Why go overseas?

There are countless benefits to undertaking your physiotherapy elective in the developing world. You’ll become more creative working in low-resource hospitals, connect with peers from around the world, strengthen your confidence, become a more effective communicator, and stand out from the crowd by having ‘overseas physiotherapy placement’ on your CV. All this in addition to exploring an exotic country on the other side of the world.

What's Included?

  • Our famous elective tailoring service
  • Supervised clinical experience
  • Extensive pre-departure preparation
  • Support from in-country teams, 24/7
  • Private, spacious, catered housing
  • Free local language lessons


‘We can make it happen’ - words we live by when it comes to physiotherapy placements. All you have to do is let us know where your clinical skills and interests lie and we’ll spare no expense engineering a physiotherapy placement that precisely suits your needs. Our electives are far from ordinary, they’re custom designed electives tailored specifically to you. One of our Elective Experts will design your experience from organising your visa to arranging your in-hospital experience and beyond. They also oversee all of our in-country operations, and make regular trips overseas to make sure the programmes are meeting our incredibly high standards.

physiotherapy electives

Go Further

Physiotherapy electives abroad involve exposure to a range of uncommon conditions and unconventional treatments that you won’t have seen in the UK. In some destinations, for example, electrotherapy is still used. People in developing countries often can’t afford healthcare. That coupled with the long travel times to hospitals, means patients won’t seek care until it’s absolutely necessary. This means you’ll see cases that are far more severe than you’re used to at home. This is the perfect opportunity to add something extra special to your list of experiences and get yourself ahead.

physiotherapy elective


From the moment you land our teams on the ground will begin providing 24/7 support from our large, fully catered, private, security guarded accommodation. What’s more our houses are exclusively for the use of Work the World students. In addition you’ll also be given exclusive access to MyTrip - our interactive placement tracking and information tool. All our houses are staffed by Programme Managers, their assistants, in-house chefs who’ll cook you delicious breakfasts and dinners (and BBQs), a housekeeper, and a fully trained security guard for complete peace of mind.

physiotherapy electives abroad

Physiotherapy elective destinations

Cambodia - Phnom Penh

Sprawling out from the mighty Mekong river, Cambodia’s capital is an eclectic hub of contrasts, where marketplaces brimming with brands sit alongside sacred Buddhist temples. Try traditional street food, explore the city's vibrant nightlife, boat along the river to see rural rice paddies, or head to the coast for white sands and crystal waters. A physiotherapy elective in Cambodia will open your eyes to how your overseas counterparts cope with heavily limited resources. Using hand-made equipment, you could assist in the treatment of patients presenting an extraordinary range of conditions, from meningitis to cerebral palsy. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo, click here.

Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest
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Nepal - Pokhara

Pokhara is a laid back and welcoming city, nestled deep in the lush foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. Hike your way through the Annapurna range, explore the many temples that can be found across the city, or go paragliding above Phewa lake. On a physiotherapy elective here you’ll work in a specialist Rehabilitation Hospital, which is extremely well-equipped by Nepalese standards. A proactive attitude will see you assisting in cases of stroke rehabilitation, neuromuscular disorders, and soft tissue injury. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara, click here.

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The Philippines - Batangas

Living and working in Batangas offers the best of two worlds. You’ll have access to some of The Philippine’s most beautiful natural wonders, while never being far from laid-back bars and traditional restaurants. On an Physiotherapy Elective in Batangas you’ll work with some Occupational Therapy practises in our partner hospital. Under the supervision of local specialists, you’ll come to understand the realities of delivering care in a low resource environment — using improvised rehabilitation equipment, for example, is the norm.

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Sri Lanka - Kandy

Kandy is a hub of rich historical culture, temples, bars, restaurants, and craft markets. It’s also boasts golden beaches and opportunities for jungle safari, white water rafting, and temple trekking. On a physiotherapy elective you’ll be placed in a teaching hospital which promotes patient interaction. You may also work with handmade equipment and help rehabilitate stroke patients, MSK and burns. Time in the busy outpatient department will give you insight into the specific, and often advanced, cases that are presented. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kandy, click here.

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Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is a jumble of the ancient and the new. Sacred stupas, temples, and ancient palaces mix with bars and busy markets. Further afield you’ll discover big game safari in national parks, clear blue waters and paradise beaches. On an elective here you’ll learn how local specialists rehabilitate amputees left by the Sri Lankan civil war with limited and often out-dated equipment. The Physiotherapy Unit works in the Neurosurgical and Surgical ICU wards too, giving you plenty of opportunity to broaden your experience. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura, click here.

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Tanzania - Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is the second most expansive city in Tanzania, and is surrounded by game parks, mountains, and forests, boasting a wealth of natural beauty to be explored. Go on safari, or take a short boat ride to paradise island Zanzibar. Clinically speaking you’ll be working in a department that focuses on orthopedic cases like road accidents, construction and logging injuries, and domestic accidents. The use of dated and sometimes handmade machinery will highlight the lack of resources in this developing field. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam, click here.

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Nepal - Kathmandu

Kathmandu boasts an ancient history best observed through its architecture, food, and culture. However, modernity has certainly made its mark; motorbikes speed down cobbled streets, Buddhist monks use mobile phones, and market stalls sell traditional dishes alongside western food. Physiotherapy is also a rapidly developing practice in Nepal, meaning you’ll observe the discipline coming into its own on your elective. Cases of cerebral palsy, strokes, and burns are all commonplace in this evolving department. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu, click here.

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Philippines - Iloilo

Iloilo lies on the coast of a tropical island and is surrounded by natural wonders, with palm trees aplenty, white sand beaches, jungles, and if you’re adventurous enough, the odd mountain or two. The city itself is a unique example of a modernising cultural centre with restaurants, bars, and seafront cafes. Physiotherapy placements here will see you in a department that caters for both the city and surrounding rural areas. Common rehabilitation cases include cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain surgery, and amputees. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo, click here.

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Philippines - Dumaguete

Dumaguete is a developing city surrounded by tropical jungles and a calm sea that stretches out to meet the horizon. With a wealth of lively bars and restaurants to enjoy after your elective and island hopping opportunities at the weekend, if you’re short of anything here, it’ll be time. Clinically speaking, you can choose to work in a local rehabilitation centre providing care for underprivileged children. Taking ward rounds with specialists will further highlight how limited resources affect rehabilitative therapy. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dumaguete, click here.

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Peru - Arequipa

Arequipa is a fusion of the old and new, with traditional textile markets and food vendors sitting beside colonial buildings and modern amenities. Further afield you’ll discover the Amazon jungle, floating villages, and the ruins of Machu Picchu. On your elective you’ll draw multiple comparisons between the holistic rehabilitation favoured in Peru, and that of home. You’ll also treat patients from the poorer sections of society, many of whom suffer from birth defects and untreated conditions, making for a rewarding placement. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa, click here.

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Ghana - Takoradi

Takoradi is an energetic city with a traditional African feel. Situated on Africa’s West coast, the region boasts historical as well as natural sights, with a series of ageing forts dotted up and down stretches of golden coastline. Further afield you’ll find waterfalls, safari parks, and remote villages. A confident attitude on your physiotherapy elective will see you working with regular patients who attend the department weekly. You can expect to work with cases like post-operative rehabilitation, strokes, burns and Erb’s Palsy, too. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi, click here.

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Tanzania - Arusha

The energetic city of Arusha is thriving with traditional marketplaces and surrounded by lush landscapes. Spot lions on safari, observe Kilimanjaro from the top of a nearby mountain, or scuba dive into the emerald Indian Ocean. On a physiotherapy elective here you’ll cover a wide range of conditions including child cerebral palsy and post-surgical rehabilitation. Burns from gas cookers and road traffic accidents are also commonplace, and you’ll often find yourself working with handmade equipment. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arusha, click here.

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Foster, Caitlin

Case Study

"You get to see how patients are treated without all the tools we use at home."

Caitlin Foster, Monash University 2015

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Dunsford, Caitlin

Case Study

"My time in the hospital was rewarding both personally and professionally".

Caitlin Dunsford , Professional Placement 2015

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Fawcett, Rebecca

Case Study

"There are also so many amazing chances to travel, at very affordable prices".

Rebecca Fawcett, University of Birmingham 2015

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Heil, Madison

Case Study

"I would definitely recommend this program, all the Nepalese people are wonderful".

Madison Heil, University of San Francisco 2015

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Campbell, Harriet

Case Study

"Enjoy yourself, get stuck in, make the most of your time in Arusha. You’ll never forget it!".

Harriet Campbell, Cardiff University 2015

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