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Physical Therapy Internships in Cusco

Physical Therapy Internships in Cusco

This Physical Therapy internship in Cusco is a perfect opportunity for physical therapy students to gain experience relevant to your current level of qualification. Interns can expect to be assisting local therapists in Peru, and a range of placements are available for interns at all levels of therapy studies.

Internship Highlights:
  • Learn by observing and helping therapists in real appointment settings
  • Get physical therapy experience to match your own experience
  • Experience Cusco, one of the world’s most popular tourism cities
Type of host organizations:
  • Private therapy clinics
  • Special education schools
Fully hosted experience from $1529
Includes accommodation & meals
Typical schedule: Monday - Friday, 4 hours per day
Minimum duration 4 weeks, up to 24 weeks maximum
Spanish language lessons available
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Internships align with UN Sustainable Development Goals
Eligibility requirements and Associated career paths
Eligibility requirement

Interns must be at least pre-PT, with the intention to embark on a course of study aimed at physical therapy and/or disability support. High School graduates aged 18+ may be accepted, depending on the strength of their application (including any relevant experience, with a desire to learn and grow within this field).

Language requirements

Suitable for students at an intermediate to advanced (B1 to C2) Spanish language level (recommended Spanish language education for 2 or more years).

Associated career paths

Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist / Assistant / Aide, Recreational Therapist, Speech-Language Pathologist, Geriatric Fitness Specialist, Sports Medicine, Chiropractor, Osteopath

Internship details

This Physical Therapy internship in Cusco is a perfect opportunity for physical therapy students to gain experience relevant to your current level of qualification. Interns can expect to be assisting local therapists in Peru, and a range of placements are available for interns at all levels of therapy studies.

This is an in-country internship, with accommodation and meals provided.

Regardless of your physiotherapy experience, interns can expect to be paired with a local therapist, providing assistance wherever it’s needed. Interns can help with individual therapies for people with a range of requirements, including therapeutic massage, ultrasound, kinetic therapy, movement and rehabilitation.

An example of a popular Physical Therapy internship placement is in special needs education schools for students between 3-20 years old. Students often require close attention, so they work in small classes of up to ten. Interns support a local physiotherapist providing therapy throughout the day to students with a range of cognitive, developmental and physical challenges. You’re also able to support local teachers in both lessons and skill development games. This placement is not available during school breaks from December to March, and for two weeks in June/July.

Another popular placement is at physiotherapy centers, which is better suited to more experienced interns. The center specializes in treating neuromuscular problems, rheumatism, pain and paediatric problems. Interns assist therapists providing treatments including magnetic therapy, infrared, ultrasound, health, massage and kinetic therapy. You’ll help from 8.30am - 1pm and/or 2.30 - 5.30pm, and can expect to see between 6-8 patients per day.

Physical Therapy interns who stay longer in Cusco are more likely to have a hands-on role, as you’re better able to build relationships and learn how to carry out certain tasks. Interns are required to speak Spanish at an intermediate level in order to join this internship. Interns who can speak Spanish confidently will have an easier time communicating with both patients and your supervisor, which improves your engagement and ability to work on independent tasks.

In all cases, interns should expect that the first week of your experience will focus on settling in and gaining some introductory knowledge, as you will not “hit the ground running”. Rather, you should start with learning about the placement to gain an understanding of what you can build upon, develop, learn, and contribute. Ensure that you ask questions and provide feedback during the introductory period, so that your supervisor understands how you’re progressing. This will help them to better understand important details, such as how quickly you learn, what you find challenging, what you find interesting, etc.

Understand and expect that individual internship experiences vary, as the specific placement that you’re assigned will depend on review of your resume and your current level of studies and experience. Therefore, if you’re at a more introductory level, you should reasonably expect a more introductory internship. Likewise, if you’re interning for a shorter duration, you will have a different experience from someone who is interning for a longer duration. Placement preferences are considered but always subject to availability.

Career Benefits

Physical Therapy interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
  • Helping with therapies for disabled students and other individuals

  • Shadowing and assisting local therapists

  • Magnetic therapy

  • Infrared

  • Ultrasound

  • Massage

  • Kinetic therapy

  • Helping to organize and support daily therapies

Professional development opportunities:
  • Observe therapy treatments in a foreign environment

  • Understand how therapy is provided to children with disabilities

  • Assist with a range of therapy treatments for a range of patients

  • Practice and develop Spanish language proficiency within a professional setting

  • Gain practical skills and boost your employability, with guidance from Intern Abroad HQ’s Experiential Learning Curriculum to support your learning and cultural intelligence.

Peru photo gallery

What recent interns said about their experience

Jackson Hill
September 2021

I would 100% recommend an internship abroad to anyone! My Physical Therapy internship In Peru was such a fantastic experience and as soon as the opportunity became available to gain valuable work experience, all while traveling abroad, I jumped at the opportunity! Often when these opportunities arise, it is too easy to turn them down and convince yourself that going somewhere unknown is just too hard. But once you’re there, it is easy to understand why pushing yourself is worth it. I have such a better understanding of other cultures, perspectives and relationships and an even greater passion to learn and grow. Take a chance and go in with open eyes. The relationships I made with my colleagues, other interns and host family was a massive highlight. The Latin American culture is so welcoming and the people I met really became family. Wherever I felt homesick, everyone’s support really made Cusco feel like a home away from home.

Manal Abdulwahb
June 2019

Best decision I made - I was in Peru for four weeks and worked in a physiotherapy setting. The clinic I worked at was only a 15-minute walk from my home stay and was very convenient and safe. The program descriptions matched with what I did at the clinic, so there were not any surprises. My program coordinator with Intern Abroad HQ was always so quick to respond if I had any questions, however the internship manual has a lot of the information you need prior of departure. The only mistake I made with booking with Intern Abroad HQ was that I did not stay long enough. I learned so much and will definitely be doing another internship with them in the near future.


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

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Academic credit available for all internships

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing an internship abroad or remote internship program with Intern Abroad HQ.

Learn about course credit

Program fees

It’s free to apply for this internship. Once we have reviewed your suitability and accepted you onto this program, you’ll need to pay a deposit of US$499 to confirm your place. The remaining balance of your Program Fee (less your initial US$499 deposit payment) will be due no less than 60 days before your internship start date.

Program Fee (USD)
4 weeks $1,529 Equivalent to $54 /day
5 weeks $1,684 Equivalent to $48 /day
6 weeks $1,864 Equivalent to $44 /day
8 weeks $2,174 Equivalent to $38 /day
10 weeks $2,539 Equivalent to $36 /day
12 weeks $2,849 Equivalent to $33 /day
16 weeks $3,579 Equivalent to $31 /day
20 weeks $4,199 Equivalent to $29 /day
24 weeks $4,819 Equivalent to $28 /day
  • Airport pick-up
  • Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Program orientation
  • Dedicated support before, during, and after your internship
  • In-country guidance for social and tourist activities
  • Sourcing and securing your internship placement
  • Personalization of your internship plan
  • Coaching from your supervisor
  • Documented portfolio of your experiential learnings
  • Academic credit facilitation
  • International reference letter
  • Certificate of Internship Completion
  • All in-country transportation
  • Visa (if required), flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check
  • Transfer back to the airport at the end of your internship program
  • Personal spending money for snacks, drinks, public transport, laundry, and leisure activities during your free time.
  • A deposit of $499 (approximately 499) is required to secure your internship
  • Balance of your Program Fee is due 60 days before your internship start date.
  • All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.

Free-time experiences & tours in Cusco

Take your internship to the next level with Intern Abroad HQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Cusco! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto an internship program.

Cusco City Tour
Cusco City Tour

Explore the city of Cusco and its popular archaeological sites

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - 4 Day, 3 Night
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - 4 Day, 3 Night

Enjoy this unique Wonder of the World on an affordable 4 day, 3 night tour.

Lake Titicaca - 2 days, 1 night
Lake Titicaca - 2 days, 1 night

Enjoy the beauty of this secluded Lake on an affordable 2 day, 1 night tour.


Spanish lessons

Internships in Peru require interns to have varying levels of Spanish language proficiency, from either a confident level of basic Spanish, to a more developed grasp of intermediate to advanced language skills. The definition of having basic Spanish skills (Level A2) includes the ability to exchange brief information with questions and answers, use and understand simple language in daily situations and cultural aspects.

Keep in mind that despite your level of proficiency, a language barrier can still be encountered to a certain extent. Interns should be prepared for the very natural and normal frustration of not always understanding what is being said around them. Most interns are able to have a successful internship experience and it is essential to come prepared and willing to surmount a language barrier, as opposed to being intimidated by it.

We strongly recommend that all interns take advantage of the affordable language lessons offered exclusively to Intern Abroad HQ participants by our host organization in Peru. These can be arranged directly with the local team once registered for the program (ask about online Skype lessons) or at the orientation in-country. Language lessons are tailored to each individual’s current level of Spanish and classes run from Monday through to Friday.

Arrival and Orientation

Internships in Peru begin every Monday. Exceptions may be made to this when start dates are shifted to avoid public holiday disruptions or closed when the program has already reached capacity. The minimum duration requirement is 2 weeks up to a maximum duration of 24 weeks.

Airport pick up and accommodation are included in the Program Fee. The accommodation is covered from the Sunday night before the Monday start date - interns are required to arrive no later than the Sunday before their Monday start date, as all orientations are held on Mondays.

The typical port of entry is the Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport (CUZ). If you are planning to spend time independently in Peru prior to your internship and will not require an airport pick up, we can discuss alternative arrival logistics with you.

Upon arrival, interns will be met, greeted, and transferred to the accommodation. The last night of the accommodation is the Friday night of the final week, leaving interns free to depart on Saturday. Extra nights of accommodation can be arranged in advance, if requested, and are subject to availability.

Orientation covers important details for your internship, including introductions, information about culture, customs, rules, expectations, safety, language lessons, cultural excursions, and more. Your specific internship placement orientation will follow the general orientation, as you’ll be shown how to travel to and from your internship and be introduced to the team you’ll be joining.

Please note that all participants are advised not to book flights until they have first registered to confirm their internship placement.

Check what’s required to visit Peru

Check out the widget below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Peru, based on your country of residence.

Accommodation and WiFi

All program participants are hosted in various homestay accommodations, which are usually located approximately 20 minutes walk to the central office (which is located just off the Plaza De Armas). In some cases, accommodation may be located closer to the internship placement than the central office for convenience. If so, then the central office may be about 20 minutes away via public bus.

There are approx. 2 - 5 bedrooms in most homestays and everyone has their own bedroom (unless special requests are made in advance to share). Host families typically have their own bathrooms and there is a separate bathroom which is shared amongst the program guests.

Living is comfortable, however it’s important to note that the infrastructure in Cusco is different from other developed cities. Water is cut-off intermittently at various times during the day. Most of the time, the water is running early in the morning, in the afternoons and evenings. It’s advised to shower in the morning and early evening (shower pressure can be low, and the water is typically warm but not steaming hot). On occasion, the water can be cut-off for longer periods of time (but with a fair warning). There is usually 24-hour electricity but from time to time the power can be cut-off without warning.

It is endeavoured to provide WiFi in the home-stay accommodation, but the signal may not always be strong and from time to time, may go down.

Please note that the accommodation pictured in the photo gallery of this webpage is provided as an example. Since we work with more than one option for homestay accommodation, the exact accommodation that you’re assigned may differ from the photos. However, you can expect a similar standard and similar amenities, to what is shown.


Internships in Cusco include three meals per day, served at the homestay. A typical Peruvian breakfast is provided and consists of bread, spreads, juice, coffee or tea, and fruit. Lunch is generally the biggest meal of the day, and often consists of a soup and a main dish. Dinner commonly consists of meat (often chicken), soups, pastas, starches and vegetables. Please be sure to let us know of any specific dietary requirements that you have in advance, so that we may ensure your hosts are aware and make recommendations accordingly.

Essential country information

Capital Lima
Population 29.99 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN)
Time zone UTC-05:00
Weather and climate:

Peru, unlike other equatorial countries, does not have an exclusively tropical climate; the influence of the Andes and the Humboldt Current causes great climatic diversity within the country. In the mountainous region, rain is frequent during summer and temperatures and humidity diminish with altitude up to the frozen peaks of the Andes. The Jungle is characterized by heavy rainfal​l​ and high temperatures, with the exception of its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall.