Psychology internship In Cape Town!
I opted for your Bootstrap programme package because I knew I didn’t need all the added extras, but actually I was so surprised by how much the package included. Even the resources that I did receive from you exceeded my expectations!
Nothando Mahalobo (UK/SA)
Nothando is a student from the UK who was born and brought up in South Africa. She attends Richmond University in London and came for an 8 week internship in June 2017. Nothando completed a psychology internship at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital. Nothando pursued a research internship as part of her degree at university and has gained academic credit in doing so. This is the transcription of Nothando’s end of internship debriefing.
Psychology Internship with Bridging Gaps
Nothando’s Review from Go Abroad | September 15, 2017
Communication with Bridging Gaps before my internship was pleasantly uncomplicated, and my time in Cape Town was really lovely.
Bridging Gaps was amazing at fetching me from the airport, supporting me during my stay in Cape Town and they organised fun trips to all the surrounding activities that Cape Town had to offer. In addition to this, they also provided a great “Starter Pack” full of information on exciting things to do in Cape Town as well as just general safety information.
I would strongly advise you to go with Bridging Gaps. You will be supported at all times, experience fun and creative places as well as have a great experience of Cape Town.
Full Interview with Nothando
Nothando’s Thoughts About Her Internship
What were your reasons for wanting to come to Cape Town to do an internship?
I wanted to come to South Africa because I wanted to gain a general understanding of South Africa’s psychology standpoint. Most of the psychology research and opportunities here are in Cape Town so that is why I wanted to pursue an internship here. I also decided to pursue an internship because it counted towards one of my modules for my Psychology degree at university.
What type of internship experience were you initially looking for?
Initially I think I was looking for anything that would give me a practical experience- anything that was going to give me an outside of the classroom understanding of what is happening in psychology in South Africa today.
How was your actual internship experience in Cape Town?
I think overall I gained an invaluable insight into organisational psychology. I did my internship in one of Cape Town’s leading public psychiatric hospitals, which is an organisational setting. I gained a great perspective on how colleagues work together in an organisational setting, how they interact with each other, how organisations work in terms of setting up meetings between staff members and what the work environment is like. Personally I want to study organisational psychology so I feel like getting this access to this hospital, was an extremely informative and valuable experience for me.
In terms of everything else- like I said, initially from this internship I wanted to gain an understanding of South Africa’s current psychological standpoint, and my internship has definitely enabled me to do that. From the moment that I got here and started conducting my research, I was given access to resources that have been extremely helpful. Throughout my internship experience- through the conference I was invited to attend, my research, interviews with psychologists at Valkenberg and attending general meetings- I definitely learnt more than I thought I would!
Do you feel that the internship challenged and developed your skills?
Oh yes it has definitely honed and improved my research skills. When I told my internship supervisor at university that I was doing a literature review as part of my internship, he sent me back an email telling me he was so excited I was doing a systematic review because that is going to be in our syllabus next semester. This means that my internship experience here will give me an advantage in my upcoming work at university which is amazing! During my time at the hospital I learnt a lot about different types of reviews and research and this will certainly benefit me in the future.
Do you feel that you were given the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to your local host organisation?
Yes definitely because the research I was asked to conduct was for a much bigger purpose and is actually going to be used and implemented in the hospital. Dr Sharon my supervisor told me that a lot of the projects she would like to take on in the hospital, she doesn’t have time for so the work I have been doing has been very valuable for her. Through my research and proposals I have been helping to develop a client council and a new recovery programme which a team of psychologists will be working to implement after I leave.
Nothando’s Thoughts About Cape Town
After spending some time in the city, what is your impression of Cape Town?
I loved it! Where I stayed, in Sea Point, was really lovely and I definitely enjoyed seeing what daily life in Cape Town is like. As I lived in South Africa when I was younger I had visited Cape Town before but it was great to come back.
Nothando’s Thoughts About Bridging Gaps’ Service
How was your experience of Bridging Gaps while you were on the ground in Cape Town?
You guys have been really great! It was slightly different for me seeing as I have been to Cape Town before and lived in South Africa so I know how things work, but I can see how especially for people visiting for the first time, the services you offer are hugely beneficial. It was so helpful for me that you picked me up from the airport, helped me arrange a hire care, showed me how public transport worked, gave me resources to help me see what events are going on in Cape Town and generally helped me settle here quickly. You gave me the greatest orientation when I first arrived and the welcome pack I received had so many helpful resources in it. Having your guidance in terms of what Cape Town has to offer was so helpful and really made a difference to my stay.
I opted for your Bootstrap Programme Package because I knew I didn’t need all the added extras, but actually I was so surprised by how much the package included. Even the resources that I did receive from you exceeded my expectations!
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