by Joe Jamieson

Travel Experiences

The point of your overseas elective is to get eye-opening clinical experience that would be impossible on a placement at home.

But don’t forget — you’re visiting a country you might not get the chance to see again. So it’s worth getting out there and making the most of the once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences laid out before you.

In this post, you’ll explore some of our destinations' most memory-worthy wildlife experiences. And they can all be done over a weekend. So, whether you want to see lions and rhinos out on an African savannah or swim with whale sharks in the Philippines, you’ll find something that suits your travel style.

Swim with whale sharks in The Philippines

If you choose to travel to our programme in the Philippines, you can experience something that few others can say they’ve tried. You’ll take a scenic drive along the stunning coast of Cebu Island to reach your destination - a small dock with a jetty stretching out into the sea.

You’ll see small wooden boats crewed by local fishermen skittering across the waves. They’re out there looking for whale sharks. And at 32ft long and weighing up to 20 tonnes, they’re not all that difficult to spot.

To protect the whale sharks, swimming with them is heavily regulated, so there are rules you have to follow. Before heading out onto the water, you’ll have an orientation to help you understand these rules.

Before you know it, you’ll be out on the boat staring at these gentle giants. You might be apprehensive at first, but as soon as you get into the water, your anxiety will transform into awe and wonder.

The whale sharks will move slowly through the water. And while the regulations suggest you’re supposed to keep a distance for the whale sharks’ protection, they will swim close enough that they’re an arm’s length away.

It's an experience not easily forgotten.

Visit the Philippines

Go on safari in Tanzania

Andrew Stephenson, James Sharp, Jasmine Rosewarne

Imagine yourself looking out towards the horizon as you ride across the grassy savanna in your 4x4 in search of wild elephants, lions, wildebeest and rhinos.

A car will pick you up outside the Work the World house. Your English-speaking tour guide will also be there, and they’ll stay with you the whole weekend. Together, you and any housemates you’re travelling with will drive out of the city and into the African wilderness.

You’re heading to Mikumi National Park - one of the biggest in Tanzania. It has a vast variety of animals, including the Big 5. Seeing them in the wild and being able to get so close to take photos will be an experience that’s hard to put into words.

After you’ve watched one of the mind-blowing sunsets that the savannas are known for, you’ll make camp. You’ll have meals cooked for you and sit around the campfire with a hot chocolate or a beer. When it’s time, you’ll head back to your hut for a good night’s rest, ready to do it again tomorrow.

Visit Tanzania

Visit the Monkey Temple in Nepal

Seeing wildlife in its natural habitat is one thing. But what happens when human and animal kingdoms collide?


Swayambhunath — the Monkey Temple — has your answer.


The temple sits on top of one of the hills overlooking Kathmandu city. To get up to the 1500-year-old complex, you need to climb around 350 steps, but it’s worth it. The place is ancient but profoundly beautiful, with intricate gold decorations and colourful prayer flags strung up above. The enormous domed stupa, other shrines, and smaller temples dotted here and there give you plenty to explore.


But the monkeys give the temple its name, and there are hundreds of them. They swing from trees, hop over rooftops, and perch on sculptures of the Buddha. They are also exceptional mischief-makers. You can see them during the day, but if you feel brave and want to see them at their most active, head to the temple after dark.


Visit Nepal


Get up close to wild elephants in Sri Lanka

You sit waiting as the sun starts to dip in the sky. You welcome the cooler temperatures after a warm day. As you gaze out over the still waters, you see the trees begin to move in the jungle around you. Slowly, great shapes begin to move behind the treeline. One by one, the elephants emerge and move towards the reservoir to search for water.


This body of water in Minneriya National Park draws hundreds of elephants from miles in every direction. There isn’t a lot of water around during the dry season, so herds of elephants flock to this body of water to drink from it, bathe in it, and feed on the lush vegetation in the surrounding jungle.


It’s something to behold. You can get close to the elephants in 4x4s driven by the park rangers, and you’ll be accompanied by guides who know everything worth knowing about Asian elephants.


But there are plenty of other wild animals living in the jungles here. You can see purple-faced langur monkeys and macaques, spotted deer, leopards, and buffalo — an authentic safari. Minneria is close to many of the other must-visit spots in Sri Lanka, so if you’re making the trip over a weekend, it’s the perfect jumping-off point for things like the cultural triangle and Sigiriya rock.


visit Sri Lanka


the tip of the iceberg

This post gives you some idea of the experiences you can take advantage of while on your overseas trip. But there is so much more to dive into. Browse our destinations below to see which best suits your travel style and clinical goals.

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Get an idea of where you might do your elective by exploring our destinations in Africa & Asia. 

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