why go overseas

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel overseas for your pharmacy elective or hospital pharmacy summer placement. 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 elsewhere, 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 spend time 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

Vietnam - Hue
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On your pharmacy placement in Hue, you’ll see the impact poor funding has on the quality of care patients receive. Many drugs have limited supplies, while others are totally unobtainable. The local pharmacists have to rely on dispensing lesser alternatives or nothing at all. This has an obvious impact on patients. You can also learn about traditional Vietnamese medicine and how it complements modern practises. Areas you can choose to get experience in include the renal pharmacy, the oncology department’s CRU pharmacy, the OPD pharmacy, inpatient department pharmacy, and the drug stores.

Zambia - Lusaka
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On your pharmacy placement in Lusaka, you’ll quickly learn that access to certain medicines is limited. Add to that the low staff numbers and you’ll see a considerable negative impact on the care specialists are able to provide. You’ll check scripts, go on clinical rounds and spend time in dispensaries all over the hospital site. The site comprises separate hospitals, and you’ll visit dispensaries in paediatrics, adult, mother and newborn, and surgery.

Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest
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On a pharmacy elective placement in  Phnom Penh you’ll come to understand challenges local staff face when delivering healthcare in a low resource setting. Nurses are responsible for dispensing medicines for inpatients here. You’ll accompany them on ward rounds, learning about each patient’s treatment plans as you go. Where outpatients are concerned you’ll spend time with local pharmacists, dispensing and offering advice to patients. The main pharmacy is stocked by several on-site storage facilities. You can tour these stockrooms, learning how the local system works and about drugs you might have never seen before.  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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On your pharmacy placement in Takoradi, you get to spend time with local professionals, shadowing them on ward rounds. You’ll evaluate histories, strengthen treatment plans and highlight possible side effects as you go. You’ll spend time in departments like surgery, paediatrics, and the HIV clinic too. If you spend time in the dispensary, and we encourage you to do so, you’ll see just how limited resources are in this area. But there are other areas too. The diabetes and hypertension clinic, the main lab, A&E, the herbal medicine clinic… you name it. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi.

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Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura
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As pharmacy student in Anuradhapura, you can spend time in a range of pharmacies across the hospital from oncology to surgical. You can assist in preparing lotions, solutions, and ointments for inpatients, and gain an understanding of how stock levels are managed. You might also choose to assist with reconstituting chemotherapy drugs. This whole placement gives you a really broad experience. Your time here will highlight how local specialists have to rely on their creativity to combat the lack of resources they face. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura.

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Peru - Arequipa
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Satellite pharmacies serve the different departments in our department hospital. You can spend time in dispensaries in internal medicine, oncology, and surgery among others. Hundreds of prescriptions are processed here every day. The hospital has a focus on oncology. That means you might even assist in the ‘clean room’. Cytostatic medications are reconstituted and sterilised here, ready for use on patients. If it interests you, you also can go on ward rounds, and spend time in the internal medicine department, offering a fascinating pharmacy placement abroad. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa.

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Nepal - Pokhara
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On your pharmacy elective placement here, you can spend time in a dispensaries stocked with medicines you won’t be familiar with. These include anti-venoms for tropical insect and snake bites. There are two main dispensaries here. One services inpatients, the other services outpatient prescriptions. Get into the pharmacovigilance unit and see how local specialists detect, assess, and prevent side effects associated with the drugs they prescribe. Joining ward rounds is also possible. You’ll shadow doctors and learn about treatment plans with them. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara.

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Nepal - Kathmandu
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Part of a pharmacist's role in our partner hospital is to explaining prescription drugs to patients. What are the side effects? Who can and can't take them? Joining ward rounds with local specialists gives you insights like this. You’ll learn the broader role pharmacy plays in the ongoing development of healthcare in Nepal. You can get into the specifics of local practice, spending time in the dispensaries. You’ll also see exactly how local pharmacists use traditional herbal medicines alongside modern drugs. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu.

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Philippines - Iloilo
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On a pharmacy placement  in Iloilo, you’ll rotate through six different outlets. These include satellite pharmacies in A&E, the operating room, neonatal, OBG, and the ‘drive-thru’. There’s a lack of digital equipment right across the hospital. For the pharmacy department (and for you), that means documentation is still written by hand. If you’re interested in learning how conditions like leptospirosis and malaria are medicated, and about how medication plans are generated more generally, you can also go on ward rounds with local doctors. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo.

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"During the month I spent in Pokhara, I made unforgettable memories with amazing students from all over the world."

Jack Gilbert, Robert Gordon University 2018

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"The experience moulded my personal and professional values in ways I couldn’t have imagined."

Matthew Blackmore, University of Lincoln 2018

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"It was everything I imagined the experience to be and more."

Cassie Wong, University of Sydney 2018

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"I was in an approachable environment with some of the most open-minded and patient-devoted clinicians I’ve ever met."

Seamus Dines-Muntaner, Queensland University of Technology 2018

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"These were eye-opening experiences for me..."

ANJE VAN ASWEGEN, Monash University 2018

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