At a glance
- Learn first-hand from a qualified occupational therapist and get to know the day-to-day routine at a rehabilitation centre
- Provide vital support by devising and implementing treatment plans for children with autism and cerebral palsy.
- You’ll be based in Arusha, a small town at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, and enjoy hikes and safaris during your free time.
16 or over
You should have completed at least one year of occupational therapy related studies or training.
Is this Occupational Therapy internship right for me?
This Occupational Therapy internship is open to interns of all ages, and it’s ideal for you if you’re looking to go into a career in occupational therapy. You’ll get practical work experience and learn by shadowing an experienced therapist. This will give your CV an edge for job applications or applications for post-graduate studies.
You’ll need to have completed at least one year of studies in occupational therapy or a related field to join.
This project runs all year round, so you can join whenever it suits your schedule. You can sign up for a minimum of two weeks. We recommend staying for longer, to get the most out of your occupational therapy work experience in Tanzania.
What will I do at my Occupational Therapy placement in Tanzania?
You’ll be based in a treatment and rehabilitation centre. Here are some of the tasks you can get involved in:
- Observe and assist a qualified occupational therapist
- Work with local medical staff to develop treatment plans
- Help with assessing patients’ functioning and seeing where they need extra support
- Write up progress reports to help with long-term monitoring
These are the main areas your work will focus on:
Shadow a professional occupational therapist
Get clinical experience shadowing an occupational therapist and observing treatment techniques. You can learn more about how local staff cope in an under-resourced facility. You’ll get to see the innovative ways they create and repurpose rehabilitation tools. You’ll also get to learn first-hand what the day-to-day life of an occupational therapist in Tanzania is like.
Help with developing treatment plans
Work together with local staff to develop treatment plans for patients. You can use your own assessments or reports written by previous interns to determine what each patient struggles with. An occupational therapist will then assist you in coming up with treatment plans and implementing these plans with patients.
Monitor patient progress
You’ll assess patients and monitor their progress. This will help us determine which treatments are effective and what we need to work on with each patient. You’ll also write reports on specific patients. This will be an invaluable resource for future interns, who can build on the work you’ve done at the placement. We monitor patients using our Global Impact Database.
Where in Tanzania will I work?
You’ll be based in Arusha, a town in Tanzania. This area is mostly rural with dirt roads and rustic buildings. It’s the perfect setting to connect with nature. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful, green vegetation with scenic hiking trails in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The rehabilitation centre where you’ll be working will likely be less developed than you’re used to. They lack resources and treatment and evaluation tools, so you’ll get experience working in a challenging setting. The work you do will feel all the more rewarding, knowing that you’re contributing to a centre that needs extra support.
A typical day on the Occupational Therapy internship in Tanzania
Your work hours usually run from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. You’ll have your weekends free to explore the natural beauty of Tanzania.
You’ll start your day assisting with physical and motor activities, working specifically with children who have motor difficulties. This could be anything from an outdoor sports lesson to a fine motor game using blocks and toys. You’ll have a short tea break at 10am.
After your break, you’ll work with children who have speech impairments. For older patients, you can teach vocational skills and work on planning and problem solving activities. In the afternoons, you’ll likely help with self-care training.
You can also take some time to write up progress reports and assess patients. During all the work you do, you’ll have occupational therapists guiding you and assisting you.
You’ll have your evenings free, so you can spend them travelling around Arusha. You can visit a local market and buy a colourful Batik artwork or enjoy a relaxing dinner with your host family.
What are the aims and impact of this Occupational Therapy internship?
The main aim of this project is to give you practical occupational therapy experience to help you in your future career. By working with experienced therapists, you’ll gain the skills and confidence to pursue a career in occupational therapy.
We also aim to provide rehabilitation and care to disadvantaged children in Arusha. Many of these children come from families who can’t afford treatment. You’ll be supporting staff in providing them with much-needed care. You’ll also help increase the capacity of staff members and improve the overall quality of care at the centre.
In order to ensure that we are always working towards our long-term vision, we’ve identified five goals in our Medicine Management Plan for Tanzania. These goals are:
- Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups
- Promote awareness of non-communicable diseases
- Improve hygiene standards
- Improve the quality of healthcare provided to patients
- Encourage an understanding of medical practices and promote an exchange of medical knowledge
Join this Occupational Therapy internship and play a part in working towards these goals.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food and accommodation
You'll stay with a host family in Arusha. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Tanzania and have a truly unique experience.
We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.
Your programme fee includes three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Leisure activities and free time
A trip to Tanzania is the chance to experience life in the heart of Africa. There’s plenty to see and do here during your free time on your project.
A project in Tanzania wouldn’t be complete without a safari! This is a chance to see the beautiful wildlife of this country, like elephants, rhinos, and lions.
What’s more, Tanzania is home to the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. Hiking around the base through lush vegetation is a peaceful way to spend an afternoon.
Browsing through a vibrant, local market is a must while you’re there. You can also spend time in a Maasai village, getting to know a completely different way of life.
There will likely be many other volunteers in Tanzania with you. This means you have the option to explore the country independently or with a group of like-minded volunteers from different projects.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Tanzania
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