Occupational Therapy Internships in Cape Town
Learn practical occupational therapy skills and life experience assisting qualified therapists in clinics, care facilities, hospitals and schools. Help to provide treatment and diagnosis, learning from experienced professionals and assisting individuals with a range of specific care needs.
- Gain experience applying your theoretical knowledge in real life therapy sessions
- Contribute to rehabilitation and treatment for people with a range of conditions
- Enjoy spare time exploring the unique and eclectic city of Cape Town, and wider South Africa
Type of host organizations:
- Healthcare clinics
- Care facilities
Learn practical occupational therapy skills and gain real life experience assisting qualified therapists in clinics, care facilities, hospitals and schools as an Occupational Therapy intern. Help to provide treatment and diagnosis, learning from experienced professionals and assisting individuals with a range of specific care needs.
This is an in-country internship, with accommodation provided.
Interns on this Occupational Therapy internship in Cape Town build upon your theoretical knowledge foundations by experiencing practical applications alongside local professionals. Gain insight into a wide range of treatments as you help those that are struggling to improve or regain skills and mobility. You’ll gain insight into the stigmas and obstacles faced by individuals within marginalized communities, help to increase independence and self-esteem, while contributing to reversing negative societal attitudes about disability.
Typical placements for Occupational Therapy interns include children’s hospitals, special education schools, or care facilities for those with disabilities. You can also hone your skills at occupational therapy centers, which provide specialist care for those with issues such as traumatic brain injuries, trauma, oncology, burns, feeding disorders, autism, facial palsy, Down syndrome, and lymphedema.
Although daily tasks will vary widely and are influenced by your own skills and experience, interns generally assist with the day-to-day care and rehabilitation of patients. This can include physical therapy or treatment, educational and vocational training, and counseling. Interns are matched to a suitable placement that matches your skills, experience, educational background, and duration of your stay.
In your spare time, you’ll be able to enjoy the vibrant city of Cape Town. If you have a passion for being active and the great outdoors, then you’ll love the adventurous spirit of the city. Nestled between the South Atlantic Ocean and the Table Mountain National Park, you could hike and surf in the same day! (You may need a wetsuit to keep warm in the water but the penguins at Boulders Beach seem happy with the temperature!) The city scene has a thriving culture and arts community, there are excellent historical attractions to teach you about the country’s heritage, as well as wineries and delicious dining establishments. Further afield, you’ll enjoy the scenic Garden Route or a trip to the Cape Point Peninsula.
To learn more about Life as an Occupational Therapy intern in South Africa, click here to read about Viviana’s experience.
Occupational Therapy interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
Shadowing and assisting in therapy sessions
Educational and workplace training
Counseling in assistance with professional staff
Assisting with general clerical support
Professional development opportunities:
Learn how experienced therapists conduct therapy sessions
Gain specialized knowledge in the treatment of specific conditions
Understand how patient relationships are built and managed
Gain understanding of the day-to-day life of an occupational therapist
Build communication skills
Gain practical skills and boost your employability, with guidance from Intern Abroad HQ’s Experiential Learning Curriculum to support your learning and cultural intelligence.
South Africa photo gallery
”I'd say the experience was just what I needed. It taught me so much about communication, patience, and compassion. I now feel more empowered to be successful within my field, as this internship has given me tools that I didn't know I was missing. It shook me out of my comfort zone, and it made me look at everything differently. I have an edge now, and I feel empowered to use it and make a difference within my field.”
Read reviews from our South Africa InternsRead more reviews
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
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$449 to confirm your place. The remaining balance of your Program Fee (less your initial US$449 deposit payment) will be due no less than 60 days before your internship start date.
Program Fee (USD)
|2 weeks||$1,495Equivalent to $106/day|
|3 weeks||$1,647Equivalent to $78/day|
|4 weeks||$1,849Equivalent to $66/day|
|5 weeks||$2,001Equivalent to $57/day|
|6 weeks||$2,178Equivalent to $51/day|
|8 weeks||$2,481Equivalent to $44/day|
|10 weeks||$3,067Equivalent to $43/day|
|12 weeks||$3,371Equivalent to $40/day|
|16 weeks||$4,088Equivalent to $36/day|
|20 weeks||$4,695Equivalent to $33/day|
|24 weeks||$5,303Equivalent to $31/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- Airport pick-up
- 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
- Visa (if required), flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check
- Transfer back to the airport at the end of your internship program
- Optional extras, such as language lessons
- Souvenirs and leisure activities during your free time
- Personal spending money to cover basic expenses such as drinks, snacks, laundry, public transportation, and any meals not included in your Program Fee
- A deposit of $449 USD 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.
Arrival and Orientation
Internships in Cape Town begin every Monday and interns may choose to spend a minimum of 2 weeks, up to a maximum of 24 weeks. (Exceptions to start date availability may occur when start dates are closed due to public holiday disruptions or if the program has already reached capacity). Fewer internship positions are available during late December and early January, due to the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
Airport pick up and accommodation are included in the Program Fee. The accommodation is covered from the Saturday night before the Monday start date. Interns are asked to arrive on the Saturday before their Monday start date, to allow sufficient time over the weekend to rest and become oriented before beginning on the Monday. The last night of accommodation that is covered by the Program Fee is the Friday night of the final week, leaving interns to depart on the Saturday morning. Extra nights of accommodation can be pre-arranged upon request and paid for separately.
All participants fly into the Cape Town International Airport (CPT), in order to receive their airport pick up and be transported to the accommodation by a pre-arranged driver. Upon arrival to the accommodation, interns are met by a local team member, who will greet them and assist with settling in. Note that all participants are advised not to book flights until they have first registered to confirm their internship placement.
Orientation typically takes place on the Sunday before the Monday start date. It covers important details for the internship, including introductions, information about culture, customs, rules, expectations, safety, language lessons, cultural excursions, and more. Interns join their placement on the following day.
If you are planning to spend time in Cape Town prior to your internship and will not require an airport pick up, we can arrange an alternative pick up from another location within the central city.
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Accommodation and WiFi
Internship placements are spread throughout Cape Town’s main city center and surrounding suburbs. Accommodation is based in the Observatory district (known affectionately as “Obs”). The area is best known as a student neighbourhood (most of the students in the area attend the University of Cape Town) and there is great access to cafes, restaurants, and supermarkets that are within walking distance of the accommodation. Interns are accommodated in guest houses or at a hostel, all of which are close together, making it easy to connect with others and share social time. Living conditions are comfortable and interns can expect to share a room with another intern (of the same gender). Bathrooms are shared with a hot water shower and western toilets. WiFi is available and is also accessible at nearby cafes and restaurants. All accommodation provides cooking facilities.
It is important to note that internships in Cape Town do not include meals. The accommodation is located within short walking distance to an affordable supermarket, as well as great cafes and restaurants. All accommodation also provides cooking facilities.
You can readily drink the tap water throughout the city. However, it is advised to bring your own water supply when traveling to and interning in the townships.
You should aim to budget approximately US$100 per week for food. If you like to go out frequently (rather than going to the grocery store to prepare some of your own meals) then you need to budget up to US$150 per week, at least.
Activities and tourism
On the weekend, interns have spare time to relax and explore. There’s something for everyone, with nightlife, café culture, music, festivals, food markets, wine tours, hiking, and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the continent! Here are some of our top picks for activities around Cape Town:
Hiking around Table Mountain National Park, just ten minutes from central Cape Town, is a great option to keep fit and healthy and there are lots of trails to explore for any level of adventurer. Reach the top of Table mountain by foot, or take a return cable-car. Don’t forget to challenge yourself to summit Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head!
Shark cage diving is an exhilarating experience - if you’re feeling brave enough! Get eye-to-eye with a great white from the safety of a cage or observe from the comfort of the boat. Most dives cost around $130USD, but shop around and speak to others to ensure you get a fair price (based on the season).
The Neighbourgoods Market, located at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock (close to the Observatory district) features over 100 specialty traders every Saturday, creating a weekly platform for local farmers, fine-food purveyors, organic merchants, bakers and distributors, grocers, mongers, butchers, artisan producers, celebrated local chefs, and micro enterprises. Don’t miss it!
Kick back and relax over the weekend, with a slow-paced wine tour through some of Cape Town’s loveliest estates. Learn about the history of how wine was introduced to the area and sample a delicious selection.
General tours to Robben Island usually depart every day. With a rich 500 year, multi-layered history, the island is visited every year by thousands of people, who learn about important aspects of South Africa’s history.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), is located in a converted grain silo, overlooking the Atlantic on the Victoria and Alfred waterfront. The institution has 100 galleries spread over nine floors and the exhibitions focus exclusively on 21st-century work from Africa and the diaspora.
For history-buffs, take a wander through South Africa’s oldest building, the Castle of Good Hope. The magnificent building contains displays of historical and military paraphernalia, an art collection, a restaurant as well as a history of the castle itself.
Essential country information
|Capital||Pretoria (Executive), Bloemfontein (Judicial), Cape Town (Legislative)|
|Languages||Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Tswana|
|Currency||South African Rand (ZAR)|
Weather and climate:
South Africa is generally temperate, however due to varied topography and oceanic influence, a great variety of climatic zones exist. This ranges from the extreme desert of the Namib (northwest South Africa), to the subtropical climate along the Mozambique border and the Indian Ocean (eastern South Africa). Winters in South Africa occur between June and August.
In Cape Town, the summers are warm, dry, and mostly clear; the winters are long, cool, wet, and partly cloudy. It is windy year round and common to see windsurfers enjoying the surf. Over the course of the year, the temperature in Cape Town typically varies from 48°F (9°C) to 76°F (24°C). The warm season in Cape Town usually ranges from December through March and the coldest months are June through September.
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