Boost your career on an occupational therapy elective abroad

Go on a once-in-a-lifetime occupational therapy placement abroad with Work the World and you’ll get career-boosting clinical experience in an overseas hospital. Then in your free time, you’ll have life-changing travel experiences with new friends.

You are in total control — you tell us what you want to experience and we'll tailor your overseas placement to your specific interests. You choose everything from the destination right down to the kinds of hospital or clinic you want to get experience in.

You’ll find the experience to be eye-opening. And that’s true whether you’re a undertaking an elective for occupational therapy students or graduates.

Why go on an overseas occupational therapy elective?

  • Unique experience that puts you ahead of your peers
  • Stand out to employers when job hunting
  • Strengthen your academic profile
  • Build a network to tap into during your career
  • Gain perspective that reframes your view of the NHS
  • Build confidence by stepping out of your comfort zone
  • Get inspiration around where you might specialise

"I also learnt about conditions I had never seen before such as macrocephaly." - Anna, Oxford Brookes University
Read more OT reviews here

Eye-opening clinical placement

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 on your occupational therapy placement 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 OT. In many of our destinations, OT is still an emerging practice. This means some of the techniques you’ll observe may be unfamiliar, and some may even be improvised on the spot.

Tap into our hospital partnerships

Our long-established international hospital partnerships let us tailor your placement abroad down to a level of detail that would be impossible if you were trying to organise your trip independently.

The partnerships also allow us to guarantee things like your hospital placement, supervision, and your choice of departments. You'll get detailed information on all of the above long before you travel.

You also get an exceptional level of flexibility should you want to amend your occupational therapy elective choices while you're overseas. All of this means you can create a placement abroad suited perfectly to you, without the risk of your elective plans falling through.

Once-in-a-lifetime travel

As an occupational therapy student or graduate, your clinical placement is the focus of your trip. But your free time in the afternoons and weekends will be packed full of experiences like:

  • Relaxing on palm-lined, white-sand beaches
  • Getting close to elephants, lions and giraffes on safari
  • Swimming with curious sea turtles on warm tropical reefs
  • Hiking (or paragliding!) through the Himalays
  • Spending a weekend hopping between paradise islands

But it's the people you share it with that really make your Work the World trip memorable. You'll live with other healthcare students and graduates in a big private house.

Learn about accommodation

What's included?

The service you get with us is end-to-end. That means we will support you before, during and even after your trip.

You'll get:

  • Pre-departure preparation with our UK team
  • Structured, supervised occupational therapy elective placement
  • Private, catered accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country team
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • + more

Arrivals are every Sunday, 52 weeks of the year — travel on your OT placement when it suits you. Durations of placements for occupational therapy students start from one week.



Philippines - Iloilo
Nursing Electives in The Philippines
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You'll get experience with a broad range of cases on your occupational therapy elective in Iloilo. Typical cases include Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy, stroke, RTAs, and spinal cord injuries.

You'll interact with patients of all ages, presenting at various stages of severity. You'll undertake your OT placement in our partner hospital's physiotherapy rehabilitation department. This offers you the chance to see how interdependent the two disciplines are. You'll also notice a focus on inpatients, with staff spending up to an hour with patients.

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Nursing Electives in The Philippines

Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
Occupational therapy electives in Tanzania
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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.

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Occupational therapy electives in Tanzania

"The hospital was huge & the healthcare system was very different from what I was used to in the UK."

Anna Hilliar , Oxford Brookes University 2020

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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:

  • Clubfoot
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Paediatric spina bifida
  • Post-amputation rehabilitation
  • Post-eclampsia

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.