A fresh perspective:
Sharpening your nursing skills in a typically low resource overseas setting will alter how you view nursing forever. Whether you’re a student seeking a life changing experience, or a professional looking for that extra special something that will change the course of your career, after an overseas nursing internship with Work the World you’ll be more ready for the future than any of your peers.
No matter which area of nursing you’re interested in, under the careful guidance of your supervisors you’ll gather a wealth of new experiences. In our carefully selected destinations you’ll treat dengue fever, rabies, malaria, and more. As healthcare is relatively expensive and the distance patients have to travel to seek care is often impractical, you’ll also see a range of conditions that are at stages far more advanced than you’ll be used to. If you’ve been waiting for your chance to nurse abroad, this is it.
YOUR internship, CUSTOM-MADE
‘We can make it happen’ - words we live by. Let us know the areas of nursing that are of interest to you and we’ll craft a nursing experience for you down to the smallest consideration. It’s important to note that these are absolutely not nursing volunteer opportunities; they’re highly customized internships that have the power to change your life. Our Internship Experts will go to great lengths to tailor your hospital experience, match you with supervisors, handle your visa administration, and much more. Our experts also have specialist knowledge of and oversee all our in-country operations – there are no better people for this job.
ON THE GROUND
Once you arrive in country our welcoming ground teams will provide 24/7 support to ensure your placement goes smoothly. What’s more, when you’re in country you’ll stay in our famously hospitable, private, fully catered and security guarded accommodation. Exclusive access to MyTrip – our personalized online internship tracking tool – will also be included, allowing you to find information about your experience at the touch of a button. Our sole purpose is to design and deliver exceptional overseas internship experiences. We’ve sent over 5000 students away in the last decade, so you can be sure you’re in the most capable and experienced hands.
I enjoyed every minute in the Work the World house & have made friends for life from all over the world.
Amber Pilling, University of Central Lancashire 2015Read more
Seeing a patient with ophthalmic cancer in both eyes was definitely interesting, a little disconcerting according to the Doc it usually only occurs in one eye
Eric Childress, Fairleigh Dickinson University 2015Read more
Colca Canyon was definitely a highlight. I did a 3-day hike through the canyon. I love hiking and being outdoors so I really enjoyed it. It was a tough but totally worth it.
Adrienne Brenner, University of Texas at Austin 2015Read more
The most interesting things that I've seen on placement have been a cholecystectomy and a colon tumour excision and colon anastomosis.
Khrista Prudencio, Los Angeles Pierce College 2015Read more
I learned more about medication administration, IV tubing and IV placement. I came with the hopes of improving my Spanish and that was fulfilled.
Diana Albor, Avila University 2015Read more
Nursing internships in Africa, Asia, and South America:
Tanzania - Arusha
The energetic city of Arusha is situated inland from of the most striking segments of Africa’s east coast. Whether you enjoy the idea of going on a big game safari, climbing Africa’s tallest mountain, or observing the flamingos on the still waters of Manyara Lake, there’s an abundance of opportunities for adventure here. Nurses here will benefit from gaining experience across a range of departments, which will include casualty, theatre and surgical wards, pediatrics, and more. As far as nursing internships for college students and professionals go, this is far and away one of the best.
Arusha is commonly considered to be the gateway to Tanzania’s northern safari circuit. You can ride a 4x4 out onto Tanzania’s great plains to spot lions, zebra, cheetah, wildebeest, and a whole host of other animals. If you feel inclined towards mountain climbing you’re in luck; Mount Meru is but short trip away and believe us when we say that the views from the top are absolutely worth the 3-day climb. You can also make your way up Mt. Kilimanjaro to close out your trip with a story no one will forget. The city of Arusha itself is a lively cultural hub, with a host of bars, restaurants, markets, and more to keep you entertained.
Nurses will enjoy a particularly diverse placement with us in Arusha, as we’re partnered with some the city’s largest hospital. Should you choose to you can work in a number of departments where you’ll observe and treat unusual ailments such as malaria, pneumonia, malnutrition, diarrhea, burns, fractures, meningitis, tuberculosis, and more. You’ll also be working with experienced specialists, which means you’ll have access to a wealth of specialized knowledge the entire time you’re with us.
Assimilating new clinical knowledge in Arusha will profoundly alter your understanding of nursing in Tanzania. But in order to get a broad understanding of how healthcare is provided in this country, you’ll need to experience living and working in a truly remote African setting. Spending time in a traditional Maasai village will allow you to do just that. Your mornings will be spent working at the local health dispensary, studying individual cases and suggesting medication. In the afternoons escorted by your personal guide, you’ll take part in a number of activities including meeting local traditional healers, observing a goat sacrifice, visiting sacred Maasai sites, watching the well-known tsotso dance, learning to make local jewelry, and more.
Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city, but if you travel here on your internship you’ll discover that it’s surrounded by some of the most staggering natural beauty you’ll have ever seen. For example the beaches along the coast are incredible, there is a multitude of amazing safari options nearby, and flying to Zanzibar – A beautiful offshore island– is but a boat ride away. Clinically speaking you’ll join specialists in our partner hospitals to work with communicable diseases, injuries sustained in road traffic accidents, HIV cases, and more. As a student nurse, internships such as this one can make a fundamental difference to both your career and your life as a whole.
There’s a lot to do in the sprawling metropolis that is Dar es Salaam. Whether you want to explore the city itself, or head further afield, the river of experiences never seems to run dry. You’ll have the chance to go on safari in Mikumi National Park to spot wild African animals in their natural habitat, travel across the water to the paradise island of Zanzibar where you’ll go diving and relax on its beaches, and much more. The numerous bars and restaurants make for great fun in the evening too.
Dar es Salaam has some of the best facilities and teaching practices in the whole of Tanzania, meaning nurses can tap into areas of expertise found nowhere else. Working alongside some of the most highly qualified specialists in Tanzania, you’ll have the opportunity to gain experience in a number of departments located in our partner hospitals and clinics. Here you can focus in on very specific areas of interest such as pediatric HIV, or get a broader experience across departments. As a result of the strong relationships we have with our partner hospitals, you’ll enjoy unparalleled flexibility when choosing the areas you wish to focus in on.
We’ve developed a unique experience in a remote village that will complement the time you’ll have spent in the busy city of Dar es Salaam. This rural village is located in the foothills of the breathtaking Viduna Mountain range. You’ll live with a host family who will welcome you in and introduce you to local life. Your mornings will be spent in a local clinic treating members of the local community, and in the afternoons you’ll undertake activities such as meeting the village elders, cycling to the local sugar plantations, swimming in waterfalls, and more.
Nepal - Pokhara
Pokhara is a breathtaking city located in a valley in the midst of the Himalayas. The town is a center for history and culture, yet has up-to-date amenities, which makes life that little bit more comfortable for travelers. Those looking for excitement will find it in adventure sports like paragliding and white-water rafting, while those seeking a more leisurely pace can explore the temples and markets found across the city. Nurses here take on a slightly different role than in the UK, so working on busy wards in our partner hospitals and clinics you should prepare to start gaining invaluable skills and experience from day one.
Pokhara has an abundance of interesting things to see and do. Intrepid travelers can trek through the misty mountain peaks, paraglide through the air with birds of prey, tackle white-water rapids, or set off on an elephant safari. The Annapurna mountain range, which juts into the sky in the distance, is visible from all over the city. This will constantly remind you where you are. In quieter periods of the day it’s nice to stroll through temples, row across the tranquil waters of Lake Phewa, or peruse the local markets for keepsakes to take home with you.
In Nepal patients usually rely on their families to deliver bedside care. This allows nurses to get to grips with things that are much more crucial to the role. This includes diagnosing patients, administering medicines, treating ailments, and more. You’ll also have every chance to specialize in areas that are of particular interest to you. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, neonatal intensive care, leprosy rehabilitation, and more. Accompanying local students on their ward rounds will also be something you can draw experience from. You’ll work with fully qualified nurses too, which will offer even more perspective to your placement.
There’s no replacement for spending a week living and working in a remote village in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. Living with our host family, in the mornings you’ll spend your time in a local clinic working to treat unusual walk-in cases from the local community. Your afternoons will involve learning about traditional culture and taking trips to see and do things in the local area, such as learning traditional Nepalese cooking, visiting nearby temples, meeting a local shaman, milking the village buffalos, and more.
Nepal - Kathmandu
As the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu is somewhere you’ll gain totally unique experience both clinically speaking and in terms of travel. Living and working here will open your eyes to things you won’t have even dreamed of. The city has a very deep history that can be seen in the city’s architecture including in its ancient Hindu temples complete with pocket picking monkeys. If you’re more into adventure, you’ll have fun heading beyond the city’s borders to go paragliding, bungee jumping, white-water rafting, and more. As a nursing intern in this city you’ll be awarded the opportunity to understand the challenges faced by local professionals. Not only this but you’ll also take home new skills that will set you apart from your peers.
Kathmandu has so much to do that it’ll be a challenge to get around to seeing everything. A collection of temples and holy shrines can be discovered throughout the city. Visiting these temples on foot and listening to the monks chanting their daily prayers will be a truly enlightening experience. You can also head to the Bhoti River gorge to launch yourself from the highest bungee jump in the world, ride an elephant on safari in Chitwan National Park, watch the city below as you paraglide over the dramatic landscape surrounding the city, and unwind in the restaurants, bars and clubs of the Thamel district after a long day on the wards.
Our long-standing agreements in Kathmandu will allow you to specialize in one of many departments in our partner hospitals. There’s also chance for you to go mobile and travel out of the hospital and into the community with an outreach program that operates in the city and its surrounding areas. What’s more, many the top specialists in the country are based in Kathmandu, and they can often found working in our main partner hospital. This means you can tap into an uncommon set of knowledge during this exceptional experience.
After a stint in Kathmandu’s hectic hospitals, you’ll profit from spending time in a more rural location, studying those who are faced with a dramatic lack of resources. You’ll live with a host family in a village in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, and at a local health post you’ll work with healthcare professionals to treat the surrounding community. This is the perfect opportunity to gain insight into how healthcare is provided in a situation where medical practitioners have to make do only with what is at hand. In the afternoons you’ll be occupied with cultural immersion, which will include everything from learning about beekeeping to milking buffalo and beyond.
Philippines - Dumaguete
Dumaguete is wedged between tropical wilderness and serene blue seas. Here you can dive among the vibrant tropical marine life on a reef submerged beneath the waves, journey through wild jungle, and observe the unusual healing spells of Siquijor Island’s local witches. Nurses in Dumaguete are in charge of the wards, so you can look forward to getting involved in things you may have never even heard of, and may never have the chance to do again. When it comes to nursing opportunities abroad, you certainly won’t find anything quite like this.
Dumaguete is on a heavenly tropical island that’s encircled by beautiful warm seas. If you want to experience some of Dumaguete's modern culture, you’ll find the bars, restaurants, craft shops, boutique bakeries, and more along the seafront boulevard. You can also trek to the adventure reserve set deep in the heart of an untamed forest, where waterfalls and wildlife await. Off the coast of Bais island you can also spend the day spotting whales and dolphins. Many people like to spend the weekend relaxing after a busy week on placement. If this sounds like the sort of thing that floats your boat, visit one of the many nearby beaches, grab a cocktail, and then relax in the afternoon sun.
As a result of the strong relationships with all our partner institutions in Dumaguete, the staff there will welcome you into their midst and help you throughout your internship. Working with the nurses working in Dumaguete you’ll observe cases of unusual tropical diseases like dengue fever, rabies, and serious instances of tetanus that you don’t usually encounter in more developed countries. Nurses tend to be in control of the wards in the Philippines, meaning you’ll see staff getting much more actively involved than you’ll be used to.
This add-on can only be described as a once in a lifetime experience. You’ll find yourself in a rural setting that is encircled by tropical jungle and mangrove forests, and with rice and fish farms peppered across the landscape. You’ll live with our friendly host family who will introduce you to village life, and in the morning’s you’ll work in local health clinics to begin forming an understanding of the challenges of providing adequate care with limited resources. Afternoon activities will include heading to a protected reef for a BBQ, and crab hunting in the 850 hectares of mangrove forest nearby.
Philippines - Iloilo
Iloilo is an excellent place to undertake your internship if you’re looking for sun, sea, and highly specialized overseas nursing placements. The beaches here are undeniably beautiful, as is the world beneath the waves (coral diving is something you shouldn’t miss), and you never need to wander far to find a nice bar to unwind in once your hospital shift comes to an end. What’s more, in Iloilo you’ll nearly always find a festival going on somewhere in one form or another. Iloilo is particularly good for nurses. Placements here are much more clinically focused as nurses play a more diverse role in the Philippines than they do in most other countries. Unlike nursing volunteer opportunities abroad, as an officially recognized intern you’ll be taken much more seriously and awarded rare opportunities as a result.
With one of the most contented populations on Earth, beautiful beaches, tasty local food, and more, you’ll never want to leave Iloilo. You can enjoy the hot rock spas and full body massages in the afternoon once your placement finishes, and travelling slightly further afield you can trek through the jungle to experience being ‘cooked alive’ in a kawa hot bath. Whale watching off the nearby island of Cebu’s shores is also an experience that should not be overlooked. If you want to unwind over a weekend, take make the journey to the north of the island to experience Boracay for award-winning beaches and reef diving.
In Iloilo nurses tend to have control of the running of the wards. Patients’ families are generally responsible for more basic tasks such as feeding and washing, which means that nurses are able to attend to more critical duties that are a better use of their time. As a result, this will prove to be a particularly clinically focused placement. Working in the outpatient department you’ll encounter anything from pediatric care to rabies treatments. There is also a dedicated animal bites clinic, which has been a favorite among our previous students.
Living in a rural village on an offshore tropical island with the Ati tribe will provide you with a crucial understanding of the troubles faced by local healthcare providers. You’ll start getting experience right away in a district hospital and rural health center. In these institutions you’ll work with a range of local patients who will be struggling with ailments at varying points of development. Your afternoons will be much more culturally focused where you’ll be introduced to the ins and outs of living a rural life. You’ll discover the secret behind the local weaving techniques, swim in refreshing waterfalls, test your sea legs on a local boat as you go island hopping, spot giant sea turtles beneath the waves, and more.
Ghana - Takoradi
Ghana is special to us as it was the very first destination we opened. Today (ten years later) our partner hospitals and clinics in the Ghanaian city of Takoradi offer a better internship experience than they ever have before. Sat on the coast of West Africa, the city has flawless beaches, old colonial forts dotted up and down the coast, and fishing villages everywhere in-between. The center of town is a cultural point of interest; Takoradi is a port city, which means people from far and wide travel through it. Greater adventure lies beyond the town, and trips past the city limits will reveal an entirely new world. As a nursing student, internships such as this provide you with access to a range of interconnected departments. As a result you’ll encounter everything from TB to malaria and beyond.
Takoradi is a rare case. The city and its surrounding areas exhibit examples of almost all of the country’s best features. Included are stunning coastlines, wild game parks, metropolitan centers, remote villages, and more. The waterfalls found in the Volta region that cascade into one another are an unforgettable natural phenomenon and you should take the opportunity to swim in them when you visit. Or make your way to the rubber plantations to get lost in the rows and rows of trees that seem to stretch on forever. If you want a totally different experience of this wonderful country, make your way out to the leper colony found in a much more rural setting.
As a nurse you’ll be happy to learn that a placement in Takoradi will provide you with a deep understanding of the Ghanaian healthcare system and the people working within it. Over the last decade we’ve built strong relationships with a regional hospital and a number of clinics and healthcare centers, allowing us to offer very diverse internship opportunities here. You can choose to work across a varied range of departments, in which you’ll come across an equally varied range of cases. Such cases may include things like malaria, TB, typhoid and typhoid psychosis, and more.
The understanding you’ll develop in Ghana’s city-based healthcare institutions will certainly open your eyes to the difficulties met by resident healthcare professionals. However, spending time in a remote village will help you gain a better understanding of the broader picture that exists just beneath the surface of it all. This add-on to your placement will give you the chance to live with a host family and immerse yourself in village life. In the morning’s you’ll work in a local community pharmacy in which you’ll begin to appreciate how challenging it can be to deliver adequate care in low-resource environments. In contrast, your afternoons will be spent learning about the many aspects of village culture, enjoying endless stretches of tourist-free golden beaches, and much more.
Sri Lanka - Kandy
Kandy, Sri Lanka is home to some of the most welcoming people you’re ever likely to meet. The country is remarkably beautiful, and has a recorded history of medicinal practices that stretch back over 5000 years. Whether you want to explore the region’s rich wilderness in search of elephants (of which there are many), or unwind on stretches of world-class coastline, Sri Lanka is a treasure trove of experiences. On a nursing internship in Kandy you’ll enjoy a varied placement working across multiple departments. What’s more you’ll get outstanding levels of experience observing and treating cases that simply don’t exist back home.
Sri Lanka is a land of extraordinary natural beauty. You’ll find yourself meandering through tea plantations, spotting jaguars, leopards, and other wild animals on safari, white-water rafting through a challenging course of rapids, surfing off coastal islands, diving among the tropical fish on coral reefs, hiking through jungles, and more. The city of Kandy, where our private house is based, is a focal point of cultural activity. Spend the evening in the city’s bars trying locally brewed beers, or in the restaurants sampling the region’s famously tasty cuisine. Whatever you choose to do here there’ll always be something new to experience.
Having worked closely with the regional hospital in the city for many years, nurses have the opportunity to collaborate with a range of departmental experts. A number of students opt to rotate every couple of weeks into a new environment to get a broader understanding of Sri Lanka’s healthcare system. Another important consideration when nursing overseas is that you’ll have the opportunity to observe and treat cases that are rare in more developed countries. These will include ailments such as dengue fever, tuberculosis, malnutrition, and cases at much more advanced stages than you’ll have come across before.
This is a highly unique add-on in that Sri Lanka is the only destination that offers it. On this carefully designed Ayurvedic Medicine Experience you’ll work alongside a well-respected practitioner. His knowledge was passed down to him from his father and his father before him. You’ll help to create medicine from plants and barks found in the forest, and learn how patients benefit from it in real time. You’ll live in a house with our welcoming host family and in the afternoons you’ll have the chance to take river canoe rides, receive treatments at an Ayurveda spa, watch the sunset while swimming in the lake, and much more.
Peru - Arequipa
Arequipa, Peru is the most recently established of all our destinations and it’s already proving to be a favorite among students from around the world. Peru is home to misty Amazonian jungles, ancient Incan city remains found on mountaintops, intriguing local delicacies, and architectural monuments left by old colonial powers. All of these and more will make your trip to Peru a once in a lifetime adventure. A nursing internship abroad in one of our carefully cherry-picked partner hospitals will provide you with unique knowledge and skills that can be applied at home.
You’ll find our private house in the beautiful, fair-weathered city of Arequipa. The city artfully combines old and new; a number of the buildings here are hundreds of years old and constructed from the most stunningly white volcanic stone. If you venture past the city limits, you’ll find a sea of new experiences waiting for you to jump in and start swimming. If you make your way to Colca you’ll be able to lean over the edge of the second deepest canyon in the world. Alternatively, you might choose to tackle the nearby white-water rapids, head to Cusco to trek up to Machu Picchu, take a boat out onto Lake Titicaca to visit the floating villages, and more.
Nursing in Arequipa will be a totally different experience from what you’ll be used to. Not only will you learn from the cultural nuances you’ll discern in the hospitals, but you’ll also come to understand practices that will at first be totally unfamiliar to you. The multidisciplinary setting of our partner hospital's Oncology Department will give you practical knowledge of the relationship between doctors, nurses, radiographers, and others specialists. You will also be involved in outpatient work, and have the chance to work in an HIV center and TB center, both of which are run by nurses.
To get the maximum benefits from your placement in Arequipa we recommend you undertake our carefully designed Intensive Spanish Course. After all, having the ability to understand both your colleagues and patients is of the utmost importance. This course (focused specifically on nursing) involves one week of lessons conducted in school’s beautiful garden, and afternoon clinical role-play sessions that will mimic circumstances you’re likely to come across in hospital. No endless boring grammar drills, just fun, practical language learning that you can use right away.
From our blog
We're delighted to announce that both of our bases in Nepal have been reopened. Read on to find out why we've decided to open them again and to learn how you can travel to Pokhara and Kathmandu for your elective.Read more
It's tough deciding what to do and where to go for your elective placement. The sheer number of options can be overwhelming. We've laid out the benefits of an elective at home vs. an elective overseas to help make the decision that little bit easier.Read more