WHY GO OVERSEAS

An overseas physiotherapy elective is an opportunity not to be missed. Unique clinical settings will teach you how local specialists create treatment plans with extremely limited, often hand-made or improvised rehabilitation equipment. Physiotherapy electives abroad develop people both personally and professionally throughout the experience.

We have been organising physiotherapy placements for over a decade. The relationships we’ve developed with hospitals and clinics around the world can present you with experiences that would normally be closed off. You can expect structured supervision of the highest quality. Our management teams in country will monitor your placement throughout, and provide support 24/7. They are also responsible for the running of our private, catered accommodation, and also for regularly tracking your clinical progress.

physiotherapy electives

HOW IT WORKS

The expertise we’ve developed around physiotherapy placements abroad will help you make an informed decision when choosing which destination to travel to. We’ll then design and create a physiotherapy placement based on your specific areas of clinical interest — working with leprosy patients, or with burns rehabilitation for example. Working with our expert team, you can customise each detail.

We put in an enormous amount of work behind the scenes. To give you visibility of each step in the process, you’ll get a login to MyTrip — our online placement planner. The interactive planner contains personalised information about every aspect of your trip.

TEAM AND ACCOMMODATION

When you land in your destination, a member of our in-country management team will collect you from the airport and bring you back to the Work the World house. Next we’ll host a comprehensive welcome briefing, and take you on a fun local orientation and hospital introduction trip.

 

Regardless of the destination you choose, our houses are spacious, private and secure. You’ll stay with students and professionals across a range of disciplines, which gives the houses a social atmosphere. You’ll love the amazing weekend travel opportunities with all the new friends you make. Delivering 24/7 support, our management teams are always around to offer assistance. The rest of the house team is comprised of an expert chef, a housekeeper and a teacher who teaches local language lessons twice weekly.

IN THE HOSPITAL 

Before your first day in the hospital, our team will show you exactly how to get there, and introduce you to the teams you’ll be working with. The strong relationships we’ve developed with our partner institutions will allow you to see advanced conditions, unfamiliar rehabilitation practises and diverse cultural attitudes towards care. Making sure your placement is consistently meeting your expectations, you’ll notice our in-country teams reviewing your experience in real-time. With physiotherapy placements running from Monday to Friday, your evenings and weekends are free so you can explore the destination you’re in.

physiotherapy electives 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.

 

In the hospital we’re partnered with, the physiotherapy team attend to a breadth of cases — from everyday aches, pains and strains to severe burns. Alongside local specialists, you’ll also work to rehabilitate patients with neurological disorders like stroke and Bell’s palsy, and work-related injuries. In another, more modern partner hospital, you could gain experience working with patients needing respiratory therapy and post-surgical patients.

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.

 

The Rehabilitation Department you’ll be learning in has a wealth of experience training physiotherapists like you, as it’s set in a university teaching hospital. You’ll help to rehabilitate cases from severe burns to paediatric spina bifida caused by Agent Orange that still affects children generations after its use in the Vietnam War. You’ll also gain insight into how local staff improvise to get around a lack of modern rehabilitation equipment.

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.

 

Clinically speaking, you could find yourself working with repeat patients, in clubfoot clinics, with patients with neuro disorders, amputees, burns patients, in the hospital’s specialised gym, and even seeing how the hospital makes its own molds and prostheses. Opportunities to get involved with orthopaedics and respiratory therapy also exist.

Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest
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Sprawling out from the mighty Mekong river, Cambodia’s capital is a hub of eclectic contrasts, where sacred Buddhist templessit alongside marketplaces touting knock-off brands. Try traditional street food, explore the city's vibrant nightlife, boat along the river to discover rural rice paddies, and head to the coast for white sands and crystal waters.

 

A Physiotherapy Elective in Cambodia will open your eyes to how your overseas counterparts cope with heavily limited resources. Using hand-made equipment, you could assist in the treatment of patients presenting an extraordinary range of conditions, from meningitis to cerebral palsy. 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

Nepal - Pokhara
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Pokhara is a laid-back, welcoming city nestled in the foothills of the majestic Himalayan Mountains whose snowy peaks, on a clear day, can be seen towering over the city. In your free time you can explore the winding streets of the city, go paragliding above the lake, trek through the Himalayas, and simply enjoy the many international bars and eateries this backpackers' haven has to offer.

 

On a Physiotherapy Elective here, you’ll work in a specialist Rehabilitation Hospital, which is extremely well-equipped by Nepalese standards. With a proactive attitude, you could assist in cases of stroke rehabilitation, neuromuscular disorders, and soft tissue injury. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara.

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Sri Lanka - Kandy
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Kandy is a hub of rich historical culture — hindu and buddhist temples, palaces, traditional restaurants and local craft markets. When you want a break form city life, relax on golden beaches, become an explorer on a jungle safari, battle rapids on a white water rafting trip, and soar above the vast tea plantations on a hot-air balloon ride.

 

On a Physiotherapy Elective you’ll work with an amazing team in the local teaching hospital. The hospital promotes patient interaction, so you could also find yourself working directly with handmade equipment local staff have improvised. Time in the busy outpatient department will give you insight into specific, and often advanced cases that patients present. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kandy.

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Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura
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Anuradhapura is a land with two faces — the ancient and the new. On one hand, you'll see sacred stupas, hindu and buddhist temples, and ancient palaces. On the other, you'll experience the humble personalities, and laid-back local culture that seem so distant from the local population's grand heritage. Be sure to go on safari in the national parks, and swim in the clear blue waters and relax on the paradise beaches Anuradhapura's East Coast offers. 

 

On a Physiotherapy Elective here, you could worlk with local specialists to rehabilitate amputees who were left by the Sri Lankan Civil War. Limited and often outdated equipment will present you with new challenges. The Physiotherapy Unit works across the Neurosurgical and Surgical ICU wards too. This will giving you plenty of opportunity to broaden your clinical experiences. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura.

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Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
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Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's second largest city — a growing metropolis with a huge population who enjoy an active pace of life, but have a laid-back demeanour. The city is surrounded by a wealth of natural beauty that begs exploration. Visit game parks, climb mountains, and the white sand beaches and clear waters of Zanzibar are a short boart ride away.

 

Clinically speaking, you’ll be working in a department that focuses on Orthopedic cases like road accidents, construction and logging injuries, and domestic accidents. The use of dated and sometimes handmade rehabilitatoin equipment will highlight the lack of resources in the field, which is still developing in Tanzania. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam. 

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Nepal - Kathmandu
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Kathmandu, Nepal's capital city, has a vivid and ancient history. This history is best enjoyed through things like discovering the city's architecture, trying traditional food, and immersing yourself in local culture. The city does have modern aspects, too. Mmotorbikes speed down cobbled streets, Buddhist monks use mobile phones, and market stalls sell traditional dishes alongside western food.

 

Physiotherapy is a developing field in Nepal. This means you’ll observe staff and their practices taking shape into a form of Physiotherapy unique to the country. Cases of cerebral palsy, strokes, and burns are all commonplace in this evolving department, so you can expect to hone your skills across a range of conditions. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu.

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Philippines - Iloilo
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Iloilo lies on the coast of a tropical island and is, expectedly, surrounded by natural beauty. Palm trees line the coast's beautiful beaches, wild endangered animals roam through dense jungles, and if you’re adventurous enough, you can hike the mountains. The city itself is a unique example of a modern Philippines cultural centre complete with restaurants, bars, seafront cafes, and shopping centres.

 

Physiotherapy Placements in our partner hospital will allow you to work with a dedicated department team who cater to the city and surrounding rural areas. Common rehabilitation cases include working with amputees, and those with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain surgeries. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo.

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Peru - Arequipa
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Arequipa is an increasingly modern city, but the fingerprints of more ancient peoples and cultures can be found everywhere. Women weave traditional patterns in local textile markets, food vendors serve cuisines for which the recipes date back thousands of years, and modern buildings stand beside Aztec monuments. Outside the city, trek through the Amazon jungle, visit floating villages, and climb to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu.

 

On your Physiotherapy Elective, you’ll begin to draw comparisons between the holistic rehabilitation favoured in Peru, versus what you're used to at home. Treating patients from the poorer sections of society — many of whom suffer from birth defects and long-untreated conditions — will open your eyes to the unique challenges faced by local staff. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa.

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Ghana - Takoradi
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Takoradi is an energetic port city with a traditional African feel. Situated on Africa’s West coast, the region boasts historical as well as natural curiosities. You'll find a series of ageing colonial forts dotted along stretches of golden coastline, and further afield you can swim in cascading waterfalls, walk through the jungle canopy, and visit remote African villages to get a sense of rural life.

 

Bringing a go-getter attitude to your Physiotherapy Elective here will help you get more practical experience working with patients. You can expect to work with patients in need of post-operative rehabilitation, who've had strokes, suffered burns, and live with Erb’s Palsy. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi.

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Tanzania - Arusha
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Arusha is an energetic city whose inhabitants enjoy hustle and bustle, yet have found a perfectly steady pace of life. Surrounded by lush landscapes the city is also a gateway to adventure. Spot lions, rhino and other rare wildlife on safari, marvel at views of Kilimanjaro — Africa's highest peak — from the summit of Arusha's own mountain, and scuba dive in the emeral-green Indian Ocean.

 

On a Physiotherapy Elective here you could work with a wide range of conditions including child cerebral palsy and post-surgical rehabilitation. Burns from gas cookers and road traffic accidents are also surprisingly common here, and you may even find yourself working with improvised, handmade rehabilitation equipment. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arusha.

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"Every day I had a new, amazing, memorable experience."

Lily Hosie, Glasgow Caledonian University 2017

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"Kandy was a vibrant, busy place with friendly locals"

Maria Finn, University of Brighton 2017

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Meijerink, Joost

"This was definitely my biggest adventure yet, and a decision I will never regret!"

Joost Meijerink, 2017

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"An experience I will never forget"

MAISY PROVAN, CARDIFF UNIVERSITY 2017

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Foster, Caitlin

"You get to see how patients are treated without all the tools we use at home."

Caitlin Foster, Monash University 2015

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