We arrange psychotherapy and psychiatry internships at MGM Hospital in Kamothe in Navi Mumbai. MGM is a teaching hospital of the university. You will do your internship together with Indian students and you can also join lectures at the university.
MGM Hospitals Navi Mumbai
The three hospitals of MGM (Mahatma Ghandi Mission) in Navi Mumbai (Vashi, Kamothe, Kalamboli) are private hospitals of high standard. They are also teaching hospitals of the MGM University of Health Science.
Psychotherapy/psychiatry internships are usually done at the psychiatric department at MGM Kamothe. ´
All patients are first consulted by a psychiatrist who, if needed, refers them to a psychotherapist. Every day between 15 and 30 patients attend the department from which 5 to 10 are also treated by a psychotherapist.
Additionnally, from 11 to 12 there are group therapies of varying focus that interns can assist with: On Monday alcoholism, Tuesday and Friday child psychiatry, Wednesday dementia and memory clinic, Thursday suicide group and Saturday schizophrenia.
Interns should spend time both with the psychiatrist as with the psychotherapist. They should be open-minded towards both professions. Typically, they spend time in the morning with a psychiatrist and in the afternoon with a psychotherapist.
Studensts of Psychology can for instance learn the application of test such as prejective test including "Themantic Aperception Test" (TAT).
As MGM is a teaching hospital of the university, interns can also attend lectures at the university. Indian students of the Medical Faculty and of the TATA Institute of Social Science are also doing internships at the hospital, working with our foreign World Unite! interns. The Indian students can help with translations should the consultation be done in Hindi or Marathi. You should have solid skills of the English language.
According to the feedback of our past interns at MGM Navi Mumbai it is furthermore necessary to be proactive and to put yourself forward, to actively read the files of patents to gain background knowledge about the cases and to ask questions. Please read Anna's internship report in the tab "More Infos".
The head of the psychiatric department at MGM is psychiatrist Dr. Rakesh Ghildiyal, the head of psychology is the clinical psychologist Neelanjana Mathur.
In India, psychotherapy doesn't have the status yet as it has in the West. As in many developing or emerging countries, the focus when treating mental disorders is on psychopharmacology. Dr. Rakesh Ghildiyal, who is also director of the psychiatric society of Mumbai, has however recognised the importance of the inclusion of psychotherapy and is supporting it.
For safety and liability reasons World Unite! interns are not allowed to join the outreach programs, but can only participate in activities within the MGM campus.
The minimum internship duration for psychology students is 2 month and for medical students 1 month.
MGM Kamothe can be easily reached by public bus or shared taxi from Vashi Highway.
Location: Navi Mumbai, India
Availability: whole year, Start flexible
Minimum Duration: 4 weeks
Maximum Duration: 12 months
Language Requirements: English
Further languages of advantage: Hindi, Marathi
Shared apartment, hotel
Supervision possible: Yes
Qualificaion supervisor: Clinical psychologists, psychiatrists
Minimum qualification intern:
Student of Psychology or Medicine
Further contribution to be paid: 10,000 Rs. per month (only full months payable)
Volunteering possible: no
Expected Qualification volunteer: -
Internship report, MGM Hospital Psychiatry Department
1. Information about the internship organization
1.1. General information about the hospital
MGM Hospital Kamothe belongs to Mahatma Ghandi Mission. It is providing services to self-paying patients, but if indigence is proved, treatments are provided free of charge. This is financed through the connection to MGM Medical College whose medical students are getting practical experience at the hospital. The department of psychiatry where I did my internship is one of the hospital's many departments.
Staff at the psychiatry are Dr. Rakesh Ghildiyal (Professor and HOD, Head of the Department), Dr. Shaunak Ajinkya (Professor), Dr. Darpan Kaur (Assistant Professor), Dr. Asma Manzoor (Chief Resident), Dr. Junaid Nabi (Senior Resident) and Dr. Swati Mittal (Junior Resident); they have all studied medicine with a specialization in psychiatry or are at the moment completing this additional qualification. Furthermore, there are two clinical psychologists: Vaishali Shelar and Pushplata Debsikdar, and of course nursing staff.
Besides patients attending the psychiatric department, it is also the duty of this department to provide psychological support to patients of other departments who might need it. As mentioned before, some patients are self-paying, while others upon the proof of indigence can get free services. The latter group is mostly from the suburbs of Navi Mumbai or from even more remote villages of the state of Maharashtra. Twice per week, clinical psychologist Pushplata Debsikdar is providing psychological child counselling at MGM Kalamboli and Vaishali Shelar, and once per week giving psychological support to the residents of an old peoples' home in Kamothe.
Besides treating outpatients and inpatients in one-to-one counselling sessions, every day there are group therapy sessions for a different target group: On Mondays alcohol, on Tuesdays child psychiatry, Wednesdays dementia, Thursday suicide, Friday psychosomatic and anxiety disorders, Saturdays schizophrenia. In- and outpatients participate at these group counselling sessions.
2. Description of activities
The idea of an internship in India in general is as follows: Unless students have completed their studies, they are primarily doing an observership/observational internship. You can observe, but generally not actively participate.
As an intern at the psychiatric department of MGM Hospital Kamothe I was allowed to join one-to-one and group therapy sessions where elements of psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioural therapy and systemic therapies could be found. I will give some examples:
* The aim was abstinence from alcohol and this was being practised in role plays simulating high risk situations to establish behavioural alternatives (KVT).
* For psycho-education, the patients were often given explanations giving disorder models based on psychoanalytic concepts
* For psycho-education, the patients were often given explanations giving disorder models based on psychoanalytic concepts
* A patient with symptoms of depression and anxiety first came to the therapy by herself. Through the course of talks, it was found out to better view her problems in context with her family situation. Therefore, Vaishali Shelar included the patient’s husband and daughter to the further therapy sessions. The patient was seen as a carrier of symptoms resulting from a sick system to be treated through couple and family therapy. At the same time, the patient was given particular attention to match her specific problems, and she was prescribed psychotropic drugs in small doses (systemic approach to therapy).
In various therapy sessions, particularly with female patients, cultural differences became evident which for instance were manifested in other forms of marital problems than in Western societies - and which often resulted in depression - and needed other means of solution than in Western societies. It was essential for me to learn about family structures in India and the importance of family to understand the patients and their problems.
Furthermore I got an insight into diagnostic processes, such as diagnosis of mental retardation of children and youth via various culture fair IQ tests. I also had he possibility to study some cases of patients’ histories as I was given access to patients' files, and I learned - even though just through observation - to do first interviews for purposes of anamnesis and to professionally take history.
On Mondays, I went with Vaishali Shelar to an old people's home in Kamothe where MGM is in charge of the provision of mental support. I also participated in various lectures: As MGM Kamothe is a teaching hospital there were lectures for small groups of college students and psychiatry students, where various disorders and test were explained in detail. Unfortunately, I had already studied most of these topics at my university, which means that participating at these lectures was just a repetition for me; unfortunately the people in charge of the department didn't understand this properly.
On the weekends I made use of the possibility to participate in Medical Camps which are being arranged by MGM Kalamboli. Several doctors of the hospital went for a day to remote hospitals in Maharasthra to treat patients, supplying a lot of medicines from MGM. Technically, I couldn't benefit a lot from the medical camps as no psychiatrists took part, but I could get to know a further aspect of the Indian health system and get in touch with people of rural regions. That's why I found these days interesting anyway. Furthermore, I could expand my general medical knowledge to a certain degree.
I found my internship a valuable experience in many ways:
One of my aims of the internship was to experience the problems you might be faced with when doing clinical psychology work in a different cultural context. About India, I can say that a problem to work there as a clinical psychologist or psychotherapist is that psychotherapy is not widely accepted as a means of treatment for mental disorders, but that sticking to medicines is still much more common than in Western societies. Furthermore I experienced that the belief in ghosts and generally in supernatural forces, particularly in the rural regions of India, is widespread, which in many cases makes the treatment of patients more difficult. For instance I got to know a schizophrenic patient whose psychiatric treatment was stopped by her family with the explanation that the woman wasn't ill, but that her condition was caused by supernatural forces that only need to be influenced in a beneficial way. The knowledge of the psychiatrists and psychologists that I worked with was not the same as what I had learn in university about many subject areas. Dealing with this was something I had to learn during my internship, and it is probably a situation many people will experience when doing an internship in another country. However this depends on the actual circumstances and cannot really be generalised.
Personally I also had to get accustomed to a certain aspect of working in India: As opposed to Germany, the power distance (as per Hofstede) is very big. As a result, the power in this country is distributed very unequally. This is something I have experienced in the psychiatric department: As opposed to Germany, it was not possible to work with the Indian doctors on the same professional level. Instead, I had to accept that those in a higher position weren't interested in what I knew and how I could benefit from the internship, but they were merely interested in demonstrating THEIR knowledge and skills. I quickly learned that when asking questions, they should never sound like criticism, but if I wanted to achieve something and get good information, I always had to point out my inferiority. This was the only way to maintain a positive work climate with the Indian doctors. Another illustrative example for the high power distance in India is that whenever the Head of Department was present, everyone had to stand up to show their respect. Also in the relation between doctor and patient, the dimension of high power distance was strongly present.
I observed one aspect of Indian culture as very positive in the context of clinical psychological work: The family has a much higher importance in India than in Germany and family ties are much stronger. Such social support is a protective factor against mental disorders. This fact shows that the family should always be considered for treatments, and should be included in psycho-education. It is very common, at least for the first interviews that family members take part, as it is anyway normal in India that family members join patients when meeting physicians.
Besides professional aspects, there are other things that I found very rewarding in India. I was staying for a month at a so-called "Paying Guest House" where besides one other German internship student, there were only young Indian women who either were students, interns or workers. I was sharing my room with two of them and we often had dinner together, as the landlord was cooking every day. This gave me the possibility to get to know Indian women more closely than it would have been possible at other forms of accommodation or travel in the country, and to get an insight into Indian everyday life of people of my age. They explained to me many cultural peculiarities of their country and their way of dealing with them. An example is the topic of arranged marriage versus love marriage.
In total, I consider my internship a truly worthwhile experience, both in a professional and personal way, from which I will surely benefit in the future. I am still very much interested in the subject area of clinical psychology. During my course of studies I want to do another internship in clinical psychology, but in Germany, so that I can really get a good comparison, and also to get to know the administrative side of the German health system. My university unfortunately doesn't offer any lectures related to international work or work in developing countries, otherwise I would love to attend them. I will keep my eyes open if in the future I can see any possibilities to join such training.
Accommodation in Navi Mumbai
In Navi Mumbai, you can choose between accommodation of different standards:
In Navi Mumbai, most of our participants live in apartments that they share with other participants or young Indians. The bedrooms are usually shared with 2-3 participants of the same sex. In Navi Mumbai, we use various accommodations, depending on the availability and your volunteering/internship location. Please understand that we can usually not tell you long in advance which accommodation you will be staying at. The reason is simply that our participants on site sometimes decide to stay longer and we need some flexibity to satisfy all accommodation needs. For all apartments please bring your own bed sheets and towels.
The apartment is located on the 7th floor of a residential building in Sanpada (Navi Mumbai). Sanpada is a very central residential district of the Indian upper middle class. In just 10 walking minutes you can reach Vashi Train Station and the shopping centers "Inorbit Mall", "Centre One" and “Raghulela“. The "Vashi Plaza" with many shops is about 10 more walking minutes away. From Vashi station, you can take a train to other stations in Navi Mumbai and Mumbai.
In the immediate surroundings of the building there are several small shops with food and everyday supplies, small local restaurants, which also have a delivery service in the neighborhood, a pharmacy, a laundry service and a well-equipped gym.
The apartment has a passage bedroom with ceiling fan, another bedroom with ceiling fan and air conditioning, a kitchen, bathroom and a separate toilet. The bathroom has a shower with water heater and sink. The kitchen has a refrigerator, a cooking plate, a water cooker and a sink. 1-3 people can live in this apartment.
The building has 7 floors each with 2 apartments in 4 separate wings (in total 56 apartments), in the immediate vicinity there are other similar apartment buildings.
The building is guarded by security personnel and has an elevator in each wing.
In cooperation with our partner Mahima International School that we also arrange internships and volunteer assignments with, we organize accommodation at an apartment of good standard in Koparkhairane. You would share the apartment with up to 5 Indian girls aged 8-15 years and other participants of our World Unite! programs. The girls are usually from socially disadvantaged families and receive free accommodation and schooling from Mahima. You can spend time with the Indian girls, but you don't have to! The apartment can accommodate 1-3 World Unite! participants in addition to the Indian girls.
There are two separate bedrooms for participants of our programs (one of which is a walkthrough room with access to the bathroom/toilet). Each room has a ceiling fan. There is a washing machine, a kitchen, a common room, and security personnel.
In the immediate neighborhood of the building there are several small shops with food and everyday supplies, small local restaurants etc. Also some larger shopping centers can be reached in just a few minutes by autorickshaw.
Apartment in Kalamboli
The apartment in Kalamboli is located on the 14th floor of a residential building and is equipped with modern facilities. There is a common room with a bed couch, which is also used as a walkthrough bedroom, a bathroom, a toilet and two other bedrooms. In this shared apartment, 1-5 participants can be accommodated simultaneously.
The apartment also has a kitchen and a balcony.
The building has security personnel and an elevator. In the immediate vicinity there are other similar apartment buildings.
We organize accommodation in a centrally located budget hotel in Vashi, which is affordable for longer stays. It offers modern single and double rooms, each with private bathroom and air conditioning. The hotel does not offer Wifi Internet though, but internet use is possible with smartphones or USB internet sticks.
I. World Unite! Service Package
Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
|up to 31 Days||32-60 Days||61-90 Days||91-120 Days||5 Months or longer|
|450 EUR||600 EUR||700 EUR||750 EUR||850 EUR|
(Rate per Person)
|400 EUR||500 EUR||600 EUR||650 EUR||700 EUR|
Convert rates to USD, GBP, CAD, AUD and other currencies
The World Unite! Service Package includes:
- Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
- Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
- Preparation Session via Skype, together with further participants
- Arrangements of the Documents you need for your Visa Application and assistance with local registration (if required) but not the official government fees for the visa (See costs below)
- Pick-up and Transfers from/to Mumbai Airport (BOM) on arrival and departure
- Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
- Orientation and Introduction in Navi Mumbai
- Accompanying you to your placement on your first day
- 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
- Local SIM Card with 600 Rs. airtime credit
- Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university
- Donation of 50 USD (in domestic currency) to your placement organization (in case of charitable organizations)
- Costs for 10 seedlings of indigenous trees that we plant on the slopes of Kilimanjaro
The Rates do NOT include:
- Accommodation and Meals (see below)
- Travel to/from Mumbai (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
- Official fees for Visa (see below)
- Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
- Personal Expenses
- Local Transport (Estimated amounts see below)
- Please note that for supervised/mentored internships, some organizations charge further contributions. You find this information in the "Info Box" below the respective internship description.
II. Accommodation Costs
You can choose between the following options:
Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
| All Rates in Indian Rupees! |
(Only bookable for full months or half months)
|Shared Apartment or Hotel|
Apartment shared with other participants
8000 Rs/2 Week
(min. 2 weeks)*
|2 Persons p.p.
8000 Rs/2 Week
(min. 2 weeks)
(optional; Indian Meals)
|per person||Breakfast 35 Rs; Lunch 45 Rs; Dinner 55 Rs./Day||Breakfast 35 Rs; Lunch 45 Rs; Dinner 55 Rs./Day|
Hotel incl. Breakfast
+ Tax (4%)
+ Tax (4%)
|2 Persons p.p.
+ Tax (4%)
+ Tax (4%)
* Room is shared with another person of the same sex (World Unite! participant or Indian student/young professional). Electricity is not included in the rate and will be charged depending on usage. Rate for meals is subject to sudden change and not guaranteed. In case of 3-4 person: Same rate as in case of 2 Persons. 5 or more persons: Contact us for group rates. The bed has to be booked for a full month or half month.
Overview of other costs:
- Visa around 60-130 EUR (75-160 USD) depending on activity and duration; to apply prior to your travel
- If meals are not included: 40-100 EUR (50-130 USD)/Month (Estimate)
- Small local expenses (Internet, Local Transport): ca. 20-40 EUR (30-50 USD)/Month (Estimate)
- Insurances around 20-40 EUR (30-50 USD)/Month
How do I pay?
Once all your questions have been answered and you confirm that you want to participate, we will email you an invoice. You can pay it via bank transfer, credit card or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit of 200 EUR / 250 USD when the invoice is issued. One months prior to your arrival you will pay the remainder for your Service Package.
The payment modalities for rent and possible further costs (e.g. internship supervision fees, as stated in info box of the respective project description) depend on your host country and placement. We will inform you beforehand. In many cases these costs are paid on site, but for some countries and placements they need to be paid partially or fully in advance.
Other Projects That Might Interest You:
These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings. Please contact us to know more! Check out our other listings in the areas of "World Learner" and "Active Travel" at your travel destination to make your stay even more interesting.
Travel Health Insurance
We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.
Check out our video on Navi Mumbai!
Judith from Germany shows us in this video, the city of Navi Mumbai. She completed a two-month internship at the local newspaper "Vashi Times". In the video, you will also meet Sudipta, our coordinator and supervisor in Navi Mumbai.
Navi Mumbai - City of Contrasts
Mumbai (Bombay) is the economic centre of India and with 14-20 million people, one of the largest megacities in the world. The city is the centre of the finance industry, trade, economy and fashion in India. "Bollywood", by the amount of films produced annually, is the largest film industry in the world. Symbols of wealth can be found at many places in Mumbai; the real estate prices in certain parts of Mumbai are amongst the highest in the world. As Mumbai was bursting at its seams, the city was expanded in 1972 to the east of the Thane Creek estuary, to Navi Mumbai. Navi Mumbai is seamlessly growing in the north with (Old) Mumbai, and there are numerous bridges connecting the two across Thane Creek. In Navi Mumbai, there are many modern businesses, shopping malls and modern infrastructure. Meanwhile, Navi Mumbai has itself 1.5 million inhabitants, with its own attractive city center, Vashi.
The other side of the success story is extreme poverty. Every day, hundreds of job-seeking people from all parts of India move to Mumbai, and in many cases, they settle down in slum areas which spread on all pieces of available land. In 2001, 54.1% of Mumbai's population were slum dwellers. The population density in the slums is oppresive (up to 340,000 people per square kilometre). Under such circumstances, problems such as a lack of hygiene and diseases, environmental destruction, crime, alcoholism and prostitution are the consequence. In Mumbai, we offer volunteering options related to these problems at charitable organizations, and also internships at leading companies of the city.
For most foreigners, Mumbai is probably not a city where they would love stay for the rest of their life - too crowded, noisy, hot and dirty. For a limited period of time however, it is surely exciting to be in Mumbai to understand and learn about the social processes of an emerging country's mega-metropolis.
The main languages of Mumbai are Marathi, Gujurati, Urdu and Hindi. English is spoken as a common language between speakers of the various mother tongues and is considered by the majority as their second language.
Our Coordinator in Mumbai
Our coordinator in Mumbai is Sudipta.
Recreational Activities in Mumbai
Mumbai is a city with a rich array of museums, events, attractions and shopping. You can also participate in various courses and activities such as dance, language training, yoga and sports.
If one moves out of the city, there are some interesting opportunities for rural tourism on the coast and inland. Check out our offers in Community Tourism in Maharashtra! Another great holiday destination is Goa.
Getting To Navi Mumbai
You book your flight to Mumbai (BOM). There, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation in Navi Mumbai.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are there fixed start dates for the project, which I must adhere to?
No, you can arrive at any date and you can hence, plan your trip according to your availability and the prices of flights. We can pick you up from Mumbai airport even at night.
Can I stay longer at my accommodation after my volunteering/internship or arrive earlier?
Yes, this is possible and we will give you our best rates. Just let us know when you arrive and leave and we will let you know the costs.
During my stay, can I travel around the country?
Of course, you can do this - most of our participants do so. However, when the travel destination is too far away, it may not be possible over a weekend; these, we would recommend you keep for before the projects begins or after the completion. You could even plan these out during holidays. Even with an internship visa, it is possible to travel around India.
When is the rainy season and can I travel to India during this time?
The monsoon begins in early June in Kerala, Mumbai, in mid-June and the Himalayan region, early to mid-July and ends in September. The Thar Desert in Rajasthan (location Setrawa), barely gets rain during the monsoon and Jodhpur is rather dry.
During the monsoon, it usually rains heavily for several hours every day. As a result, there are often floods in the streets of the cities, because the drains cannot absorb the amounts of water. An internship or volunteering is possible during the monsoon, and the only nuisance will probably be wet clothes and shoes, which are often difficult to dry because of the high humidity. You might want to carry a few extra shoes and a change of clothes with you (or buy them locally). You can even buy an umbrella or a raincoat locally. An advantage to traveling during the monsoon, is that the fares are cheaper and accommodation during the off season is cheaper.
Can I travel to India as a young woman alone? The media constantly reports of rape - how high is the risk?
For decades, India has been a safe country for women and now the impression, given by the media, is that the number of rapes has skyrocketed and India is unsafe for women. More cases are coming into light now, as women previously would not speak about rape, but are now empowered to do so. Compared to the number of cases in relation to the huge population of India (almost twice as many as the whole of Europe), even if projections of unreported cases are included, there is much less rape than in many other countries. There are 2 cases that happen per 100,000 inhabitants in India (in comparison: Central Europe: 8.1 cases; 14.7 cases in Latin America; 28.6 cases per 100,000 population in the US).
Of course you have to be careful as a woman, as far as the style of dressing and dealing with local men are concerned. In schools, boys and girls are often strictly separated and many young men have no experience in dealing with women who are not their own mother or sisters; your behavior, based on dealing with Western men, might be misinterpreted as “easy” or “loose” behaviour.
Will I be the only volunteer/intern in the project or in Mumbai?
The total number of participants that participate simultaneously with an organization depends on the size and activity of the organization and responsibilities of volunteers/interns. We try to avoid too many volunteers/interns in an organization at the same time. It may be that you are alone in your work site, but usually there are, throughout the year, other participants in Mumbai, who you can meet in your spare time, if you desire so.
What vaccinations do I need?
Our Info - PDF that you get as a participant, gives detailed information on health care. Also refer to Recommended Vaccinations
Where will I live?
In the tab "Accommodation", you see the housing options.
Does my accommodation have internet facilities?
In the shared accommodations, there is no wifi, but you access internet at a cafe or on your smartphone or using a mobile internet stick. The registration of the modem, however, is very complex and not possible in Mumbai, if you do not have a permanent residence. Our tutor will help you with the paperwork.
How can I do my laundry?
There are several laundromats in Navi Mumbai, where the clothes are washed by hand and neatly ironed. There is a price per garment (fixed price for trousers, tops, towels, underwear, etc.), and it will be best if you negotiate a good rate for the clothes, especially if you have regular amounts of laundry. We advise you to ask around for the best laundromat in your area.
Can I cook in the accommodation?
Yes, you can cook at your accommodations.
I am a vegetarian. Can I get vegetarian food?
Yes, India is a paradise for vegetarians. Almost all restaurants are clearly marked, whether they are vegetarian ("Veg") or not ("Non-Veg"), and there are separate menus. About 40% of Indians are vegetarians.
What language skills do I need?
You should be able to understand and make yourself understood in English.