South Africa – Cape Town Medical Internship

Please Note: This program is temporarily unavailable. Check out our alternative programs in Africa or schedule a one-on-one call with one of our expert volunteer advisors.


Become a medical intern in Cape Town to provide care for those in need while gaining international work experience and enhancing your CV and skillset!

Internship Highlights:

  • Make a difference in the lives of the patients\
  • Gain international work experience
  • Enhance your CV
  • Gain insight into the South African healthcare system
  • Develop a global understanding of healthcare and medicine
  • Discover the South African culture and health-related challenges
  • Clock clinical hours
  • Receive a letter of recommendation upon successful completion


Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum four-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Saturday: Arrive at Cape Town International Airport (CPT). You will be picked up by the local team and taken to your accommodation in Observatory. After everyone has arrived, there will be a welcome barbecue dinner for all the volunteers (a South African Braai), and free time for sightseeing.

Day 1, Sunday: Continuation of your orientation, which includes tours of the major sights around Cape Town.

Day 2, Monday: Training for new interns, administrative tasks, preparation for the program for the rest of the week.

Days 3-5, Tuesday-Friday: Rewarding internship work at the hospital. Your daily tasks will differ depending on the placement assignment you’ll receive upon arrival.

Days 7-8, Saturday-Sunday: Weekends are free for volunteers to rest or explore Cape Town and its surrounds.

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday, and having weekends free. Departures are on a Saturday.


Location icon Location of the Project: Cape Town, South Africa

Project length Project length: Minimum 1 month (3 months is the recommended minimum)

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Cape Town International Airport (CPT)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Shadowing medical professionals, patient care, clinic work

Age Age: Minimum age of 18

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 8 international volunteers


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared rooms in a hostel

Food Food: Breakfasts are included during orientation

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival

Orientation Orientation: Two-day orientation (Sat-Sun) in Cape Town included upon arrival that includes tours of the area, an African barbecue, and free time for sightseeing. Volunteer work begins on Monday.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, most meals (recommended budget 125 Rand per day), personal expenses.

Voted as one of the world’s top tourist destinations, South Africa‘s Cape Town boasts an incredibly wide range of attractions. The area hosts several unique cultural and heritage sites, such as Robben Island, Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront. Interns on this specific program will be living in Observatory, which is a suburb of Cape Town. This suburb is often called “Obz” by Cape Town locals and is a neighborhood with a large population of college and university students. There is a varied selection of bars and restaurants as well as a shopping center.


Arrival and Orientation in Cape Town (Included):
Prior to your volunteering, you will participate in an orientation in Cape Town. Orientation is on Saturday and Sunday and includes a traditional South African barbecue dinner, called a Braai and a guided tour of the area.


Medical interns will be assigned to tasks that are dependent on both availability and previous experience. In general, interns will be shadowing the hospital’s medical professionals. Those who are qualified may be able to assist nurses with hands-on tasks when needed such as taking patients’ vitals or assisting with screenings. Interns may also be involved in educational outreach at a local clinic about specific prevalent diseases or may assist in directing walk-ins to the correct clinic or hospital unit. All medical interns will be exposed to the South African health care system and all internship work will be greatly appreciated by local staff. Interns will be able to clock clinical hours and receive a letter of recommendation upon completion of the internship.


Some of your tasks may include:

  • Shadowing medical professionals and assisting when necessary
  • Assisting in triage, pharmacy, maternity obstetrics units
  • Taking vital signs
  • Redirecting patients to the correct unit
  • Administering HIV tests
  • Educating patients in various clinics about non-communicable diseases


Typical Schedule: Interns will work Monday-Friday from around 8:00 AM- 4:00 PM and have weekends free.


Please note: Specific placements and internship tasks depend on availability and experience. Clinical rotations take place once per month. Interns who choose to participate for only one month will work either in child care units or in wound care. Interns who stay for a duration of three months will be able to intern in a variety of units.


Holidays: Interns will not work on public holidays.

Internet icon Internet: WiFi is available at the hostel.

Laundry icon Laundry: Laundry services are not included, but there are laundromats nearby that are available for a small fee.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Interns will be in shared, dorm-style rooms in a hostel in Observatory, Cape Town with up to seven other hostel guests. These rooms may be mixed gender, but same-gender rooms can be provided if requested in advance. Bathrooms are shared. Beds and sheets are provided, but interns must bring their own towels. Transfers to/from internship and accommodations are included.

Food icon Food: Breakfast is included during orientation, but interns will need to arrange and prepare all other meals. During orientation they will be shown to the nearby grocery stores.


Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:

  • Police clearance
  • Reference letter from educational institution , either college or university
  • Intermediate level of competency in English
  • Two recommendation letters from educational, professional or community contact
  • Letter of motivation
  • Must be independent

Travel Extras (Not Included):
Make the most out of your time in Cape Town by signing up for any of these activities during your weekend or days off. You may sign up following registration. Please note there is an additional fee for these activities.

  • Kitesurfing, windsurfing, sandboarding and/or paragliding lessons
  • Tours of Cape Point, Cape Town, Robben Island, and/or the Townships
  • Wine Route Tour
  • Kloofing (cliff jumping), skydiving, and/or quad biking outings
  • Walking tour of the Ostrich Ranch
  • Abseiling Table Mountain
  • Shark cage diving
  • Game drive through a Big 5 safari


Add on our eight-day Garden Route Road Trip to enhance your South Africa experience!

Volunteer Experiences

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