Pre departure

On placement


Who is eligible for a Work the World placement?

We accept anyone who is on, or has completed, a healthcare course anywhere in the world.

Placements in each category are only available to those studying in that particular discipline, for example nursing placements are only available to nursing students or professionals. This is provided you can obtain the appropriate visa for your destination country. 

We work with lots of groups, either from one university covering several disciplines, or as a group or society that specializes in one area. If you have a group of 10 or more we may even be able to organize a bespoke project for you. Get in touch and we'll see what we can do. 

Is there an application process?

This is not a job role, it is a paid-for placement. As long as you fulfill the eligibility criteria and can afford the fee, we will accept you subject to availability.   

Making an application is easy and can be done directly through the website.

We ask for a $400 USD registration fee in order to start organizing your placement. If for any reason we couldn't fulfill your placement request, we would refund the money in full.

Once you have filled in the simple online application form, you will receive a welcome call from our head office. The Operations Manager who will oversee your whole placement will introduce themselves, confirm your dates and run through how we plan the logistics of your placement. 

When can I go and for how long?

Our placements run throughout the year and are entirely bespoke. We tailor them to your interests, experience and abilities, as well as any course requirements you have, so they really can be as flexible as you want them to be. Some students travel within the academic year, others wait until their holidays. 

Most students opt for four weeks, but the longer you stay the more you will get from your experience - it really is up to you. The longer you stay the more sense it makes to split your placement between two hospitals or even destinations, or go on one of the Add-on projects such as a Village Healthcare Experience, all of which will help broaden your understanding of the healthcare options available. 

Please note that there is a limited time of 2 weeks for any one placement (i.e including a split placement). This is something we have put in place because it takes time to adapt and settle into a department. Placements of just a week do not provide the minimum learning experience that we want our internships to provide. 

What are the benefits of an overseas placement?

Working in a developing country is an incredible opportunity to use, develop and share your healthcare skills whilst gaining experience working with communicable diseases and advanced pathologies that are rare in the Western world. The opportunity of working with professionals in another country also gives you insight into how healthcare is delivered in an under-resourced environment, which can contribute to both your personal and professional development.

Follow this link to read student George Glass' blog about the benefits of doing your placement overseas or Catherine Napper's blog about how it could impact on your future career.

Are the destinations safe / secure?

All the countries that we work in are considered stable, secure and safe for international healthcare students to visit. We take advice from the US State Department regarding not only the destinations we work in but their close neighbors as well. We also consult with the relevant government department if we feel that any particular student’s nationality may pose a risk. On the ground our in-country staff keep us posted with any local issues that could adversely effect the program. 

Which destinations are best for which specialties?

Each destination will offer you something different, and what suits one person may not suit another. You can read the case studies to get a good idea of what each destination is like, but the best advice is to speak to the Operations Manager who is in charge of all the placements in a set country. They will help you determine which of our hospital settings suits your requirements, and if you are not sure when booking which to choose, our sales team can also point you in the right direction. 

How much does a placement cost and what is included?

Placement costs vary depending on where you want to go, rising incrementally depending on how long you go for. They start with a 2 week basic placement. We have listed all the costs on our prices page.

Prices include placement organization, accommodation, all food and head office and overseas support. Please note that the prices quoted are for two-week placements and rise incrementally depending on the duration of your placement.

Keep in mind that you will need to arrange your own flights, insurance and visas. The reason we do not include these are because students join us from all over the world with very different requirements. Prices and procedures vary considerably, and many countries have some fantastic deals available to students that we wouldn't have access to. Instead we provide assistance on how to find flights, insurance and indemnity companies and allow you to search to find the best deal out there at the time of booking.

You will also need to budget for any travel that you plan to do. Our staff have lots of information about reputable agents and will give you lots of tips on where to travel etc, but it is up to you to fund the trips. Similarly, although we provide food at the house, many students like to go out for dinner now and again and you would need to be responsible for the cost of this. 

The only other expense to account for is travel. Although we pick you up and drop you off at the airport, it is up to you how you get to your placement each working day. We try to base the Work the World houses as close to placements as possible, but we use lots of different hospitals and clinics in each destination and take into account the safest and nicest areas for students to live in. If your placement is not in walking distance we recommend you get a taxi or public transport. Both are cheap ($2 per day should cover it) and we will show you how to go about taking the trip in your orientation.

Are your placements regulated?

We take the supervisory element and structure of our internships very seriously and have agreements in place with each of our partner hospitals and clinics that guarantee supervision levels and support throughout your placement. We also follow guidelines laid out by regulating bodies and professional associations to ensure the safety of both patient and student, making sure each placement is structured according to a student’s level of skill.  

Many universities have specific requirements regarding placements and electives and want a more formal agreement to guarantee standards. We have contracts in place with many institutions and are happy to provide audit information and help complete risk assessments if your university requires. 

Is the registration fee refundable?

When you apply you pay a registration fee. If for any reason we cannot provide the placement you wanted - for example it is fully booked - we will offer you the choice of alternatives or a full refund. If there is no problem with your placement we will confirm it. Once your placement is confirmed, the registration fee is not refundable because it is used to hold your place and provide all of our pre-departure services.

Sometimes plans go awry - particularly when it comes to exams. We understand that no one wants or plans to fail an exam, so if failing means you are no longer eligible to go on an internship and a work experience placement is not what you wanted, you can either claim on your insurance or we may be able to reschedule your booking for another time.

Can I get help towards the cost of my internship?

The responsibility for the costs of your internship lies with you, but there are many ways in which you can work around this! 

There are lots of bursaries and grants available, or you could raise money through sponsorship - lots of companies are willing to invest in future professionals. Once you have reserved your space on a Work the World program we will happily forward sponsorship and bursary advice which we have developed over the years.

Make sure you sign up to our blog and Facebook too - we often run competitions for free placements. There is also a scheme in place for Work the World Campus Representatives to earn credits towards an internship by representing us at various events. Get in touch for more details.

When should I book my flights and which airport do I need?

Do not book your flights until your placement has been confirmed! If the dates aren't available then you may not be able to change your airline operator dates. Once you've been confirmed, we recommend you book your flights no less than 2-3 months before you travel.

The recommended airports for each destination are: -

  • Dar es Salaam - Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam
  • Arusha - There are two airports close to Arusha; Arusha and Kilimanjaro. Alternatively you could book a flight to Dar es Salaam and arrange a separate transit flight
  • Ghana - Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
  • Nepal - Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. If your program base is in Pokhara you will also need to book a separate internal flight to Pokhara Airport (PKR). As a general rule this internal flight cannot be booked at the same time as your international ticket, but we will give you details of local tour operators who will be able to assist with this flight
  • Sri Lanka - Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo
  • The Philippines - Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) is the main connecting point. Depending on your program base you will then need to book an internal flight to Iloilo International Airport (ILO) or Dumaguete Airport (DGT). These flights can be booked together by your travel agent or you can purchase the internal flights separately from a low cost airline (this is often more economical)


Are you an NGO or a charity?

We are not an NGO or charity. We do take our ethical and moral responsibility very seriously though, providing sustainable electives that will benefit the local community. We also work closely with companies like Doctors Without Borders to provide placements that will best prepare you for a future in international aid, particularly as they cannot provide their own internships because of the drain on relief workers. 

Are the programs sustainable?

As above, we believe we have an obligation to maximize the benefits and minimize the negative impact of our placements wherever we can. We always employ local people to run our programs instead of expats, training them up and giving them significant opportunities. We also purchase products and food from the communities in which are based, using public transport whenever it is safe and convenient to do so. 

When it comes to your placement, we like to make additional donations on top of your standard placement fees. This benefits the people working with our students. We also sponsor English language lessons for hospital staff. 

For more details on the positive impact of our program and the direct benefits to our partner hospitals please see here.

Do I get university credits if I travel with Work the World?

Working with lots of different countries means our programs are not formulated to fit any particular awarding board - everyone would want something different! Your university may offer credits for participating in an overseas elective though and we are happy to provide any information required by the staff if this helps you gain credits.

Do I get paid to take a placement?

Each placement is on a voluntary basis. There are no paid placement options available. 

I've heard people mention MyTrip - what is this? 

MyTrip is a personalized online facility where we upload all the information regarding your placement. We update it as soon as any element of your internship is confirmed, and you can access information about your hospital and supervisor at any time. You can also get reminders about when to apply for visas, or download any supporting materials you need.

Do I need to speak the language?

This depends on lots of things - which destination you choose, which hospital you are based in and who your supervisors will be. The majority of our placements are suitable for English speakers, and the free language lessons at the house will help you get by with the basics and show staff that you are willing to get involved. You can also prepare by watching the online language lessons we have developed on our YouTube channel.

What happens if something goes wrong while I am on my placement?

We have staff in each destination who are on hand 24/7 if there is a problem. Our Program Managers will quickly step in and talk to the hospital on your behalf, and if you are unhappy at the house, they will deal with whatever problem has arisen. 

If you have a medical emergency, we will ensure you get the best available treatment. We will travel with you to a private hospital and translate where necessary. We can also help you with any procedures necessary for your insurance. 

What accommodation is available and can I book my own room?

We have big, private houses in each destination - the Work the World houses - which will be your base for the whole of your internship. We have chosen this route rather than the budget option of home stays because our previous students have always told us that after a challenging day on placement, coming "home" to comfortable, friendly environment where they can relax and discuss what they have seen with an international group of peers, is a crucial part of the experience. 

The bedrooms are split into male and female dorms, with 4 - 6 beds in each room. If you are traveling with a friend of the same sex then we shall try and place you together, but unfortunately we cannot arrange private rooms or mixed sex dorms. Bathrooms are shared, but we try to work on a basis of a maximum of 1 bathroom per 4 or 5 students and our housekeeper makes sure they are always clean and well maintained. 

If you are keen to get in touch with other students before you travel, many sign up to our Facebook page. About 1 week before you travel, you will be able to see your housemates on your MyTrip page. 

How do I get from the airport to the house?

We will come and collect you! On your MyTrip page you can load up your flight details and each day the staff overseas check the arrivals with the airline. If you are delayed, don't worry - we'll know about it and will make sure the first thing you see when you eventually get there is a blue Work the World tee-shirt and a friendly smile!  

Can my partner / friend join me at the house?

Unfortunately not. To keep the houses secure we only allow people on placements, or our staff on site. We understand that your partner or friend is not a risk, but they can change the dynamic of the house and it is not fair on other students in the shared space. For that reason we have one rule across the board. We will always try and recommend somewhere close for them to stay if they are visiting though, and there are lots of social spots in each of our destinations where you can hang out.

Where can I travel in my free time and what will the weather be like?

You have chosen to go to one of the most beautiful and fascinating countries during your internship, and there is lots to see and do. We recommend that you arrange trips when you get there - our staff can advise you on reputable agents - as often students group together. In terms of where to go, we provide information on our blogs and the students often talk about their free time in their case studies. In the house there is also a comments book from previous students - this is packed with information about places to eat/ visit/ avoid! 

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