why go overseas

A physical therapy internship abroad is an amazing opportunity to develop both professionally and personally. During your internship, you’ll find yourself in unique clinical settings that challenge the way you think. Working alongside local specialists, you’ll be delivering treatment plans using limited, sometimes hand-made, rehabilitation equipment.

With more than a decade of experience in organizing overseas physical therapy internships, we've developed strong relationships with hospitals and clinics across the globe. As a result we’re able to customize your experience with unparalleled flexibility and offer structured supervision from local specialists. During your placement, our in-country management teams provide 24/7 support. They'll make sure your clinical placement is living up to your expectations and carefully monitored from start to finish. They also run the private, catered houses. 

physical therapy internships

how it works 

We run programs all over the world, and offer expert advice when it comes to choosing one of our destinations. The experience we’ve accumulated over the last ten years will help you make the best decision about where to carry out your physical therapist internship. Tell us which areas you’d like to focus on most, and we’ll design a completely personalized program that helps you get the most from your time abroad.

When it comes to organization, a significant amount of work goes on behind the scenes. We share every step of the process with you through MyTrip — our online placement planner and timeline. Simply login to access full, personalized details around your internship in the run up to your trip.

TEAM AND ACCOMMODATION

On arrival in your host country, a member of our in-country management team will collect you from the airport — they’ll bring you directly to the Work the World house and help you settle in. You’ll receive a full welcome briefing and a hospital introduction, as well as a tour of the local area to help you get your bearings.

 

All Work the World houses are spacious, private and secure, no matter which country you’re staying in. There’s a social atmosphere in every house, as you’ll be living with students and professionals a range of disciplines. You’ll quickly make friends and start traveling the country together at weekends. Our in-country team will be on-hand 24/7 to provide any support you need, and you’ll also have a chef and housekeeper, plus a local language teacher for twice-weekly lessons.

in the hospital 

Before your placement starts we’ll take you to the hospital and will introduce you to your supervisors. During your internship, you’ll experience different attitudes to healthcare, new approaches to rehabilitation, and conditions that many students and professionals never get to see back home. We’ll also review your experience in real-time to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you want from the experience. Physical therapy Internships run from Monday to Friday, so there will be plenty of opportunity to explore during evenings and weekends.

physical therapy electives abroad

DESTINATIONS

Mexico - Merida
Find out more

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.

 

A significant number of people in Mexico exhibit signs of periodontal disease — a fact that reflects the limited access the population has to preventative treatments as standard. Procedures like restorations and fillings are of course performed here, but many patients present late, meaning many cases will prove more severe than you’ll be used to at home.

Vietnam - Hue
Find out more

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.

 

Our partner institution in Hue is a university teaching hospital, meaning that the Rehabilitation Department you’ll work in has exceptional experience coaching physiotherapists. You’ll gain a breadth of experience working to rehabilitate patients with everything from severe burns to paediatric spina bifida caused by Agent Orange that still affects children generations after its use in the Vietnam War. As this is a low-resource clinical setting, you’ll also see how local staff cope with a lack of modern equipment.

Zambia - Lusaka
Find out more

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.

 

When it comes to the kinds of clinical experience you’ll get in the Physical Therapy Department, it’s all about diversity. You could spend time in the clubfoot clinic, in the hospital’s specialized gym, orthopedics, respiratory therapy, working with patients with neuro disorders, amputees, burns patients, and even seeing how the department creates its own molds and prostheses.

Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Monk in Angkor Wat Cambodia. Ta Prohm Khmer ancient Buddhist temple in jungle forest
Find out more

Sprawling from the banks of the mighty Mekong river, Cambodia’s capital city is one of contrasts. Marketplaces replete with faux branded accessories line up next to Buddhist temples shrouded in ancient mystery. Sample traditional street food, explore the city's dazzling nightlife, boat along the river to discover rural rice paddies, or enjoy the crystal waters off the coast.

 

A Physical Therapy Internship in Cambodia will highlight how your overseas counterparts cope with severely limited resources. Using hand-made equipment, you’ll assist in the treatment of patients presenting an extraordinary range of conditions, from meningitis to cerebral palsy. 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

Peru - Arequipa
AREQUIPA MAIN IMAGE
Find out more

Arequipa is a fusion of old and new — traditional textile markets and food stalls take root beside colonial buildings, which house all the modern amenities a traveler like yourself could need. At the weekend, explore the Amazon jungle, visit Lake Titicaca’s floating villages, and trek to the Machu Picchu ruins.

 

On your Physical Therapy Internship here you’ll encounter a holistic approach. This approach will be a striking contrast to Western rehabilitation programs. You could also be working with patients from poorer sections of Peruvian society, allowing you to work with a unique array of conditions. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa.

AREQUIPA MAIN IMAGE

Philippines - Iloilo
ILOILO MAIN IMAGE
Find out more

Iloilo sits on the coast of a paradise island in the Philippines, surrounded by white sand beaches and tropical jungles. The city itself is a cultural hub with bars, seafront cafes, markets, and a budding art scene.

 

On a Physical Therapy Internship here, you could be working with local specialists in departments that treat both patients from the city and surrounding villages. You might also find yourself helping to rehabilitate cases of cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries, as well as observing traumatic brain injury surgeries. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo.

ILOILO MAIN IMAGE

Nepal - Pokhara
POKHARA MAIN IMAGE
Find out more

Pokhara is a relaxed and welcoming city nestled in the rolling Himalayan foothills. Seek out awe-inspiring mountain top views, tour the city’s ornate temples, and paraglide above the still waters of Phewa lake.

 

On a Physical Therapy Internship here, you could be assisting in a specialist rehabilitation hospital, which, by Nepalese standards, is well-equipped. Show proactivity on placement and you could be working alongside professionals on cases of soft tissue injury, stroke rehabilitation, and neuromuscular disorders. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Pokhara.

POKHARA MAIN IMAGE

Sri Lanka - Kandy
KANDY MAIN IMAGE
Find out more

Kandy is a nerve-center of culture, ancient temples, bars, restaurants, and markets. You can also go whitewater rafting, on safari, and ride in a hot-air balloon over jungle canopies.

 

On a Physical Therapy internship here you could be working in a teaching hospital that actively promotes patient interaction. This means you could be assisting with the rehabilitation of stroke, MSK, and burns patients. Time in the busy Outpatient Department will provide insight into Sri Lanka’s more commonly occurring conditions. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kandy.

KANDY MAIN IMAGE

Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
DAR ES SALAAM MAIN IMAGE
Find out more

Dar es Salaam is one of Tanzania’s most lively cities, and just beyond its borders you’ll find mountains, and jungles. During your stay you’ll be able to go on safari, take a boat to the tropical island of Zanzibar, and explore the beautiful national park.

 

On a Physical Therapy Internship here, you could be assisting with cases resulting from the many road and construction accidents that occur here daily. The use of dated equipment and machinery in this low resource environment will bring to the fore the challenges local staff face. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam.

DAR ES SALAAM MAIN IMAGE

Nepal - Kathmandu
KATHMANDU MAIN IMAGE
Find out more

Kathmandu’s history spans thousands of years. The ageing temples and stupas that punctuate the city streets make this clear. Modernity has left its mark, however — motorbikes speed down winding lanes, monks chatter on mobile phones, and many restaurants now serve both traditional and western dishes.

 

Physical Therapy  is a rapidly evolving practice in Nepal. On an internship here, you’ll observe how the discipline is developing in comparison to Western practices. Cases of stroke, cerebral palsy, and burns are all common cases here, and working in our partner hospitals, you could be working with them directly. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu.

KATHMANDU MAIN IMAGE

Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura
ANURADHAPURA MAIN IMAGE
Find out more

Anuradhapura is melting pot of the ancient and the new. Sacred temples and opulent palaces share turf with modern bars and busy markets. Further afield, try safari in the national parks, scuba dive in crystal clear waters, and kick back on paradise beaches.

 

On a Physical Therapy Internship here, you could be learning how local specialists treat amputees left by the Sri Lankan civil war with limited and outdated equipment. The Physical Therapy Unit also works in the Neurosurgical and Surgical ICU Wards, so the chance to broaden your experience exists as much as you’re willing to take advantage of it. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura.

ANURADHAPURA MAIN IMAGE

Ghana - Takoradi
TAKORADI MAIN IMAGE
Find out more

Takoradi is a lively town on Africa’s West coast. It’s a center of both historical and natural attractions — ageing coastal forts, waterfalls, safari parks, and rural villages all lie close by — making it the perfect jumping off point for adventure.

 

A proactive attitude on a Physical Therapy Internship here could see you working to rehabilitate patients with a variety of conditions. These could include strokes, burns, and Erb’s Palsy. You could also be working in post-op rehabilitation, learning how specialists tackle this with limited equipment. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi.

TAKORADI MAIN IMAGE

Tanzania - Arusha
ARUSHA MAIN IMAGE
Find out more

Arusha is full to bursting with marketplaces, traditional bars, and restaurants serving mouth-watering local delicacies. Further afield, spot the ‘big five’ safari, explore the Maasai tribe markets, and climb Kilimanjaro, as some of our past travelers have done.

 

On a Physical Therapy Internship here you could assist with the treatment of conditions like post-surgical rehabilitation and child cerebral palsy. Road traffic accidents and burns from gas cookers and are also common, and you will often use handmade equipment to help with the rehabilitation process. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Tanzania

ARUSHA MAIN IMAGE

"Every day I had a new, amazing, memorable experience."

Lily Hosie, Glasgow Caledonian University 2017

Read more

"Kandy was a vibrant, busy place with friendly locals"

Maria Finn, University of Brighton 2017

Read more
Meijerink, Joost

"This was definitely my biggest adventure yet, and a decision I will never regret!"

Joost Meijerink, 2017

Read more

"An experience I will never forget"

MAISY PROVAN, CARDIFF UNIVERSITY 2017

Read more
Foster, Caitlin

"You get to see how patients are treated without all the tools we use at home."

Caitlin Foster, Monash University 2015

Read more