If you’re struggling to get your friends organised for an overseas clinical placement, go by yourself.
Travelling alone is, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; a cliché to be sure, but accurate nevertheless.
If you’ve never travelled by yourself before, take a few minutes and scan through the points below to find reassurance and maybe some motivation.
GO AT YOUR OWN PACE
Being accountable to—and responsible for—yourself (and yourself only) is a compelling reason to travel alone.
You have total freedom to create your dream trip without having to compromise with anyone.
You won’t have to compromise when you arrive overseas either. You’re free to make independent decisions about what you want to do and when.
When you need some space, as we all do from time to time, you don’t have to feel bad about leaving your travel companions in favour of your own company.
MEET NEW PEOPLE
A point contrary to the above, and one that is perhaps counterintuitive, is that travelling alone actually makes it easier to make new friends. When you’re travelling with people you already know, you’re more likely to rely on their company. You risk sticking with what is comfortable, ignoring opportunities to branch out and have exciting new experiences.
In the Work the World house, you’ll live with people from around the world who are studying and practicing everything from medicine to physiotherapy. It’s an opportunity to learn about healthcare in a global context, directly from those who live the experience.
You’ll quickly form bonds with the people around you because you’ll have the shared Work the World experience in common.
In the evenings, you and your housemates can head into town to try out local restaurants and drop into local bars for a few drinks together. At weekends, you’ll make plans and travel the country together. An overseas placement can be a rewardingly social experience; it’s not uncommon for people to make lifelong friends as a result.
Strengthening your confidence is like training a muscle. The more you take on and overcome, the more confident you will be.
Putting yourself forward for an overseas clinical placement demonstrates your willingness to step boldly into new experiences. And it’s these kinds of novel experience that help us to grow.
An overseas placement is a wellspring of opportunity. You can choose which opportunities to take advantage of, but in the final analysis you’ll emerge from the experience a stronger and more confident person than the one you were when you went in.
LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF
You’ll also learn a lot about yourself on an overseas placement. This isn’t an exclusive benefit of solo travel, but it’s worth mentioning all the same.
In some areas, you’ll surprise yourself with what you’re capable of. In others, you might fall short. This is the process of self-discovery and it’s non-trivial; learning about your strengths and weaknesses through your lived experience will help steer you towards a better version of yourself.
This one’s nothing to do with personal development, but it is a reason that going it alone could work in your favour.
When fundraising as a group, you have to split the pool of potential funds between you. Your competition for bursaries and grants increases, and if you all know the same people you’ll be battling to get donations for your GoFundMe campaign.
The fewer of you there are the better your chances of hitting your target, which makes travelling solo an attractive prospect.
SUPPORT FROM WORK THE WORLD
- Our team in Ghana -
Each person undertaking an overseas placement starts from a different level of confidence. Some of you will be raring to go, while others may need a bit more reassurance before settling in. Both are common. Wherever you are on the spectrum, we’ll prepare a placement to suit your requirements with support to match.
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Solo travel isn’t for everyone, but it’s absolutely worth getting in touch with us to see if we can plan an overseas clinical placement around your individual needs.
To get an idea of your options, ask us a question using the form at the bottom of the page, or give us a call on the relevant number below.
UK: +44 (0)1273 974634 | AUS: +61 3 7000 6007 | USA: +1 (617) 315 1412 | NL: +31 10 310 08 32