WHY WORK THE WORLD?

Medical internships abroad put you right there alongside local doctors, immersing you in low-resource hospital settings. Rotate through departments like ED, oncology, surgery, and pediatrics among others. There is no better way to get real life perspective on global health than through medical shadowing abroad.

Internships for medical students aid personal development by building confidence, improving communication skills, and fostering new  perspectives. As an added bonus, your resume will look fantastic.

While you’re overseas, you'll live in private, catered accommodation run by our overseas teams. They'll provide 24/7 support both inside and outside the hospital setting, ensuring you get unique experience on this once-in-a-lifetime clinical internship.

medical internships

FLEXIBLE, SUPPORTED INTERNSHIPS

Customize your internship — Choose your destination and which departments you want to experience—you can customize every detail.

Travel flexibility — Travel whenever you want and for as long or as short as you like—we have internship durations (starting from two weeks) to suit every budget and schedule.

Total support throughout — We will take you through our comprehensive pre-departure process, providing support with everything from applying for entry visas to lists of things you need to pack.

Guaranteed internships — We will confirm and secure your internship hospital and your departments before you travel.

OVERSEAS SUPPORT

When you arrive in-country, a member of our team will be waiting for you at the airport. They will take you to the Work the World house—the secure, private accommodation you will live in.

 

Our team will deliver a city orientation to help you find your feet and set you up with things like local currency and a cell phone. We will also take you on a full hospital orientation, introducing you to staff in your chosen departments.

 

In the house, our catering team will prepare your meals each day, and you will have clinically-focused language lessons to help you get the most from your experience. Our houses have a social atmosphere, and you’ll live with college students from a range of disciplines from all over the world.

 

Internships run from Monday to Friday, leaving your evenings and weekends free.

HOW TO REGISTER

There’s no application process and no interview—as long as you’re on or have completed your first year of medical school (we can't accept pre-meds), you’re eligible to travel.

Get in touch and one of our experts will help you choose the destination that suits you best. Your next step is officially registering onto the program you’ve chosen. Once you have done so, we will confirm your internship within 24 hours. And that’s it, your spot is secured.

You will then get access to our support team and online internship planner. The planner contains a wealth of information about the destination you’re traveling to, and acts an interactive timeline showing you the steps in the run up to your departure.

medical electives abroad

DESTINATIONS

Mexico - Merida
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Merida is the cultural capital of Mexico with striking colonial architecture, lush central plazas and bustling boulevards. In the evenings, the city transforms with restaurants and bars in full swing. Beyond the city, you’ll dive in beautiful underwater caves or ‘cenotes’, relax on tropical beaches, and visit breathtaking Mayan temples.

 

Gain new insights in a contemporary, highly specialist hospital treating patients presenting advanced cases, many needing complex treatments such as open-heart surgery. You’ll also get unfettered access to the hospital’s technologically advanced theatre simulation room. After this, going on to treat tropical communicable diseases like chikungunya, and Chagas disease in a different, low-resource hospital offers an enlightening contrast.

Peru - Arequipa
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Peru is rich in natural beauty and ancient culture. Trek to the remains of Machu Picchu, explore the Amazon jungle, and join colourful local festivals when you’re off the wards.

 

On a Medical Internship here, you could assist with cases like arsenic poisoning, as well as conditions unique to South America, like Chagas disease. In the second largest Oncology Department in Southern Peru, you could gain experience with Radiotherapy, Brachytherapy, and Chemotherapy, treating cancers uncommon in the Western World. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa.

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Philippines - Iloilo
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Iloilo is the perfect place if tropical beaches and clear blue seas float your boat. Discover vibrant marine life, join in on local festivals, and visit local bars and restaurants after hours.

 

A proactive attitude on your Medical Internship will open doors to increased patient interaction, where you could assist in examining diseases like malaria and dengue fever. The high-sugar Filipino diet means cases of hypertension and cardiac arrest are commonplace. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo.

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Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest
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Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, is one of Southeast Asia’s most intoxicating cities, brimming with timeworn temple ruins, mouthwatering street food, and chanting monks clad in colorful robes. After sun-down, the city comes alive with dazzling nightlife, and restaurants spill out onto busy streets.

 

On a Medical Internship here you’ll develop your skills in a range of departments, encountering tropical infectious diseases like malaria, HIV, TB, and influenza. Furthermore, patients are likely to present conditions at stages much more advanced than you’ve seen before. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Phnom Penh

Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest

Nepal - Kathmandu
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The winding streets of Nepal’s energetic capital, Kathmandu, play host to street markets, free-roaming monkeys, ancient Buddhist temples, and buzzing nightlife. What’s more, adventure activities like paragliding, white water rafting, and bungee jumping are all close by.

 

On your Medical Internship you’ll have the chance to assist in a range of specialisms like Biochemistry, Psychiatry, Forensic Medicine, Microbiology, and Cardiothoracics. Proactivity will open doors to get involved in daily lectures and community-based programmes. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu.

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Vietnam - Hue
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A bustling hub of Southeast Asian culture and popular with backpackers. Busy markets, popular bars and delicious street food across the city. Nearby, find tropical beaches, rainforests, and ancient temples and pagodas.

 

The institution we’ve partnered with in Hue is a big university teaching hospital. This allows you to gain experience across a wide range of specialisms. These include oncology, reproductive endocrinology, gastrointestinal endoscopy and even traditional Vietnamese medicine.

Zambia - Lusaka
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Lusaka is the bustling capital city of Zambia. While here you can visit any number of the country’s 20 game parks and see rhino, lions, elephants and cheetah. You can even canoe along the shore of the great Zambezi river to watch hippos wading. Immersing yourself in the rich local cultures and traditions so ingrained in Zambian tribal culture is a highlight.

 

The hospital we’re partnered with is actually five hospitals under one roof. These are the Adult, Pediatric, Mother and Newborn, Eye, and Cancer and Diseases Hospitals. With flexibility built into all our placements, you can gain experience rotating through any number of these departments, gaining experience with everything from multidrug resistant patients to severe spinal injuries and beyond.

Nepal - Pokhara
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You’ll find the charming city of Pokhara in the lush, green foothills of the Himalayas. This proximity to nature gives you the chance to try paragliding, spot elephants on a jungle safari, discover time-worn temples, or go trekking through the snow-capped mountains.

 

Show initiative on your Medical Internship and you could assist with unfamiliar conditions like leprosy, worm infestations, and snake bites. A spell in the area’s only NICU will highlight the impact Nepal’s low-resource healthcare system has on local people’s lives. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara.

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Sri Lanka - Kandy
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Kandy is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, and is home to temples, delicious food, and 5000 years of tradition. You’ll find adventure nearby — trek through jungles, go on safari, and try watersports off the coast.

 

On your Medical Internship you’ll gain insight into how tropical diseases like malaria and dengue fever are handled by local professionals. Spending time in the Renal Transplant Unit, which performs 80% of all kidney transplants in the country, will highlight the challenges of providing care with limited resources. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kandy.

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Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura
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Anuradhapura is peppered with ancient stupas, temples, and sacred palaces, making it one of our most culturally rich destinations. Restaurants, bars, and markets can also be found in the appropriately named New Town. Further afield, try safari, relax on golden beaches, and explore vast tea plantations.

 

On a Medical Internship here, you’ll spend time in a teaching hospital across departments like ICU and Neurosurgery. Discovering how local professionals deal with advanced stage cancers and cardiovascular diseases will highlight the challenges faced by this developing healthcare system. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura.

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Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
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The energetic city of Dar es Salaam is encompassed by natural beauty — think views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, safaris, and the nearby island of Zanzibar, which boasts some of the world’s best beaches.

 

On your Medical Internship you’ll assist in busy departments like Infectious Diseases and Emergency Medicine, where you’ll encounter advanced cases like dengue fever, malaria, HIV, and cholera. Time in the Psychiatric Ward’s secure wing will give invaluable insight into African approaches to mental health. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam.

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Ghana - Takoradi
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Takoradi isn’t your typical African city. It’s surrounded by fishing villages, thriving jungles, and African plains where familiar African wildlife can be spotted on safari. The town itself is a melting-pot of bustling markets, bars, and restaurants.

 

Local specialists keen to share their intimate knowledge of Ghanaian healthcare will open doors to top departments on your Medical Internship—A&E, Female Surgical, and NICU to name a few. Assisting in the hospital’s HIV clinic will highlight the challenges of providing adequate care with limited drugs and technologies. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi.

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"Using the most basic equipment we drained six litres of fluid from a patient's abdomen."

Oluwadara Oyewole, University of Edinburgh 2018

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"I couldn’t help but stare in awe at the mountains in the background of the lake. It was like something out of a fairytale."

Zabrina Ebert, Midwestern University 2018

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"The economic burden had an enormous impact on the local healthcare system’s availability to deliver the 'gold standard' care I was used to seeing in the UK."

Cody Thorndyke, University of East Anglia 2018

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"Work the World’s Intensive Spanish Course really helped to improve my medical Spanish."

Yara van Dijk, 2018

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"The Ayurvedic Week was an experience unlike any available anywhere. This alone more than justified my choice of Sri Lanka for a placement."

John Wilkinson, King's College London 2018

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What is a Medical Internship?

Medical Internships are overseas placements Medical Students undertake to boost their skills and make them more attractive to employers—Work the World tailors structured, supervised Medical Internships in destinations across Africa, Asia and Latin America.