade followed by one of the most beautiful meals in one of many trendy restaurants and cafes. Cape Town’s nightlife is buzzing all the time but especially on Thursdays.


What is the accommodation like?

Heavy Chef partners with upmarket accommodation providers at safe and trendy locations. Our priority is your safety and to make sure you have access to all the local amenities, have an Internet connection and a comfortable, trendy room (with a view if possible). The earlier you book, more rooming options are available to you.


Are meals included?

All the Professional Experience Programme participants have breakfast included in their programme fee. Most of our accommodation options include a pick and choose breakfast box, which means that your previously selected ingredients or meal is delivered to your doorstep every morning. All of our accommodation options include either a kitchen or a kitchenette.


Do I need to use public transportation?

Cape Town implemented a world-class bus line in 2010, called My City Bus. Your MyCity Bus card is included in your welcome pack upon arrival, with a R50 on it, ready to use.  You will most probably need to top it up at a local supermarket when you use it regularly. Our accommodation has the bus stop right in front of the building. Another option for you is to use the Uber or the Taxify phone app during your stay. It is the most convenient and the safest way to get around Cape Town at any hour of the day.


What activities are included in the programme fee?

You will participate in a Welcome Mother City Tour on your very first Sunday led by our awesome Activities Director. You will also meet the rest of the team that day. After your busy 8-week schedule, you will depart to a 7-day adventure-packed Guided Tour in South Africa’s most stunning Garden Route with a game-viewing safari included. No one can leave South Africa without seeing our Big-Five! It is all included in your programme fee.


What other activities are available in Cape Town?

Cape Town has some of the most beautiful hikes in the world. Our majestic Table Mountain has many routes to offer for the nature-lovers. Lion’s Head and Signal Hill are literally in the middle of the city and offer breathtaking views.

Our popular beaches, Camps Bay and the four beaches of Clifton are about 15 minutes from your accommodation.

Weekend trips and activities, such as shark-cage diving, surf lessons, seal snorkeling, paragliding, parachuting and helicopter rides are all available at an extra cost.

Capetonians are extremely health-orinted. You can join numerous yoga studios or world-class gyms during your stay. But a 5-kilometre long promenade is right in from of your accommodation, if you feel like a run or a walk.

Cape Town has something to offer for everyone.



How do I apply to the Professional Experience Programme?

As soon as you enquire with us, we will start corresponding with you to start the process. Basically, we will ask you to send us your CV (resume) and your motivational letter as to why you want to participate in the Professional Experience Programme. Then you will be invited to have a Skype interview where you can meet a Heavy Chef staff member and ask as many questions as you like.

Should I apply earlier rather than later?

Early applications always allow both parties to prepare better, set expectations and above all, exceed expectations. The sooner you secure your place with a 50% deposit, the better we can cater for your needs.


What is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to secure your place for the January Programme by paying 50% deposit is 1 December 2017.

Is there an application fee?

There is no application fee. In order to secure your place, you will need to pay a deposit of 50% of the programme fee by 1 December 2017.

How much is the programme fee?

The programme fee is $10,700.

How do I secure my spot?

You secure your spot by paying 50% deposit by 1 December 2017 (the earlier the better). The rest of the payment is due 15 days prior to the arrival date, so it is 29 December 2017.




Who is the online course provider?

Heavy Chef has formed a partnership with Getsmarter, which is an online education company based in Cape Town and London. Getsmarter collaborates with leading universities to offer premium online short courses to working professionals. GetSmarter gets you the recognition you deserve: not only in the form of a certificate from a top-tier university, but also by empowering you with the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to take on the next challenge in your career.


What if I need help during the course?

As soon as you choose your online course, a course representative will contact you to get you started. This representative will follow your course closely and help you with any questions. Getsmarter has a 90% pass rate due to this setup.


Do I need any experience to do any of the courses?

No, you do not. However, previous studies or experience in the business field will definitely be an advantage.


Do I get a certificate upon completion of the course?

Yes you do. You will get an official certificate from the university itself, so it may take a couple of weeks to receive as it comes from Oxford, Cambrige or MIT depending on your course.



Which companies can I choose from?

Through the Heavy Chef network, we have a plethora of social ventures to choose from. Cape Town is home to some of the most exciting startups on the African continent, with companies such as Zoona, Luno, Sweepsouth, Jumo, Mama Money, Artisans In Africa and more all operating from the Mother City.


What will I be doing during my work placement?

These are fast growing startups. There are a host of different roles that require filling. Bear in mind that many of the startups in our network have an international focus, so there is huge value in you being placed in their organisation.


How do I get placed into a company?

We work with you closely in the application process to find the best placement that fits with your skillset.


What if I don’t like placement?

Once again, communication is key. You need to let us know as soon as possible when you are unhappy with your placement. As entrepreneurs, we want to overcome the challenges as opposed to quit. We will work with you to find a solution.


What are my working hours?

Your working hours depend on your company’s set up. We encourage both the professionals and the companies to do a full-time placement, however, you need to remember that you have a 2-3 hour daily commitment to your online course. We feel that the best combination is a 6-hour work placement, which will give you the opportunity to spend 2 hours on your online course Monday to Friday. It will give you a good balance.



What’s the weather like in Cape Town?

In a nutshell: Cape Town is a windy city, especially in summer so always have a jacket or sweater with you. It can get quite warm but you can always cool down in the Atlantic Ocean as its water temperature is always cold.

We recommend a wetsuit when you go into the water. Cape Town has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with white sand and surrounded by amazing rocks.

Even in winter, Cape Town has tremendous amount of sunshine, however, it does not mean that you can walk around in your shorts the whole year.

At the moment, we are experiencing the worst drought in one hundred years. We have level 5 water-restrictions, which means that individuals are not allowed to use more than 87 litres of water per day otherwise they will be fined heavily.

Please adhere to the rules implemented by the City of Cape Town and always keep in mind that water is scarce during your stay.


For the more Wikipedia-type of people:

Cape Town has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with mild, moderately wet winters and dry, warm summers.

Winter, which lasts from the beginning of June to the end of August, may see large cold fronts entering for limited periods from the Atlantic Ocean with significant precipitation and strong north-westerly winds.

Winter months in the city average a maximum of 18.0 °C (64 °F) and minimum of 8.5 °C (47 °F) [29] Total annual rainfall in the city averages 515 millimetres (20.3 in).

Summer, which lasts from early December to March, is warm and dry with an average maximum of 26.0 °C (79 °F) and minimum of 16.0 °C (61 °F). The region can get uncomfortably hot when the Berg Wind, meaning "mountain wind", blows from the Karoo interior for a couple of weeks in February or early March.

Late spring and early summer generally feature a strong wind from the south-east, known locally as the south-easter or the Cape Doctor, so called because it blows air pollution away.

This wind is caused by a high-pressure system which sits in the South Atlantic to the west of Cape Town, known as the South Atlantic High. Cape Town receives 3,100 hours of sunshine per year.[30]

Water temperatures range greatly, between 10 °C (50 °F) on the Atlantic Seaboard, to over 22 °C (72 °F) in False Bay.

Average annual Ocean temperatures are between 13 °C (55 °F) on the Atlantic Seaboard (similar to Californian waters, such as San Francisco or Big Sur), and 17 °C (63 °F) in False Bay (similar to Northern Mediterranean temperatures, such as Nice or Monte Carlo).

From 2015 Cape Town started experiencing the worst drought in one hundred years.



How much spending money should I bring for the eight weeks I will spend in Cape Town?

Your work placement, online course, accommodation with breakfast, networking events and 2 activities are included in your programme fee. However, you might want to explore Cape Town to its fullest. Depending on your lifestyle, eating habits, transportation preferences and activities, we recommend you to bring an extra $1500 spending money for the 8 weeks in Cape Town.


Anything we've missed? Email Zsofia (here) and we'll respond asap. 

With world-class short courses, work placements at some of the most inspiring companies on the planet and access to extraordinary tech events, Heavy Chef gives graduates and professionals the chance to change lives for the better, forever. 

Work at one of the companies within the HC community, some of the most inspiring, impactive companies on the planet right now. 

Work at one of the companies within the HC community, some of the most inspiring, impactive companies on the planet right now. 


Heavy Chef brings international business graduates to South Africa to tap into the HC network. Focusing on graduates and students in United Kingdom, Europe and the US, Heavy Chef taps into its extraordinary community to create impactive experiences between impactive people. You will be placed in companies such as Luno, Jumo, Zoona, Yoco, Artisans In Africa, WWC, SweepSouth and more. These are the companies that are changing the face of Africa for the better.

Learn with us, and tap into renowned universities around the world via Getsmarter, a unique distance learning, short-course curriculum.

Learn with us, and tap into renowned universities around the world via Getsmarter, a unique distance learning, short-course curriculum.


Heavy Chef has partnered with Getsmarter, one of the world’s leading short-course platforms to provide our interns with high-touch learning opportunities. Getsmarter condenses academic curricula from recognised universities Harvard, Oxford and MIT to provide you with an intensive, fun and focused learning programme. Choose from a variety of tailored courses and end up with an internationally recognised certificate of excellence. 

Our programmes allow for the perfect balance of adventure and work experience. 

Our programmes allow for the perfect balance of adventure and work experience. 


Of course, it's not all work. 

Cape Town is one of the most extraordinary destinations in the world. Within a small radius around the city, there is an unparalleled array of adrenaline-fuelled activities to explore. Our programme includes a welcome tour upon arrival, with a schedule of options available to you throughout the duration of your stay. These unique experiences include shark cage diving, mountain climbing, African safaris, hiking, surfing, wine tasting, nightlife adventure and much, much more. 

Our events feature some of the most inspiring thought-leaders in the world.

Our events feature some of the most inspiring thought-leaders in the world.


As a delegate on the HC programme, you will participate in our monthly event and workshop schedule, getting to meet some of the most influential business leaders in the Southern Hemisphere. Our events have been running since 2007; and our workshops since 2015. We have hosted entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, technologists, leaders and creatives every month for over 10 years. Our community is ambitious, dynamic and tech-savvy. We have speakers lined up for the next two years, with some of the most impactive and influential individuals in Africa and beyond. 


What are you waiting for? Apply already. 

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Enquire now and a consultant will send you a prospectus of our internship programme. Our team has over 10 years experience in placing graduates, professionals and interns from all over the world. We are waiting to chat with you.  

"What makes up the life of an entrepreneur? Hard work. Fun. More hard work. Pain. Harder work. Fun. Pain. Fun. Pain. Hard work. -
And maybe, just, maybe, some financial reward at the end of it." 

Contact Zsofia Ivony at +27725321111 during South Africa office hours or email us at