WHY UNDERTAKE A RADIOGRAPHY ELECTIVE PLACEMENT ABROAD?

A radiography elective placement abroad is your chance to undertake a hospital placement in a low-resource radiography department in the developing world.

You choose the country you want to travel to, let us know your clinical interests, and we’ll create a placement to suit you.

The idea is for you to see just how different a healthcare system can be from your own. All while getting experience with conditions and practises you don’t come across in the UK.

You’ll help scan and diagnose unfamiliar conditions, learn techniques like developing X-rays on film, and see how economic and cultural considerations affect the practise of radiography abroad.

THE CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

A radiography elective 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 — digital diagnostic equipment for example — are luxurious compared to what’s available in some of our destinations.

Some things you will observe include:

  • Developing CT, MRI and X-ray on film in a darkroom
  • Limited privacy with multiple patients undergoing scans simultaneously
  • Extremely late presentations and advanced pathologies
  • Faulty or broken down diagnostic equipment

You will also see major differences in the fundamentals of radiography too. For example, in many of our destinations, protocols around radiation protection for staff and patient families are incredibly lax.

Your hospital placement runs Monday to Friday, leaving your evenings and weekends free to explore the destination you’ve chosen.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

The service we provide is end-to-end. You have our support before, during and even after you’ve returned from your trip.

We’ve got everything covered, completely removing the stress from planning a radiography elective placement.

With us, you’ll get:

A tailored radiography elective | Comprehensive pre-trip preparation | 24/7 in-country support team | Private, catered accommodation | Airport pickup

We operate 52 weeks of the year, and arrivals are every Sunday — you can travel whenever is most convenient to you. Placement durations start from two weeks.

For a more detailed step-by-step guide to how our service works, click here.

TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES

While on your trip, your focus should, first and foremost, be on the clinical aspects.

But — whether you enjoy solo travel or prefer the group dynamic — weekend trips are a particular highlight.  Whether you want to trek through the Himalayan Mountains or raft down the Zambezi River, our destinations offer endless opportunities for adventure and cultural immersion.

WHERE DO I START?

Get started by talking to us. We’re highly experienced and ready to answer any questions you may have about a radiography placement abroad. We’ll help you choose a destination and get your place secured when you’re ready.

Get in touch using the short form at the bottom of the page, or click the green enquire now button.

radiography electives abroad

DESTINATIONS

Mexico - Merida
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On a radiography elective placement in our Mexican partner hospital, you can get experience with some of the most up-to-date diagnostic machines in the world. The patients, however, will typically be from poorer backgrounds, presenting advanced stage illnesses. It’s also possible for aspiring radiotherapists to learn technologies, like cobalt therapy and brachytherapy.

Vietnam - Hue
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We’re partnered with a university teaching hospital in Hue, Vietnam. The way the hospital is run means you’ll get comprehensive experience both scanning and helping to interpret imagery. The insight here comes from understanding how local staff cope with a lack of modern machinery. Your experience here will teach you a new level of adaptability that will serve you throughout your career as a radiographer.

Zambia - Lusaka
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As a radiography student, you’ll see that our partner hospital has most standard diagnostic equipment. Staff also employ a range of analogue techniques for when power cuts occur in the region, which they do from time to time. This means you could find yourself learning how to develop X-rays in the hospital’s darkroom. It’s also possible to get experience in the Cancer and Diseases hospital. 

Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest
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A radiography placement here will open your eyes to the realities of how this field has grown in recent years. You could have the chance to learn dark room image development, shadow specialists on ward rounds, and assist in diagnosis - from road traffic accidents to injuries sustained via manual labour. The department sees large patient numbers as few hospital in the region have adequate equipment. 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

Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
DAR ES SALAAM MAIN IMAGE
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On a radiography elective in Dar es Salaam, you’ll gain experience in Tanzania’s best-equipped radiography department. You’ll assist in imaging a variety of cases, like fractures from road traffic accidents and severe burns. Helping to interpret imaging of various HIV and TB-related chest infections will open your eyes to the impact these viruses have. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam.

DAR ES SALAAM MAIN IMAGE

Peru - Arequipa
AREQUIPA MAIN IMAGE
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A radiography elective will place you in the largest Oncology unit in Southern Peru. The department has a cobalt machine, and areas for brachytherapy and radiotherapy. That said, equipment can and does break. Replacements are often hard to find and expensive, so you’ll see how local staff deal with these issues. Typical conditions you’ll encounter include skin cancers, breast cancer, tumours, cervical cancer, as well as cancers not common in the developed world. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa.

AREQUIPA MAIN IMAGE

Philippines - Iloilo
ILOILO MAIN IMAGE
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The X-ray department in our partner hospital in Iloilo is separated into two areas. One is focused on fluoroscopic procedures and the other is centred on computer radiography and digital radiography. The department is right next to A&E and you’ll see a large number of trauma-related cases coming through. You’ll see infectious diseases like pulmonary tuberculosis too. Being in a developing country, the hospital still experiences some power cuts. There is a darkroom used to develop X-rays on film as and when this happens. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo.

ILOILO MAIN IMAGE

Nepal - Kathmandu
KATHMANDU MAIN IMAGE
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Undertake your radiology elective in Kathmandu and you’ll assisting in a busy department with large patient numbers. X-ray is at the top of the list in terms of frequency. Many patients in need of scans are referred from wards in the hospital and from clinics in the surrounding areas. This makes for a diverse range of cases. The hospital also has a recently opened mammography unit if you want more specific experience. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu.

KATHMANDU MAIN IMAGE

Nepal - Pokhara
POKHARA MAIN IMAGE
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You might be surprised to see that the department in our partner hospital here can perform whole body imaging — MR angiography, venography, spectroscopy, tractography, SWI imaging, fluid flow quantification, and magnetic resonance mammography, for example. X-rays are the most common scan here, so scanning for fractures, trauma, and various chest infections will show you the cases most common on Nepal. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara.

POKHARA MAIN IMAGE

Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura
ANURADHAPURA MAIN IMAGE
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Anuradhapura has many rural hospitals, but none have adequate radiography facilities. These other hospitals send many of their patients to our partner hospital, so you can expect to see high patient numbers when you undertake your placement. The department you’ll spend time in has a strong range of facilities. There are X-ray machines, CT scanners, and ultrasound and an MRI scanners. You can also spend time in a separate interventional radiology unit if you’re interested. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura.

ANURADHAPURA MAIN IMAGE

Ghana - Takoradi
TAKORADI MAIN IMAGE
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On your radiography elective you’ll help provide diagnostic services for departments across the hospital, and for smaller clinics in the surrounding area. The department has limited equipment, so understanding how local staff get around this is a big part of why your placement here will be so interesting. Services the department does provide include X-rays ultrasound, hysterosalpingograms, barium meals, urethrograms, fistulograms, and ECGs (attached to A & E). Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi.

TAKORADI MAIN IMAGE

"I’m so much more comfortable being myself now, and I feel stronger and more confident as a person."

Refa Begum, Cardiff University 2018

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"Travelling by myself was a lot less difficult than I thought it would be."

Celyn Thomas, University of the West of England 2018

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"Using an older method of radiography was truly unique and something I would never have been able to do in Australia."

Jacinta Pang, University of Canberra 2018

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"When a bed became free, the next patient would hop on to claim their spot otherwise someone else would take it!"

Philippa Jowett, University of Leeds 2018

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"Don’t let a lack of confidence stop you from travelling. Take the plunge!"

Karla Mackay, Robert Gordon University 2018

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What is a radiography elective?

A radiography elective is a clinical placement that radiography students undertake as part of their degree. Every year, more and more radiography students are doing their radiography electives overseas. To create your own customised radiography elective, get in touch with us today.

How long is a radiography elective?

A radiography elective is as long as you want it to be. Our minimum placement duration is 2 weeks, but students typically travel on their radiography electives for 4 weeks. There is no upper limit to how long you can travel for.

What are the most popular countries for radiography electives?

Our most popular countries for radiography electives are (in no particular order):

1. Tanzania

2. Zambia

3. Vietnam

4. Cambodia

5. Peru

6. Mexico

7. Ghana

8. The Philippines

9. Nepal

10. Sri Lanka

What are the benefits of a radiography elective?

The benefits of a radiography elective 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 will I see on a radiography elective?

You’ll see things like:

  • Relaxed radiation protection procedures
  • CT, MRI and X-ray developed on film in a darkroom
  • Extremely limited patient privacy
  • Late presentations and advanced pathologies
  • Unmaintained and faulty diagnostic equipment