Psychology Internship in Cape Town


Gain practical work experience and assist important mental health programs.

During this psychology internship in Cape Town, South Africa, you’ll spend your time assisting with counseling sessions and shadowing qualified professionals in the field.

Depending on your experience and interests, you’ll be working at safe houses, rehab centers, or facilities that support abuse victims. You’ll get a wealth of exposure to the various elements of counseling, and you’ll be given mentorship throughout the internship. It’s a great way to gain practical work experience, assist important mental health programs, and spend some time in Cape Town, a hugely vibrant and interesting city.


During this psychology internship in Cape Town, you’ll be placed at mental health facilities that best match your skill set, passion, and academic focus area. These could include safe houses, female empowerment programs, children’s centers, family counseling services, trauma counseling services, or rehab centers. You’ll be mentored by a local mental health professional, who will guide you through your work and offer regular one-on-one sessions that will allow reflection and assessment.


During this psychology internship, your tasks will vary, depending on your qualifications, experience and the situation. Either way, you can expect to gain practical work experience and valuable insights into the day to day running of these facilities. You’ll be exposed to clients with different levels of trauma diagnoses and mental health conditions, and you’ll gain a good understanding of how group sessions are run, how assessments are done, and how progress is made. Throughout your internship, you will be supervised and managed, and you will never be asked to take on tasks that are beyond your comfort or skill level.

This psychology internship could serve as a great tool for deciding which path of specialization to follow, whilst giving back to people who need it and assisting nonprofit organizations.


  • Shadowing mental health professionals in different settings, such as psychiatric hospitals that focus on addictions, safe houses and counselling centres.
  • Assisting psychologists in preparing and running group sessions.
  • Offering (or assisting with) individual or group counseling sessions.

Throughout your internship, you’ll be guided by a registered experienced local therapist, who will do an initial training session with you, followed by a session every two weeks and one at the end of your program. These sessions will allow you to learn about the local mental health field, prepare for the different elements of your work, and reflect on your experiences, such as boundaries and countertransference. They will also help you place the experience of your internships in the context of your degree and future career.


  • If you want to get involved in short term non psychotherapeutic counseling you need to have a BA undergraduate degree in Psychology (NQF7). If you have done a 4th year “Honours degree” in Psychology (NQF8), this may improve your chances of being accepted on the internship. For psychotherapeutic counselling you need to have a MA degree (NQF 9).
  • Strong social skills
  • Good level of English
  • A flexible attitude
  • Interest in assisting social development projects


You’ll stay at a comfortable and welcoming volunteer house in a picturesque suburb of Cape Town, on the Southern Peninsula. It’s a great setting; you’ll be surrounded by beaches and mountains, and the penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach is only a 5-minute drive away. The house hosts people from around the world that are volunteering in the surrounding communities, which creates a wonderfully international vibe. The nearest shops and restaurants are a 5-minute drive away, and Cape Town’s city center is a 40-minute drive away. It’s easy to take Ubers and make your way around.

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 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 with this organization every Monday. Please keep in mind this organization is closed for one month of summer holiday at the end of the year.

What you’ll pay (2024 rates)

8 WEEKS USD 2,855

12 WEEKS USD 3,820

16 WEEKS USD 4,785

20 WEEKS USD 5,750

At Roots, we do everything we can to make your internship experience smooth and hassle-free. We offer an all-inclusive service, which means we will help you find the right internship (we believe we are great matchmakers!), help you with visa arrangements, book accommodation for you in Cape Town, give you all the pre-departure information you need before arriving, pick you up from the airport and check in with you while on your work placement to ensure you feel supported. Your exact fee depends on the duration of your stay, so if you tell us how long you would like to stay, we can give you an exact quote.


  • 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. If you prefer a single room, please contact us for availability and prices.
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Breakfast and dinner from Monday to Friday
  • Wifi access
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement and other preparations
  • Training and assessment sessions with a local qualified therapist (an initial session at the start of your internship, a session every two weeks, and session at the end of your stay)
  • 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 (Cape Town International Airport)
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Meals over the weekend
  • Daily transport to the project/office
  • Lunch, 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
PROGRAM FOCUS: Nonprofit, community projects
TASK FOCUS: Social Work, Psychology
LENGTH: 8-26 Weeks
COST: From USD 2,892


“I was able to truly get an internship that fit my learning desires. Frances set up a program for me to work in a women’s safe house twice a week, and once a week at a recovery center. The program she made put me doing things that helped me gain more experience in the field of psychology I want to have a career in.”

Mallorie, United StatesPsychology Internship, Cape Town


  • Gain a good understanding of how group sessions are run, assessments are done, and how progress is made in mental health clinics
  • Shadow professionals in the field and gain a wealth of experience
  • Live and work in Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world
  • Enjoy exploring South Africa’s many highlights during your time off


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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