by joe jamieson

All Disciplines, All Destinations, Guides

The human brain is an expert in procrastination. “Do it tomorrow”, it says. Tomorrow turns into next week, turns into next month, turns into the night before the deadline.

Planning your overseas placement is not something you want to drop the ball with in this way. Here, the ‘earlier the better’ rule applies. If you’ve got the forethought to secure your place early, you’ll get two basic benefits that others won’t. The first is choice, the second is time.


Space and supervision come at a premium in developing healthcare systems, so we never overfill our programmes. There is a limited number of available spaces in every one of our partner hospitals. To highlight the extremes of this exclusivity, niche areas can only take two students at a time in some destinations.

Get in early and you’ll have complete freedom of choice over your clinical experience.

Our private, catered houses also have a limited number of spaces. Even if there’s a space for you in your area of clinical interest, there might not be a space for you in the house.

If you’re travelling with friends, your problem is multiplied. The more of you there are and the later you leave it, the less likely it will be that you’ll get exactly what you want. Postponing your registration is a genuine risk in that respect.


 — A student holds a newborn after a caesarian section in Nepal —


Firstly, you can secure your space right now with only £300.

Then you can pay the rest in instalments. They’re not even fixed instalments. You can pay as much or as little as you want, whenever you want. Even if you were to register 12 months in advance, you could pay just over £100 a month.

If you’re thinking about fundraising for your placement, more time gives you a better chance of raising more money.

Raising £100 in one month is more realistic than raising £1000. If you’ve got twelve months, you stand a much better chance than if you’ve got one.

Having more time takes the pressure off. You’ll make better, more creative decisions and raise more money.

Thinking of applying for a grant or a bursary? Many funding bodies ask you provide a thorough breakdown of your plans, some even ask for an essay. If you registered early, you’ve just given yourself months of extra time to get your application ready.

If you’re doing it the old-fashioned way and saving up, having more time will allow you to save more. You’ll agree there’s not much to elaborate on here.

Speaking of saving money, flight timetables are released by airlines many months in advance. If you’re ahead of the game you can expect cheaper seats.


The Best

— A student sharing culture with the Maasai tribe in Tanzania —


Do you know what’s less fun than doing paperwork? Doing paperwork when you’ve only got a month to do it. Visas and insurance, vaccinations, university documentation… renewing a passport can take more than a month by itself.

Things go wrong, too. Paperwork can disappear and mistakes can be made on forms. Avoid the pain by giving yourself plenty of buffer room.

Lennon, Georgina

— A view worth the hike in Peru —


Having time on your hands is only bad when you don’t have anything to do. When you’ve got lots to do - familiarising yourself with the country you’ve chosen, learning some of the language, exploring the culture, the ‘must-see’s and ‘must-do’s—it’s a good thing.

Of course, our in-country staff teams will give you amazing local travel tips. But you’ll want to do your own research, too. If you’ll forgive the use of a clichéd phrase, an overseas clinical placement is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Giving yourself time to arrange after-placement and weekend trips is essential. Booking an experience like trekking along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu needs to be done months in advance. To go to Peru and miss out on something like that would be a sin.


Chris photos Oct 2014

—Local language lessons in afternoon sun in Tanzania—


Get in touch with us, because we can and will help you.

The only thing you need to do is let us know you’re interested. We start with a quick call to figure out what you want to do and where you want to do it. We’ll check availability, and before you know it, you’re registered.

After that we get to work building you a unique placement experience based on your specific needs and interests.

Fill out the short form at the bottom of the page, or call us for a quick, no-obligation chat with one of our experts: 

United Kingdom: +44 (0)1273 974634 | Australia & New Zealand: +61 3 7000 6007 | USA: +1 (617) 315 1412|Dutch & Belgium: +31 10 310 08 32


—Students getting out into the community in Ghana—

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