The experiences you will have on your international clinical internship are likely to be very different from anything you are used to in your domestic hospitals and clinics. In many of our destinations the facilities are greatly under-resourced and patients regularly present with critically advanced diseases and pathologies. It's therefore no exaggeration to say that you may find yourself working with equipment & materials - and in conditions - which really test your skills, your abilities and your emotions.
You will likely find that notions of rehabilitation receive less prominence than they do back home. In addition to this you are likely to see conditions that you are simply not used treating, such as leprosy, and vastly increased numbers of other cases, such as burns, which seem to occur far more regularly in developing countries.
Physical therapists tend to have more of a general role in the countries in which we operate, so you will often find your workload spread across a number of areas, rather than a specialised area or department.
A typical day could see you working with elderly stroke victims, children with cerebral palsy and people of all ages coping with the effects of polio. There are also opportunities for kinesiology students and those who wish to specialise in sports exercise or sports therapy. Please check our individual destination pages to learn more about exactly what is available within each of our destination countries.
All our physical therapy internship students are allocated a senior member of the physical therapy team as a supervisor/preceptor. They will act as their main point of contact whilst on the placement. We ensure that this individual fully understands what you expect from your elective and, in turn, what they can expect from you.
Please follow the links on the top right hand side of this page to an overview of the internship opportunities in each of our destinations.Requirements to join us
Benefits of the program
Our international physical therapy internships for undergraduates are designed to broaden a student’s training and provide firsthand exposure to global health issues. The challenges and rewards of working with doctors and nursing teams in a developing country will strengthen both your personal and professional development.
Physical therapy students find that they have opportunities to be involved in their department quickly, becoming part of an active team and they are able to amass a large number of clinical hours in a short-term placement.
Though the cost of a Work the World physical therapy placement may be similar to the cost of an independently arranged placement, our program minimizes or removes nearly all the risks involved.
You will receive support and guidance on all elements of your trip preparation, through a personalised online trip planner as well as regular contact with our Head Office staff.Frequently asked questions
Broaden your Experience
We have developed a range of additional programs to complement and greatly enrich your placement experiences. Many former students have found them to be the highlight of their placement time.
The Village Healthcare Experience offers the rare chance to live in a remote village in Nepal, Ghana or Tanzania. Working from a local clinic, you’ll assist in the treatment of patients living in very basic environments with little or no access to western medicine. You’ll live with a local family, take part in village activities and learn how local healers administer traditional healing methods.
The Ayurvedic Medicine Experience provides the exceptional opportunity to intern with a much-respected Ayurvedic doctor. Students live in an lodge and work at an Ayurveda hospital, based in a traditional rural Sri Lankan village.
Highly recommended for those of all levels of Spanish, our Intensive Spanish Course teaches not only practical, conversational Spanish but also crucial medical terms you’ll need to succeed during your physical therapy placement. Each course is tailored to the abilities of the students by our full time Spanish teacher.Read more about these optional extras
I would hands down recommend Mendoza as an elective placement choice. It is such an incredible city, and the elective opportunities there were incredible. I never would have had the opportunity to work with patients the way I did if I had done my internship at home.
Mary Jackson, Elon University 2012Read More
The intensive Spanish course was a great way to build the foundations of the language required in order to do the placement. We learned appropriate phrases and vocabulary that was used frequently during our placement.
Negin Kamyab 2012Read More
We saw all the types of patients we expected to see and took part in lots of assessments and treatments. We found that the Physiotherapy staff were enthusiastic about passing their knowledge on to us.
Aileen Selfridge 2011Read More