Medic Internship in South Africa or Costa Rica


Develop your paramedic skills accompanying young volunteers on the trip of a lifetime

This is a remarkable opportunity for a recently graduated medic or qualified doctor or nurse to seek international experience in incident management and paramedic support.

You’ll work as part of an organization that arranges service-focused expeditions for young people designed to develop their life skills, confidence, and global awareness. These trips include volunteer projects and adventure leadership experience in remote locations and require extensive logistical planning to ensure volunteer safety.

As an intern, you’ll be responsible for maintaining the health and safety of volunteers as they embark on this transformative expedition. Based in the organization’s in-country field base, taking occasional visits to project sites, you’ll deliver medical support (sometimes over the phone), complete incident reports, and ensure volunteer safety throughout the expeditions.

Learning Objectives

  • Practical experience as a paramedic and medical support officer
  • Gain behind-the-scenes insights into Raleigh’s operations
  • Develop your telemedicine and remote leadership skills as you play a key role during possible medical emergencies
  • Gain on-site experience in project management and risk-assessment with project support visits
  • Gain expedition medicine experience through supporting medical cases in rural locations and supporting casualty evacuations


This organization is a global powerhouse in the world of volunteer work. Active since 1978, the mission of this organization has always been to support young people to make change, both on their projects and within themselves. They arrange service-focused expeditions that provide their volunteers with opportunities for transformative personal growth. These expeditions equip volunteers with vital life skills, broaden their perspectives, and give them the confidence to become global citizens and leaders.

A crucial part of these expeditions is ensuring that all volunteer activities are done in an ethical, responsible, and sustainable way. The organization collaborates closely with local sustainable development initiatives to find sustainable solutions to issues of poverty, low education levels, food insecurity, and unemployment that volunteers can contribute towards.



  • Remotely support volunteer teams whilst based in the in-country field base
  • Support and advise staff team on medical emergencies or incidents on project sites
  • Deliver basic first aid training to volunteers and Venturer Managers
  • Deliver medical one-to-one support to volunteers and manage volunteer support plans
  • Prepare medical kits and manage volunteer medication as necessary
  • Assist with emergency and casualty evacuations
  • Complete incident reports and follow necessary reporting procedures and protocols
  • Be the key point of contact for documenting medical reports, transcribing for and supporting Venturer Managers


  • You must be a qualified doctor, paramedic, or nurse to be eligible for this role. Previous experience in tropical or remote medicine is not required.
  • Must be over the age of 25
  • Strong leadership and teamwork
  • Compassion sensitivity to the needs of others
  • Calm and collected under crisis
  • Capable of the following incident response guidelines and protocols
  • Ability to work autonomously
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Medical indemnity insurance – please contact your indemnity provider


During this internship, you’ll be joining volunteers on their expeditions. You will choose whether you travel to South Africa or Costa Rica where you’ll spend the majority of your time at the organization’s field base. These field bases are compounds with housing and a workspace for office-based members of the team that also serve as the start and end point of expeditions.

Situated either just outside of Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa or within view of Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica, you’ll stay in shared rooms or dormitories with shared communal areas. You’re sure to make close friends with the other members of your expedition team!

Safety & Support

Safety & Support

This organization has established support systems for all their expeditions, so interns can feel safe and secure. Interns will also be part of this safety and support system. As part of your internship, you will be first-aid trained and will take responsibility for the health and well-being of your volunteer group.



The field base in either country has Wifi available, although their remote locations mean connection can be limited.



All meals will be provided for you throughout your internship and cooked by yourself and volunteers on rotation. In Costa Rica, expect to eat many rice and bean dishes, while in South Africa you’ll have plenty of maize meal and chakalaka. You and your team of Venture Managers will also be given a small food budget for extra fruits and snacks.

Location details

Location details

You’ll choose between two of the most exciting internship destinations in the world: Costa Rica or South Africa.

Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with untamed natural landscapes featuring rainforests, volcanoes, and stunning coastlines. You’ll be based in Turrialba on a remote farm, surrounded by mountainscapes and deep forests.

South Africa is a land of rich cultural diversity, important history, and all of Africa’s most iconic wildlife. Based just out of Great Kruger National Park, you’ll see the best of African Bush and an impressive cast of wildlife.


Fee Breakdown

Internship programs have fixed start and end dates which can be found below.

What you’ll pay (2024 rates)

5th June – 31st Aug 2024 (13 weeks) USD 200 SPECIAL OFFER

18th Sept – 15th Dec 2024 (13 weeks) USD 3,200


  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • An academic internship eligible for university credit. Check with your university to confirm if this internship qualifies for credit or alternatively we can assist you with purchasing transfer credits.
  • Accommodation in a dorm/shared room
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Daily meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • All project transport
  • Project training and equipment
  • Raleigh t-shirt
  • Exclusive travel kit discounts & advice
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement and other preparations
  • An orientation program with your supervisor
  • On-site supervision and support during your stay
  • Regular check-ins during your internship with your supervisor
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship


  • Flights to Hoedspruit, South Africa or San José, Costa Rica
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Outdoor travel kit (details provided upon application)
  • Drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities


Some of our most commonly asked questions for programs in South Africa.

What can I expect from a NGO internship in South Africa?

During your internship in South Africa you can expect to meet people from around the world, as well as indulging yourself into the culture of this beautiful country! If you want to know more about what to expect, make sure to check out our top 7 reasons for an internship in Cape Town.

Will I have time to explore South Africa during my internship?

Yes! We partner with various activity organizers that can offer discounts exclusive to Roots Interns, for example, a road trip through the Garden Route and bungee jumping off the world’s largest natural bungee. You may also explore the country on your own and we are happy to give recommendations.

Am I able to do an internship while on a study program in Cape Town?

Yes! You are able to do a part-time internship with certain organizations so that you can continue your studies, while also gaining valuable work experience.

Will I receive a stipend of any kind during my internship with Roots?

Unfortunately, no. When working with a nonprofit organization, your internship will be unpaid, but there are many ways to fund your internship. Your experience will bring a wealth of knowledge and opportunities for both professional and personal growth that are invaluable!


LOCATION: Costa Rica or South Africa
PROGRAM FOCUS: Volunteer Organization
TASK FOCUS: First Aid, Medical Support, Emergency Responder
LENGTH: Min. 13 weeks
COST: From USD 200


  • Gain international experience working for a meaningful cause
  • Build extensive practical skills in risk assessment, paramedical, and medical support
  • Gain insight into sustainable community development and project management
  • Help set the stage for a transformative experience for young volunteers
  • Join thrilling expeditions to an incredible destination


If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us.



We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


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