Molly is studying her masters in Occupational Therapy at Pacific University.  She joined the VACorps program in January 2020 and participated in an OT internship at a children’s hospital in Cape Town.

“I came to South Africa because I wanted an opportunity to learn about occupational therapy in a context outside of the United States to see the similarities and differences of our scope of practice in another culture. I also wanted to learn how to provide care in a setting with different resources than I am used to so I can push myself, grow my skill set, and gain an outside perspective. Plus, South Africa seemed like such a beautiful, diverse country—what a perfect place to learn!

I’ve been interning in the occupational therapy department at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, primarily in the neurology and neurosurgery wards, providing treatment to children with traumatic brain injuries and other neurologic conditions. I’ve also seen patients in the outpatient (day) clinic ranging from children with severe burns to children with Autism or developmental delays. Working here has really taught me about healthcare in another context and helped me learn how to provide the best care possible while navigating differences in culture, language, or resources. I enjoyed learning about occupational therapy in a cultural context different than what I am used to. I saw a wide variety of conditions and feel like I really developed independence in completing the occupational therapy process from evaluation to intervention to discharge planning.

Outside of work, I have absolutely loved Cape Town! I will never forget all of the beautiful views, wonderful people, and delicious food! I loved all there was to do! I explored so many markets, hikes, beaches, and I feel like I barely scratched the surface! It was always fun to have a weekly outing coordinated by VACorps as well. It was a fun way to see different areas with other interns. VACorps provided excellent support the entire time I was here, and I was amazed at how quickly I felt at home. Two and a half months certainly flew by, and I know that I will be back for more soon!”

View Occupational Therapy Internships

Meet our most recent VACorps program alumni:

  • Human rights internship participant

Laila Wheeler, California, USA (2023)

Laila Wheeler is studying Public Affairs, Education, and Sociology at the University of California Los Angeles. She participated in a human rights internship from June - August of 2023. "Traveling to Cape Town was genuinely [...]

  • Innogen Naylor - education internship

Innogen Naylor, Vermont, USA (2023)

Innogen joined the VACorps Program as part of her Gap Year in January 2023 and participated in an internship at a local school for learners from Zimbabwe who are attempting to integrate into the South [...]

Avital Strauss, Illinois, USA (2023)

Avital joined the VACorps PRogram as part of her Gap Year in January 2023 and participated in an internship at an NGO that supports and serves underprivileged communities in one of Cape Town's townships.  [...]

William Monkarsh, California, USA (2023)

Will joined the VACorps Program in January 2023, as part of his GAP year, and participated in an internship at an eco-tourism company in Cape Town.  "My experience with VAC has definitely been life-changing. [...]

Clancy Erickson, North Carolina, USA (2022)

Clancy recently completed her BA in Human Services Studies at Elon University. She joined the VACorps program in September 2022, and participate in an internship at an NGO that supports refugees in Cape Town. [...]

Dylan DeRosa, New York, USA (2023)

Dylan joined the VACorps program in January 2023 as part of his Gap Year and participated in a human rights law internship.  "Cape Town and the VACorps have provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience [...]

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