Project Description

Physical Therapy Internships Abroad in Cape Town

Physical Therapy Internships abroad with VACorps are geared towards individuals who are looking to complete or continue their education in the PT field. By participating in a Physical Therapy internship in South Africa, you will receive an immersive professional experience that is supervised by an established physical therapist.

Types of Physical Therapy Internships Abroad in Cape Town through VACorps

Sports PT and sports conditioning internships:

Sport Physical therapy internships give you the opportunity to learn about the science of kinesiology in an ever-changing and dynamic environment. Sport physical therapy interns are able to shadow physical therapists (physios) during their day-to-day interactions with South African athletes from various sports. You will learn a great deal about treatment, nutrition, and the general rehabilitation procedure. As an intern in sport physical therapy, you will provide support for training and medical staff, work with doctors, chiropractors, biokineticists, dieticians, and strength & conditioning coaches. You will have the opportunity to learn proper warm-up, stretching, cool-down techniques, crisis management and much more. You will play a significant role in helping athletes return from injuries and will be rewarded with a great sense of fulfilment.

VACorps has established relationships with licensed sport physical therapists and conditioning coaches in various settings that include: Sport research institutes, universities, schools, private practices, and sports teams in Cape Town. PT interns typically receive the opportunity to experience the following:

  • Assessments and diagnosis of injuries
  • Preventative strapping methods
  • Creating appropriate rehabilitation programs
  • Pre & post-match sports massage
  • Fitness testing and record-keeping
  • Athlete nutrition and hydration advice
  • Creating prevention and early identification programs
Other PT internship opportunities:

Although sports therapy and conditioning is our most popular Physical Therapy internship category, VACorps has placed participants at internship sites in the following physical therapy fields:

  • Pediatric Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Neurological Physical Therapy
  • Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Clinical Physical Therapy Placements:

VACorps, in partnership with South African universities, offers clinical PT placement options in all of the PT fields mentioned above. We highly recommend going this route if you are a post-grad PT student. Many of the placements include a strong teaching component. You will participate in services that cover both discipline-specific populations and interdisciplinary content so that you become familiar with the roles of other service providers and begin to understand the holistic approach necessary to serve patients with excellence.

We will assist in the process of completing all university internship administration and will ensure that internships meet your necessary university requirements. Clinical PT internships provide you with opportunities to expand your knowledge and gain clinical experience. You will be paired with experienced clinicians as your direct supervisors and will be immersed in a culture of learning that is exciting and will help prepare you for your future career.

Highlights of past clinical PT internships have included the following:

  • Provide daily documentation of group sessions, 1:1 sessions, integrated health, and other reports.
  • Provide a safe and ethical experience that adheres to a professional code of ethics.
  • Collaborate with supervisors to develop clinical and professional skills resulting in entry-level competency by the end of your internship.
  • Get fully involved as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Experience staff meetings, ward rounds and problem-solving sessions and be included in all in-service and team-building opportunities.
  • Be involved in the assessments of patients with diverse presentations while identifying their individual sensory, physical, social and environmental needs.
  • Assist in the development and delivery of individualized intervention programs.
  • Provide evidence-based assessments and recommend the best course of intervention.
  • Evaluate client progress, reassess and alter intervention programs as required

Please note that as per South African law, a clinical internship placement requires registration with a South African university and there are additional student registration fees involved. If you are a candidate for a clinical PT internship, please contact us for more information about registration costs.

Benefits of doing a Physical Therapy Internship Abroad in Cape Town:

  • Most PT placements satisfy degree and graduate school internship requirements—Gain certified clinical hours and a letter of recommendation towards your professional career. VACorps is partnered with several graduate PT programs in the United States (See a complete list of our academic partners here) and our Program Advisors are accustomed to confirming internship placements that will satisfy PT international internship supervision requirements.
  • All internships are conducted in English —no other languages are required to participate.
  • Experiential learning in a South African context —Previous internships have given participants the opportunity to assist South African physical therapists with patients’ assessments, treatment planning, execution of treatment plans, charting and patient write-ups, long term goal planning, and diagnosis. Learn more about how physical therapists connect with their patients on a personal level to help them achieve their health goals and alleviate pain.
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Meet past participants:

Tyler Chandra – Montana, USA (2019)

Tyler is studying towards a Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of Montana.  He joined the VACorps program in Jun 2019 and participated in a Sports PT Internship with a professional rugby team.  [...]

Alejandro Garcia – Texas, USA (2019)

Alex joined the VACorps Program in May 2019 and participated in a Physical Therapy Internship. " I never imagined that I would have an internship here in South Africa and my experience completely exceeded [...]

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