Safety and security
As a parent of an American Work the World medical student in the Philippines, I can attest to the great care and thought that went into our daughter’s five weeks. She enjoyed every minute of it – from the hospital experience with professionals who welcomed her with open arms, to the home she was provided, to the careful supervision that Work the World showed each step of the way. She came away with a great experience that she will always remember.
The safety, security and well-being of our students are our main concerns at all times. We take all necessary and appropriate precautions to guarantee this – many that you will be able to see, others that you won’t but will certainly be going on in the background, allowing you to feel free to make the most of your time away with us.
We believe that the key to you enjoying your experience is familiarity with people, with your surroundings, and simply with all elements of your day-to-day life whilst away in Argentina, Ghana, Nepal, Sri Lanka or Tanzania! This is why we try to spend a great deal of time working with you, both remotely before you leave, and in person when you have arrived at your destination. At all times we aim to strike an appropriate balance - so that we are supporting, without nannying! Once we feel that you are happy and confident in a situation we will let you get on with it. But we will always be there when you need us!
Work the World concentrate on providing you with support and back-up in the following key areas:
- Pre-departure advice
- Local orientation
All the countries that we work in have been selected primarily because they are considered stable, secure and safe for international healthcare students to travel to. We pay close attention to the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice regarding not only the destinations we work in but also their close neighbours as well. We also consult with the relevant government department if we feel that any particular student’s nationality may pose a risk. Plus we have staff teams in each country who are able to keep us updated on the local situation. If any situation should change for the worse then we have procedures and protocols which we will bring into operation to ensure the safety of all our elective students, including both those within the country at that moment and those due to arrive in the near future.
We believe that the level of pre-departure advice that we provide is first rate – unrivaled within the industry for the quality and depth of the information covered. Our crowning glory is "MyTrip" our online information system - which gives you access to all sorts of details concerning your destination, visas, flights, travel insurance, professional indemnity, health concerns, financial matters, our local staff, your placement and the Work the World house you will be living in...and this is just for starters! Other than this our staff in head office will be in contact with you a great deal in the run up to your departure, both by email and by phone. And you can always call us if you have any questions.
Most students arrive in our destinations via an international or internal airport and we will ensure that each one is met by one of our staff members, who will be waiting with a Work the World sign and a big smile as you come through the arrivals gate! Occasionally students come via trains or buses and, as long as we are aware of your plans, we will still ensure that you are met promptly! Then, at the end of your placement, we will either accompany you to the airport or give you the equivalent cost of the transfer – should you wish to travel alone or you have a period of independent travel planned before your final departure date.
Whilst you are on our regular placements you will be staying in one of our Work the World houses, with other students who are out on their elective at the same time. These are large, secure residences where you can relax at the end of each day, safe in the knowledge that nobody is allowed to enter the house if they are not either on an elective with us or a Work the World staff member. In your room you will have your own lockable safety deposit box, to enable you to keep your valuables safe. And where we feel it is appropriate we may also take additional security measures, such as installing alarms & cameras, or having a security team on the gates.
On the Dental Outreach, Village Experience and Ayurvedic Medicine programs we locate you either in guesthouses, rented accommodation or with local families who have been thoroughly vetted by our local staff. We will do our utmost to ensure that you are accompanied by at least one other student on the Village Experience and Ayurvedic Medicine program, if this is important to you, and the Dental Outreach will involve a group of students and at least one member of the Work the World staff.
When you arrive in each new destination you will be given a thorough induction to the area by our staff, who will ensure that you know your way around, as well as filling you in on all the important local information, and answering any questions that you have. We see this as a vital part of our service to you, as nobody feels completely comfortable in any place until they get to understand it a little bit better - especially when that place that is so very different from what you are used to back home! Through our local orientation we aim to minimize the degree of culture shock that you are going to be experiencing – we rarely fail!
You will be accompanied on the first day of your placement by a Work the World staff member. They will show you the best way to get into work; in many cases it will be possible to walk, but when it is further away they will show you how to get in using a cost-effective form of public transport. Our staff will help you to fill in everything that you are required to by the hospital’s or clinic’s administration department, as well as introducing you to the people that you need to know - including your supervisor - so that you feel comfortable in your new surroundings. They will then show you how to get back home again afterwards, making sure that you feel comfortable and confident with every step of the process.