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

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.

physical therapy internships

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


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

Physiotherapy internships in Africa, Asia, and South America:

Cambodia - Phnom Penh

Sprawling from the banks of the mighty Mekong river, Cambodia’s capital city is one of contrasts. Marketplaces replete with faux branded accessories line up next to Buddhist temples shrouded in ancient mystery. Sample traditional street food, explore the city's dazzling nightlife, boat along the river to discover rural rice paddies, or enjoy the crystal waters off the coast. A physical therapy internship in Cambodia will highlight how your overseas counterparts cope with severely limited resources. Using hand-made equipment, you’ll assist in the treatment of patients presenting an extraordinary range of conditions, from meningitis to cerebral palsy. 

Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest
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Peru - Arequipa

Arequipa is a fusion of old and new — traditional textile markets and food stalls take root beside colonial buildings, which house all the modern amenities a traveler like yourself could need. At the weekend, explore the Amazon jungle, visit Lake Titicaca’s floating villages, and trek to the Machu Picchu ruins. On your physical therapy internship here you’ll encounter a holistic approach. This approach will be a striking contrast to Western rehabilitation programs. You could also be working with patients from poorer sections of Peruvian society, allowing you to work with a unique array of conditions. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa, click here.

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Philippines - Iloilo

Iloilo sits on the coast of a paradise island in the Philippines, surrounded by white sand beaches and tropical jungles. The city itself is a cultural hub with bars, seafront cafes, markets, and a budding art scene. On a physical therapy internship here, you could be working with local specialists in departments that treat both patients from the city and surrounding villages. You might also find yourself helping to rehabilitate cases of cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries, as well as observing traumatic brain injury surgeries. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo, click here.

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Nepal - Pokhara

Pokhara is a relaxed and welcoming city nestled in the rolling Himalayan foothills. Seek out awe-inspiring mountain top views, tour the city’s ornate temples, and paraglide above the still waters of Phewa lake. On a physical therapy internship here, you could be assisting in a specialist rehabilitation hospital, which, by Nepalese standards, is well-equipped. Show proactivity on placement and you could be working alongside professionals on cases of soft tissue injury, stroke rehabilitation, and neuromuscular disorders. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara, click here.

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Philippines - Dumaguete

Dumaguete is a bustling city surrounded by tropical jungle and still, clear waters that stretch to the horizon. It’s also packed with lively bars and restaurants where you’ll find delicious local cuisine. On a physical therapy internship here you could be working in our partner rehabilitation center, which provides care for underprivileged local children. Joining local specialists on ward rounds will open your eyes to the way a lack of resource affects the continued development of rehabilitative therapies here. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dumaguete, click here.

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Sri Lanka - Kandy

Kandy is a nerve-center of culture, ancient temples, bars, restaurants, and markets. You can also go whitewater rafting, on safari, and ride in a hot-air balloon over jungle canopies. On a physical therapy internship here you could be working in a teaching hospital that actively promotes patient interaction. This means you could be assisting with the rehabilitation of stroke, MSK, and burns patients. Time in the busy outpatient department will provide insight into Sri Lanka’s more commonly occurring conditions. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kandy, click here.

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Tanzania - Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is one of Tanzania’s most lively cities, and just beyond its borders you’ll find mountains, and jungles. During your stay you’ll be able to go on safari, take a boat to the tropical island of Zanzibar, and explore the beautiful national park. On a physical therapy internship here, you could be assisting with cases resulting from the many road and construction accidents that occur here daily. The use of dated equipment and machinery in this low resource environment will bring to the fore the challenges local staff face. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam, click here.

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Nepal - Kathmandu

Kathmandu’s history spans thousands of years. The ageing temples and stupas that punctuate the city streets make this clear. Modernity has left its mark, however — motorbikes speed down winding lanes, monks chatter on mobile phones, and many restaurants now serve both traditional and western dishes. Physical therapy  is a rapidly evolving practice in Nepal. On your internship you’ll observe how the discipline is developing in comparison to Western practices. Cases of stroke, Cerebral palsy, and burns are all common cases here, and working in our partner hospitals, you could be working with them directly. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu, click here.

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Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is melting pot of the ancient and the new. Sacred temples and opulent palaces share turf with modern bars and busy markets. Further afield, try safari in the national parks, scuba dive in crystal clear waters, and kick back on paradise beaches. On a physical therapy internship here, you could be learning how local specialists treat amputees left by the Sri Lankan civil war with limited and outdated equipment. The Physical therapy Unit also works in the Neurosurgical and Surgical ICU wards, so the chance to broaden your experience exists as much as you’re willing to take advantage of it. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura, click here.

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Tanzania - Arusha

Arusha is full to bursting with marketplaces, traditional bars, and restaurants serving mouth-watering local delicacies. Further afield, spot the ‘big five’ safari, explore the Maasai tribe markets, and climb Kilimanjaro, as some of our past travelers have done. On a physical therapy internship here you could assist with the treatment of conditions like post-surgical rehabilitation and child cerebral palsy. Road traffic accidents and burns from gas cookers and are also common, and you will often use handmade equipment to help with the rehabilitation process. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Tanzania, click here.

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Ghana - Takoradi

Takoradi is a lively town on Africa’s West coast. It’s a center of both historical and natural attractions — ageing coastal forts, waterfalls, safari parks, and rural villages all lie close by — making it the perfect jumping off point for adventure. A proactive attitude on a physical therapy internship here could see you working to rehabilitate patients with a variety of conditions. These could include strokes, burns, and Erb’s Palsy. You could also be working in post-op rehabilitation, learning how specialists tackle this with limited equipment. To read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi, click here.

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Foster, Caitlin

Case Study

"You get to see how patients are treated without all the tools we use at home."

Caitlin Foster, Monash University 2015

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Dunsford, Caitlin

Case Study

"My time in the hospital was rewarding both personally and professionally".

Caitlin Dunsford , Professional Placement 2015

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Fawcett, Rebecca

Case Study

"There are also so many amazing chances to travel, at very affordable prices".

Rebecca Fawcett, University of Birmingham 2015

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Heil, Madison

Case Study

"I would definitely recommend this program, all the Nepalese people are wonderful".

Madison Heil, University of San Francisco 2015

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Campbell, Harriet

Case Study

"Enjoy yourself, get stuck in, make the most of your time in Arusha. You’ll never forget it!".

Harriet Campbell, Cardiff University 2015

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