Our base in Phnom Penh is home to Southeast Asian culture at its most striking. Brightly painted wooden boats adorn the banks of the Mekong River, Buddhist monks in saffron robes offer prayers, and the aromas of local cuisines provide an intoxicating feast for the senses. Outside the capital, discover ancient Hindu temples nestled deep in the jungle, beautiful coastline, and lush national parks.

The Work The World House

The Work the World house is focal point of your trip with us to Phnom Penh. It acts as your home from home, and you'll live with other healthcare students and graduates, which gives the house a social atmosphere.

Based only a short tuk tuk ride from the banks of Cambodia’s famous Mekong River, you can get from the Work the World house to the centre of the city in minutes.

After placement you can hop on a dragon boat tour along the river, visit a temple or two, explore the night markets to find the best street food, and then hit the bars and clubs in the nightlife district.

The house itself is situated in a residential area, so it’s perfect after a busy day on placement when you want to escape the bustle of the city.

Read more about our accommodation

In-Country Team

Management team: Based in the house, they oversee your entire Work the World experience — 24/7 — from the moment you land to the moment you leaveCatering team: Cook a variety of both local cuisine and familiar home comforts, accommodating all dietary requirementsHousekeeper: Keeps the house clean and tidy from top to bottom, making sure you're comfortableLanguage teacher: Visits the house twice per-week. During their lessons, you’ll learn everyday phrases and clinical terminology to help you get more from your placementSecurity team: Monitor the house 24/7 for your peace of mind

Support in the Hospital

Our team in Phnom Penh will take you on an informal visit to your placement hospital. This happens before you start. The team then introduce you to key department staff and your supervisors, helping you get a feel for things before you dive in. You’ll often see the in-country team around the hospital. They will visit you regularly to make sure everything is running smoothly.

We assign your in-hospital supervisors before you’ve even arrived in-country, so they’ll be expecting you. Build rapport with them and you’ll get insight into the local healthcare system that only a local practitioner can offer.

We’ve got everything covered. We offer support all the way through your clinical placement if and when you need it.

Medical electives in Cambodia

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Plans can change. And today, that's more apparent than ever. So now when you register for your overseas placement with Work the World, you can make unlimited changes to your travel dates, or your choice of destination.

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Electives in Cambodia

Nursing electives in Cambodia

Nursing Electives

Phnom Penh is a great choice if you want to find out what it’s like to be a nurse in a developing healthcare system. You can get experience in departments like A&E, gynaecology, ENT, and traumatology. You’ll can rotate through a range of departments, seeing how local nurses treat conditions like malaria, flu, diarrhoea, tuberculosis, typhoid, and HIV. If you’re interested in child nursing, you can also spend time in the local paediatric hospital. This hospital has almost every department imaginable, so you can choose to get specific experience, or aim for broader insight.

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Medical electives in Cambodia

Medical Electives

In Phnom Penh, you’ll learn how unfamiliar tropical diseases like malaria, dengue fever and typhoid develop are treated. Of course, you can also gain experience in more familiar areas like A&E, gynaecology, ENT, traumatology, and urology among others. You may even come across cases of attempted suicide — the stigma attached to which is still an issue in Cambodia. With this being a tropical country, you may also see things like poisonous insect and venomous snake bites.

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Midwifery electives in Cambodia

Midwifery Electives

Whilst on placement, you can get midwifery experience in familiar areas like the antenatal, labour, and postnatal wards. In these wards, you’ll see the full journey of mother and baby, and get experience in areas you’re most interested in. You can also access theatres to observe c-sections, hysterectomies, and other gynae surgeries. You’ll be supervised by local midwives and will witness their creativity when faced with such limited resources. During your time on placement you could observe and assist with all manner of cases from advising new mothers to engaging with birthing complications. You could even encounter HIV positive mothers and assist in breech birth deliveries.

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Physiotherapy electives in Cambodia

Physiotherapy Placements

In Phnom Penh, you’ll see a huge range of cases, from severe burns to paediatric spina bifida. The physiotherapists here operate across lots of different wards including the OPD, neurosurgical, cardiothoracics, and surgical ICU. You’ll work with a close-knit team of professionals who have highly specialised local knowledge. Using hand-made and outdated equipment, you’ll help treat patients presenting with an extraordinary range of conditions. MSK, strokes, cerebral palsy, Guillain Barre, fractures, and burns are all among the common cases. As the hospital is quite seriously under-resourced the means by which these conditions are rehabilitated will differ from what you’re used to.

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Paramedic Science electives in Cambodia

Paramedic Science Electives

Undertake your paramedic science placement in Cambodia and you’ll be in a busy A&E with a high volume of emergencies. Resources in the hospital are limited. Patients share beds and staff can rarely afford to change gloves between patients. You may even see two or three surgeries going on in the same theatre at the same time. Typical cases you’ll see include cardiac arrests, attempted suicides, COPD, injuries caused by fighting, and drug and alcohol abuse.

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Radiography electives in Cambodia

Radiography Electives

As a radiography student in Cambodia, you’ll learn that the realities of healthcare in a developing country can be quite a harsh one. Shadowing specialists on ward rounds and assisting in the diagnostic imaging of a range of cases — from road traffic accidents to injuries sustained via manual labour — will help you develop your skills. And you’ll learn from local staff how they get around their biggest challenge — how to do their job when diagnostic equipment is outdated and in some cases non-existent.

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Pharmacy placements in Cambodia

Pharmacy Placements

On your pharmacy elective in Phnom Penh, you’ll rotate through multiple dispensaries, encountering a huge range of prescriptions — some familiar, others totally new to you. Nurses are responsible for dispensing medicines to inpatients here. You’ll go with them on ward rounds and learn about each patient’s treatment plans along the way. There are a few on-site storage units that stock the hospital’s main pharmacy. You can take a tour of these stock rooms, learning how the local stock systems work and about medicines you’ve never seen before.

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To complement your main placement in Phnom Penh, we highly recommend undertaking this additional week to live in a rural village. In the morning, you’ll be placed in a local health outpost where you could assist in the treatment of people from the surrounding areas, many of whom will present with advanced cases.

In the afternoons, you’re free to learn the traditional Cambodian way of life and experience Southeast Asian culture to its fullest. You’ll learn local silk weaving techniques, cook Khmer dishes, receive a blessing from a buddhist monk, and visit the rice paddies, the local wildlife rescue centre and the Chisor Mountain Temple dedicated to the Hindu divinities Shiva and Vishnu.


Medical electives in Cambodia
Medical electives in Cambodia
Summer seascape on tropical island Koh Rong in  Cambodia. Landscape of south east Asia.

"It was a lovely tradition to be involved with and the family were always very appreciative."

Stephanie Marsh, Bournemouth University 2020

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"The patients’ family members would often sleep on the floor under the beds!"

Niamh Temple, University of Hertfordshire 2019

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"This trip has been the most life-changing experience and it has taught me so much."

Millie Cronin, University of Brighton 2019

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"One of my favourite memories during my placement in Cambodia was traditional baby washing."

Sarah Carlisle, University of Hertfordshire 2019

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"I chose Cambodia due to its diverse culture and how different the healthcare system is."

Alice Hardisty, University of Gloucestershire 2019

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What healthcare disciplines do Work the World cater for?

Work the World organise supervised healthcare electives for the following disciplines: - 1. Nursing (all branches) 2. Medical 3. Midwifery 4. Physiotherapy 5. Radiography 6. Pharmacy 7. Dentistry 8. Occupational Therapy 9. Paramedic Science

What other countries can I travel to on a Work the World elective?

Work the World provides a huge variety of flexible placement opportunities throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. These include 1. Tanzania 2. Zambia  3. Vietnam  4. Sri Lanka. 5. Indonesia 6. Mexico 7. Ghana 8. The Philippines 9. Nepal 


What is the Work the World house like in Cambodia?

Our house in Phnom Penh is based only a short ride from the banks of Cambodia’s famous Mekong River, you can get to the centre of the city in minutes.The house itself is situated in a residential area, so it’s perfect after a busy day on placement when you want to escape the bustle of the city.

What travelling opportunities are there for me whilst I’m in Cambodia?

Our base in Phnom Penh is home to Southeast Asian culture at its most striking. Brightly painted wooden boats adorn the banks of the Mekong River, Buddhist monks in saffron robes offer prayers, and the aromas of local cuisines provide an intoxicating feast for the senses.