After a presentation given by our university, two friends and I decided we wanted to do our electives abroad. Of course, we couldn’t decide where.
Looking at reviews from other students on Work the World’s website, it was clear that people really enjoyed their placement experiences. After some browsing, we settled on Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. We were particularly swayed by the safaris, and weekend trips to Zanzibar.
We expressed an interest in surgery, theatre and the emergency department.
We hadn’t had any experience in these areas back home. Work the World organised our placements exactly as we asked.
staff carried out the best care they could with what they had.
When we got to Tanzania, the team at the Work the World house introduced us each new department, making the experience much less daunting. We spent our first week on a surgical ward. We saw pre- and post-operative patients having wounds dressed.
We then spent a week observing in theatre. We saw many interesting cases here. One case was an above knee leg amputation. It was nowhere near as gruesome as we’d expected.
We spent our last two weeks in the emergency department. We assisted by carrying out observations and assessments on patients who were acutely unwell. Speaking openly, our time in the emergency department was emotionally challenging.
We saw patients in critical conditions. Some had to wait for urgent CT scans because they didn’t have immediate access to the money they needed to pay for them. It was difficult to witness, being so different to how things work in the UK.
Resources were limited in every department we visited. Despite this, staff carried out the best care they could with what they had. This included using gloves as tourniquets and cardboard as splints. The whole experience was eye opening. It really made us appreciate the resources we take for granted at home.
Our weekends were free to do what we wanted. On our first weekend, we lounged around the pool at the house. In the evening we visited a local bar, and woke early in the morning to watch the sunrise at the beach.
It was like a scene from the Lion King!
We went on safari to Mikumi National Park the following weekend. Work the World organised it for us. It was an amazing experience and we saw many animals in their natural environment. Elephants, giraffe, hippo, zebra, warthogs, wildebeest, lions...
It was like a scene from the Lion King! We travelled across the water to Zanzibar for our final weekend. We did a ‘blue safari’, and visited Prison Island. On Prison Island we fed giant tortoises, some of which were almost 200 years old!
We kept plenty of time free to visit some of Zanzibar’s beautiful beaches, and did a bit of sunbathing for good measure.
The Work the World House
The food at the house was amazing. There was always something to suit everyone regardless of dietary needs. We debriefed with our housemates after busy days on placement. And the team at the house, were always there to give us advice on the best places to visit.
If you’re considering doing a placement with Work the World, just go ahead and book it.
Highlights included the weekly BBQ, drinks at a nearby bar, and Karaoke night at the local beach. We sang and danced (badly) all night.
If you’re considering doing a placement with Work the World, just go ahead and book it. You won’t regret it. I was anxious about doing it, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I enjoyed every second of it.