Obstetric Medicine & Gynecology Internships in Arusha
The provision of Obstetric Medicine & Gynecology services is a top priority for the Ministry of Health in Tanzania, given the country’s efforts to reduce their infant mortality rate. Internships within this field provide valuable and rewarding learning experiences, which are sure to have a lasting impact on personal and professional development.
- Gain practical understanding into this career path from qualified local professionals.
- Build genuine relationships and assist both new and expecting mothers.
- Enjoy spare time in Arusha, go on safari in the Serengeti, and explore world famous natural landscapes.
Type of host organizations:
- Health clinics
- Birthing clinics
The provision of Obstetric Medicine & Gynecology services is a top priority for the Ministry of Health in Tanzania, given the country’s efforts to reduce their infant mortality rate. Government and healthcare teams work tirelessly to ensure that babies are delivered safely and given the best care and support during their critical early years. Internships within this field provide valuable and rewarding learning experiences, which are sure to have a lasting impact on personal and professional development.
This is an in-country internship, with accommodation and meals provided.
Fertility rates remain high across Africa and there is a challenge to ensure that both expectant mothers and new babies receive the best care and support. Women and families who are affected by low socioeconomic status are vulnerable to receiving poorer health outcomes, given restricted access to nutrition, education, and general resources for health and wellbeing. This internship is ideal for those looking to gain practical experience in all aspects of pregnancy, from prenatal care to postnatal care and reproduction. As an intern, you’ll observe and assist professional healthcare providers as they administer evaluations, diagnoses, and treatments to female patients.
Interns cater to the wider Tanzanian community, shadowing medical professionals in the obstetric and reproductive care for women suffering from medical issues before, during and after pregnancy. You will work alongside the obstetric and gynecology surgeons, as well as maternity staff, to help pregnant women struggling with complex pregnancies and Cesarean Section deliveries. The types of procedures commonly performed by the medical team include:
- Spinal or IV anesthesia for C-sections
- C-Sections and uterine dilation/curettage/evacuation procedures
- Deliveries (including vacuum assisted deliveries. emergency C-sections, etc)
- Perineal laceration repair (e.g. 3rd and 4th degree lacerations and obstetric fistulas)
- Management of fetal malpresentation (external cephalic version or breech delivery)
- Neonatal resuscitation
- Gynecological examination
- Management of post delivery gynecological issues
- Family planning consultations
It’s important for medical interns to be prepared for a very different healthcare system than what you may be used to at home. Healthcare in Tanzania can be under-resourced and under-funded, and patients may endure conditions that would be considered rare or unacceptable in your own home country. For placements, interns will travel like a local, walking or taking public transport to their placement each day.
Note that supervision on these internships is handled by a range of medical professionals. Interns must expect to work in a multidisciplinary team. Depending on your medical department and variations of your daily roster, this may include nursing teams, doctors, or other department heads. Such team members are in the best position to provide guidance, direction, and answer questions as it will pertain to current duties and responsibilities. Therefore, there is not one sole supervisor throughout, as interns interact with a range of local staff in various positions, deferring to their expertise and instruction. Outside of the placement supervision, interns additionally have access to support from the Program Director, who oversees placement allocation. This internship is conducted in English. However, you can expect that some patient interactions will be carried out in local languages. Local staff can debrief these sessions in English with you afterwards - just ensure that you ask.
While you may encounter culture shock, it is important to remain professional and compassionate at all times. You’ll be encouraged to consider the local staff as valuable and knowledgeable resources and mentors. They’re in the best position to provide guidance and local context into the needs and challenges of the local community, and will be happy to support your learning experience throughout this internship abroad.
Due to the unpredictable nature of patient flow in clinics and hospitals, interns should note that the timing of treatments can be irregular. This means that there will be days which are very busy, as well as slower days if patient workload is lighter. Interns should be adaptable, proactive and willing to help where it’s needed. You will be welcome to discuss your schedule at all times throughout the internship, should you wish to pick up any extra hours. This is subject to availability and must always be discussed with your in-country coordinator, who would facilitate any necessary arrangements for you.
It is important to note that the internship placements grouped as “Medical” require interns to make a Ministry of Health contribution. This supports the operation of placements and covers supervision for interns on medical-related placements. This contribution is not included in the internship program fee; it must be made directly, in-country, under the direction and guidance of the Program Coordinator in Arusha. Interns will not be permitted to commence their placement until this has been covered. The amount of the Ministry of Health contribution varies, as it is not the same for every clinic/hospital. However, to cover the contribution sufficiently, we ask interns to budget up to US$75 per week.
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.
Approximately Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm. It is important to understand that flexibility is a key requirement for this internship placement, as there are no “standard business hours” for childbirth and babies may not be delivered every week. Interns will establish a regular and expected schedule with the supervisor. You will be welcome to adapt your schedule or contribute extra hours, provided that discussion and agreement to do so takes place between you and your coordinator/supervisor.
Obstetric Medicine & Gynecology interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
Shadowing and assisting local obstetric and gynecology surgeons, as well as labour and delivery staff.
Assisting expectant mothers in antenatal classes and birthing preparation.
Helping new mothers and infant babies, under the supervision and guidance of your supervisor.
Collaborating with the local medical team to promote safe and healthy birthing practices.
Professional development opportunities:
Build your understanding of the routine roles of obstetric surgery and gynaecology department staff.
Gain understanding in building relationships with new and expecting mothers.
Build culturally intelligent communication skills, while building a sensitive perspective and engaging in self reflection.
Gain experience in responsible duties before, during and after childbirth.
Enhance practical skills and boost your employability, with guidance from Intern Abroad HQ’s Experiential Learning Curriculum to support your learning and cultural intelligence.
Tanzania photo gallery
Read reviews from our Tanzania Interns
”I have learned so much about healthcare in impoverished areas during my time in Tanzania and the importance of quick thinking and innovation in medicine. As a future doctor, I will never forget my experience and strive to stress the importance of compassion in practice to all future healthcare teams.”
Read reviews from our Tanzania Interns
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$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||$1,769 Equivalent to $63/day|
|5 weeks||$1,874 Equivalent to $53/day|
|6 weeks||$1,979 Equivalent to $47/day|
|8 weeks||$2,244 Equivalent to $40/day|
|10 weeks||$2,454 Equivalent to $35/day|
|12 weeks||$2,664 Equivalent to $31/day|
|16 weeks||$3,264 Equivalent to $29/day|
|20 weeks||$3,824 Equivalent to $27/day|
|24 weeks||$4,384 Equivalent to $26/day|
- Airport pick-up
- Daily breakfast and dinner
- 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
- Lunches and weekend meals
- All in-country transportation
- Return transportation to the airport at program conclusion
- 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 USD is required to secure your internship
- It is important to note that the internship placements grouped as "Medical" require interns to make a Ministry of Health contribution. This supports the operation of placements and covers supervision for interns on medical-related placements. This contribution is not included in the internship program fee; it must be made directly, in-country, under the direction and guidance of the Program Coordinator in Arusha. Interns will not be permitted to commence their placement until this has been covered. The amount of the Ministry of Health contribution varies, as it is not the same for every clinic/hospital. However, to cover the contribution sufficiently, we ask interns to budget up to US$75 per week.
- 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 Tanzania 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.
Typical ports of entry include the local Arusha Airport (ARK) or the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). If you are planning to spend time independently in Tanzania 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. Return transport to the airport will be provided to interns at no cost, provided they’re making their way back to the airport on either the Saturday or Sunday of their final week.
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.
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Accommodation and WiFi
Interns in Arusha are accommodated together on one of the city’s most top-rated guest houses, located in a quiet and friendly neighbourhood (just 15 minutes from town center). Living is safe, clean, modern and comfortable, including 24/7 gated security, housekeeping, and a live-in local coordinator. (Laundry services are not included but can be arranged directly for a small fee). Amenities include hot showers, WiFi, and satellite television (in common areas). Interns can expect to share a bedroom with 1- 5 other guests, of the same gender. Bathroom facilities are shared. Private/en-suite room upgrades are subject to availability and must be arranged directly with the local team, once registered.
Please note that the accommodation pictured in the photo gallery of this webpage is provided as an example. Since we may work with more than one apartment (depending on capacity), the exact accommodation that you’re assigned may differ slightly from the photos. Rooms sizes, along with storage space, may also vary.
Internships in Arusha include breakfast and dinner, prepared and served Monday to Friday at the guest house accommodation. Typical dishes in Tanzania are influenced by seasonal produce and the dinner menu is usually set according to a weekly rotating schedule. For example, dinner meals may cover Wali Rosti (rice and meat stew), spaghetti bolognese, Wali Umboga (rice and vegetables), pilau, and chapati maharage (a thin wholemeal pancake cooked on a griddle, with beans). Dinner dishes are accompanied with salad. Breakfasts consist of fresh seasonal fruit, fried eggs, and bread with spreads (plus tea and coffee). A filtered cold water dispenser is available in the common area for use to reduce the amount of plastic bottle use. Bottled water is readily available in Tanzania and volunteers should budget approximately US$5 per week for this (2 liters per day). Please be sure to let us know of any specific dietary requirements that you have in advance (i.e. allergies and intolerances), so that we may ensure your hosts are aware and make recommendations to you accordingly. However, it is important to note that the provided meals will not reflect what you are used to eating at home and flexibility is required. Interns are encouraged to budget extra spending money for any special snacks/treats.
Activities and tourism
There is an array of activities to enjoy during your stay in Arusha, as well as touristic excursions to attractions within Tanzania. Located on the “safari circuit”, the internship program is based near to some of Africa’s most beautiful environments, including Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and Arusha National Park on Mount Meru. Whether you’re content with local entertainment, such as Maasai markets, cafes, music, nightlife, and cinema, or you’re planning to book in big ticket items such as overnight safari camps and mountain trekking adventures, our local team will assist you with itinerary advice and planning.
Day trips are popular among interns and perfect for taking advantage of the weekends during your internship. Depending on the excursion, the rates can range from US$60 up to US$450, including round trip transportation and lunch. (The more expensive day trip rates cover transportation to destinations that are further afield, such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro. Note that the day trip cost will typically exclude additional gate entry fees, which may be subject to change). While you’re planning your internship in Tanzania, don’t miss:
- Arusha National Park: Near Mt Meru, the park offers easy game drives and scenic walking tours, where you can discover beautiful streams, waterfalls and rivers.
- Tarangire: This destination offers the chance to spot the Big Five. Keep an eye out for herds of elephants, lion prides, giraffes and many more animals within their natural habitat.
- Lake Manyara: This lush oasis was once described by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest in Africa”. Relax on a peaceful game drive and enjoy the vista of buffalo, flamingo, lions, impala and more.
- Serengeti: One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the famous Serengeti ecosystem extends right up to Kenya.
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area: Located in northern Tanzania, the region is home to the Big Five and boasts the vast, volcanic Ngorongoro Crater - a breathtaking natural wonder.
- Metaruni Waterfalls Hike: Go trekking to the waterfalls through the foothills overshadowed by Mt Kilimanjaro. Enjoy lunch in the town of Moshi.
- Hot Springs: It’s a longer drive to visit the natural hot springs in Moshi, but worth the trip! Soak in the warm waters against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Maasai Culture Tour: Visit a Maasai homestead for a friendly guided experience and meet members from the impressive nomadic tribe, who retain their unique cultural identity.
- Snake Park: Check out a variety of snake breeds, from small grass snakes to cobras. The park is also home to other species of birds and amphibians and features a Maasai market.
Overnight safari tours and trekking
If you want to plan a Tanzanian adventure before or after your internship, we can assist you to arrange overnight camping safaris of the Northern Circuit (Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro), as well as a Mount Kilimanjaro trekking package (all inclusive six day climb). Extended safari tours are popular and two all-inclusive options offer either camping or lodge accommodation. Pricing details can be provided to interns once they have registered.
Essential country information
|Languages||Swahili and English|
|Currency||Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)|
Weather and climate:
In Arusha, where the Tanzania internship programs are based, the warm season typically lasts from January till late March. During this period, the average daily high is around 81°F / 27°C. The cooler season is from mid May till late August and the coldest month of the year is usually in July, when the low reaches around 56°F / 13°C. The dry season is considered to run from late May through till mid November. Rainfall can occur during the rest of the year, December through April.
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