WHY GO OVERSEAS

Heading overseas for a midwifery elective placement is a chance you’ll get only once in a lifetime. In diverse clinical settings you’ll see how local staff cope with a lack of resources when dealing with things like high birth volumes and labour complications. This overseas experience guarantees to boost your personal and professional development.

We’ve been tailoring midwifery placements for over a decade. The partnerships we’ve developed with hospitals around the world provide access to experiences that would otherwise be impossible. When it comes to practicing midwifery abroad, we’re the experts. This also allows for high quality, structured supervision for the duration of your placement. Our in-country management staff look after all midwifery electives on the ground, providing 24/7 support throughout. The teams also manage our private, catered accommodation, and constantly monitor your midwifery placement experience.

midwifery elective

HOW IT WORKS

No one knows more about midwifery overseas than us — our team can support and guide you toward the best destination to travel to. When you’re settled on where you want to go, we’ll completely tailor your midwifery placement abroad. Our expert team will help you customise everything, right down to which departments you want to spend time in.

So you can keep an eye on the work we put in behind the scenes, you’ll get access to MyTrip — an interactive placement planner, which contains information about all aspects of your trip, personalised to you.

TEAM AND ACCOMMODATION 

Our expert in-country team will meet you when you arrive, and take you back to the Work the World house. Once you’ve settled in you’ll get a welcome briefing and local orientation, as well as a hospital introduction trip.

 

Work the World’s private houses are spacious and secure. Students and professionals from a range of disciplines live together, which encourages a social atmosphere. You’ll love the amazing weekend travel opportunities with all the new friends you make. To provide 24/7 support, our in-country management teams are always available. An in-house chef, a housekeeper and a local language teacher who hosts lessons twice a week make up the rest of the team.

IN THE HOSPITAL

The day before you start your placement, our staff will take you to the hospital, and introduce you to the teams you’ll be learning from. The close relationships we have with partner hospitals and clinics allow access to gain experience with advanced and often unusual birthing complications, diverse cultural attitudes and often unfamiliar clinical practises.  To be sure your placement constantly meets your expectations, our in-country teams will review your experience in real-time. With placements running from Monday to Friday, your evenings and weekends are totally free to explore the destination you’ve chosen.

midwifery placements abroad

DESTINATIONS

Mexico - Merida
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Our partner hospital in Merida deals exclusively with infant paediatric cases and expectant mothers. On a midwifery elective placement here, you’ll encounter busy wards with a limited number of beds — very different to what you’re used to back at home. The high patient numbers mean local specialists have to be  particularly resourceful. Because of this you’ll see techniques and practises you’ve never seen before. This becomes especially interesting when dealing with intrapartum complications, like breech births.

Vietnam - Hue
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The institution we’re partnered with in Hue, Vietnam is the largest university teaching hospital in the region. From day one, you’ll get amazing experience alongside specialists and learn how they handle the lack of resources in this low-resource clinical setting. Supervised by local midwives, you’ll spend time in the OBG department getting involved in and all areas of maternal and infant paediatric care. From a cultural point of view, Vietnamese people observe some fascinating traditions surrounding birth. For example, some believe that making a fuss of a new born baby, or complementing the mother, attracts bad spirits and therefore bad luck.

Zambia - Lusaka
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At our partner hospital in Lusaka, you’ll see many births every day. You’ll get involved in both pre and postnatal care, see emergency labours like breech births, and assist treating HIV positive mothers, mothers with malnutrition, and a host of other complications. Preterm babies for example, or mother to child transmission of HIV, and preeclampsia. There is a lack of education around childbirth in Lusaka. Some first time mothers don’t even know when they’re going to labour. You’ll also see conditions arising from a lack of prenatal care, which is totally different to what you’re used to back home.

Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest
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Your midwifery elective in Cambodia will highlight the sometimes harsh realities faced by midwives in the developing world. You’ll see local staff have to get creative with the limited resources at their disposal. Birthing complications are relatively common, as are mothers with HIV. HIV brings unique complications when it comes to pregnancy and birth. On a placement here you can access the theatres to see C-sections, hysterectomies, and other gynaecological surgeries being performed. It will surprise you to learn that less than 5% of women giving birth will receive pain relief. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Phnom Penh.

Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest

Sri Lanka - Kandy
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On your midwifery elective placement in Kandy, you can rotating through wards like antenatal, postnatal and the premature baby unit. Complicated birthing procedures are relatively common here, and terminations and miscarriages are often handled differently to how you might be used to at home. Something else that will stand out to you is how patient numbers often exceed available bed space. This really highlights how a lack of resources has a material impact on the care local women get. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kandy.

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Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura
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On a midwifery elective here, you’ll come across a range of interesting local practices. Caesarean sections for example, make up 40% of all births and have an entire ward dedicated to them. The lack of pain relief used in labour is another of the many practical differences you’ll encounter, all of which will enrich your understanding of the field. In Sri Lanka, labour complications are more common than in the UK. Worsening matters, the hospital’s resources are incredibly limited. That said, the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the local midwives means that patients still receive the best possible care. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura.

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Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
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Learning about midwifery in Dar es Salaam direct from local midwives allows you to see everything from postnatal care to complicated surgical births. On a midwifery placement here, you’ll learn things you wouldn’t have imagined from both local midwives and resident Tanzanian students. You can visit a ward dedicated to mothers with HIV. This will highlight for you the reality of this epidemic in the developing world. You’ll be humbled by how well local midwives are able to care for both mothers and babies in spite of the scarcity of resources they’re up against. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam.

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Ghana - Takoradi
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On your midwifery elective placement in Takoradi, you'll see just how our partner hospital’s lack of resources means limited care for patients. For example, prenatal care is a luxury for only a small number of women. Add to that cultural traditions surrounding birth, and you'll find the experience eye-opening. That said, you’ll also see how local midwives do everything they can for mothers and babies, relying sometimes on their skills alone. On your placement here you’ll experience a typical Ghanaian maternity clinic, covering everything from antenatal and postnatal care, to vaccinations and circumcisions. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi.

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Philippines - Iloilo
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On a midwifery elective here, you’ll get direct experience with the local delivery team. You can rotate through any area you choose. To give you some idea, you can spend time in  reproductive endocrinology, gynaecologic oncology, and cervical pathology. You’ll have enormous flexibility of choice with our partner hospital. The hospital has a high patient load, and that often means patients sharing beds. This is the kind of impact a lack of resources has on the delivery of care. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo.

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Nepal - Kathmandu
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On your elective placement in Kathmandu, you’re supervised by local midwives keen to share their knowledge and skills. The ward you’re on delivers a high number of babies, so you get real experience seeing how it’s done in Nepal. You also spend time in the post-natal and post-operative wards (if they’re of interest to you). HIV is prevalent here, and presents a challenge for many breast-feeding infants. For example, many local mothers still believe that their babies are more likely to die from a lack of breastfeeding than from the virus itself. This means mothers with HIV often still breastfeed. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu.

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Nepal - Pokhara
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In our partner hospital in Pokhara, you’ll be placed in a busy maternity department. The department sees many deliveries per day. You can also join the twice-weekly antenatal clinics that assist hundreds of women. The department has a post-natal unit, and a pre-eclampsia and eclampsia unit. If you’re interested, one of the perks of this placement is being able to observe in theatre, making it a great elective placement for student midwives. Surgeries you might see include abdominal and vaginal hysterectomies, laparotomies, emergency and planned caesarean sections, and myomectomies. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara.

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Peru - Arequipa
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Our partner hospital in Arequipa is government run. This setting lets you get experience with mothers from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Many have experienced problems pre-delivery, or during birth in a clinic. Spending time in one of these primary care clinics lets you see how local staff handle things like dilation control, psychoprophylaxis, and normal deliveries. Speaking of local staff, there’s something unique about a placement in Arequipa. Your clinical supervisors are called 'obstetras', who are between a doctor and a midwife in terms of their clinicals skills in OBG. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa.

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"If you haven’t put a trip with Work the World on your bucket list, I suggest you do so."

Jenna & Sheryl Williams, La Trobe University 2018

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My only regret is that I didn’t stay longer!

Danielle Jacob, Bangor University 2018

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"In the first week, I experienced high risk care on the labour ward... Some things were shocking but I learnt so much".

Eloise Taylor, Birmingham City University 2018

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"The women I helped care for were amazing. I was awed by their strength."

Zara Wynne, University of Wolverhampton 2018

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If you’re unsure, don’t be. Just do it — you won’t regret it.

Cassie Andrews, Australian Catholic University 2018

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