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Psychology Internships in Cape Town

Psychology Internships in Cape Town

Psychology internships in Cape Town offer exclusive opportunities to learn about inpatient services, community health, addiction, substance abuse, and more. Interns assist experienced local professionals in multidisciplinary teams, shadowing and observing real life therapies to develop valuable experience and understanding.

Internship Highlights:
  • Gain a first hand insight into the daily life of psychologists
  • Build your knowledge of psychological assessment and assistance by observing real life therapy sessions
  • Enjoy spare time exploring the unique and eclectic city of Cape Town, and wider South Africa
Type of host organizations:
  • Private and public therapy clinics
  • Special education schools
Fully hosted experience from $2149
Includes accommodation
Typical schedule: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm
Minimum duration 4 weeks, up to 24 weeks maximum
Go on safari & discover wildlife
Get job-ready with our Experiential Learning Curriculum
Internships align with UN Sustainable Development Goals
Eligibility requirements and Associated career paths
Eligibility requirement

Undergraduate Degree (or currently enrolled) in a related field. Suitable for recent graduates (within 24 months of course completion)

Language requirements

This internship is conducted in English.

Associated career paths

Clinical Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist, Educational Psychologist, Health Psychologist, Occupational Therapy, Learning Mentor/Tutor, Special Educational, Family Support Worker, Youth/Social Worker

Internship details

Psychology internships in Cape Town offer exclusive opportunities to learn about inpatient services, community health, addiction, substance abuse, and more. Interns assist experienced local professionals in multidisciplinary teams, shadowing and observing real life therapies to develop valuable experience and understanding.

This is an in-country internship, with accommodation provided. Click here to view remote Psychology & Social Work internships which you can undertake from home.

With its legacy of Apartheid and the deep scars it created, South Africa has large numbers of poverty stricken communities, where violence and substance abuse are common. As a Psychology intern in Cape Town, you’ll gain rare insight into the unique factors contributing to these issues and many more.

Psychology interns shadow and assist local therapists in clinics in Cape Town, within multidisciplinary teams such as:

  • Adult In-patient Services
  • Adult Community Mental Health Services
  • Child & Adolescent Services
  • Consultation
  • Prevention & Program Evaluation Services
  • Addiction & Substance Abuse Services
  • Neuropsychological & Psychological Assessment Services

There are a wide range of internship placements available, and interns can request placements within specific fields if you wish. These requests are accommodated wherever possible. Regardless of your exact internship placement, you’ll intern alongside an experienced supervisor during their day-to-day duties, including patient sessions, diagnosis and research. These are unique opportunities to put your theoretical understanding into practice and can and insight into the real life world of being a therapist. Note that all internship experiences require supervision as interns are not independently responsible for conducting sessions.

Due to the broad scope of Psychology internship placements, interns will be matched according to an analysis of your skills, experience, educational background, and duration of stay. Interns should submit a comprehensive application and state any placement/activity preferences. The specific details of the assigned placement will be provided prior to the program start date.

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

Psychology interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
  • Shadowing and observing therapy sessions

  • Researching patient symptoms and interventions

Professional development opportunities:
  • Understand the day-to-day duties of practicing psychologists

  • Develop your experience providing assessments and treatments for patients with a range of issues and feelings

  • Build professional understanding in running therapy sessions and establishing trusting patient relationships

  • Develop professional 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

What recent interns said about their experience

Eniola Adeoyelawal
June 2022

I've always wanted to travel the world and I saw this internship opportunity as a way to start this process. I took a chance and decided to just go for it! My Psychology internship really left a lasting impression on me, how I see the world and how I am in the world. The internship work predominantly revolved around the family structure and services to the community. Here I was able to visit different townships and hold sessions and activities for children that focused on developing resilience, self awareness and ways to control emotions when placed in different environments. Seeing the different modes of treatment, how different healthcare systems work, how organizations make use of these systems, the resources available to them and how the community interacts with these taught me so much. I aspire to become a clinical psychologist, so this experience has really allowed me to enrich my perspective on how I would position myself better and help my future clients. My supervisor in Cape Town pushed me to learn how to operate in a different social and cultural context. They provided a lot of resources to help me understand how to run sessions and manage different clients from different backgrounds and challenges. I felt very supported and secure with going to them with any questions and concerns.

Ẹniọlá Adeoyelawal
June 2022

This internship opportunity has allowed me to develop myself and enrich my life goals through immersion and understanding of African culture. I am glad to have taken that opportunity as I was challenged, stretched, and developed in many ways. During my Psychology internship, I developed a keen understanding of the holistic perspective of a person and project, and enhanced my flexibility to create compelling and productive programmes. My overall internship entailed working alongside social workers to develop and facilitate programmes focused on emotions, family strengthening workshops, and local community enhancement. For anyone considering a similar internship abroad, go for it, explore, make mistakes, learn, have fun, and embody the better version of yourself you know you want to be!

Jessica Eland
October 2019

My internship was incredible!! It has really opened my eyes to different cultures and different ways of life! It was a month long in South Africa and I’d go back in a heartbeat! My internship placement wasn’t the greatest because it was more focused on administration than I would have liked it to be, but I emailed Daniel while I was out there and he couldn’t have been more helpful! Even now that I have been back 4 months if I need anything for my university course he will provide it for me! Honestly this internship was amazing and I’d highly recommend it to anyone! It’s a bit on the pricy side but with what you get included it is actually value for money! I’d recommend Intern Abroad HQ to anyone! So good!!

Miriam Smith
August 2019

I had the most amazing experience doing an internship in Cape Town, South Africa over this summer. I did a psychology internship for four weeks. Intern Abroad HQ, thank you for giving me the trip of a lifetime. The internship I did is very helpful for my future career and I am so grateful that Intern Abroad HQ gave me this opportunity. Intern Abroad HQ really helps you find an internship that is right for you. They were so helpful every step of the way. I met amazing interns and I made everlasting memories. I got to see a beautiful country while doing an internship related to what I am studying. Everyone I met was so friendly. I got to learn about a new culture. I definitely recommend this program to anyone who likes travelling and is looking for a trip they will never forget.


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Our commitment to providing safe internship experiences

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 $2,149 Equivalent to $76 /day
5 weeks $2,320 Equivalent to $66 /day
6 weeks $2,517 Equivalent to $59 /day
8 weeks $2,859 Equivalent to $51 /day
10 weeks $3,514 Equivalent to $50 /day
12 weeks $3,858 Equivalent to $45 /day
16 weeks $4,654 Equivalent to $41 /day
20 weeks $5,340 Equivalent to $38 /day
24 weeks $6,027 Equivalent to $35 /day
  • Airport pick-up
  • 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 meals
  • 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.

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 arrangements will be confirmed, once your internship placement has also been assigned. In most cases, accommodation will be situated in the upmarket suburb of Newlands, enjoyed for its leafy surroundings, access to hiking trails, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, and proximity to the beaches of Muizenberg and the CBD. Alternatively, accommodations may also be situated within the Observatory district, known for its student-friendly atmosphere and convenient proximity to the University of Cape Town.

Interns are accommodated within shared lodging, making it easy to connect with fellow program participants. Interns can expect to share a room with another intern (of the same gender). Bathrooms are also 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 an accommodation bond is requested at check-in. The cost of the bond is US$150, so you must budget for this. However, this bond is fully refundable to you, upon your departure, provided that inspection has been completed to confirm that you have not caused damage to the property or a need for extensive deep cleaning.

Transportation is not provided for in-country commutes between the accommodation and internship placements, so all interns must budget for this independently. The maximum travel time is typically no more than 60 minutes each way (depending on traffic congestion in the city). In all cases, internship placements will be assigned in consideration of commute logistics and opportunities to ride-share with other interns, where possible.

For convenience and safety, local coordinators can arrange a dedicated shuttle service for ongoing placement commutes (Monday through Friday). The cost for this service ranges from approx. US$150 - US$250 a month, per person, depending on the location of your placement. (On a daily basis, this could be equated to approx. US$6-9 per day). If you want to organize this service, please communicate with coordinators when your placement details are being arranged in advance.

Alternatively, for the use of Uber, it is possible to spend US$10-US$20 per day on rides, depending on where you’re going. Please budget for this, especially if you intend to use this transportation method a lot during weekends and free time.


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 (this budget can vary depending on personal spending habits). Note that, when you go to a restaurants, there is a cultural expectation to tip at least 10%.

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)
Population 55.91 million
Languages Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Tswana
Currency South African Rand (ZAR)
Time zone UTC+02:00
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.