So you’ve decided to go overseas for your elective. You know it would be unwise not to shop around for the best service out there. We know that too. That’s why we’ve pulled together the most important questions to ask your elective placement provider before you book your trip.
We’ve listed the ten questions you should definitely be asking below to ensure you get the most out of your time overseas...
Can you guarantee my department choices before I travel?
This is an important one to ask. You can’t properly prepare for your trip if you don't know what departments you will be spending your time in until you arrive on placement.
And no doubt you’ll want to ensure that the departments you’ll be placed in align with your clinical interests beforehand.
With Work the World, you choose the departments you want to experience in advance and we’ll guarantee them before you go, so you know where you’ll be and what to expect.
Our helpful team will also help you prepare for the departments you’ll be in, offering advice and tips to help you get the most out of your experience.
Can I travel whenever I like?
If your provider only offers packages and set travel dates, you’ll be very limited in terms of when you can travel.
If you’re busy studying for your qualification and trying to fit in numerous university commitments, or working full-time as a qualified professional, you don’t want the added stress of trying to plan your elective around restrictive dates and timetables.
Work the World tailor your placement to suit you. You tell us when you want to travel and we will organise your placement around your travel dates.
Our placements run 365 days a year, so you really can travel for your elective whenever you want, or need to. Even if it’s after you’ve completed your degree.
Who will I be living and spending my free time with?
An overseas elective can provide you with the chance to live alongside like-minded individuals and learn from, and support, one another.
But, what happens if you’re not sure what your peers will be like, or whether they will be on the same page as you? Chances are you’ll miss out on the opportunity to build a global network of like-minded healthcare students and professionals with whom you can share advice and experiences with.
We have high standards for who can and can’t travel with us at Work the World. You'll be surrounded by people who share the same interests as you and want to broaden their experiences. We don’t accept people who are there to just ‘have a go’.
You’ll share your different skills and knowledge, gain invaluable international contacts and be more open and aware of differing practices across cultures – all of which can help shape your career.
Do you provide homestays or private accommodation?
If your elective provider only offers homestays – will you be staying on your own or with peers? Does the host family speak English? Will they have the time to show you around? Will your dietary requirements be catered for?
Our private, fully-catered Work the World houses are quite the opposite of homestays. They offer all the comforts of home with large shared bedrooms, spacious communal areas to relax and socialise in and beautiful outside areas too.
Our locally-hired in-country teams speak fluent English and will be around to help you as much, or as little, as you need. They’re there to help you to adjust to your new surroundings and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Our professional catering teams will be on hand too, giving you a true taste of the local cuisine and catering to all of your dietary requirements.
Can I tailor my overseas elective to suit my clinical interests and goals?
It’s important to make sure your elective provider offers flexibility and isn’t just offering a one size fits all package.
You’ll have your own clinical interests, and perhaps you plan to specialise in a particular area further down the line.
And if your provider can’t offer flexibility you might find yourself restricted in terms of what you can experience whilst overseas.
Work the World tailors each individual’s placement from the ground up. We operate in a way that means everyone gets plenty of time and attention.
We tailor everyone’s placement down to the last detail thanks to the strong relationships we have with our partner hospitals.
You’ll be involved at every stage whilst we build your placement, so if you have any special requests or unique clinical interests chances are we can accommodate them.
What level of support do you offer before I depart for my trip?
Make sure the support you receive before you travel is customised to your own needs and concerns.
If you’re just going to be sent a standardised pre-departure pack before you travel, what happens if the information you need isn’t available there?
Before your trip, you want to be focusing your time on planning all the exciting travel opportunities and getting to grips with what to expect. You don’t want your free time to be wasted on unnecessary stress and worry.
Pre-departure support is personalised to each person who travels with Work the World.
You’ll have a dedicated point of contact who will take every student on a case-by-case basis and listen to your unique needs and concerns.
You’ll have scheduled pre-departure calls to help you prepare and you’ll have access to MyTrip, your online elective planner, for detailed and personalised information about your placement, destination and accommodation.
What happens once I arrive? Will I be shown around my placement hospital?
Once you arrive at your chosen destination, you’ll be excited (and apprehensive!) to dive right into your placement.
But what if you don’t know the best way to travel to the hospital? Or you don’t know where the departments you’ll be spending your time in are located? Or who will be supervising you whilst you're on placement?
If you don’t have this information beforehand, it’ll be hard to get to grips with how the hospital runs and how certain things are done. And it will certainly take you a long time to feel comfortable and settled in.
Travelling with Work the World you won’t have to worry about any of this.
We go the extra mile to make sure you are fully settled in the country, and then embedded within specific hospital teams who have been briefed on your arrival.
You’ll be given a city orientation and be shown the best ways to travel to and from your placement hospital. Our team will introduce you to your supervisors and the department teams who will already be aware of your clinical interests and capabilities. And you’ll have a tour of the hospital too, to help you adjust to the new clinical environment before your placement starts.
What level of support will I have whilst on placement?
As with any placement, whether that’s overseas or at home, the level of support you receive from department staff and supervisors makes a huge difference to your experience.
So it’s important you feel reassured by your elective provider that you’ll be fully supported on your overseas placement too.
If you arrive at your placement hospital but the staff don’t know who you are. Or if you’re unsure about who you can direct questions to, you’ll struggle to get everything you can out of the experience.
Students who travel with Work the World have such immersive clinical experiences because we have deep and long-standing partnerships with local hospitals and clinics.
We’ve spent a long time building relationships with everyone at our placement hospitals, from juniors on the wards right the way up to the hospital directors, helping to design and implement supervision structures that offer you the best experience possible.
Do you offer a range of destinations to choose from?
We’re sure it’s already at the forefront of your mind, but if you’ve chosen to go overseas for your healthcare elective, you want the chance to visit a country that’s high on your bucket list.
As well as different learning opportunities, you also want to experience different cultures and travel opportunities too.
If an elective provider only has one destination to choose from, make sure you ask about weekend and evening travel opportunities.
You’ll want plenty to see and do in your free time, so make sure the destination offers experiences that will interest you – this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity after all!
Our programmes span three different continents, each offering something unique. From lush rainforests and snow-capped mountains in Asia, palm-lined beaches and buzzing nightlife in Latin America, to paradise islands and stunning nature reserves in Africa – our destinations offer something for everyone.
You can discover more about our wide range of unique destinations here.
What safety and security measures do you have in place?
Travelling to a new country, you want to be sure you’ll be in safe hands should anything not go to plan.
Be confident that when you go overseas your elective provider hasn’t cut corners and has every measure in place to ensure your safety.
Make sure you know who your main point of contact will be whilst overseas and who will be there to support you should you need it.
Your safety, security, and comfort are our principal concern at Work the World. Some of the measures we take to ensure your safety and security are obvious, but others go on behind the scenes, allowing you to enjoy a worry-free placement.
If you travel with us you’ll have the benefit of our experienced and professional in-country teams who are hired from the local community.
They’ll be there to support you with your placement, guide you in your new environment, introduce you to the culture and let you in on the best kept local secrets – from the best place to grab a coffee in town, to the most exciting weekend travel destinations!
So, now that you have these important questions to hand, you can be confident that you’ll make an informed choice!
Start planning your overseas elective by filling out the short enquiry form - a member of our expert team will be in touch to answer all of your questions.