Healthcare Internship in Cape Town, South Africa


Travel and contribute to meaningful work in the public healthcare system in South Africa.

Travel to South Africa and contribute to meaningful work in the public healthcare system, where many citizens frequently face health challenges and the government struggles to meet healthcare needs. Join an organization in working towards ensuring that the healthcare system develops and addresses the needs of the South African population.

Get the chance to work alongside an organization adamant in providing access to healthcare services for marginalized populations who struggle to get care for their needs. Your participation will lend a helping hand in relieving some of the burdens that many doctors and nurses face on a daily basis. Your role is essential due to the overcapacity currently being experienced in many hospitals and you’ll play a vital part in driving this developmental process to provide a more efficient healthcare system. Participate in lifting weight off medical professionals’ shoulders and enable them to attend to more patients and reduce waiting times, expanding the scope for overall healthcare accessibility. In this mission, you’ll gain the opportunity to learn by observation and take a glimpse into the impactful work of medical professionals.


This organization partners with local centers and hospitals on the ground in Cape Town. Their ethos addresses the continuous fight South Africans endure due to the underfunded and unequal structure surrounding the healthcare system. As prices are skyrocketing in the private healthcare sector and staff in the public sector are overburdened daily, a majority of South African citizens are unable to access their basic rights to health facilities and treatments. This organization is adamant on providing support and assistance to healthcare facilities in underserved provinces to ensure these rights are upheld.  



Due to the increased overcapacity in the healthcare system, your tasks will vary significantly and be based on the needs of healthcare professionals in the day-to-day. Overall, you will assist in observational work, administrative work, and ensuring that patients have support throughout their health journey. This will take place at multiple locations throughout the week so you’ll get to work with a variety of community members in a variety of settings.

  • Assist medical professionals and observe their work
  • Provide hospice support in a variety of ways
  • Provide therapeutic support and comfort to patients
  • Relieve medical professionals of admin burden
  • Lend a supportive hand where needed


  • No prior medical qualification required
  • Have interest in the medical sector – optimal for pre-med students
  • Be caring, compassionate, and patient to others around you
  • Be prepared to help and assist patients when needed
  • Minimum age of 21 years

Please note: regardless of healthcare experience or qualifications, interns/volunteers that are not licensed to practice in South Africa, are not permitted to diagnose or treat patients, perform procedures (except wound dressings) or administer injections. The discretion of how a qualified volunteer doctor, nurse or social worker assists depends on the host organization granting that permission.


You’ll be staying at The Lenox, a comfortable guesthouse in the heart of Cape Town. Built in the old Cape Dutch style, The Lenox is characterful and historic. It has multiple balconies, a large dining room, and many other communal spaces. Shared bedrooms include 2 twin beds, and there are plenty of single rooms available as well (at an extra fee). You’ll be walking distance from many shops, cafes, restaurants, and some of the touristy highlights Cape Town has to offer as well.

Safety & Support

Safety & Support

Be sure to prioritize hydration in the summer to avoid heatstroke. South Africa does have high crime rates, so it’s important to be aware and use common sense to stay safe. Some safety guidelines are to always walk in groups, take a taxi/Uber in the evenings, know safe/dangerous areas, secure your belongings, don’t walk around with large sums of cash (you can pay everything with a card), minimize wearing flashy accessories, and be cautious of overly friendly strangers.



The accommodation offers free Wi-Fi to keep family and friends up to date via WhatsApp, Zoom, etc. Cafes/restaurants also offer free Wi-Fi. You can also consider getting a local SIM card if your phone is unlocked, or setting your phone’s status to roaming, depending on your provider’s rates.



A simple breakfast, lunch and a delicious cooked dinner (vegetarian & vegan options available) from Monday to Friday are included in your fee. Indulge in local dishes, like bobotie and South African Braai! For desserts, don’t miss out on milk tarts and malva pudding. There is a diverse food scene in Cape Town, so no matter your cuisine preference or dietary restrictions you’ll have plenty of options. Let us know in advance if you have any allergies/dietary needs.

Location details

Location details

Discover Cape Town’s attractions: Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, city tours, historical sites, and the Cape Point Peninsula. There are also opportunities to surf, kayak, paraglide, cage dive with sharks, and more! Cape Town has a mediterranean climate with cool winters and hot summers so be sure to check what the temperature will be like during your stay.


Fee Breakdown

You can start your internship at any of the following dates:

2024: 22 Jan – 5/19 Feb – 4/18 Mar – 1/15/29 Apr – 13/27 May – 10/24 Jun – 8/15/22/29 Jul – 5/12/19/26 Aug – 2/16/30 Sept – 14/28 Oct – 11/25 Nov

Please note the projects close on 18 December 2024 so if you prefer to start in October or November,  your placement will finish by 18 December.

What you’ll pay (2024 rates)

3 weeks USD 2,450

4 weeks USD 2,750

6 weeks USD 3,350

8 weeks USD 3,950

10 weeks USD 4,550

12 weeks USD 5,150


  • 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 shared room (2 pax). If you prefer a single room, please contact us for availability and prices.
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Transport to the project
  • Meals from Monday to Friday
  • Wifi access
  • Housekeeping service
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement and other preparations
  • An orientation program with your supervisor
  • 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
  • A discount on weekend activities, exclusive to Roots Interns


  • Flights to Cape Town International Airport
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Transport to the office
  • Meals during weekends
  • 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: Cape Town, South Africa
TASK FOCUS: Hospice support, Therapeutic Support, Healthcare Assistance
LENGTH: Min. 3 Weeks
COST: From USD 2,450


  • Bring hope and health to underserved communities
  • Empower South Africans through accessible healthcare
  • Provide needed medical assistance with compassion
  • Join a dedicated team to make an impact on everyday lives
  • Engulf yourself in the unique culture of Cape Town and the abundance of adventurous activities to participate in during your free time


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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