A Mental Health PLACEMENT ABROAD puts you right there in the action.

Imagine yourself in a hospital in the developing world learning how local nurses care for patients with mental health issues. Mental health conditions have only recently come into focus, even in the most progressive countries. So it's no surprise that you’ll see real and confronting issues right at the source.

You'll see some issues stemming from a lack of resources — low staff to patient ratios, limited specialised training, a lack of equipment... But you will see other issues, like prejudices and misconceptions surrounding mental health issues, stemming from cultural and religious beliefs.

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.

"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

flexible booking

Our programmes are open! You can book your Work the World overseas placement with total confidence. Once you’ve secured your space, you can make unlimited changes to your travel dates, absolutely free.

Find out how

You'll see big clinical differences...Nursing student Colin with one of his supervisors in Arusha, Tanzania

While you're on the wards you’ll see:

  • Some countries 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

Here’s one huge ADDED bonus…

Your evenings and weekends are free to do some proper travelling with new friends from the Work the World house.

Here are some once-in-a-lifetime adventures you can check off your bucket list:

  • Get up close to wild elephants, lions and giraffes on safari
  • Swim with curious sea turtles in warm tropical waters
  • Trek trough lush green paddy fields
  • Stay up late at legendary paradise beach parties
  • Hike (or paraglide!) through the Himalayan Mountains


PLACEMENTBy the end of this trip you Will:

  • Have rare clinical experience that sets you apart from other nurses
  • Be much more confident and ready to take on new challenges
  • Give your CV the wow-factor to help you land your dream job
  • Have a global network you can tap into to boost your nursing career
  • Collect a lifetime’s worth of stories to share with your friends

This trip — tailored specifically to you — gives you everything you need to succeed. We are completely confident saying that this trip will teach you what you’re capable of. By the time you get back to the UK, 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 we're offering...

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 mental health nursing placements abroad. We were founded in 2005, so we’re the longest-running (most experienced) elective organisation out there.

The proof:

We’ve created unique electives for 17,000+ students around the world who have independently rated us 4.8 out of 5.

With us you get a one-to-one service that includes:

  • 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

See the full list of inclusions here

LET US show you what your personalised elective trip LOOKS like.

We’d love the chance to show you what your own personalised mental health elective abroad could look like.

You tell us which destinations and departments you’re interested, and whether you want to travel by yourself or with a group of uni friends (you're welcome to do either). We'll then paint you a picture of what your trip will look like. All we do is give you the information you need to see if our elective placements are for you. If not, no problem.

For more information, complete the short enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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

What countries can I travel to on a mental health nursing placement with Work The World?

Work the World organise mental health nursing placements in Africa, Asia or Latin America, with placements in: 1. Tanzania 2. Zambia  3. Vietnam 4. Mexico 5. Ghana 6. The Philippines 7. Nepal 8. Sri Lanka.

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