Can we travel as a group?

Thousands of students and professionals travel with us each year, some on their own and some in groups, meaning we can cater for everyone. There are a maximum number of placements available in each of our programmes, however, so it is advised to book as early as possible to secure your placement - especially if you are travelling as a group.

Do the WtW houses have wifi?

Yes. Each of our Work the World houses has the best wifi we can get within the local area. Given we work in developing countries, it can be intermittent at times but generally it works well as long as no one is streaming/downloading movies.   

I have to complete a project as part of my elective. Is this possible?

We’ve been operating for over 10 years so have an abundance of experience in supporting students with university documentation. This can range from items such as hospital allocation letters, confirmation of your placement, health & safety audits etc. Once you've registered on, our administration team will support you throughout this whole process.

Is the registration fee refundable?

Yes.

If we cannot organise a placement with the dates and destination of your choice, we will offer you an alternative placement based on your interests, or a full refund of the £300 registration fee.

Once your placement is confirmed, the registration fee becomes non-refundable as it is used to reserve your place (meaning other students could be refused a placement) and to meet the cost of your pre-departure packages.

If you are unable to take your elective due to exam results, you can either claim on your insurance or we may be able to reschedule your booking for another time.

My university requires me to complete various paperwork. Can you help with this?

Yes. We’ve been operating for over 10 years so have an abundance of experience in supporting students with university documentation. This can range from items such as hospital allocation letters, proof of your placement, health & safety audits etc. Once you've registered on, our administration team will support you throughout this whole process.

What happens once I pay my registration fee?

our registration fee secures your placement immediately and allows us to start tailor-making your placement. You will also be given instance access to MyTrip, your online placement planner. The planner has everything you could possibly need such as a step-by-step timeline, full details of your itinerary, access to our Information Pack which contains everything you’ll need to know before your trip; packing lists, language guides, visa requirements and so much more. 

Who are the placements for?

We accept anyone on, or who has completed, a healthcare course anywhere in the world. 

As a general rule, placements in each category are only available to those studying in that particular discipline, for example medical placements are only available to medical students or professionals. The exception to this is that we now accept student and professional nurses in to our midwifery placements, provided they have some experience in this area. 

We send lots of groups – whether you are the same or different disciplines. If you have a group of 10 or more we may even be able to organise a bespoke project for you. Email us your enquiry and we'll see what we can do for you!

How much does a placement cost and what's included?

Placement costs vary depending on where you want to go, but the vast majority of expenses are included in the price. Features of our service are all listed on our prices page and include placement tailoring service, private accommodation, all food and 24/7 overseas support.

Please note that the prices quoted are for two-week placements and rise incrementally depending on the duration of your placement.

The only things you will need to arrange independently are your flights, insurance, visas, vaccinations and any travel you wish to take outside of your placement. MyTrip our online placement planner is packed full of visa information as well as details on when you’ll need to apply for one.

Flight prices fluctuate throughout the year, and so to charge a fixed rate would be unfair to you, as you can find excellent deals shopping around. We do, however, provide recommendations on preferred flight, insurance and indemnity companies, and our staff are happy to advise reputable agents and unmissable locations for additional travel.

Is there an application process?

If you’ve not already been in touch with a Work the World staff member, then completing the Enquiry Form at the bottom of the page is advised. However if you have already spoken to one of the team  and you’re ready to book, click ‘Book Now’.

To start your application we ask for a £300 registration fee in order to secure your place on the programme. This fee also gives you access to our library of online preparation materials. If for any reason we are not able to offer you a placement, the registration fee will be refunded in full.

Is there funding available?

You most certainly can. Complete the below enquiry form and one of our team will give you access to our exclusive Funding Hub.

Are the destinations safe and secure?

All the countries we work in have been selected primarily because they are considered stable, secure and safe for international healthcare students. We pay close attention to the advice of the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office regarding not only the destinations we work in, but their neighbours too. 

Are the programmes sustainable?

Yes. We take our social responsibility very seriously and understand that we have an ethical obligation to maximise the benefits of our placements and to ensure they have is no negative impact locally.

We employ local people to run our programmes instead of expats. We purchase products and food from the communities in which we're based. We rent our private accommodation from local landlords. And we use public transport whenever it is safe and convenient to do so.

When it comes to your placement, we make sure that the people working with our students benefit from the interaction. As well as standard fees paid to each hospital for every student, we make regular donations to individual wards and departments, and sponsor English language lessons for hospital staff.

We’re always looking for innovative ways to make sure our programmes are sustainable, but you can read more about how we currently work with hospitals and local communities here.

Are your placements regulated?

Yes.

Our longstanding relationships and formal agreements with our partner hospitals and clinics guarantee supervision and support for the duration of your placement. We also follow guidelines laid out by regulatory bodies and professional associations to ensure each placement is structured according to each student’s level of skill and particular interests. 

Many universities have specific requirements regarding overseas electives and want a more formal agreement to guarantee standards. We have contracts in place with several institutions and are happy to provide audit information and complete risk assessments if your university requires.

Are you a charity?

No.

We do not operate as a charity or Non Government Organisation, but we provide sustainable elective placements that benefit the communities in which we work. We go out of our way to build face-to-face relationships with everyone we want to work with, which ensures fairness across the board.

How many spaces are there in each location?

Our houses depending on destination, accommodate between 22 and 39 people. Therefore in all our destinations there are a maximum number of places available, so booking as early as possible is always advised.

What is the accommodation like and can I book my own room?

In each of our destinations we have spacious and secure private accommodation, which will be your base for the duration of your placement.

We have gone out of our way to avoid organising homestays with local people, as previous students felt that after a challenging day on placement, interacting with an unfamiliar, non-English speaking host family was overwhelming. The Work the World houses provide a welcoming, comfortable and private space where you can relax or socialise with other international students across all disciplines. The houses are great social hubs where the legendary Work the World weekly barbecues are but one of the many highlights. Students frequently comment that the house and its atmosphere is one of the unique aspects that make our programmes so memorable.

Bedrooms are split into male and female, with 4 - 6 beds in each. It is not possible to arrange private rooms as that would mean turning other students away. Bathrooms are shared, and we work on a basis of 1 bathroom per 4 or 5 students.

Our local staff team are on-site, and include a Programme Manager, Assistant Programme Manager, Housekeeper, Caterer, and in some instances a security guard who work together to keep everything clean, tidy and efficient.

How will I get from the airport to the house?

You will be fully supported from the moment you arrive. All you need to do is upload your flight details to MyTrip and one of our friendly members of staff will be at the airport to greet you. You’ll recognise them by their blue Work the World t-shirt.

Don't worry if you get delayed - we check the arrivals every day so we can keep track of your flight and arrive when you do. 

Can I use my mobile phone overseas?

You can, but it is likely to be expensive. On your first day in-country, our local team will take you to a shop that will sell local sim cards at a very cheap price. This is a much more cost effective way of keeping communication channels open with the Work the World team and fellow housemates. If you choose to get a sim card with data, it also ensures you’ll always have access to the internet. 

How will I travel to placement?

Our Work the World houses are based as close to your placement as possible, after taking into account the safest and most suitable neighbourhoods to live in.  

In most cases the easiest way to reach your hospital or clinic is to take public transport or a taxi. Our staff will show you exactly how to do this during your orientation. Most of the time you will be travelling with other Work the World students and professionals. 

Are there shift patterns?

The typical working hours are about 7am-2pm but this does vary with each of our hospital partnerships and the department you are working in.

Can me and my friend be placed on the same department?

Yes, subject to availability. All placements within departments are limited and are very much subject to each individual's interests and objectives.

How many hours a week will I be in the hospital?

Typically our students and professionals work on average 35 hours per week. If you need to do a set number of hours based on your university requirements we can assist with this.

What will the food be like?

Our caterers are experienced in cooking both local cuisine and dishes more common in the West, so you can try both local delicacies and traditional meals as well as "home favourites" like pizza and mashed potato! We appreciate that local food isn't for anyone, so the kitchen is always open for snacks and fresh drinking water too.

When we say your placement is tailor-made, we mean every aspect including the food. Whether you’re vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy free or vegan, our chefs will whip up a dish you can enjoy after a day on the wards. 

Who will sign off my hours in the hospital?

The supervisor you are working with will sign off your hours in the hospital/clinic you are based in.

Can my partner, family or friend join me at the house?

Unfortunately not—Work the World houses are for students and professionals on paid placements only.  However, we will always try and recommend somewhere close for friends or family to stay if they are visiting.

How much spending money should I take?

It really varies depending on where you go, but the cost of living is significantly cheaper than your home country. We recommend on average about £150 for every week you are in-country. This will cover travel to and from placement, weekend trips away including accommodation and spending money, as well as mid-week drinks and meals out if you decide to not dine at the house.

What are the benefits of an overseas placement?

Taking your elective in a developing country is an amazing opportunity to use, develop and share your skills whilst gaining experience with advanced diseases and pathologies that are rare in the Western world. You’ll gain unique insight into developing healthcare systems which will contribute to both your personal and professional development.

This blog post explores the difference between taking your elective at home and travelling overseas.

Within the international aid sector, few charities or organisations offer healthcare elective placements. This is because you would be working in high-risk environments and potentially detract from the capacity of local relief workers who would need to supervise you.

Work the World are proud to provide electives in challenging, yet safe environments that will help you decide whether working in a developing country as a professional is for you.

What about the language barrier?

In all our Work the World programmes all staff members speak excellent English. We’re proud of the fact that we only employ locals to host our students at the Work the World house; this means that they have unparalleled local knowledge as well as strong relationships with our partner hospitals.

With years of experience tailor-making overseas placements, we’ve developed the ultimate in-country language support. Once you’ve registered with us, you’ll get access to MyTrip — our online placement planning portal. Here you can see our comprehensive written language guides and accompanying videos for the destination you’re travelling to.

To give you an even deeper practical understanding of the local language and customs, a language teacher will provide twice-weekly language lessons in our Work the World houses throughout the duration of your placement.

With the exception of Peru (where we ask that all students & professionals display an intermediate level of Spanish) you don’t need to be fluent in the local language. In the hospitals and clinics we partner with, many senior consultants in our partner hospitals are also required to study in English speaking countries as part of their learning, so again, are likely to have a good (if not excellent) level of English.

What happens if something goes wrong while I'm on my placement?

Our in-country management team are always on hand to ensure any issues are dealt with quickly and efficiently. We also provide you with a 24/7 emergency contact number while on placement.

If you have a medical emergency we will ensure you get the best treatment, and a member of staff will accompany you to a preferred private hospital.

What is MyTrip?

MyTrip is an online elective planner and tracker, personalised for your placement. It contains all the details of your placement with Work the World. We update this as soon as any element of your elective is confirmed. There’s also a visual interactive timeline so you can see how far along in the application process you are.

You can also access information about your hospital and supervisor, access information about the house you’ll be staying in and other students you’ll be living with, get reminders on when to apply for visas and download any supporting materials you need.

Can I secure my department choices before I go?

Yes. Our expert team will have detailed conversations with you in advance of your placement starting, meaning we can guarantee exactly what department/s you’ll be based in throughout your whole placement.

When can I go and for how long?

Our placements run throughout the year and are tailored to your interests, experience and abilities, as well as any course requirements you may be expected to meet. As such, they can be done at any stage of your training, including during your elective period, as a summer placement, or even after you’ve become a qualified professional.

We have a minimum stay of two weeks, but the longer you stay the more you will gain from your experience. Most of our allied health students and professionals tend to stay for a 2-4 week period. You may also be able to split your placement between two hospitals or undertake one of our add-on experiences like the Village Healthcare Experience, Ayurvedic Medicine Experience or Intensive Spanish Course, all of which will broaden your understanding of healthcare overseas.

As mentioned above, the minimum length of stay we offer is two weeks. Any less and we feel there just isn’t enough time to get to grips with your surroundings and integrate into your placement hospital.

When should I book my flights?

You should not book your flights until your placement has been confirmed—you may not be able to reschedule the flights if your placement dates are unavailable. When your placement has been confirmed we suggest that you book your flights no later than three months before your trip begins to avoid inflated prices or last minute panic.

Which airports should I use?

The airports we recommend for each destination are as follows:

Arequipa, Peru: Rodríguez Ballón International Airport (AQP) via Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM). These flights can be booked together by your travel agent or you can purchase the internal flight separately from a low cost airline (this is often more economical). Note that if you fly into Lima via an international flight, you must collect your luggage and leave the airport departures area, and then re-check in with your luggage for the internal flight.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR).

Kathmandu & Pokhara, Nepal: Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM). You will also need to book a separate internal flight to our base in Pokhara. As a general rule this cannot be booked at the same time as your international ticket, but we will give you details of local tour operators who will be able to assist with this flight.

Takoradi, Ghana: Kotoka International Airport (ACC).

Kandy, Sri Lanka: Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB).

Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka:  Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB).

Iloilo, The Philippines: Iloilo International Airport (ILO) via Manila’s 'Ninoy Aquino International Airport' (MNL) or Cebu International Airport (CEB). Both flights can be booked together by your travel agent or you can purchase the domestic flight to Iloilo separately from a low cost airline (this is often more economical).

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH)

Lusaka, Zambia: Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN)

Merida, Mexico: Cancun International Airport (CUN) and Merida Airport (MID). Both flights can be booked together by your travel agent or you can purchase the domestic flight to Merida separately from a low cost airline (this is often more economical). It is possible to overland from Cancun to Merida by coach which is approximately 4 hours where you will be picked up from the coach station in Merida. 

Hue, Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City Airport (SGN) or Hanoi Airport (Noi Bai)

Where can I travel in my free time and what will the weather be like?

There are a huge variety of different travel options in each of our destinations, and it’s easy to arrange trips once you have arrived.

Our knowledgeable staff will always be able to give you some ideas. Each house also has a comments book from previous students with top travel tips.

You can also read our blog or previous student's reviews for information on what activites there are in each of our locations. 

Which destinations are best for which specialities?

Our placement consultants have extensive knowledge of all our programmes—both inside the hospital and out—and can help you discover which of our destinations suit your specialism best, and create the most opportunities for you.

Two to three months before departure, we'll will be in touch to help you decide where to specialise, whether to split your placement between two hospitals and which healthcare setting best suits your needs.

Will this placement count towards my degree?

Your university may offer credits for participating in an overseas elective. We are happy to provide any information required by faculty if this helps you gain the credits you need.