Psychology internships are an exciting way for both undergraduates and recent graduates to gain experience in the mental health sector. These opportunities are not long-term, permanent positions, but are often offered for a fixed period ranging between three to six months. There are usually full-time and part-time internship opportunities available in order to work around a student’s schedule.
Psychology internships can play an important role in your professional development, as they enable you to get hands-on, relevant experience to help pursue your dream career. Additionally, becoming an intern allows you to better understand how your course of study applies in a real world context. Some universities even enable students to use psychology internships towards course credit and having several internships throughout the length of your studies can be very impressive to potential employers.
Although our Mental Health Placements might not, at first sight, be the most obvious option for a psychology internship, we’ve had many volunteers join us in this capacity, as what we are able to offer exceeds what most psychology internships can in regards to real-life, hands-on experience in the sector.
This page aims to give you a bit more information about what you can expect from a traditional psychology internship and how we might be an excellent alternative if what you’re looking for is the chance to not only use your skills, but do so while travelling to an exciting, dynamic country like Sri Lanka or Indonesia. Two goals, one placement!
What to Expect From a Psychology Internship
Working as a psychologist is a big job, so finding great people to assist by creating psychology internships for undergraduates and graduates can help to lighten the workload. Quite often these internships are offered out by individual therapists and clinicians who are looking for help within their respective practices. Duties may include assisting with administration and, dependent on experience, some supervised hands-on clients work as well. However, this is unlikely if you are participating in a psychology internship as an undergraduate.
It's good to be aware that not all psychology internships are created equal and duties like; alphabetising files, making coffee and tea and answering the phone should be expected. Although it might not seem like this type of work is hugely relevant to a career in mental health, it really is, as admin is a a huge part of any position in mental health.
If you're able to grab a psychology internship at a private clinic, make sure you understand that you may be doing a lot of day-to-day jobs that, on the surface, may not fully use all of the skills you possess as a budding psychologist, but are actually hugely beneficial. Organising, filing, getting used to looking at patient files and treatment plans, speaking on the phone and writing a good email are all skills that will benefit you well into the future.
Summer Psychology Internships
In contrast to more traditional internships, it has become increasingly popular for psychology students to undertake summer psychology internships with well-established organisations like us, at SLV.Global.
Our placements and programs all take place abroad, where the resources for those living with mental health concerns are lacking. Our placements are a great alternative to a summer psychology internship for various reasons, but mostly due to the fact that we encourage our volunteers to take the lead and work with peers to provide supportive, stimulating sessions for service users in places where there is a care deficit. Whether working in the classroom teaching English or running activities at a psychiatric facility or a residential centre for those with specific needs, designing and executing sessions is all up to you.
Psychology Internships Abroad
Psychology internships abroad provide participants with the opportunity to utilise the skills gained at university and in their home countries to help increase the overall well-being of service users living in communities which may be under-resourced and quite different to your community at home.
These types of internships are closest to our Mental Health Placements. In choosing to participate in a psychology internship abroad, you are demonstrating your desire to not only gain valuable experience within the sector, but to experience a whole new country and culture as well. With so much on offer it’s no wonder there has been an uptick in the popularity of psychology internships abroad and opportunities like ours!
Why Our Placements Are a Good Alternative to a Psychology Internship Abroad
At SLV.Global, we offer students and graduates the exciting opportunity to gain hands-on psychology work experience at the same time as living and working in an exciting, unique culture. Not only can we provide professional supervision and sign-off any hours participants may need to gain as part of a year in industry or a placement year, but our placements are also often used for course credit too.
You can check out the list of our current Partnerships to see if your university is one of our partners. If not, just let us know and we‘ll see what we can do about helping you get the most out of your placement with us.
All our Mental Health Placements include:
|Practical Expereince||✅||At least 40 hours of hands-on mental health experience|
|Supervision||✅||Volunteers are supported by senior staff throughout their placement. Ratio of 10:1.|
|Training||✅||Volunteers are supported by senior staff throughout their placement. Ratio of 10:1.|
|Workshops and Talks||✅||Run by local professionals to expand knowledge of global mental health|
|Volunteer Induction||✅||The induction takes place the first week of the volunteer’s placement.|
|Written Reference||✅||Upon successful completion of the placement volunteers will be provided with a certificate of completion and a reference upon request.|
We have an incredible structure of people who are there to support participants every step of the way and who understand how challenging this work can be. Undertaking a psychology internship abroad, or an opportunity like we offer is for those who are after a bit of adventure with their education and who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. Literally.
If this sounds like you, request an info pack using the link below to learn more about how our opportunities can benefit you: