A fresh perspective:

A physical therapy internship in a developing country is the perfect opportunity to acquire unique experience. You’ll develop an understanding of practices that will be completely new to you; all while gaining experience that will help establish your position as an initiator in your field. Whether you’re a student looking for experience that will help you develop, or a professional who wants to add something that stands out to your resume, an internship with Work the World will prepare you for anything.

Available Destinations

Go Further

This is your opportunity to take yourself to a new level of understanding that you never thought you’d reach. When you’re in country you’ll come across a spectrum of uncommon ailments and alternative treatments that you won’t have seen back home. For example some destinations still use electrotherapy where in most of the more developed nations this isn’t the case. It is common in the developing world that people can’t afford to pay for healthcare. Add that to the long distances to most healthcare institutions and patients often lose the incentive to seek care until it’s absolutely essential. As a result you’ll see cases that are far more severe than you’ll be used in your own system. Don’t settle for being a physical therapy volunteer. Instead give yourself the respect you deserve and reap the benefits of an internship specially designed for you.

physical therapy elective

YOUR internship, CUSTOM-MADE

‘We can make it happen’ - words we live by. All you have to do is help us identify your clinical skills and interests and we’ll put all our efforts into engineering a physical therapy internship that precisely suits your needs and abilities. It’s crucial that you understand that these are not merely physical therapy volunteer opportunities; they’re specially crafted internships designed with your needs in mind. Once you’re on board, one of our Internship Experts will begin to engineer your experience. They’ll look after everything from arranging your visa to coordinating your in-hospital experience and beyond. They also run all of our in-country operations and make regular trips overseas to make sure the programs are meeting our high standards. We couldn’t ask for a more dedicated and skilled team.


As soon as your plane lands our dedicated ground teams will be ready and waiting to take you shuttle you back to our fully catered, private, security guarded accommodation. These specialist local teams will also provide 24/7 support for the duration of your trip. You’ll be pleased to hear that our houses are only for the use of Work the World participants. Further to this you’ll be given personal login details to access MyTrip - our interactive internship tracking tool. All our houses are staffed by Program Managers and their Assistants who will make sure your experience runs smoothly, in-house chefs who’ll cook you delicious breakfasts and dinners, a housekeeper, and an experienced security guard to give you complete peace of mind.

physical therapy electives abroad
Fawcett, Rebecca

Case Study

As a hospital in a British colony island, it was clear that the opportunities would be the best; language barriers would not be an issue.

Rebecca Fawcett, University of Birmingham 2015

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Heil, Madison

Case Study

My role overall in the hospital was to observe the doctor, take notes and then also be a physiotherapy assistant with some patients.

Madison Heil, University of San Francisco 2015

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Campbell, Harriet

Case Study

In paediatrics we saw children with fractures, burns, cerebral palsy, and malnutrition. We were able to give children and mothers advice and show them treatment

Harriet Campbell, Cardiff University 2015

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Fieldsend, Lucy

Case Study

Upon starting our placement, my first surprise was how differently the hospital operated compared with hospitals in the UK.

Lucy Fieldsend, University of Nottingham 2015

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Lisa's Review of her Physiotherapy Elective in Kathmandu

Case Study

I saw patients with DeQuervain syndrome, Bell’s palsy, adhesive capsulitis, acute and chronic neck and back pain

Lisa Portis, University of Rhode Island 2015

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Physiotherapy internships in Africa, Asia, and South America:

Tanzania - Arusha

The city of Arusha is a lively center of activity located inland from Africa’s glorious east coast. There’s an enormous selection of activities to be enjoyed in and around the city itself. In fact there’s so much to do it’s unlikely you’ll get around to seeing it all. But if you’re interested in spotting lions on safari, or taking in the breathtaking view of Mt. Kilimanjaro, then Arusha is for you. From a clinical perspective physical therapy students will experience a broad range of environments.

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Tanzania - Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam, literally translated as “The residence of peace”, is the most populous city in East Africa. The area is quickly urbanizing, but as Dar es Salaam is a coastline city encircled by game parks, mountains, forests, and oceans, Dar es Salaam has numerous areas of natural wonder ready for exploration. There are incredibly picturesque beaches here too, which is not most would expect from an African destination. If you choose this destination as a physical therapy intern you’ll have the chance to observe and treat everything from dealing with traffic accident injuries to rehabilitating stroke patients and beyond.

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Nepal - Pokhara

Pokhara can be found in a sheltered valley at the feet of the Himalayan Mountains. The city itself is as magnificent as the areas that surround it. Plunging yourself into Nepalese culture, particularly the aspects of it that are unique to Pokhara, will be a truly unique experience. Adventurers will love hiking through the Annapurna mountain range and tracking tigers through dense and misty forests. While those looking for a more relaxed pace will find peace exploring the many temples that can be found throughout the city, and sampling local specialties in local restaurants. As a physical therapist here you’ll find yourself working in busy wards on unusual cases such as leprosy and beyond.

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Nepal - Kathmandu

Kathmandu’s history stretches back across time and the inhabitants express this legacy through the local cuisine, architecture and customs. However there is a sense of the modern here. Top of the range motorcycles zoom along ancient streets and Buddhist monks can be seen walking around with mobile phones. The beauty that can be found around the city is magnificent. The Himalayan Mountains piercing the sky can be seen from a number of points across the city. As a physical therapist in Kathmandu you can expect an exciting placement. The discipline has grown in the last five years and now you’ll work with specialists treating everything from common joint problems to severe spinal injuries.

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Philippines - Dumaguete

The city of Dumaguete is fast developing into a modern center, however the island on which it can be found remains a paradise. For starters if you venture to the edge of town you’ll find the beginnings of the tropical forests. If you head to the other side of the city, you’ll be met by an open stretch of beautiful ocean. The city is also transforming slowly in to a trendy cultural hub thanks to the three universities here, which means excellent bars and eateries among other things. Trekking around this scenic island is also a must, as the landscapes here are phenomenal. As a physical therapist working in our partner hospitals in the Dumaguete you’ll experience a varied placement, including working with a local NGO.

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Philippines - Iloilo

Iloilo is an animated city on a paradise island in some of the most temperate climes of Southeast Asia. The island has surprising natural curiosities too. Palm trees grow in abundance on the pristine sandy beaches, jungles fringe the surrounding areas, and if you’re bold enough the island has the odd mountain or two to climb. Iloilo city itself is one of a kind. This Filipino cultural center with restaurants, bars and seafront cafes is quickly brining itself into more modern times. However the town’s historical monuments such as churches, and museums help travelers to peer back across the region’s history. Physical therapists who choose Iloilo will as ever enjoy an extremely diverse placement working with patients who will have a range of novel conditions.

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Sri Lanka - Kandy

Sri Lanka is a country like no other. All those who travel here leave with both warm memories and a longing to return, which some indeed choose to do. Our base is located in the stunning city of Kandy. This city exhibits a varied culture that has been molded and shape over centuries by an array of international influences. Sri Lanka also presents travelers with overwhelming beauty, whether that’s through the forests, jungles, beautiful sandy beaches or the striking Knuckle Mountains. If you’ve a mind for adventure you’ll be grateful for activities like tiger tracking, white water rafting, riding elephants, and much more. Physical therapy internships for undergraduates are rarely as enlightening as this.

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Ghana - Takoradi

Our program in Takoradi, Ghana, was the very first we opened. After a decade of experience working with our in-country partners we proudly present it as one of the best in this list. The West African coast is regarded as one of the most beautiful coastlines on the planet. There are long stretches of golden beaches, quaint fishing villages, old colonial forts lining the coast, and beyond. What’s more, in the city of Takoradi you’ll find markets, restaurants, unusual street food options, and plenty of bars for an evening out. Physical therapy students will work in a lively department and encounter a number of cases that may seem out of the ordinary. If you’re looking for unique physical therapy internships for college students and professionals, look no further.

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Peru - Arequipa

Peru is a brand new destination for 2015 and it has already surpassed even our own expectations. We’ve set up a base of operations in the grand city of Arequipa, famous for its beautiful white buildings (it’s also known as the White City). The city is a lively cultural center that is making an attempt to modernize, but in a way that is in line with its history and traditions. This means you’ll have many of the modern amenities you’ll be used to from home, but with a distinctly Peruvian twist. If you head beyond the city limits you’ll find mountain climbing, jungle trekking, hikes to ancient ruins and more. Practicing physical therapy in our specially selected partner hospitals will arm you with an invaluable skillset that will help you further yourself when you return home. Internships for physical therapy are seldom this comprehensive.

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