WHAT IS AN OVERSEAS PHYSICAL THERAPY INTERNSHIP WITH WORK THE WORLD?
A physical therapy internship abroad is your chance to do a clinical placement in a low-resource hospital in the developing world.
You’ll see a huge difference between the local healthcare system and what you’re used to. You’ll also learn about practices you’ve never encountered before - electrotherapy and wax baths for example.
You’ll see uncommon conditions like clubfoot and spina bifida, and learn how limited resources affect the care provided - handmade rehabilitation equipment for example, or how ECT is still used extensively.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A PHYSICAL THERAPY INTERNSHIP ABROAD?
An international physical therapy internship with us helps you (and your resumé) stand out from the high volume of physio students graduating each year.
With us, you’ll:
- Expand your clinical knowledge and skill set
- Sharpen your communication skills
- Develop your confidence and resourcefulness
- Build your personal and professional network
- Become more attractive to employers
Our international hospital placements run Monday to Friday. That means your evenings and weekends are free to make the most of the travel opportunities in whichever country you choose.
Who are we?
We're Work the World - The experts in planning, building and overseeing physical therapy internships abroad. We started in 2005, and since then we've created internships for 18,000+ students from 400+ universities globally.
Our service is personal, and it includes:
A customized physical therapy internship abroad in a destination of your choice | Comprehensive pre-trip preparation | 24/7 in-country support | Private, catered accommodation
You arrive in-country on any Sunday you choose (52 weeks a year). Internship durations start from one week.
Click here for more detail about how our service works.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?
As long as you have started on a professional physical therapy degree (PT, DPT or similar) you are eligible.
You can also travel if you are already graduated. However, please note that our physiotherapy placements are educational in their nature and designed to give you experience in a low resource hospital setting under the supervision of local qualified professionals.
STEP 1. SUBMIT AN INQUIRY
First, submit an inquiry using the form at the bottom of the page. Tell us where, when and why you want to travel as well as your current level of study.
STEP 2. WE'LL GET IN TOUCH
Next, a member of our consultation team will review your inquiry then call you to discuss your eligibility. They will also answer any questions you may have.
STEP 3. APPROVAL AND CONFIRMATION
Once we have confirmed your eligibility, you need to submit your application form and pay your registration fee. We will then confirm your placement and availability within 48 hours.
Ghana - Takoradi
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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 helping to rehabilitate patients with a variety of conditions. These could include strokes, burns, and Erb’s Palsy. You could also gain experience with post-op rehabilitation, learning how specialists tackle this with limited equipment. If you're looking for physical therapy internships in Africa, Ghana is an excellent choice. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi.
Sri Lanka - Kandy
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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 spend time in a teaching hospital that actively promotes patient interaction. This means you could be assisting with the physical 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.
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.
Our partner institution in Hue is a university teaching hospital, meaning that the Rehabilitation Department you’ll spend time in has exceptional experience coaching physical therapists. You’ll gain a breadth of experience helping 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. If you're looking for a physical therapy internship in Asia, Hue should be at the top of your list.
Philippines - Iloilo
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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 can spend time 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.
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.
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, gaining experience with patients with neuro disorders, amputees, burns patients, and even seeing how the department creates its own molds and prostheses.
Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
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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.
Nepal - Kathmandu
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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 through spending time in our partner hospitals you could gaining direct experience with them. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Kathmandu.
"For anyone thinking about undertaking an overseas placement I would say whether you go alone or with friends, go for it!"
Kim Inott, Sheffield Hallam University 2022Read more
"They placed the pads on the patient’s face and sent electric current through to try and reactivate the affected nerves."
Sophia Azzou, King's College London 2021Read more
"I learnt so much both in my practical skills, care and compassion and ability to problem solve."
Chloe Dooley, Cardiff University 2020Read more
"Limited to a gym with little equipment, generating treatment ideas was a challenge."
Emily Moules, Teesside University 2019Read more
"I even observed an open-reduction-internal-fixation surgery."
Alexander Colvin, Glasgow Caledonian University 2019Read more
What is a physical therapy internship?
A physical therapy internship is a clinical rotation students can undertake in low-resource hospitals overseas. To create your own customized physiocal therapy internship overseas, learn more here.
How old do you have to be for an internship?
You have to be at least 18 years old to undertake a hospital internship with Work the World. Apart from age, you need to be a college student enrolled in or accepted on a professional physical therapy degree.
How long is a Work the World physical therapy internship?
An internship is as long as you want it to be. Our minimum placement duration is one week with a maximum duration of 12 weeks. Costs vary depending on location and duration.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A WORK THE WORLD PHYSICAL THERAPY PLACEMENT?
The benefits of our physical therapy placement include:
- Expanding your clinical knowledge and skill set
- Becoming more confident, independent and resourceful
- Making yourself more attractive to employers
- Doing some traveling
- Building your personal and professional network
- Sharpening your language and communication skills