Get eye-opening experience in a hospital in the developing world. You'll learn how prejudices and misconceptions surrounding mental health issues, stemming from cultural and religious beliefs can affect how care is delivered. And you'll see issues stemming from a lack of resources like low staff to patient ratios, limited specialised training and a lack of equipment.

This is a unique opportunity for you to join a team of local healthcare professionals on the wards and get real-life experience that will forever change the way you view your discipline.

You can get experience in psychiatric wards and specialised mental health wards, but you can also go off branch and experience other areas of nursing like A&E and OBG if you choose.

"there was no option but to put him in prison..."

"The consultant and I went on a visit to a local prison. We saw an 87-year-old man who had severe dementia and didn’t know where he was. He had been arrested while wandering the streets, speaking incoherently.

It turned out that he'd gone missing from his family six months prior after walking out one night while everyone was sleeping. In Sri Lanka, sheltered housing for the elderly is uncommon, so there was no option for the police but to put him in prison."

— Shannon Flowers, nursing student from Staffordshire University

While you're on the wards you’ll see:Nursing student Colin with one of his supervisors in Arusha, Tanzania

  • Care is often decades behind in awareness and practise
  • Extremely under-resourced psychiatric departments
  • Social stigma around mental illnesses
  • Consultations taking place in front of other patients
  • A widespread use of ECT under general anaesthetic

Once-in-a-lifetime adventure experiences

Spend your evenings and weekends exploring your chosen destination with new friends from the Work the World house.

This is your chance to have make unforgettable memories — you could:

  • Stay up late at legendary parties on tropical beaches
  • Get up close to wild elephants, lions and giraffes on safari
  • Swim with curious sea turtles in warm tropical waters
  • Hike (or paraglide!) through snow-capped Mountains


PLACEMENTBy the end of your trip you Will:

  • Gain perspective that reframes your view of the NHS
  • Build your confidence by stepping out of your comfort zone
  • Get a competitive edge that boosts your career
  • Collect story-worthy travel memories to share with friends back home

Your trip is tailored to you, so offers what you personally need to have an experience you will never forget. You'll find out what you’re capable of and by the time you get home, you’ll feel ready for anything.


"A Work the World placement stands out on your CV as a badge of durability, resourcefulness, and cross-cultural aptitude.

During the interview for my current position, I felt as if I started every sentence with 'When I was a student nurse in Tanzania…'. It got me the job. It’s the best investment you'll ever make in developing your skills, your career, and yourself.”

— John Hansen-Brevetti, former nursing student at Queen Margaret University

Here's what you get:

  • A supervised overseas elective in your choice of departments
  • Complete preparation process before you go
  • Accommodation in a private, catered house
  • Language lessons
  • A 24/7 in-country team to support you

This is the kind of trip you only take once, so it needs to be right first time. You need to know you're in experienced hands.

We are the experts in planning, customising, and building nursing electives abroad. We were founded in 2005, so we’re the longest-running and most experienced elective organisation there is.

We’ve created unique electives for 18,000+ students and graduates around the world who have independently rated us 4.8 out of 5.

    prices and inclusions

    What might your personalised elective trip LOOK like?

    It's easy to find out — get in touch today to tell us which destinations and departments you’re interested in, and our experts will give you a clear idea of the many options availabe to you.

    We dedicate 100% of our time to building and overseeing quality overseas elective placements. So you get total peace of mind knowing that we have the best understanding of what makes a perfect overseas healthcare elective. You'll get support tailored to your needs every step of the way, including the safety aspects of the placement.

    Take your first step towards your own once-in-a-lifetime overseas experience by getting in touch today to see what’s possible.


    What is a mental health nursing placement?

    A mental health nursing placement is your opportunity to get some real-world experience in a clinical setting. Undertaking your mental health nursing placement overseas massively expands the scope of what you'll be able to achieve. It also looks great to employers as it shows your passion for your vocation.

    What do our mental health nursing placements offer?

    A Work the World mental health placement gives you the chance to undertake a clinical placement in the developing world. You will spend time in a low-resource hospital and you'll see low staff to patient ratios, limited specialised training, and even prejudices and misconceptions surrounding mental health issues, stemming from cultural and religious beliefs. Read more.

    What are the benefits of a mental health nursing placement with Work The World?

    The benefits of our mental health nursing placements include:

    • Getting invaluable clinical experience in the field
    • Making yourself more attractive to employers
    • Building your professional network
    • Doing some proper travelling

    How long is a mental health nursing placement with Work The World?

    A mental health nursing placement is as long as you want it to be. Our minimum placement duration is one week, but students typically travel on their nursing electives for 4 weeks. There is no upper limit to how long you can travel for. Read more