Medical Internship Abroad in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa Health & Medicine



Are you on the path to a career in medicine, nursing, or an adjunct health field or just thinking about it? SAVE! Volunteering’s Medical Internship in Cape Town at the Retreat Community Health Center (RTCHC) will either challenge or reaffirm your commitment to this path, but it’s guaranteed to provide you with many opportunities to take part in compassionate care in a very unique health care system.

Although enhancing your CV is great (who’s CV could not stand for some enhancing, right?) This program promises so much more. As you work alongside dedicated, local professionals, you will have the opportunity to:

– Gain international work experience

– Develop a global understanding of healthcare and medicine

– Gain insight into the South African healthcare system

– Make a difference in the lives of patients facing serious challenges not commonly seen in the West

With a 24-hour emergency care center and RTCHC is one of the biggest health clinics in the Western Cape and serves over 500 patients daily in its outpatient clinics.

As a volunteer, you’ll shadow qualified doctors and nurses, rotating between professionals and different wards and among various departments and clinics. You can count on being exposed to many disciplines, specialties, and practices, such as the: hypertension clinic, the X-ray department, Social Work, the HIV/AIDS center, the TB center, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Physiotherapy to name a few.

This project requires a minimum time commitment of 12 weeks.


With 500 patients being seen daily in the outpatient clinics, the medical professionals welcome having volunteers like you on hand to observe and assist where possible. Depending on your experience and availability, you will have the opportunity to provide support.

Field conditions

– Working alongside the medical professionals and observing them in the consulting room

– Assisting in the triage room to check vital signs of patients and sending them to the relevant medical professions according to urgency of their illness or injury

– Assisting in the trauma room with tasks assigned by the senior in charge

– Observing in the HIV and the AIDs section and assisting with administration of tests

– Observing in the maternity obstetrics unit; including birth, pre-natal and post-natal

– Assisting in different clinics to help educate parents/patients on; non-communicable diseases, diabetic club, Hypertension club, epilepsy

– Assisting in the pharmacy

Arrival and orientation

Volunteers can arrive at any time on Fridays. You will be transported from Cape Town International Airport to your accommodation in a timely fashion. Staff will happily meet you at any hotel or alternative accommodation on your arrival day, should it be within range of the city center.

Here is an Example Itinerary from SAVE! Volunteeting with all of the fun things in you can do in your free time before the real work begins:

Day 1: Friday

You will be collected from the airport and then transported to your orientation accommodation. You will be shown around and given a map of the area. You have the rest of the day at your own leisure so you can explore the beach, shops, and restaurants.

Day 2: Saturday

You will start the day with breakfast and head over to Saltycrax backpackers where a SaltyCrax staff member will teach you about the bus system before you head out to Cape Town city centre.

Walking Tour

Enjoy a walking tour to visit historical sites in the city; for example the Castle of Good Hope and the Grand Parade. Learn about life under apartheid in South Africa at the Parliament Buildings and the District Six Museum.

Shopping or Cable Car Tour

You will then have the opportunity to shop for African arts and crafts in Greenmarket Square and St George’s Mall. After the above activities you can take the bus or you can walk to Victoria & Alfred Waterfront where you can sit back and enjoy some fresh fish and watch the ships in the busy working harbour or walk around the shops, markets and enjoy entertainment from the musicians on the sidewalks.

Alternatively you can take the cable car up Table Mountain and enjoy breathtaking views of the city, or visit the famous Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held in prison during the apartheid era. This will all be at your own expense.

Evening in Table View

In the evening head back on the local bus to Table View where you can start planning your next day. We will help you book and arrange all that you need to make this possible. Later, you can join the staff, guests and the locals at one of the restaurants along the beachfront in Table View – all within walking distance from the hostel where you will be staying the night.

Day 3: Sunday

You will have at your own leisure to relax and get ready before your projects starts on Monday. You have the chance to explore any other areas of cape town that you've been waiting to see.

Your stay


  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

– You will stay at either an internship house or 3 to 5 star backpackers or hostel once your placement has been secured, we will be able to confirm this.

– You will share with other interns and/or guests

– Dormitory accommodation with 3 – 10 sleepers

Available facilities are:

– Electricity

– Beds, mattresses and linen(no towels)

– Males and Females may be in shared room unless otherwise requested

– You are responsible for keeping your own room tidy


Volunteers will be staying in hostels or internship houses.


from $241 USDper week

from $241 USDper week


What’s included

  • Certificate of appreciation

  • Donation to the npo to assist with projects

  • 24 hour support and supervisor on project

  • Transport to and from the projects for the first week

  • Accommodation

  • Walking tour

  • Orientation and welcome bbq

  • Airport pick up

What’s not included

  • Visa costs

  • Police or background check (where necessary)

  • Personal kit

  • Medical and travel insurance

  • International and domestic airport taxes

  • Airfare

  • Extra local excursions

Start dates

Any Friday year round, except for public holidays; closed for accommodation and meals Dec 25, 2017 - January 1, 2018.

Founded in 2006 by Cape Town native, Carla Ferreira, SAVE Volunteering champions itself on providing labor to assist under-resourced programs at local schools and communities due to lack of funding. SAVE hails as a non-profit organization (NPO) which slowly became a large organization aiding across multiple African countries. Nations like South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya facilitate sustainable community and conservation development projects created by SAVE.

Additionally, SAVE offers several wildlife conservation projects. Flagship projects in Cape Town created by SAVE have grown considerably over the years. As a result, there are now 10 highly successful projects being run.

At SAVE, the goals are to provide local communities with education as well as youth and sports development. SAVE also ensures people are taught skills helping them escape poverty. With help from SAVE’s conscientious volunteers, thoughtful and thorough conservation will be offered, making for smoother transitions and a more productive industry. Not only do their physical tasks such as painting buildings and helping with aftercare make a difference, but their ability to cultivate positive relationships have always been paramount.

Thanks to a considerable amount of volunteer help, SAVE has accomplished many feats. From building and starting three pre-schools for 60 children a year, to starting a computer school with computers volunteers donated, to teaching computer skills to 1,200 children at an underprivileged school. Volunteers have also started several vegetable gardens, and taught hundreds of children how to swim and surf.

They have also cared for various animals, including primates, cheetahs, and African wild dogs, as well as provided adults with training, entrepreneurship and skills development. Thanks to SAVE, you work with volunteers who do it all to help you achieve it all, regardless of background.

These things help save lives, and by becoming a SAVE volunteer; life will become so much better for so many people.

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