What is the Occupational Therapy in South Africa all about?
Occupational Therapy in South Africa is a significantly growing field as in other parts of the world. Locally, the project is run within different types of setting in Cape Town which aims to support children and elders including hospitals, rehabilitative settings, special-needs schools, NGOs, and geriatric centers.
Depending on your background and interest, you may choose between rehabilitative occupational therapy, pediatric occupational therapy, mental health occupational therapy or geriatric occupational therapy.
During the occupational therapy internships, you may be involved in 1:1 sessions, integrated health group sessions, experiencing staff meetings, being involved with the assessments of patients, contributing to problem-saving sessions, assisting in individualized intervention programs, amongst many others. This will depend on your background, level of studies as well as the need of the projects at the time of your placement.
Occupational therapy internships can be a great way to learn about the healthcare system and key limitations in the African context. Through a South African internship, participants can gain daily exposure to health issues that affect children and adults health.
Why choose this Occupational Therapy in South Africa placement?
- Work alongside professional South African occupational therapists and gain practical experience and insight that can support your future career.
- Bring meaning to the lives of individuals and having a positive effect on their health and well-being during your time with them.
- Advance your leadership and interpersonal communication skills in a multicultural environment
Role of the therapist intern
As an occupational therapy intern, you will have the opportunity to work alongside qualified therapists and teachers and observe how they go about their duties while helping them assess patients and off guidance on how they may improve their daily life. In some instance, you might be able to be involved with a full team of therapists made up of physiotherapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists as some of the students have physical disabilities. The therapists’ team will help the teachers set goals and implement different therapeutic practices in the classroom.
As an intern on an occupational therapy placement abroad, you will be under the supervision of a local occupational therapist who will guide you and play the role of a mentor. As an Occupational Therapy in South Africa intern, you will also be asked to deliver workshops and pieces of training for the community members to ensure the well-being of the collectivity.
What skills do I need to be an Occupational Therapy Intern in South Africa?
Experience in healthcare is a plus since it would allow you to take a more active role. Students with previous experience working and studying physiology, anatomy, developmental psychology or other experiences in rehabilitative centers would be great assets for this placement! Other soft skills like willingness to learn, dedication, patience and passion to help children and the elderly is a must. As you will be living and working in a different country than your own, you will need to be adaptable, flexible and somewhat outgoing. Also, note that because resources are already scarce, a good comment of the English language is a must.
Travel during COVID times
The health and safety of our travelers and our local communities remain central to our plans for reopening countries and projects. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been adapting our programs and protocols to protect all those involved, and ask for everyone’s patience and collaboration as new rules are implemented in-country. For all projects, new standards of sanitation, procedures and social behaviors are in place, including new health and hygiene protocols and social distancing practices. You can read more here. Each location may be slightly different in the way they operate. We encourage you to inquire to your placement advisor to learn more about your specific project as you plan for your responsible return to travel!
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To gain practical experience and insight that can support your future career.
Work alongside professional South African occupational therapists
Be exposed to the healthcare system abroad
Where will I work in South Africa?
About the Location
Cape Town is a great place to be based when visiting South Africa. The city has a lot to offer despite being separated by a barrier of mountains. The unique climate will offer a range of activities, and you surely do not want to miss on taking a ride up Table Mountain Arial Cableway to put the city and ocean views into perspective.
You will be staying in a single room sharing communal areas with other interns, just 6 kilometers outside of Cape Town City Center. The area is well-known and home to many locals and foreign nations, many of them studying at the University of Cape Town. The suburb is known as Observatory (“Obz” for the locals). It is a multi-racial and cosmopolitan community with many bookshops, artsy thrift shops, galleries and lots of café’s and restaurants to choose from.
What to do in your spare time
The area is full of vibey bars, cafés and amazing restaurants. Cape Town being a renowned destination and home to the iconic Table mountain, you will have plenty to do in your free time. From beautiful beaches, stunning vineyards, beautiful scenic drives to markets and the famous Garden Route, you are sure to enjoy your time in South Africa while doing your placement abroad. This is also a perfect place to experience windsurfing, hiking, kayaking and many other watersports.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 4-12 weeks
- Cost: £3032 / $4733 for 4 weeks
£154 / $240 per week for additional weeks
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: Cape Town, South Africa
- Working hours: Mondays through Fridays, 30 hours per week
- Project availability: Weekly year-round
- Arrival day: Sunday
What is included
- Accommodation: single room in a house with communal space
- Food: no meals included
- Airport: pick-up and drop-off from/to Cape Town International Airport
- Access to personal online Kaya Community account including:
- Pre-departure information pack for “country”
- Fundraising Guide
- How to Manage your Money Abroad Guide
- Learning Reflection Guide
- Healthcare Ethics and Culture Documents
- On the ground training:
- Cultural and safety orientation and project induction
- Weekly culture series
- Weekly social gatherings
- Support: 24-hour support including emergency contact numbers from local team
- Excursion Planning assistance from local staff (activity prices may be extra)
- Certificate on completion of your internship placement diary and presentation to the local team
- Supervision from qualified professional
- Wi-Fi in accommodation
- Laundry in accommodation
What is not included
- Food: meals are not included
- No transport to/from project
- Police/Government Background Check: US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies); all other nationalities must provide local police check.
- Routine vaccinations
- Refundable accommodation damages deposit of $250
- Any costs for COVID-19 PCR tests required pre-departure and in-country
Easy 4-step application process
Click here to apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
Learn about the Moroccan healthcare system while shadowing laboratory staff at a private clinic
Supplement your class-based learning by joining this psychology internship in Jamaica, and gain hands-on, practical experience.
Come to Cape Coast and work in a laboratory in a local hospital supporting a local Ghanaian community.
Take part in a Psychology and Social Work Internship in Ecuador and develop your skills and gain experience abroad
Join our 8-week wildness gap year program and discover more about both yourself and South Africa!
Join our 8-week wildlife conservation and community development gap year program, and explore South Africa in an exciting and meaningful way!
Join the sustainability internship in South Africa and make an impact environmentally, economically or culturally depending on your field!
Join the nursing and medical internship in South Africa, shadow professionals locally to develop your own skills and learn about healthcare.
Join our social work internship in South Africa and get involved in a local community while developing your professional skills in a different environment.