What sort of in-country support can you expect?
From day one, you'll benefit from our vast experience creating and facilitating placements in the developing world. We've been building placements day in, day out since 2005 — we know exactly what works and what doesn't.
On-the-ground support is a big part of what you get when you come away with us. We have programs in countries very different to what you're used to at home, so we locally-employ our in-country teams to provide support specific to each destination. Your team will offer as much or little support as you need, as and when you need it.
Each program has the same team structure. That includes the management team, caterers, cleaners, security teams and even gardeners. The management teams always live near to the Work the World houses and we will also provide you with a 24/7 out of hours phone number, should you ever need to speak with them.
From airport pick-ups, through to local city orientations our highly experienced English-speaking teams take care of everything from the moment you land to the moment you leave.
So, what can you expect?
What happens when you get to the airport?
A member of the in-country team will come to meet you at the airport. And don't worry — we'll have your flight details well before you arrive, so we'll wait for you at the airport if you're delayed.
You'll then travel back to the Work the World house together to meet your new housemates and the rest of the Work the World team.
How you'll Get To know the local area
Before your placement starts, the team will take you on a comprehensive city orientation. By the end of it, you'll feel like a local.
Your team will make sure you know where to find all the best bars, shops, markets and beaches. And on a more practical note, they'll take you to the best bureau de change, help you get a local sim card, and show you the best way to get to and from your placement each day.
What happens on your first visit to the hospital?
Before your placement starts, your in-country team will take you to your placement hospital for a full orientation. They’ll take you on a tour of the hospital and introduce you to your supervisors and key department staff along the way.
By the end, you'll know your way around and feel totally ready for your first day on the wards.
How do our hospital partnerships benefit you?
If you're imagining being sent to a hospital and left to fend for yourself, rest assured that is not the reality.
The long-standing relationships with our partner hospitals mean staff on the wards will be briefed on who you are, why you're there and how to best support you.
Work the World's own staff are a presense in the hospital too. So should you ever have any questions or concerns, there's always someone to support you.
What happens when you move to a different department or hospital?
You might choose to rotate through multiple departments during your placement. Or, you might feel you want to get experience in a different hospital part-way through. Either way, Work the World staff will come with you when you move, introducing you to the department staff you'll be spending time with.
Our hospital partnerships allow for an enormous amount of flexibility. If for example you decide you want to do extra hours or night shifts, we can arrange this while you’re in-country — you don't need to decide before you travel.
What do we do to help keep you safe?
As with any country — including Australia and New Zealand — there's always an element of risk even if it's tiny. But we only offer you placements in destinations we've thoroughly vetted. That's the most important point and it's worth stressing.
You can relax and enjoy your trip with Work the World knowing we’ve been doing this since 2005 and have facilitated trips for 16,000 students and graduates like you. Our teams, both in your placement country and at our Head Office are highly trained to handle any crisis that may arise, unlikely though they may be.
You also get the peace of mind that comes with 24/7 security staff at the Work the World house. These staff aren't there because they're necessary, but because they add an additional layer of security just in case.
How do we help you meet your objectives?
Throughout your placement, the Work the World team will help you achieve any objectives you might have set. Those might be objectives your university have set (like completing a certain number of hours), or personal goals you might have.
In practice, that means your in-country team will help adapt your placement if and when needed. Just to be completely clear, your placement will be totally organised before you travel. But if anything about your placement needs to change while you're overseas, our team can help.
How do we help prepare you for cultural differences?
You're going to see things that are different from what you might be used to in your home country. That is, after all, the point of a trip like this. You'll see unfamiliar clinical practices, different approaches to patient care, and cases you might not have heard of.
If you find yourself with questions about aspects of your placement that you feel it might not be appropriate to ask hospital staff, just ask the Work the World house team — they're always on-hand.
No one knows local culture better than they do, which is a big part of the reason we hire staff locally.
What's the accommodation like?
Some placement providers will put you in a homestay to keep costs down. Not so with Work the World — with us you’ll stay in a big private house with other healthcare students and graduates on their Work the World placement.
Low-resource countries are known for their hustle and bustle. Throwing yourself into it is a big part of what makes a trip like this. But after a busy day on the wards and you want a break from the outside world, our houses offer an escape.
You can relax in the beautiful gardens (some have swimming pools), find a quiet spot to read or study, or head to one of the common areas to socialise with your housemates. All our houses have western-style bathrooms and single-sex rooms.
Then there's the food. Our catering team will cook you everything from local specialities to favourites from home, including chips. Do you have dietary requirements? No problem — our professionally qualified caterers will adapt to your requirements.
Life in the Work the World house is an enormous part of your experience. Most people tell us that their housemates became lifelong friends. It will feel like home in no time at all, and the in-country team will feel like family.
Who will you live with?
If you travel with another placement provider, you'll probably be put in a homestay. Homestays have limited space, so you'll live with a couple of other people at most. Chances are slim they'll be fellow healthcare students and graduates.
With Work the World, you live exclusively with fellow healthcare students and graduates and newly qualified healthcare professionals. They'll be from all over the world, and will include medics, nurses, midwives, physios... every discipline you can think of. You’ll travel to placement together and share stories (and a few beers) after a busy day on the wards.
You have the added benefit of growing your network on a global level — having professional contacts around the world is always handy.
What happens on BBQ Night?
Make sure you come along to the weekly BBQ night hosted in the house garden. The Work the World team normally hosts them on a Thursday, so they're a great way to start winding down ready for the weekend.
BBQs are the perfect excuse for you and your housemates to get together and eat delicious food, have a few drinks and enjoy local entertainment like African drumming and dancing, Mexican Mariachi bands and Filipino Karaoke nights.
How do we help you get confident in using the local language?
Communication is a fundamental skill and even more so where healthcare is concerned. It follows that you might have reservations about travelling to a country without being able to speak the language.
But here's some good news — while you're living in the Work the World house, you get specially tailored language lessons twice each week.
An experienced local language teacher hosts lessons in the comfort of the house. The idea is to strengthen what you learn from the online language videos (you'll get access to these after you register), and teach you new clinical phrases and vocabulary to use while you're on placement.
To help you get to grips with how and when to use certain vocab and phrases, you'll learn all about local customs and culture too.
How do we help when you go off travelling?
We locally hire all our in-country teams. Why? Because they have in-depth knowledge about the city and country you’re based in while on your Work the World trip.
Got questions about what to do after placement? Want some tips on where to travel at the weekend? The team in the house are there to help.
You'll find a Work the World ‘top tips' book in the house too. The book is a treasure trove of hints and tips that previous travellers have added to over the years. It beats the guidebooks, hands down!
You can also go and have a look at the house's travel notice board. It has lots of information about the more popular places to visit, how to get there, booking numbers and other useful info.
What support will you get from head office?
Our Head Office team is has daily contact with all our in-country teams. We are directly involved in making sure you get the most from your placement.
You get 24/7 support from your in-country team, and we'll give you access to a specia hotline that dials straight back to Head Office. It's manned 24/7, just in case.
We've won awards for our service, and we're confident that no one else comes close to matching what we offer. But it's better to hear it from people who have already travelled with us.