Nursing and medical internship in South Africa
Nursing and medical internship in South Africa
Nursing and medical internship in South Africa

Useful information

Do a humanitarian nursing internship in Cape Town, and contribute to the achievement of the United Nations’ sustainable development goal of access to healthcare for all. As part of your studies in the field of health, you will be immersed in South Africa, while gaining international work experience. Bring your knowledge and train on the job!

School of Nursing (IFSI)
Nursing Education
Studies in the field of health
Post-bac STI2S


Cape Town


Intermediate English

Description of the program

Since January 2015, several partner schools have validated Freepackers humanitarian missions as part of their students' required internships in the medical industry. Like all of our nursing and medical internship programs abroad, this project in South Africa allows students to gain university credits while acquiring field experience and contributing to the UN's goal of universal access to healthcare.

humanitarian nursing internship

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The assignments of the trainees

- Observe and accompany the nursing staff in their respective departments

- Participate in initial diagnosis in the admissions department and allocate patients to departments according to their symptoms

- Assist urgent care physicians in the emergency department

- Assist in the administration of HIV tests

- Observe the work of midwives before, during and after childbirth

- Help out at the pharmacy

- Participate in educational sessions for the prevention of non-communicable diseases such as: hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, etc. or communicable diseases such as HIV.

We remind you that the trainees will mainly have an observation role and will assist the doctors, nurses and all the hospital staff in their daily tasks. Surgical placements are available after 3 years of study (or to health professionals)

The working environment

The project is located in Retreat, a small town about 20 minutes from the center of Cape Town, and 35 minutes from the accommodation in Tableview. This area is known for its diversity of cultures and the integration of social and economic environments. The people who work at the clinics speak English and Afrikaans. In the most disadvantaged areas, the children are mixed race or black and speak English or Afrikaans.

Arrival and welcome in Cape Town

DAY 1 : Saturday

You will be picked up at the airport in Cape Town and accompanied to your accommodation. We will give you a short tour of the area and a map to help you find your way. Depending on your arrival time, you will go directly to a meeting with your project coordinator where we will set up an appointment for the next day. This day will allow you to rest or explore the surroundings (beaches, shops, restaurants, etc.). In the evening, a traditional South African barbecue ("the Braai") will be organized at the hostel of the humanitarian nursing course.

DAY 2 : Sunday

Breakfast at the hostel and day out in the city. Your coordinator will give you a list of the sites to visit in Cape Town, explain the transportation system and give you all the information to plan your day. Often, a group of volunteers plans to go out together for the day. In the evening, the coordinators and volunteers meet at a bar/restaurant on the beach near Tableview (where the hostel is located).

DAY 3 : Monday

Monday: Departure for the hospital where you will meet the medical teams and do an orientation of the facility. In the afternoon, you will be helped to settle in at the hostel which will be your accommodation for the duration of the course.

Tuesday (or Monday for the following weeks) to Friday: Hospital internship

Saturday / Sunday: rest

Local transportation for the humanitarian and medical nursing course

Local transportation is not included as it is customary to use Uber to get from your accommodation to the internship site. It is a safe local transportation (safer than the local official cabs!) and especially cheaper because you can share the costs on 1 vehicle. However, you may wish to discuss other options with your coordinator, such as renting a car (please note that you must have an international driving license).

Host organization

NGO in Cape Town: Member of SAYTC and created in 2006, our partner NGO is based in Cape Town.
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Its mission is to help South African NGOs involved in communities by finding volunteers, developing programs and setting up funding projects.


The help of volunteers is essential for the association to continue its activities. Thanks to the volunteers, over the past two years, the association has implemented a large number of projects to support communities in the Cape Town area.

- Construction and development of 3 elementary schools per year.

- Construction of a permanent school for disabled children.

- Establishment of 3 organic gardens in schools.

- Opening of a "computing" school thanks to the donations of volunteers, and setting up of courses for more than 1200 children.

- Swimming lessons for more than 300 children, of which about 80 have even successfully completed their first surf trips!

NGO registered with the international donation organisation GlobalGiving


Strong points

Identification of care methods
Sharing with the local community
Discovery of South Africa
Identification of common diseases

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