Summer Internships in South Africa - On Site

UC Davis Study Abroad, Summer Internship Abroad South Africa, Healthcare Challenges in Cape Town Program, Header Image

Healthcare Challenges Internships in South Africa

Since the fall of Apartheid, South Africa has taken great strides to bridge the wide economic and social gap that was left with Apartheid. Infrastructure, education, healthcare services and economic opportunities have grown. The majority black population had limited or non-existent healthcare until the 1990s and today South Africa’s healthcare system provides free or low cost care to most of its population. Yet, besides these great strides, South Africa was one of the hardest hit countries by one of the worst pandemics in recent history, overburdening a fledgling system that was just starting to provide basic services to the majority of the population who had little to no access to them. In the wake of the Apartheid, poverty, continuing inequality, misconceptions about HIV/AIDS, and other factors, influence South Africa’s healthcare system today.

Students will live with local families in the Cape Flats area, a racially diverse great urban expanse behind Table Mountain, populated by forced government relocations during the Apartheid era.


Homestays are located in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town, in a residential neighborhood called Vanguard Estates. This area is usually not visited by most tourists, as it is where most “non-white” Capetonians live. The neighborhood is considered middle class and most families are racially mixed. There are usually two students per homestay, each student with his/her own room. Personal transportation is not very reliable. However, there is a mall about five blocks away where students may pick up personal supplies as needed (clothes, internet, coffee shops, haircut, laundry, etc.).

UC Davis reserves the right to change the accommodation location. Should this be necessary, we will arrange alternative lodging. Please note that elevators, air conditioners and other modern conveniences may not be available in all locations.


2 meals a day plus a snack provided for lunch.


Students must fly into the City of Cape Town. Onsite, the program offers private daily transportation between the homestay and clinical rotations Monday through Friday. Students are picked up by a driver in the morning and picked up from their clinical rotations at 3pm.

Excursions and Day Trips

Short excursions and day trips will be included during orientation week.

Orientation Week Sample Schedule:

  • Welcome barbecue (Braai)
  • Orientation Tour Cape Town- Township- District 6 Museum
  • Community Service Project
  • Site visit to local hospitals and meet and greet with preceptors
  • Tour of Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner
  • Visit to Table Mountain
  • Peninsula Tour
  • Optional additional cost tour: Garden Route 

Program Alumni Video Project - Camerin Rencken (Garden Route)

Study Abroad Advisory of Student Risk

Participation in this UC Davis Study Abroad program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UC Davis Study Abroad endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible.  However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Davis. All participants must download and review the following information prior to departure. Any questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Study Abroad General Risk Advisory

Program Specific Risk Advisories (PDF)

About South Africa

South African Currency: Rand

Language Spoken: In Cape Town the languages are generally Africaans and English (click here for a full list South Africa's eleven official languages)

Weather and Climate

Research Your Destination