Social Work Internships in Cape Town
Gain practical insights and experience in social work within townships around Cape Town. Intern with well-established and high profile non-profit organizations in various sectors, assisting with the challenging and demanding role of helping the most disadvantaged members of the South African community with a range of social issues.
- Learn about the issues faced by other members of society and how you can help to address them
- Make a difference to the lives of those in disadvantaged communities in Cape Town
- Enjoy spare time exploring the unique and eclectic city of Cape Town, and wider South Africa
Type of host organizations:
These Social Work Internships offer practical insights and experience in social work within townships around Cape Town. Intern with well-established and high profile non-profit organizations in various sectors, assisting with the challenging and demanding role of helping the most disadvantaged members of the South African community with a range of social issues.
This is an in-country internship, with accommodation provided. Click here to view remote Psychology & Social Work internships which you can undertake from home.
For those wanting to gain experience and insight into helping underprivileged communities, completing a Social Work internship in Cape Town is a hugely valuable learning experience. You’ll be assisting people who live with very little, gaining an understanding of how their situations affect their daily lives and how best to help them.
Social Work interns are placed with non-profits that work within disadvantaged communities focusing on issues such as childcare, at risk youth, poverty, conflict resolution, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, refugees, and gender issues. You’ll be assisting local professionals on a wide range of tasks, including delivering individual and group assistance, providing food, water and health products, organizing fundraisers and awareness campaigns and assisting people with disputes.
Due to the broad scope of the program, interns are matched to an appropriate placement according to an analysis of your skills, experience, educational background, and duration of stay. Interns wanting to gain experience in a particular field should include details in your application. Requests are accommodated wherever possible, though are subject to availability.
Interns should come prepared to encounter the reality of what it means to be disadvantaged in South Africa. Many communities live in poverty, and this can be confronting for interns. You should be open-minded and willing to help, with the understanding that your role can make a huge difference to the lives of locals, and that the lessons you’ll learn will help to set you up for a rewarding career in social work.
During your weekends in Cape Town, you can visit the District Six Museum, Robben Island, and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. These excellent sites can provide more understanding of South Africa’s history, to deepen the immersive and educational experience of your internship. There are also beautiful scenic attractions that you won’t want to miss - whether hiking Table Mountain, Signal Hill or Lion’s Head for panoramic views of the city, relaxing on the beaches, or meandering along the Garden Route to visit wineries, you’ll find that there is never a dull moment. If you want to visit Africa and plan a safari, please let us know. Our team in Cape Town will help you arrange an ethical, responsible and unforgettable tour.
Social Work interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
Running fundraising and awareness campaigns
Organizing community education programs
Helping groups and individuals to address specific issues
Professional development opportunites:
Learn about contributing factors for those living in underprivileged communities
Develop your understanding in how best to assist those with specific issues
Gain experience engaging audiences in awareness and fundraising efforts
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
”My internship in Cape Town was an unforgettable experience that I will cherish forever. There are no words to describe how grateful I am for this experience. I miss it already!”
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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||$1,418Equivalent to $101/day|
|3 weeks||$1,556Equivalent to $74/day|
|4 weeks||$1,694Equivalent to $60/day|
|5 weeks||$1,832Equivalent to $52/day|
|6 weeks||$1,970Equivalent to $46/day|
|8 weeks||$2,246Equivalent to $40/day|
|10 weeks||$2,729Equivalent to $38/day|
|12 weeks||$3,005Equivalent to $35/day|
|16 weeks||$3,557Equivalent to $31/day|
|20 weeks||$4,109Equivalent to $29/day|
|24 weeks||$4,661Equivalent to $27/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
- 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.
For the first week only, a meal service is provided while interns are getting settled in and welcomed. This includes a packed lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday of the first week. For this, let us know of any specific dietary requirements in advance, so that they may be accommodated.
After the first week of the internship, interns have the choice to either continue with this meal service (and pay directly to the local team in-country for it) or to take care of their own meals independently.
For interns who wish to take care of their own meals independently, it is convenient to do so. 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.
For interns who wish to take advantage of the catered meal service (of packed lunches and dinners throughout the week), it may be arranged directly in Cape Town. Typical lunches include juice, fruit, sandwiches, salads. Typical dinners include dishes such as stews, curries, vegetable pasta bake, rice, roasted vegetables, salads, and South African braai (BBQ).
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.