Boost your career on a radiography elective placement abroad
Go on a once-in-a-lifetime radiography elective 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 radiography students or graduates.
Why go on a radiography elective abroad?
- 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
Eye-opening clinical placement
A radiography placement abroad is all about challenging what you know and seeing the discipline through a new lens. You’ll realise that things we take for granted in the UK — like digital diagnostic equipment — are luxuries compared to what’s available in some of our destinations.
Some things you will observe on your radiography elective placement include:
- Developing CT, MRI and X-ray on film in a darkroom
- Limited privacy with multiple patients undergoing scans in the same room
- Late presentations and advanced pathologies
- Faulty or broken down diagnostic equipment
You'll also see big differences in the fundamentals of radiography abroad. In many of our destinations, protocols around radiation protection for staff and patients' families are lax compared to what you're used to.
Tap into our hospital partnerships
Our long-established international hospital partnerships let us tailor your placement 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 radiography elective choices while you're overseas. All of this means you can create a placement suited perfectly to you, without the risk of your elective plans falling through.
As a radiography 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.
The service you get with us is end-to-end. That means we will support you before, during and even after your trip.
- Pre-departure preparation with our UK team
- Structured, supervised radiography 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 radiography elective when it suits you. Durations of placements for radiography students start from one week.
Book with confidence
We understand that the global situation is evolving every day. So now when you register for your overseas placement with Work the World, you can make unlimited changes to your travel dates, or your choice of destination.
Indonesia - Yogyakarta
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Radiography in Indonesia isn’t the same as what you’re familiar with in the UK. Yes, you’ll get experience helping scan and interpret conditions. But right from the start you’ll see differences in equipment and in practise. And this is what a radiography placement in Yogyakarta is all about — being right there alongside skilled Indonesian specialists, learning how they have found innovative ways to work around problems. And this will make you more resourceful and confident in your own practise (you’ll have a few stories to tell too).
Ghana - Takoradi
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Your radiography elective in Ghana takes place in our busy partner hospital. You’ll help the team provide diagnostic services for departments across the hospital and smaller clinics in the surrounding area. This means you can get experience observing and analysing a diverse range of conditions. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that radiography departments in Ghana aren’t as well equipped as they are in the UK. So, understanding how local staff get around this is a big part of why placements here are so interesting. You even have the chance to get experience that would be impossible back in the UK, like using a darkroom to develop X-rays on film. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi.
Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
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On a radiography elective in Dar es Salaam, you’ll gain experience in Tanzania’s best-equipped radiography department. Patients here are normally referred from the hospital’s general wards, casualty, the specialist orthopaedic institute, and from other smaller hospitals in Dar es Salaam. If you’re interested in radiotherapy, you can spend time in a specialised cancer hospital too. Tanzanian hospitals rarely offer radiotherapy as training and equipment are expensive. Some patients have to travel literally hundreds of miles to seek care. Because demand is so high, some patients have to wait as long as two years to be seen. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam.
Vietnam - Hue
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Your placement in Hue is in a university teaching hospital. While you’re here you’ll get experience with both scanning and helping to interpret imagery. That said, much of the diagnostic equipment in the hospital is out of date, and some machines (that hospitals in the UK might take for granted) don’t exist at all. The general lack of resources in the Vietnamese healthcare system also means the department is understaffed. You’ll learn exactly how local staff cope with this lack of staff and machinery, and this will give you an adaptability that will serve you throughout your career as a radiographer.
Zambia - Lusaka
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As a radiography student in the UK, you’re probably well used to digital imaging technologies. In Lusaka, our partner hospital is slowly introducing digital equipment, but analog equipment is still widely used. You can even learn how to develop X-rays in the hospital’s darkroom. While you’re on placement, you’ll notice a significant number of cases of HIV too. If you’re interested in radiotherapy, you can get some experience next door in the cancer and diseases hospital. There’s very little public awareness, so you’ll see many late presentations here — around 60% of cases are classed as ‘severe’ when first diagnosed.
Mexico - Merida
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On a radiography elective placement in Merida, you can see the two sides of radiography in Mexico. In a state-of-the-art private hospital, you’ll get experience with some of the world’s most sophisticated diagnostic technologies. In a low-resource state hospital, you’ll see how radiographers operate when funding is limited. Compared to the UK, practises are different in Merida, regardless of which hospital you’re in. For example, local staff don’t have the same level of concern for radiation safety — staff will happily stand near machinery, even when in use. If you’re interested, you can also get experience alongside radiotherapists in the radiotherapy department.
Philippines - Iloilo
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Your radiology elective in Iloilo happens in our partner hospital’s X-ray department. The department is split into two areas — one focused on fluoroscopic procedures, the other focused on computer and digital radiography. The Philippines is a developing country and infrastructure is shaky at times, so the hospital experiences regular power cuts. When this happens, there’s a backup darkroom used to develop X-rays on film. Supplies are low in this hospital, and you’ll see staff coming up with ingenious ways to get around this. For example, local radiographers inject grape juice into patients when contrast dye stocks are low. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo.
Nepal - Kathmandu
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If you choose Kathmandu for your elective, you’ll get experience in the radiography department in our major partner hospital. The department has a great range of facilities, but this is only by local standards. Some of the more advanced equipment that you might take for granted in the UK, doesn’t exist here. In spite of this, the services the department does offer come at a reasonable rate compared to other private hospitals in Nepal. Most patients are referred from wards in the hospital, but some come from rural clinics as far away as the Himalayan Mountains. You’ll see a real range of conditions here because of this. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu.
Nepal - Pokhara
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Your radiography elective in Pokhara will show you what it means for a department to be understaffed. To give you an example, our partner hospital can often see 130 patients with as few as three staff members. You’ll see differences when it comes to patient privacy too, with patients being brought in for scans while the previous patient is still changing. Culturally, this is the norm. Radiation safety standards are observed by staff, but when it comes to patients and their families, the rules may seem relaxed. Doors might be left open, and family members might be in the room with patients when exposures are made. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara.
Cambodia - Phnom Penh
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Your radiography placement in Phnom Penh takes place in our partner hospital’s radiology and radiography department. The department is busy, in part because even though there are lots of hospitals in the city, very few of them have radiography departments. Even this hospital has outdated machines and lacks ancillary equipment. And when scanners break here, there are no technicians to fix them, so they are often left abandoned for months in hospital corridors. The department also uses film screen radiography, so you can learn how to develop X-rays in the hospital’s darkroom. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Phnom Penh.
"I saw quite a few abdomen ultrasounds done to check for metastases."
Samantha Chan, City University London 2019Read more
"The opportunity to travel around Vietnam was a great addition to my elective placement."
Alice Weaver, Keele University 2019Read more
"Travelling alone for the first time gave me so much more confidence and independence."
Niamh Corry, University of Liverpool 2019Read more
"Local staff taught me about their exposure techniques and why they use a higher kVp."
Tunmise Eso, University of Hertfordshire 2019Read more
"The operation of the department was very efficient despite the limited services available."
Jonathan Small, University of Cumbria 2019Read more
What do our radiography electives offer?
A Work the World radiography 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 radiography elective?
The benefits of our radiography 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 kinds of cases will I see on a Work the World overseas radiography elective?
You’ll see cases like:
- Tropical infectious diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and chikungunya
- Much higher numbers of RTAs than you’re used to at home
- Domestic abuse, assault, attempted suicide
- Hypo- and hyperglycaemia
- Sepsis with multi-organ failure
How long is a Work the World radiography elective?
A radiography elective is as long as you want it to be. Our minimum placement duration is one week, but students typically travel on their radiography electives for 4 weeks. There is no upper limit to how long you can travel.
What is a radiography elective?
A radiography elective is a clinical placement that radiography students undertake as part of their degree. If you want to undertake your radiography elective overseas, get in touch with us today.