What sort of in-country support can you expect?
From day one, you'll benefit from our vast experience creating and facilitating placements in the developing world. We've been building placements day in, day out for 15 years — we know exactly what works and what doesn't.
On-the-ground support is a big part of what you get when you come away with us. We have programmes in countries very different to what you're used to at home, so we locally-employ our in-country teams to provide support specific to each destination. Your team will offer as much or little support as you need, as and when you need it.
Each programme has the same team structure. That includes the management team, caterers, cleaners, security teams and even gardeners. The management teams always live near to the Work the World houses and we will also provide you with a 24/7 out of hours phone number, should you ever need to speak with them.
From airport pick-ups, through to local city orientations our highly experienced English speaking teams work closely with the UK office and take care of everything from the moment you land to the moment you leave.
So, what can you expect?
What happens when you get to the airport?
A member of the in-country team will come to meet you at the airport. And don't worry — we'll have your flight details well before you arrive, so we'll wait for you at the airport if you're delayed.
You'll then travel back to the Work the World house together to meet your new housemates and the rest of the Work the World team.
How you'll Get To know the local area
You'l be in a city you've probably never been to before. The local team will make sure you know the best bars, shops, beaches, currency exchange outlets, markets and the best way to get to and from placement each day.
Before you start placement, the team will take you on a full city orientation covering all of the above and more. By the end of it, you'll know how to navigate the city like a local.
What happens on your first visit to the hospital?
Before you start, the in-country team will take you to your placement hospital for a full orientation. They’ll give you a tour of the hospital and grounds, introducing you to your supervisors and key department staff along the way.
By the end of the tour you'll be raring to go, ready for your first day.
How do our hospital partnerships benefit you?
Unlike other elective providers, we won’t just put you in a hospital and leave you there to fend for yourself. We have long-standing in-person relationships with government, private, teaching and specialist hospitals. That means you'll see our staff around the hospital all the time.
These partnerships involve everyone from individual department staff to hospital directors — getting lots of perspectives means we create relationships that result in positive outcomes for everyone involved.
What happens when you move to a different department or hospital?
If you decide to rotate through a variety of departments during your placement, or if you want to get experience in a different hospital part-way through, our team will accompany you to make all the relevant introductions.
The long-standing relationships our in-country teams have with placement hospitals mean that if you decide you want to do extra hours or some night shifts — they can arrange all of this for you while you’re in-country.
What do we do to help keep you safe?
We only operate in destinations we've thoroughly vetted. That's the most important point and we want to stress it. But, as with any country, including where you live, there's always an element of risk even if it's tiny.
We want you to relax and enjoy the Work the World experience knowing we’ve covered all bases. Our teams, both in your placement country and within the UK are trained to handle emergency situations, unlikely though they may be.
We have 24/7 security personnel at each one of our private houses too. These security teams aren't there because we need them, but because it adds an additional layer of security just in case. They're a precaution.
How do we help you meet your objectives?
Throughout your placement, the management team will help make sure you're achieving all your objectives, whether those be objectives your university have set (like completing a certain number of hours), or personal goals you might have.
To help you get the most from your placement, the in-country team are there to quickly make changes as and when, should they need to. The bottom line is that the team are there to support you in a way that suits the kind of experience you have in mind.
How do we help prepare you for cultural differences?
You're going to see and experience things that are different to what you’re used to back home. This is true both in and out of the hospital. In the hospital, you might see unfamiliar clinical procedures, a different approach to patient care, and cases you've never seen before.
You might find you have questions about aspects of your placement that you felt you couldn't ask hospital staff. If so, just ask the Work the World house team — they're always on-hand.
No one knows local culture better than they do, which is a big part of the reason we hire staff locally.
What's the accommodation like?
Some elective providers will put you in a homestay to keep their costs down. Not with Work the World — with us you’ll stay in a big private house with other healthcare students on a Work the World elective.
Part of the fun of travelling to a developing country is the hustle and bustle. With that in mind, our houses offer peace and quiet when you want some time out after busy day on the wards.
You can relax in the beautiful gardens (some have swimming pools), western-style bathrooms, single-sex rooms, quiet areas to read or study, and an abundance of chill-out areas to socialise with your housemates.
Then there's the food. Our catering team will cook you everything from local specialities to favourites from home, including chips. Dietary requirements are no problem — our professionally qualified caterers will adapt to your requirements.
Living in the house is a massive part of your experience. It will feel like home by the end, and your staff team in country will start to feel like extended family. Most people tell us that their housemates became lifelong friends.
Who will you live with?
If you travel with other elective providers, chances are you'll be in a homestay with one or two other people at most. It's even more unlikely they'll be healthcare students.
With Work the World, you live with healthcare students and newly qualified healthcare professionals only. They'll come from all over the world, and will include medics, nurses, midwives, and physios to name a few. You’ll travel to placement together, and share stories over a cold beer after a busy day on the wards.
You have the added benefit of growing your network on a global level — having professional contacts around the world is always handy.
What happens on BBQ Night?
Make sure you come along to the weekly BBQ night hosted in the house garden. The local Work the World team normally hosts them on a Thursday, so they're a great way to start winding down ready for the weekend.
Everyone in the house gets together — the Work the World team included — to eat amazing food, have a few drinks and enjoy local entertainment like African drumming and dancing and Mexican Mariachi bands and Filipino Karaoke nights.
How do we help you get confident in using the local language?
Communication is a fundamental skill where healthcare is concerned. So it follows that you'd have concerns about travelling to a country without being able to speak the language.
Good news — while you're living in the Work the World house, you’ll get language lessons twice each week.
An experienced and friendly local language teacher hosts lessons in the comfort of the house. The idea is to strengthen what you learn from the language guides (you'll get access to these after you register), and teach you new clinical phrases and vocabulary to use while you're on placement.
To help you get to grips with how and when to use certain vocab and phrases, you'll learn all about local customs and culture too.
How do we help when you go off travelling?
We locally hire all our in-country teams. Why? Because they have in-depth knowledge about the city and country you’re based in while on your Work the World trip.
Got questions about what to do after placement? Want some tips on where to travel at the weekend? The team in the house are there to help.
You'll find a Work the World ‘top tips' book in the house too. The book is a treasure trove of hints and tips that previous travellers have added to over the years. It beats all the guidebooks!
You can also go and have a look at the house's travel notice board. It has lots of information about the more popular places to visit, how to get there, booking numbers and other useful info.
What support will you get from head office?
Throughout your placement our UK Head Office team will remain in close contact with our in-country team. This makes sure everyone is involved in making sure you're getting the most from your placement.
You get 24/7 support from your in-country team, but we'll also give you a 24/7 emergency hotline straight back to UK Head Office. Just in case.
We've won awards for our service and we're confident that no one else comes close to matching what we offer. But it's better to hear it from people who have already travelled with us.