We get hundreds of students coming to us knowing they want to do a clinical placement overseas, but with no idea exactly where they would like to go. If this sounds familiar then maybe our current students will help you decide.....
Katie and Clare in Sri Lanka have a list too long to post but here are some of our favourites;
- Kavinda, Nili, Prasanga and Champa (WTW staff) - enough said! LOVE YOU
- Large hospital with lots of different departments, so plenty of opportunities to see/work in many professional sub-disciplines.
- There is always someone wherever you go who will speak a good level of English so you can chat and understand what is going on.
- The majority of patients speak some English, so although communication is not easy, it is not impossible (with a few Sinhalese phrases thrown in too)
- You are really well looked after by the programme staff. They really do care!
- Prasanga makes amazing food and even if you don't like spicy/hot food there will always be something you will eat or just ask him and he'll make it how you like. Also he alternates between Sri Lankan and Western cuisine (ie. pasta, pizza, BBQ)
- The house is amazingly comfortable, spacious and Champa works really hard every day to make it like a home away from home.
- There is a good local network of tuk tuk drivers trusted by WTW. So you feel really safe even travelling alone when it's dark. Amila is the best tuk tuk driver!
- The locals are friendly. The guide books will tell you that you'll be hassled all the time - this is wrong. The people here are only trying to earn a living by asking for your custom, but a smile and a confident “No thank you" works all the time.
- There are loads of things to do in and around Kandy, so you'll always have something to do on an afternoon off. Also, as Kandy is kind of central, weekend trips always are easy to organise.
A note from Nili the Assistant programme manager: ''In the general hospital there are well-known and well respected doctors who are more than happy to welcome foreign students under their wings. People are friendly and always there to lend a helping hand. Kandy itself is a very charming city and there are lots of beautiful places visit all around the country. We, the WTW staff are part of the students' family whilst they are here on placement, taking care of them and making sure they are having a good time in Sri Lanka is our priority.''
In Africa all of our destinations are very popular but people often struggle to pick between the three, here we have a few notes from the students in Mwanza, Dar es Salaam and Arusha.
Carlee and Mark are both medical students based in Mwanza which they say is a beautiful city "The house is in a great location in Mwanza. The nearby restaurants are nice for relaxing weekends, you can walk anywhere! The hospital which we are based in provides a great insight into health care in Tanzania – it is different to the hospitals in the UK in many ways. While it has many of the amenities that you would expect in a city, it is not busy like a city so travel times are short. The climate is lovely as it is during the day but there is a nice breeze to cool you down. If you like exercise it is a nice place to run and even as a woman, it is safe."
Barny, the Programme manager had a few words to say about his favorite city as well. "The Mwanza programme is an amazing programme as it caters to all students placement needs. Our team here is always on hand to advise students on where is great to travel at the weeken dssuch as safari, dancing with the Sukuma tribe, canal and ferry fishing, or sailing across the world renowned Lake Victoria . Inclusive Swahili lessons provide a fantastic opportunity to learn the local language which is hugely beneficial whilst out and about haggling in markets or on placement in the hospital, they are taught by a professional teacher."
There seems to be a lot of love from the students for Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania
''I would recommend Dar because it has a little bit of everything. There is a choice of hospitals to suit your requirements demonstrating a contrast of health care settings. Dar es Salaam itself is a city with a lot to offer; you can from here easily go on safari, go to Zanzibar or explore small, nearby islands. Being a large city there is a huge selection of restaurants and bars but you won’t see many tourists so you get a real African experience. The people are friendly, there are many markets for shopping and last but not least, the house and the staff are excellent. They really made my stay here fun & happy.'' Michelle
''The culture itself is something to learn, and fall in love with, and there is a lot you can to take from the hospital experience. Everyone is really friendly, the house and the swimming pool is very, very nice. Also one can easily visit different wonderful places like Zanzibar and there are nice restaurants and bars with different variety. Dar es Salaam has so much to do that it keeps you busy all the time and makes you wish you had more time to stay.'' Torunn
Arusha, Tanzania is a great location to give you access to exciting travel experiences including Kilimanjaro, Safari in the Serengeti and Zanzibar is a short flight away. It also gives you exposure clinically to patients with a broad range of interesting conditions during your hospital elective such as Malaria, HIV, TB, Diabetes and schistosomiasis.
Julie said ''...there are a number of good hospitals on offer with a variety of cases. Everyone is exposed to cases and conditions that you just do not see at home. All the Work the World staff in the house are Amazing! You have the opportunity to visit the Maasai tribe if you go on the village experience – it is fantastic and you will learn about the Maasai culture and traditional medicine on top of so many other things.''
Daniel is a medical student from London. He’s now been in Mendoza for five weeks and he knows the city very well. Daniel’s answer comes naturally:
"It has amazing weather & wine!"
"You will love the weather in Mendoza – especially if you’re from the UK like me and are able to come for the Argentinian Spring/Summer! It’s always sunny and hardly ever rains and you can take advantage of the sunshine in the big park across the road from the house. Mendoza is famous for being the most important wine-producing region in Argentina and there are plenty of opportunities to visit wineries, learn about wine making and, most importantly, to do some wine tasting!
There are lots of fun things to do...
If you like to try new activities and go to see new places Mendoza is ideally located. The Andes are nearby for hiking, rafting and skiing, and just the other side of them is Chile where you can visit the capital Santiago, or head to the coast for a weekend.
It has amazing staff…
Last but not least, the staff in Mendoza are excellent! They make sure that you have everything you need, help you with Spanish, and most importantly quickly become new friends"
In Nepal we feel the students are more into promoting Work the World than their destination but hey, who are we not to publish their kind words ;-)
''Travelling to another country is not just as easy as buying a plane ticket, there are so many details involved and people to get in contact with. Work the World oversees all of the logistics and arranges the medical placements to ensure that your time here is best utilized doing medical work or personal ventures around the city. Additionally, WTW offer a friendly and personal environment that allows for lifelong friendships to flourish. Another factor to consider is safety. Staying in a house verses a hotel provides additional security and an added peace of mind so choosing Work the World will surely be the best decision you make.’’ - Natasha
So there you have it, a brief summary of why some of our current students think you should visit their destination of choice. If you are still unsure then just get in touch with one of our project advisors who have visited all of our destinations and are there to answer every one of your many questions.
For next week’s question we have asked our students "what is the public transport like?". Students use public transport daily to get to and from placement and also whilst on their weekend excursions so I am sure there will be some interesting stories to follow...