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Thesis research, internship in Joburg June-July (Johannesburg)


I'm a mid-career professional currently on a sabbatical studying for an MSc in Sustainable Development in Scotland. I'd like to come and do field research for my thesis in South Africa in June and July. The research focuses on companies in the mining and oil and gas sectors examining their business strategy towards a future scenario from a sustainability perspective. This involves interviewing responsible personnel in these companies.

Regarding my trip, there are quite a few questions for which I'm seeking answers.

Is it possible to get an internship (preferably paid or compensated to some extent) for such a short period of time in either of these sectors? Do I have to get a work permit for that? I have over ten years of international working experience in law and policy making, so hopefully I bring more to the table than a recent graduate. How approachable are middle to top management people in these sectors?

Is it possible to find a flatmate for only two months?

What should I prepare for in terms of budget? I'm a self-funding full time student on a limited budget.

I hear it is not very safe to use public transport or walk around. Is it safe to bike? Should I rent a car? I've never driven on the left side, that slightly worries me. I've been attacked a few times in the past and rather avoid any similar experiences.

The trip is also used to explore universities in South Africa for possibly doing a PhD next year, so I would be traveling to Cape Town and Stellenbosch as well, is it safe to take the train/bus?

I'd appreciate any help or advice you may have regarding the above.

Thanks a lot,