Psychology internships in Arusha

Mental disorders are very common in almost all countries of the world, and are known to largely affect socioeconomic development and growth. Despite guidelines from WHO for mental health service frameworks, Tanzania still struggles with the successful treatment and rehabilitation of patients, who are suffering from various mental health conditions and/or additions. Limited in-patient facilities, resources and competent professionals who are to qualified to treat complex cases also means that many individuals remain untreated for years.

Psychology interns in Tanzania work in an outpatient mental health department, where patients from the community are received, assessed, diagnosed, and referred to various in-patient facilities. Interns assist alongside a mental healthcare professional to deliver vital services to patients and their families.

Activities can include:

  • Working alongside mental health clinicians and social workers
  • Observing mental health assessments and treatments
  • Assisting with counselling and psychoeducational sessions
  • Assisting with delivery of care to people who cannot access major hospitals
  • Assisting with delivery of health promotion and health education
  • Delivering small scale observational report on your experience and findings
  • Observing the effects of long term mental illness on day to day living amongst the most underprivileged, as well as the widespread impacts of mental illness on the local community

It is important to note that the pace of life in Arusha can at times be slower and less streamlined. When patient or work-flow at clinics is slow, interns must be adaptable, proactive, and willing to help where needed (as is appropriate, given the situation).

Healthcare facilities in Tanzania are unlike what you may be used to within your home country. There can be a general lack of adequate medication, as well as under-staffed facilities. Culture shock can be more pronounced and difficult in medical settings, especially when - due to limited funding and scarce resources - patients endure conditions that would be considered unacceptable in other parts of the world. Interns must come prepared to maintain a high level of professionalism, focus and compassion.

Want to get started?

Taking the first step is easy! Our team is here to provide friendly assistance, from your initial research and planning phases, right through until your internship completion. To get started, submit an application. It is free to apply and takes just 5 minutes.

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Minimum Duration

2 weeks

Eligibility Requirement

Students: A minimum of 1 year in further education (college/university) in a related clinical subject that includes a psychological component/module of study. Professionals: Experience working in mental health, counselling, psychiatry or psychology

Associated career paths

Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Mental Health Nurse, Mental Health Assistant, Counsellor, Occupational Therapist, Drug & Alcohol Counsellor

How to intern

Programs begin every Monday and participants may choose to spend a minimum of 2 weeks, up to a maximum of 24 weeks. Interns are advised not to book their flights until they have first registered to confirm their participation. Ports of entry to the program include the local Arusha Airport (ARK) or the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Airport pick up is included in the program fee. Transportation from the airport to the intern accommodation is approximately 30 minutes from Arusha Airport or 60 minutes from the Kilimanjaro International Airport. Alternatively, interns who arrive to the program overland (i.e. from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania) may be picked up from Arusha’s bus terminal.

Once interns have arrived, they are greeted by a representative of the local team and transported to the accommodation in Arusha. Accommodation is covered by the Program Fee and includes the Sunday night before the internship program orientation is held on Mondays. Orientation is provided by our local hosts and covers important details concerning introductions, support, culture, customs, safety, rules and expectations, things to see and do, and more.

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.

Interns 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.

Going abroad for an internship was one of the best things I could have done for my personal growth. It opened me up to an environment that is completely new and full of opportunity. My supervisors were all helpful with answering questions and being a friendly face to see every day. She checked in on me quite frequently to see how I was doing in my placement and overall. There is a lot of public transportation that will help you get anywhere you want. Everyone in the city who I interacted it were very friendly. I lived not too far from my work and the center of the city. The interns all got very close as well, which made Arusha feel like home. The experience was something I will treasure for a lifetime, and hopefully will get to do again sometime in the future. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone interested.
Cora Allard
Nationality: South Carolina, USA
Age: 21
Destination: Arusha, Tanzania

Internship Duration Program Fee (USD)
2 weeks $610
3 weeks $715
4 weeks $820
5 weeks $925
6 weeks $1030
8 weeks $1240
10 weeks $1450
12 weeks $1660

It is important to note that internship fees in Tanzania do not include Ministry of Health contributions / placement donations. These vary depending on the placement and length of the internship and must be contributed in-country. For more details, contact your Program Manager.

  • To convert these prices to your local currency visit the XE currency converter.
  • All Intern Abroad programs attract a Registration Fee of US$299 in addition to the Program Fee.
  • All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges. International wire transfer payments attract a minimum fee of US$75.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply

What extra costs will I have?

  • Visa and permit to intern in Tanzania, Ministry of Health contributions / placement donations.
  • Flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program.
  • Souvenirs + tourism/leisure activities during free time.
  • Personal spending money to cover basic expenses such as drinks, snacks, laundry, and public transportation. Interns generally find US$50 per week to be sufficient (excluding Ministry of Health contributions / placement donations).

Registration fee

What it covers
  • Dedicated intern support
  • Comprehensive internship guide
  • Reflection learning course
  • Flight and travel insurance deals

Program fee

What it covers
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Internship placement
  • Learning support service
  • Accommodation & meals

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

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.

Capital Dodoma
Population 47.78 million
Languages Swahili and English
Currency Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
Time zone UTC+03:00

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.