Psychology Internships Abroad

Are you studying for a degree in psychology and eager to help those who need help? Mental health is a sensitive subject and resources are scarce in developing countries. Developing countries have the highest rates of mental disorders and are in dire need of support. Discover the other side of some of the most exotic locations in the world and help the local community battle one of the leading causes of poor health. Work with the local community and other psychology students to instigate change. Continue reading to find out more about psychology internship programs abroad. Those in search for meaningful opportunities to help those in need and learn along the way, you’ve come to the right place.

Mental health and psychology apprentice

This programme has been specially designed for those already studying or looking to further study

Mental Health & Psychology Associate

This amazing opportunity gives you an insight into how psychiatric services operate in Ghana today. Help this important sector 

Psychology & Mental Health Hospital Assistant

Are you thinking about volunteering abroad? Take on this amazing opportunity to add depth to your work experience and portfolio

Physically and Intellectually-Challenged Children

Special Care facilities and schools, that cater for children and adults with disabilities, are very much in short supply in South Africa

Why Volunteer for a Psychology Internship Abroad?

Mental health remains a pillar of the health care sector which doesn’t get the attention it needs. The social stigma of mental health issues has held people back from seeking help in the western world but it is hardly provided in developing countries. According to the WHO, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” To give you an idea of the impact that mental conditions can have on our society, we have selected a few facts provided by the WHO

  • Mental and substance abuse disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide
  • About 800 000 people commit suicide every year
  • Rates of mental disorder tend to double after emergencies.
  • Mental disorders are important risk factors for other diseases, as well as unintentional and intentional injury
  • Stigma and discrimination against patients and families prevent people from seeking mental health care

Low-income countries have 0.05 psychiatrists and 0.42 nurses per 100 000 people.In addition, several developing countries are victims of natural disasters and other emergencies. Serious life events impact people’s lives and affect their mental health A Tsunami, for example, has intense aftermath following the disaster with countless people unable to cope with the loss that they had to endure. This has led countries like Sri Lanka to have one of the highest suicide rates worldwide.

The increased use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs in developing countries is becoming a major issue. This is exacerbated by the fact that these countries also lack the funds to support mental health services.

That developing countries are understaffed when it comes to treating psychological disorders, is an understatement. It’s safe to say that most people simply don’t have access to any form of psychological help or support. Luckily, awareness on the topic is increasing and great efforts are being made to eliminate the stigma around psychological issues. There are many opportunities to help out in this field. Volunteer for a psychology internship abroad and work to offer mental health care to those who are less fortunate.

Career-related Reasons

Students who want to pursue a career in psychology will benefit greatly from a psychology internship abroad. Whether you are doing research at a university or you’re still studying, getting practical experience abroad will be an asset for your future. Pick a psychology volunteer program that fits your undergraduate and apply for an internship. Check with your university if it qualifies for study credits and you are set for a life-changing experience.

Psychology work experience abroad is an excellent way to build your resume and create future job opportunities. Those who are doing research at a university should also consider doing mental health internships abroad as it will broaden your perspective and inspire future opportunities.

What Will I Do as a Psychology Volunteer?

In most cases, psychology internship volunteers need to be psychology students at a college or university. You will be given responsibilities depending on your experience and how far along you are in your studies. For volunteers applying to work at a psychiatric clinic, you will shadow other professionals and observe how they go about their day.

Psychology student volunteers can also opt to help at daycare centers that are focused on children with special needs or elderly care. Help provide these groups with stimulating activities and the necessary support. The bottom line is that there are many opportunities to learn while supporting to the community.

These are a few of the tasks you can expect during your volunteer internship:

  • Taking patients’ medical histories
  • Conducting physical and psychological assessment
  • Create treatment plans
  • Manage ongoing care
  • Individual counseling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Providing harm reduction psychotherapy
  • Administering performance, aptitude, intelligence or personality tests
  • Work in the outpatient department
  • Provide services in prisons
  • Elderly care
  • Care of children and young adults with special needs

The tasks during your psychology internship will vary according to the program you apply for and your responsibilities will grow if you decide to dedicate more of your time toward the program. Psych internships will offer great psychology work experience abroad to gain practical experience and know what it is like to work in the psychology department. For students seeking a career as a psychologist, this is a necessary step to find out whether a career in mental health is a good match for you.

Best Places to Volunteer for Psychology Internships

Mental health programs are growing but are unfortunately not very common yet. If you are looking forward to supporting mental health volunteering abroad, let’s take a look at where this adventure abroad will take you. Get ready to leave the protective environment of the university and enter the real world. Don’t hesitate and apply for a psychology internship abroad!


If you are beckoned by Africa, a program in Ghana will be the most obvious choice. This energetic country with eternal sunshine and smiles will welcome you with open arms during your psychology volunteerwork experience abroad.

Latin America

Volunteers eager to practice their Spanish and dance to the rhythm of island life can head to the Dominican Republic or Jamaica and apply for psychology internships on a tropical island. Ecuador is another option for those in search of a mix of culture and adventure.


If Asia has already conquered your heart, head to Sri Lanka or where meaningful challenges await you alongside versatile green landscapes and wide smiles.

5 Benefits of Volunteering Abroad for Psychology Students

There’s no doubt that volunteering is a fantastic thing to do. By volunteering for a psychology internship, you will contribute to a paramount pillar of healthcare which is still sorely neglected. But let’s look at what voluntary work in mental health has in store for you.

Learning Opportunities

By volunteering for one of the psychology internship programs, you will gain practical hands-on experience in the field and observe first-hand how a clinic is managed in developing countries. You will learn a lot about the culture and the people as you are confronted with their struggles. There will be several opportunities to improve people’s lives. An internship for psychology students will also greatly benefit your skills and support what you learned in university.


Once you decide to volunteer for one of the programs, you will meet a lot of new people. Connect with the local community and other volunteers who have similar goals and interests. You’re bound to build meaningful friendships that may last for years to come.


You’ll definitely get out of your comfort zone when volunteering. Traveling abroad and working on a project will allow you to experience something completely different. New experiences are very valuable because you build resilience and become more flexible. This experience will prepare you for future adventures. Volunteer experience in psychology work is also an asset on your resume if you’re a student looking to pursue a career in psychology. This is the chance for students to apply what they have learned at university. Psychology student volunteer opportunities is a great hands-on experience for those who want to be psychologist.


Research has shown that people who contribute to an external cause are happier. Volunteering gives people a sense of purpose. Those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, function better and suffer less from depression later in life.


Volunteers who love traveling will get the chance to discover a completely new place and travel to places they would never discover as a tourist. Those in search of adventure will definitely find what they are looking for. Volunteer and witness how your life improves as you impact the lives of others. It’s just a click away.

Who Can Do a Psychology Internship Abroad?

You’ve decided you would like to volunteer for a psychology internship but you’re wondering if you are cut out for it. Keep reading as we will discuss some skills that are great to have as a psychology intern.

Great Skills for Psychology Interns Abroad

This list is not conclusive but we have listed a few personality traits that are relevant if you decide to do apply for one of the internships. Each psychology internship program has different requirements but this is a good guideline. Because of the sensitive nature of work in the mental health sector, all candidates will either need to be psychology students at university, have a psychology undergraduate or already have a career and work experience in the psychology department.

  • a social mindset
  • a good work ethic
  • a professional attitude to work
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • great communication skills
  • adaptability to different types of tasks
  • initiative
  • enthusiasm
  • resilience
  • a non-judgmental approach and respect for diversity
  • great cultural awareness
  • a strong regard for health and safety
  • eagerness to travel
  • dedication
  • compassionate
  • patience
  • have a positive attitude

For more specific details on the criteria, check the program page of the volunteer organization. Our live chat team is also always here to support you.

What Language Skills are Required?

English is the main language on all projects so it’s important that volunteers have a good understanding of English. This is important to communicate with the staff at the project center and other volunteers. For internships in South America, it would help if you have basic knowledge of Spanish because many locals don’t speak any English.

How Do I Volunteer for a Psychology Internship Abroad?

You’ve decided you want to volunteer for a psychology internship program and make a change in mental health care in developing countries. Once you’ve taken a look at some of the available programs, let’s take a look at the first 3 steps which will send you on your way to volunteering for psychology internships:

  1. Check whether there’s a match between the project requirements and your skills.
  2. Take a look at the location of the project and decide whether it would be a location you are willing to travel to.
  3. Get in touch with the organization and see whether your expectations and your schedule match up.

Once this is sorted. Let’s take a look at the practical steps:

Insurance (Health & travel): We recommend getting both health and travel insurance. In fact, this is even a requirement for most programs abroad. Get in touch with your program contact person to find out if an insurance plan is already in place for volunteers.

Visa, Passport, and Documentation: Once you know your destination, take the following 3 steps before setting off on your life-changing adventure!

  • Look into the visa requirements of your volunteer country
  • Make sure you have a valid passport considering the requirements of the host country
  • Make sure you prepare the correct documents to fulfill the visa application