WHY GO ON AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ELECTIVE ABROAD?
Our occupational therapy placements abroad give you the opportunity to go on a placement in the developing world in a low-resource hospital setting. The experience also gives your CV a huge boost, helping you land your dream job.
The broad aim of an occupational therapy elective is to see a healthcare system that’s in contrast to your own. You’ll see practices, like paraffin therapy, that you might never have seen before.
While experiencing occupational therapy abroad, you’ll encounter cases like leprosy and polio — not common in the UK. And you’ll learn how limited resources affect the provision of care for more common conditions like contractures and neuropathies. Rehabilitation equipment is largely handmade, for example.
THE CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
An occupational therapy placement abroad is all about seeing your discipline through a new lens. You’ll rapidly discover that things we take for granted in the UK — even basic gym equipment — are luxuries in some developing countries.
Some things you will observe include:
- Patients from diverse occupational backgrounds
- Handmade rehabilitation equipment
- Uncommon conditions like clubfoot and leprosy
- Extremely late presentation and advanced cases
You will also see major differences in the fundamentals of occupational therapy too. In many of our destinations, occupational therapy is still an emerging practise. This means some of the techniques you’ll observe may be unfamiliar, and some may even be improvised on the spot.
Hospital placements run Monday to Friday. That means your evenings and weekends are free to explore a country you might never have otherwise visited.
The service you get with us is end-to-end. That means we will support you before, during and even after your trip.
The service covers all bases, taking the stress out of planning a placement abroad.
Arrivals are every Sunday, 52 weeks of the year (you can travel whenever suits you), and durations start from one week.
YOU GET A ONE-TO-ONE SERVICE THAT INCLUDES:
- A tailored overseas elective in your choice of departments
- Comprehensive pre-trip preparation
- Accommodation in a private, catered house
- A 24/7 in-country team to support you
- Airport pickup
The focus of your trip will always be your clinical placement. But you’ll have time away from the hospital to throw yourself into exploring the country you’re based in.
Whether you’re into solo or group travel, you’ll enjoy weekend trips that will be highlights of your experience. You'll make lots of like-minded friends in the Work the World house. And you'll all go on big weekend trips together — from visiting the beautiful island of Zanzibar to spotting the Big 5 on safari. You have an abundance of opportunity for adventure, and cultural immersion.
WHERE DO I START?
Talk to us. We’re here to answer every one of your questions and help you develop a clear picture of what you can expect from your OT placement.
Get in touch using the short enquiry form at the bottom of this page.
Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
Find out more
If you display a proactive attitude when you’re on placement, you’ll get much better experience with patients. You can help to treat cases of arthritis, contractures, neuropathies and children with delayed milestones. The occupational therapy team in Dar es Salaam are also stationed in the ICU, and conduct home visits. This gives you an idea of the bigger picture of how OT is delivered in the developing world. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to.
"The hospital was huge & the healthcare system was very different from what I was used to in the UK."
Anna Hilliar , Oxford Brookes University 2020Read more
"If you’re thinking of heading to Nepal for your placement, get ready to have the experience of a lifetime."
Laura Langdon, La Trobe University 2018Read more
What do our occupational therapy electives offer?
A Work the World OT elective gives you the chance to undertake a clinical placement in the developing world. You will spend time in a low-resource hospital and see unfamiliar practices and advanced conditions. You can even choose the departments you want to rotate through. Learn more here.
What are the benefits of a Work the World occupational therapy elective?
The benefits of our occupational therapy electives include:
- Expanding your clinical knowledge and skill set
- Becoming more confident, independent and resourceful
- Making yourself more attractive to employers
- Doing some proper travelling
- Building your personal and professional network
- Sharpening your language and communication skills
- Renewing your perspective on the NHS
What are the most popular countries for occupational therapy electives?
One of the most popular countries for occupational therapy electives is Tanzania. That's why we've focused on creating an OT placement here. The experiences you'll have in our partner hospital in Dar es Salaam will forever change the way you view the practise.
What kinds of cases will I see on a Work the World overseas occupational therapy elective?
You will see cases like:
- Paediatric spina bifida
- Post-amputation rehabilitation
How long is a Work the World occupational therapy elective?
An occupational therapy elective is as long as you want it to be. Our minimum placement duration is one week, but students typically travel on their occupational therapy electives for 4 weeks. There is no upper limit to how long you can travel for.