WHY GO OVERSEAS

A nursing elective is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—especially true if you undertake it overseas. Whether you're an adult, child, mental health or learning disability nurse, you’ll experience new clinical environments, learning how local staff treat advanced conditions with limited resources and high patient volumes. Overseas electives boost both personal and professional development.

We’ve tailored thousands of nursing placements for over a decade. Our hospital partnerships provide access to experiences that would normally be impossible, and allow us to offer structured supervision throughout your elective placement. In-country, our management teams oversee all nursing placements providing 24/7 support. Our teams are also responsible for looking after our private, catered accommodation, and will track your experience throughout. When it comes to nursing abroad, we’re the experts.

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HOW IT WORKs

We know more about nursing elective placements than anyone. You can rely on our expertise to help you decide which location will be best for you. Once you’ve chosen where you’d like to go, we’ll design your nursing placement abroad based on your area of study (adult, child, mental health or learning disability nursing) and where your clinical interests lie. You’ll work with our expert team to customise every aspect of your trip, right down to the departments you’d like to spend time in.

To keep up to date with all the behind the scenes organisation, we’ll give you a unique login for MyTrip — our interactive placement planner, which contains personalised information about every detail of your experience.

TEAM AND ACCOMMODATION

Our experienced in-country team will pick you up from the airport and take you back to the Work the World house. Here, you’ll get an informative welcome briefing and, once you’ve settled in, a hospital introduction and local orientation.

 

All our houses are private, spacious and secure. Students and professionals from a range of disciplines stay in each house, which encourages a lively, social atmosphere. You’ll love the amazing weekend travel opportunities with all the new friends you make. Our in-country management teams are on hand to provide 24/7 support both in the house and out. The house team also includes a chef, a housekeeper and a teacher providing twice weekly language lessons.

IN THE HOSPITAL

The day before the clinical part of your elective is due to start, we’ll show you exactly how to get to the hospital and introduce you to your supervisors. The long-standing relationships we have with our partner hospitals will allow you to see advanced, sometimes even unusual medical conditions, diverse cultural attitudes and unfamiliar clinical practises. To ensure your elective is everything you expected it to be, our in-country teams will regularly review your day-to-day experience. Placements run Monday to Friday, meaning you’ve plenty of time to explore the amazing destination you’ve chosen.

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DESTINATIONS

Mexico - Merida
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In our partner hospital, there are excellent opportunities in both the adult and paediatric emergency departments. Learn how local specialists stabilise patients with life-threatening conditions. And learn how they deal with everything from injuries sustained through RTAs to heart attacks. There are also opportunities in oncology, haematology, high-specialty internal medicine, and critical care to name a few. You could also learn how local specialists treat tropical diseases like chikungunya, and West Nile virus. This nursing elective is suitable for adult and child nursing branches.

Vietnam - Hue
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On a nursing elective placement in Vietnam you’ll see a lack of primary care options meaning you see cases far more advanced than you’re used to. You can spend time in OBG, NICU, cardiovascular, orthopaedics, surgery and paediatrics among others. In Vietnam, patients’ families provide the bedside care normally attended to by professionals. This frees up local nurses’ time to get involved with clinical aspects of nursing like cannulation and wound care. You can also shadow doctors on their rounds to get a broader understanding of the healthcare system. It’s worth noting that we can host you in Hue if you’re studying adult, child or mental health nursing.

Zambia - Lusaka
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When it comes to nursing electives in Africa, you should give Lusaka serious consideration. You will undertake your placement in a university teaching hospital that has a setup similar to what you’ll be used to back home. But that’s where the similarities end. The hospital deals with care plans, bed baths, and wound care with far fewer resources than you’re used to. You can even get experience with administering chemotherapy. See cases of leptospirosis, septic open wounds and malaria — one of the most common diseases in the country. You can even observe in theatre if it’s something you’re interested in. This programme is suitable for adult, child and mental health nursing branches.

Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest
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On a nursing placement in Phnom Penh you’ll learn how local professionals treat unfamiliar tropical diseases from TB to typhoid. You can also gain experience in areas like the ED, OBG, ENT, traumatology, and urology, among others. But, limited resources and cultural and religious implications significantly change how local nurses practise. You can also spend time in a specialist paediatric hospital, where you can choose to get experience across the entire breadth of departments. This programme is suitable for adult and child nursing branches. 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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In Kandy tropical infectious diseases are common. You’ll see cases of dengue fever, chikungunya, and chagas. You can rotate through psychiatry, surgery, OBG, and general medicine among others. Culture, religion, and a lack of resources affect nursing practise here. Some treatments will differ from, or even contradict what you’ve been taught. Our partner hospital is also known for its extraordinary range of ICUs including: surgical, medical, cardiothoracic and the coronary care unit. This programme is suitable for adult, child and mental health nursing branches. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kandy. 

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Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura
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As far as elective placements for student nurses go, Anuradhapura is an excellent option. The use of pesticides on crops has also meant chronic kidney disease is a major issue in rural areas. You’ll see the direct effects of this issue in the Renal Transplant Unit which sees 80% of all related cases in northern Sri Lanka. You’ll encounter other unfamiliar cases too — tropical diseases like chikungunya, hepatitis, and malaria for example. This programme is suitable for adult, child and mental health nursing branches. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura.

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Philippines - Iloilo
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On a nursing elective placement abroad, you’ll see conditions unfamiliar to you, but typical of the country you’re visiting. In Iloilo, you’ll witness clubfoot for example, tropical diseases like dengue fever and TB, you might even see the odd rooster or snake bite. Areas include anaesthesiology, and the ED where you can see patients with respiratory failure, acute gastroenteritis, burns, rabies, hernias, and hyperglycemia. Being near some of the best English speaking universities, there's plenty of opportunity to exchange skills and practices with local students. This programme is suitable for adult, child and mental health nursing branches. Read stories from those who've already travelled with us to Iloilo. 

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Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
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In Dar es Salaam you’ll see conditions like cerebral malaria, sickle cell anemia, HIV, and cholera. Areas you can spend time in include paediatrics, the infectious diseases unit, theatre, and surgical wards like neurosurgery. Our partner hospitals in Dar es Salaam are under-resourced. Local nurses have had to adopt ingenuity to get around this limitation, and you will learn this from them in turn. You will have unique opportunities on both the psychiatric ward and in anaesthesiology. As far as nursing electives in Africa go, Dar es Salaam is an exceptional choice. This programme is suitable for adult, child and mental health nursing branches. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam.

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Ghana - Takoradi
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If you’re looking at nursing placements in Africa, Takoradi might be the programme for you.  In Takoradi you have the choice to undertake your placement in a number of partner hospitals and clinics. One of our partner hospitals is the biggest and best-equipped in the city. On your placement in Ghana, you’ll see conditions like acute malaria, diabetic gangrene, and typhoid psychosis. You’ll see how care is delivered very differently in familiar areas like the ED, general medicine, orthopaedics, and diabetes and hypertension clinics. The hospital also has a busy HIV clinic that you can attend. This programme is suitable for adult, child, mental health and learning disability nursing branches. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi.

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Nepal - Kathmandu
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As far as elective placements for student nurses go, in our partner hospital in Kathmandu, you’ll encounter patients with conditions like Japanese encephalitis, dengue fever, malnutrition, and snake, monkey and dog bites. You might even see resulting cases of rabies. The way local nurses approach treatment depends on the level of resource they have at any one time. So, even in familiar departments like the ED, surgery, general medicine and paediatrics, you can expect nursing practise to differ a lot. Kathmandu is also great for specialising in areas like ENT, dermatology, psychiatry, forensic medicine and cardiothoracics. This programme is suitable for adult, child and mental health nursing branches. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu.

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Nepal - Pokhara
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On your placement in Pokhara, you’ll see communicable diseases like diphtheria, TB, and typhoid. Bites from tropical insects and snakes are common too. You can rotate through departments like surgery, OBG, paediatrics and orthopaedics. But practices and treatments will differ from what you’re used to because the country’s healthcare system has such limited resources. You can even observe procedures like, myomectomies, laparotomies and hysterectomies in the obstetric theatre in the OBG department. This programme is suitable for adult, child and mental health nursing branches. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara.

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Peru - Arequipa
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When it comes to nursing elective placements in Arequipa, you’ll see conditions arising from poor sanitary conditions in some of Peru’s economically disadvantaged areas. The hospital’s approach to infection control might also surprise you. You can rotate through areas like surgery, paediatrics, trauma and general medicine among others. Spending time in the ED’s critical observation room is also worthwhile. Our partner hospital in Arequipa houses the largest oncology department in Southern Peru, and one of the country’s two brachytherapy units which in turn means a fantastic elective placement for student nurses. On your placement here you’re likely to see cancers that are uncommon back home. This programme is suitable for adult and child nursing branches. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa.

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"The whole experience turned into the best thing I have ever done!"

Chelsea Hunter, University of Birmingham 2018

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"It is no exaggeration to say Zambia was a life-altering experience"

Bethany Marsden, Northampton University 2018

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"It was a real culture shock... I found it pretty shocking to see 2 patients being treated in theatre at the same time".

Claire Webb, University of Brighton 2018

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"They were doing their best with what they had."

Heather Wilcox, University of Hertfordshire 2018

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"Speaking openly, our time in the emergency department was emotionally challenging."

Abigail Troughton, University of Hertfordshire 2018

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What is a Nursing Elective?

Nursing Electives are placements nursing students undertake as part of their degree. Some educational establishments also refer to them as Clinical Experiences, Insights Placements, Enrichment Placements, International Modules and Mobility Placements. We tailor structured, supervised Nursing Electives in destinations across Africa, Asia and Latin America.