Social Work Internship in Cape Town, South Africa

Academic Credits


Hours per week

40 hours per week



Application Deadline


Start Date


End Date



Sandy Place
Cape Town
Western Cape
South Africa


Gain Professional Experience in South Africa!

11 June – 05 July 2018, option to extend


Open the doors to your future by participating in this truly unique internship, offering professional, hands-on experiences that most internships cannot offer. Grow from intern and student to educator and advisor via research, training, and exposure to the underserved communities. Make an impact in the lives of others while experiencing your own life-altering journey working with South African NGOs that serve vulnerable populations, such as refugees, the poor, victims of gender-based violence, and youth.

As a social worker intern, you will have the opportunity to work with vulnerable South African populations, particularly refugees. You will conduct interviews, performing monitoring and evaluation activities, develop and develop case reports. Working alongside the program director and NGO leadership, you will gain valuable hands-on experience in a mentored environment. Additionally, you will have independent projects to lead and create. The social work intern will also be involved in organizing and assisting in the development of social integration and other applicable workshops.  

The breathtaking city of Cape Town proffers the unique dichotomy of the exceedingly underserved communities scattered among the splendid European-like African city. With eleven official languages and exceedingly deeply-rooted cultures, South Africa is rich in diversity and unique complexities. You will be challenged to overcome physical and mental health, financial, and oppressive barriers for those most in need. You will be drawn to the underserved South Africans and refugees, as they touch deeply into your soul and inspire you to work beyond the capabilities you ever imagined for yourself with a new-found compassion, outlook, and strength. Your work to overcome the abundant challenges of the residents is sure to be profoundly rewarding.

The scope of the work/research is developed directly by the interns under the guidance of the Impilo Phambili program director. The research, exposure, and learning experience culminates into workshops and projects developed and conducted predominantly by the interns with guidance and assistance provided as needed for community members and to train/educate NGO staff, health care workers, entrepreneurs, and students. 


Applicable Fields of Study/Interest: 

• Social Work

• Sociology

• Anthropology

• Psychology

• Community Development

• Education

• Political Science

• Global/International Studies

• Other related field


The cost to participate in the program is $2500.00 USD and includes:

•Housing for the duration of the internship

•Transportation to and from the airport upon arrival to and departure from Cape Town, South Africa

•Local cell phone & SIM card to use throughout programme

•On the ground support, orientations, and overall guidance and opportunities to meet and interact with South Africans and other interns alike

•Ground transportation to the internship sites and return (does not include airfare)

•Access to local organisations and community

•Direct guidance from the programme director, who will provide overall and technical training and education

•Language Classes

•Education on South African history and current climate

•Opportunities to work with previously-collected data from the local community, to learn, and to educate

•Gaining experience in leadership, project development, communications, strategy, and hands-on work

•Tours, discounted activities, and much more!


You will gain professional skills in many of the following areas:

  • public speaking
  • research
  • data analysis
  • human development
  • organizational capacity-building
  • training & materials
  • problem solving
  • critical thinking
  • leadership
  • global & philanthropic perspectives
  • fine detail and large-picture decision-making
  • project development & implementation
  • integrated and collaborative methodologies


This experience was fashioned specifically for the enhancement of the participants. The interns are the focus of the program, not just integrated into the work we already are performing, and are given much attention for the development and enhancement of their academic and professional skills. The experience of the internship we offer is semi-customized to meet the objectives of each participant individually. We provide appropriate experiences based on education and experience level. The program was created specifically for developing the participants and we aim to meet each participant where they are at the time they begin the program. From there, we work to enhance their professional and technical skills, provide them with hands-on and pertinent work that enables them to learn and grow. Additionally, we aim to develop each intern in a manner that is nurturing, comfortable, and didactic. As a result, upon completion of the experience, participants have an advantage over competition as far as advanced educational programs and job opportunities, having learned both typical and unique skills that can be an asset and major advantage. Interns are given freedom to make decisions and drive projects, while being mentored by our organizational leadership. As a result, the interns will attain an experience that will assist in opening the doors to their future goals and have unique skill sets that are not learned in an academic setting and are slowly learned in a job setting that is not catered to intern talents and objectives. This experience is individualized for each intern, so they are ahead of competition for future aspirations. 


In general, we work with partnering organisations that are local NGOs, companies, or government entities working with the underserved community members. We fill needs and gaps by performing research and offering services and interventions, such as workshops, manuals, videos, trainings to both the community members and NGO staff. The scope of the work varies and can range from conducting interviews and compiling data that is then used to develop a workshop addressing topics of concern, such as chronic diseases. Or, an intern could help an NGO develop infrastructure and capacity. Additionally, the work can include assisting a community member with starting a business via a number of means, such as market research, marketing, mentoring, preparing spreadsheets and budgets, etc.

How To Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for a limited number of spots. If interested, please email your CV and a cover letter stating the reasons for your interest in the program and the knowledge, experience, and studies that enable you to add value to our program and the communities in Cape Town, South Africa, to the program director:

If you are interested in our combined Italy - South Africa internship program, please contact the program director: