by Joe Jamieson

All Disciplines, All Destinations, Guides

Your brain is an expert procrastinator. It says, “Relax. Just do it tomorrow.” But tomorrow turns into next week. Next week turns into next month. Next month turns into you panicking the night before the deadline.

You really don't want to drop the ball like this, especially when planning an overseas elective. Here, the ‘earlier the better’ rule applies.

Sort your placement early and you’ll get two massive benefits others won’t — Choice and Time.


To avoid burdening our hospital partners, we never overfill our programmes.

So, there are a limited number of available spaces in any one destination. Some niche areas can only take two students at a time. Once they're gone, they're gone.

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

Our houses also have a limited number of spaces. Even if there’s a space for you in the hospital, there might not be a space left in the house.

If you’re travelling with friends, there's even more urgency. The more of you there are (and the later you leave it), the less chance there is of getting what you want.

Maudy van der Heiden (VANDERHE23774)

 — A student in Nepal —


Time is the other huge benefit of registering early.

But why?

1. It makes paying easier


That's what it costs to secure your placement.

You don't have to pay a penny more until 90 days before your departure date.

You can even pay in instalments — as much or as little as you want, whenever you want.

Register a year in advance and you could pay £6 a day if you really wanted.

2. It takes the pressure off fundraising

More time gives you a better chance of raising more money.

Raising £100 in one month is realistic. Raising £1000 in a month is not (for most of us).

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 detailed breakdown of your plans, some even ask for an essay.

If you registered early, you just gave 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.

Read Amelia's fundraising story here.


The Best

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

3. it takes the pressure off doing the admin

What’s less fun than doing paperwork? Doing paperwork with only a month in which to do it.

Visas, insurance, vaccinations, university documentation… Renewing a passport alone can take more than a month.

And things can and do go wrong. Paperwork will disappear, mistakes will made on forms. Avoid that pain and give yourself plenty of buffer room.

Lennon, Georgina

4. it frees you up to start preparing

You've got a lot to prepare. Familiarising yourself with the country you’ve chosen, learning some of the language, and exploring the culture. Figuring out the ‘must-see’s and the ‘must-do’s.

Of course, our in-country staff teams will give you amazing local travel tips. But you’ll want to do your own research too.

It's a clich√© to be sure, but an overseas clinical placement is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most. Giving yourself time to arrange after-placement and weekend trips is essential.


Chris photos Oct 2014

— Local language lessons in afternoon sun in Tanzania —


Get in touch.

It starts with a quick call or an email 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 based on your interests.

Get the ball rolling by filling out the short form below. 



Make sure you secure your spot before the dates you want fill up. Start by clicking the button below to choose your discipline.


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