why go overseas

Seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel overseas for your pharmacy elective. Practising pharmacy abroad, you’ll discover how local staff cope with what limited medicines they have to prescribe, prepare and distribute. Pharmacy placements abroad rapidly advance both personal and professional development.

Over the last decade we’ve organised thousands of placements all over the world. The partnerships we have with local hospitals and clinics give you open access to experiences that would be impossible anywhere else, and the structured supervision we offer is outstanding. Our teams in-country manage your experience, providing 24/7 support throughout and will monitor your whole placement. These teams are also responsible for overseeing the operation of our private, catered houses.

Pharmacy electives

How it works

We know our programmes inside and out, our expertise will help you make the right decision about which destination suits you best. Then, taking your areas of interest as a foundation, we’ll sculpt the perfect pharmacy elective placement. Whether you want to work in main dispensaries or help synthesise chemotherapy drugs, our expert team will help you customise every detail.

So you can keep track of all the work we put in behind the scenes, you’ll get access to our interactive elective planner — MyTrip. The planner contains information about every aspect of your trip, all uniquely personalised.

Team and Accommodation 

Our expert in-country management team will be there to meet you at the airport when you land. They’ll take you straight back to the Work the World house where you’ll have a welcome briefing and, the following day, a local orientation and hospital introduction trip.

Our private houses are both spacious and secure. We create pharmacy electives for students and professionals from a range of disciplines, so the houses always have a socially diverse atmosphere. You’ll love the amazing weekend travel opportunities with all the new friends you make. Two key members of our management teams are always on hand to provide 24/7 support. An in-house chef, a local language teacher who hosts lessons twice weekly, and a housekeeper make up the rest of the team.

IN THE HOSPITAL 

Before your first day on placement, the team will take you on a practice run of the route to your hospital and introduce you to your supervisors. The relationships we have with our partner hospitals will unlock opportunities to see unfamiliar pharmacy practises and diverse cultural attitudes towards medicine and its provision. Our in-country teams constantly review your experience in real-time, ensuring your pharmacy elective is meeting your expectations. You are free to explore the destination you’ve chosen during evenings and weekends, as placements run from Monday to Friday.

pharmacy placements abroad

DESTINATIONS

Mexico - Merida
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Merida is Mexico’s cultural capital, home to beautiful colonial architecture, green plazas and broad boulevards. The city is lively in the evenings with restaurants and bars in full swing. Further afield, you can dive in beautiful underwater caves cenotes, relax on tropical beaches, and visit awe-inspiring ancient Mayan ruins.

 

Your pharmacy placement in Merida will immediately highlight the impact a lack of resources can on the provision of  adequate care. For example, there’s a notable absence of certain medicines that more developed healthcare systems would take for granted. The differences in the way systems are set up, too — you might find the way prescriptions are fulfilled and how patient records are kept to differ considerably from what you’re used to.

Vietnam - Hue
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A vibrant focal point of Southeast Asian culture and backpacker favourite, with bustling markets, lively bars and delicious street food in abundance. Close to tropical beaches, rainforests, and ancient temples and pagodas, you’ll have every chance to indulge your adventurous side.

 

When it comes to pharmacy, poor funding has a significant impact on the delivery of adequate care. Many drugs have a limited supply, while others are completely unobtainable. Pharmacists often have to rely on dispensing lesser alternatives or nothing at all depending on stock levels. Unique to our programme in Hue, you could also learn about Vietnamese traditional medicine.

Zambia - Lusaka
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Lusaka is the beating heart of Zambia. From here you can visit up to 20 game parks to see rhino, lions, elephants and cheetah. You might even spot hippos wading through the beautiful Zambezi River while canoeing along the shore. You can also the rich local cultures and traditions so ingrained in Zambian tribal culture.

 

A pharmacy placement in Lusaka will show you that our partner hospital’s standards are almost on par with those found in hospitals back home. Access to certain medicines is limited, and low staff numbers do have a negative impact, but you’ll find yourself checking scripts, doing clinical rounds and working in dispensaries found in the paediatrics, adult, mother and newborn hospitals as well as in surgery.

Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest
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In the city of Phnom Penh, the distinct fragrances of Southeast Asian cooking drift from streetfood vendors' carts, markets spill over with knick-knacks and jewelry, and monks in colourful robes burn incense in local temples. Outside the city limits you'll discover white sands and crystal-clear seas on the coast, trek through forests to find sun bears, leopards and elephants, and visit some of the world's most ancient temples.

 

A Pharmacy Elective in Phnom Penh will highlight challenges that delivering healthcare in the developing world presents in a way that staying at home simply couldn’t. From working in multiple dispensaries to encountering a diverse range of unfamiliar cases, both the personal and professional skills you’ll gain will prove indispensable. 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

Ghana - Takoradi
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Ghana is one of Africa’s most welcoming nations. The charming people of Takoradi — the city in which we're based — will prove that to you from the moment you arrive. Takoradi is a port town, which means lively markets, bars, and restaurants serving local dishes. This city rich in Ghanaian culture. Further afield you’ll have the chance to spot endangered wildlife on safari, hike deep into the jungle in search of waterfalls, and visit remote communities to get a taste of rural life.

 

On placement in Takoradi, alongside professional pharmacists you'll undertake ward rounds across departments like Surgery, Paediatrics, and the HIV Clinic. Spending time in the dispensary will highlight the creativity of local staff who are able to provide medicines for a wide range of pathologies despite the limited resources they work with. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi.

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Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura
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Anuradhapura is the place to be to get to know Sri Lanka's famously laid-back culture, and its ancient past. Wander through time-worn temples and gilded palaces, explore local craft markets, and sample Sri Lankan specialities at local restaurants. Step outside the city and you’ll discover rare wildlife in the national parks, wander through cast and beautiful tea plantations and relax on white-sand beaches.

 

As Pharmacy student, you could be working in a number of pharmacies ranging from Oncology to Surgical. Assisting in the creation of drugs used for a range of cancers will highlight how local specialists deploy creativity to combat the lack of resources they face on a daily basis. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura.

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Peru - Arequipa
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Arequipa is an increasingly modern city, but its roots go deep into the ancient past. Wandering through amazing colonial architecture you'll explore busy markets, try local traditional delicacies, and get involved in colourful local culture. In your free time, visit lake Titicaca’s floating villages, trek to the famous ruins of Machu Picchu left by the ancient Incan civilisation, and scale the local volcano for once-in-a-lifetime views of the city.

 

A number of satellite pharmacies serve our partner hospital’s different departments, including Internal Medicine, Oncology and Surgery. The hospital’s focus on Oncology could also give you the chance to assist in the 'clean room' where chemotherapy medications are manufactured, sterilised, and prepared for use. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa.

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Nepal - Pokhara
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The city of Pokhara, a laid-back cultural hub and a haven for backpackers, is the Nepalese home of misty mountains, lush forests, and tranquil lakes. The city streets are lined with ancient temples and pagodas, craft shops, bookshops, restaurants, bars — the list goes on. Pokhara is surrounded on all sides by green slopes in which you can enjoy paragliding with hawks, bungee jumping, hiking to temples and visiting remote villages.

 

Pharmacy Electives here involve working in the dispensary with unfamiliar medicines, and even certain anti-venoms. Time in the Pharmacovigilance Unit will give you the chance to study the detection, assessment, and prevention of adverse effects associated with pharmaceutical products. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara.

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Nepal - Kathmandu
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Kathmandu’s recorded history goes back thousands upon thousands of years. This antiquity is reflected throughout the city, the ancient contrasting the new, in many different forms. Peruse busy markets filled with handmade curiosities, tour ancient temples, ride rickshaws through the busy streets and visit restaurants and bars. From Kathmandu, adventurers can go paragliding, trek through the Himalayas, go bungee jumping, and try whitewater rafting.

 

Part of a Pharmacist's role here is to assist in explaining prescription drugs, their side effects, and who can and can't take them. Taking ward rounds with local specialists will give you insight into the broader role pharmacy plays in the ongoing development of Nepali healthcare. You'll learn the more specific aspects of local practice through working in our partner hospital's dispensaries. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu.

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Philippines - Iloilo
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While the many bars and restaurants lend a developed feel to the city, Iloilo still feels like a laid-back, tropical haven. Everyone joins in the colourful festivals that take place throughout the year, and just across the water the white sand beaches and palm trees of Boracay beckon.

 

Show initiative on your elective and you’ll rotate through 6 different outlets, including satellite pharmacies in Emergency, the Operating room, Neonatal, and OBG. Time in any of these will highlight the shortcomings often associated with pharmacy in the developing world. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo.

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Speakman, Lauren

"To anyone considering spending their summer in Peru with Work the World - GO! It’s an experience of a lifetime that you won’t regret."

Lauren Speakman, Auburn University 2017

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McCreesh, Claire

"During rounds, we observed patients who had been there for several months due to complications with infection — one person we met had been at the hospital for five years!"

Claire McCreesh and Laura Owens, Liverpool John Moores University 2017

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Allen, Danielle

"The time I spent in the hospital was incredibly valuable".

Danielle Allen, Queen's University, Belfast 2015

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Lennon, Helen

"The Village Healthcare Experience was one of my favourite weeks of the trip."

Helen Lennon, Queen's University, Belfast 2015

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Yi Tang, Ka

"I never felt alone or out of my depth".

Ka Yi Tang, Monash University 2015

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