Why Go Overseas

Undertaking a physiotherapy placement overseas will be life-changing. Working alongside local specialists you’ll apply your skills in new clinical environments, developing treatment plans and rehabilitating patients, using limited and sometimes hand-made equipment. An overseas placement is the best way to develop both personally and professionally.

With more than ten years' experience in organising placements abroad, we offer unique opportunities that you won’t find elsewhere. We've developed close relationships with clinics and hospitals around the world that allow us to completely customise your placement. When practising physiotherapy abroad, you’ll have dedicated support from our in-country team. From organising and overseeing your clinical experience, to carefully monitoring your progress, they’ll make sure you get the most from your placement. They’ll also make sure you’re comfortable in our private, catered accommodation.

physiotherapy electives abroad

How it Works

We offer expert advice to help you decide where to travel. Tell us what you want to experience, and which clinical areas you’d like to work in most, and we’ll design a program that meets your needs. Whether you’d like to work with leprosy patients, paediatrics, or any other area of physiotherapy, we can make it happen.

We take care of all the groundwork that goes into planning and running your physiotherapy placement. You can track every step using our online placement planner — MyTrip, which has detailed, personalised information around your trip.

Team and Accommodation

Our team will come and meet you from the airport once your flight arrives. They’ll take you to the Work the World house for a welcome briefing, and will help you settle-in. We’ll then take you to the hospital you’ll be working in, and on a tour of the local area.

 

Wherever you travel, we’ll provide spacious, private accommodation. Our in-country team are there to provide support 24-hours a day, and you’ll have an on-site chef and housekeeper. We encourage all students to learn the local language, so we provide twice-weekly lessons from a local teacher. Sharing with other students and professionals, you’ll make friends with people from a wide range of disciplines. Our houses have a sociable atmosphere, with evenings free for socialisation and travel on weekends.

IN THE HOSPITAL

To make sure that you’re totally prepared on your first day, you’ll get a full induction the day before your placement starts. During your placement, you’ll be exposed to different cultural attitudes towards healthcare, and get unique opportunities to see advanced conditions and new approaches to rehabilitation – experiences that are only made possible through the strong relationships we have with our hospitals. Throughout your placement, we’ll review your experience, ensuring that it meets your expectations. You’ll be working at the hospital from Monday to Friday, with evenings and weekends free to socialise and travel.

physical therapy electives abroad

DESTINATIONS

Mexico - Merida
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Merida is Mexico’s centre of sophistication. The city is home to beautiful colonial architecture, and broad boulevards punctuated with green plazas. At night, the city is alive with restaurants and bars spilling out into the streets. At weekends, dive in beautiful underwater caves known as ‘cenotes’, unwind on tropical beaches, and visit breathtaking Mayan temple ruins.

 

The hospital we’re partnered with in Merida attends to a variety of cases, ranging from everyday aches, pains and strains to severe burns. Working closely with local specialists, you’ll help rehabilitate a breadth of patients with neurological disorders like stroke and Bell’s palsy, patients recovering from surgery, work-related injuries and more.

Zambia - Lusaka
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Lusaka is the beating heart of Zambia. From here you can visit up to 20 game parks to see rhino, lions, elephants and cheetah. You might even spot hippos wading through the beautiful Zambezi River while canoeing along the shore. You can also the rich local cultures and traditions so ingrained in Zambian tribal culture.

 

Clinically speaking, you could find yourself working with repeat patients, in clubfoot clinics, with patients with neuro disorders, amputees, burns patients, in the hospital’s specialised gym, and even seeing how the hospital makes its own molds and prostheses. Opportunities to get involved with orthopaedics and respiratory therapy also exist.

Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Famous Angkor Wat temple complex in sunset, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.Panoramic view.
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Sprawling out from the mighty Mekong river, Cambodia’s ancient capital is an eclectic jumble of contrasts, where marketplaces laden with branded goods sit beside sacred Buddhist temples.Sample mouthwatering traditional street food, discover the city's vibrant nightlife, boat to rural rice paddies, or head to the famous crystal waters of the coast.

 

A Physiotherapy Placement here will highlight how your overseas peers combat limited resources on a daily basis. Using hand-made equipment, you could assist the treatment of patients presenting a range of conditions from meningitis to cerebral palsy. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Phnom Penh.

Famous Angkor Wat temple complex in sunset, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.Panoramic view.

Nepal - Pokhara
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Pokhara is a relaxed and welcoming city nestled in the dense green foothills of the Himalayas. Trek your way through the Annapurna mountains, seek out the city's ornate temples, or paraglide high above the still waters of Phewa lake.

 

On your Physiotherapy Placement you’ll work in a specialist rehabilitation hospital, which is well-equipped by Nepalese standards. Be proactive and you'll assist in cases of soft tissue injury, stroke rehabilitation, and neuromuscular disorders. Read stories from those who've already travelled with us to Pokhara.

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Nepal - Kathmandu
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Kathmandu has an ancient history than spans back thousands of years, influencing everything from architecture to food. Modernity has also made its way in; motorbikes speed down winding streets, monks check their mobile phones, and market stalls sell traditional food alongside more familiar Western dishes.

 

Physiotherapy is an evolving practice in Nepal; you’ll observe the discipline coming into its own on your placement. Cerebral palsy, stroke, and burns are all common cases in this developing department. Read stories from those who've already travelled with us to Kathmandu.

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Philippines - Iloilo
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Iloilo sits on the coast of a tropical island and is surrounded by awe-inspiring natural beauty, with white sand beaches, jungles, and palm-trees aplenty. The city itself is a modernising cultural hub with restaurants, bars, seafront cafes, and a budding art scene.

 

A Physiotherapy Placement here will see you in a department that caters for the city and its surrounding villages. Cerebral palsy, traumatic brain surgery, amputees, and spinal cord injury are all examples of common rehabilitation cases here. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Iloilo.

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Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
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Dar es Salaam might be one of Tanzania’s largest and busiest cities, but it’s also surrounded by wild game parks, mountains, and jungles, boasting a plethora of natural beauty to be discovered. Go on safari, or take a short boat trip to the paradise island of Zanzibar.

 

Clinically speaking, you’ll be assisting in a department that centres on orthopaedic cases like those that result from road traffic accidents, and construction and logging. The use of dated and often handmade machinery will highlight the lack of resources in this developing area of healthcare. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Dar es Salaam.

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Sri Lanka - Kandy
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Kandy is a melting-pot of historical culture, time-worn temples, bars, restaurants, and markets. It also boasts jungle safaris, lush tea plantations, and opportunities to go whitewater rafting and temple trekking.

 

On a Physiotherapy Placement here, you'll work in a teaching hospital that actively promotes interaction with patients. This means working with handmade equipment and assisting in the rehabilitation of stroke, MSK and burns patients. What’s more, the busy Outpatient Department will provide insight into more advanced cases common in Sri Lanka. Read stories from thos who've already travelled with us to Kandy.

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Peru - Arequipa
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Arequipa is a perfect balance of old and new. Traditional textile markets and food stalls set up beside colonial buildings and modern amenities. In your spare time, hike through the misty Amazon jungle, visit famous floating villages, or trek to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu.

 

On your Physiotherapy Placement you’ll encounter a more holistic approach to rehabilitation than what you're probably used to. You’ll also work with patients from the poorer classes of society, some of whom suffer from unrelated conditions and birth defects. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Arequipa.

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Sri Lanka - Anuradhapura
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Anuradhapura is a mix of both ancient and new. Sacred stupas, temples, and ancient palaces on one hand, and bars and busy markets on the other. Further afield, discover safari in the national parks, clear blue seas, and paradise beaches.

 

On a Physiotherapy Placement here, you’ll discover how local specialists provide care for amputees left by the Sri Lankan civil war with equipment considered outdated by standards in the developed world. The Physiotherapy Unit also works with the Neurosurgical and Surgical ICU Wards, giving you plenty of chances to broaden your experience. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Anuradhapura.

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Ghana - Takoradi
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Takoradi is a lively city with a typically African atmosphere. Located on Africa’s West coast, the region is a centre of historical, as well as natural, attraction. See ageing forts stretch along the golden coastline, swim in cascading waterfalls, and sip cocktails by the port at sunset. Further afield you’ll find waterfalls, safari parks, and rural villages.

 

Bring a confident attitude to your placement and you'll get actively involved in the rehabilitation of regular patients, and you could also work with cases requiring post-op rehabilitation, as well as strokes, burns and Erb’s Palsy. Read stories from those who’ve already travelled with us to Takoradi.

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Tanzania - Arusha
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The friendly city of Arusha is abundant with typically African marketplaces, bars, restaurants, and more. It’s also surrounded by lush landscapes. Spot lions and wildebeest on safari, and enjoy views of Kilimanjaro from the top of Mt. Meru.

 

On a Physiotherapy Placement here you'll encounter a wide range of conditions and tecnhiques including child cerebral palsy and post-surgical rehabilitation. Burns from gas cooker and road traffic accidents are also very common, as is handmade equipment that could be considered outdated by standards in the developed world. Read stories from those who've already travelled with us to Arusha.

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

Maria Finn, University of Brighton 2017

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Meijerink, Joost

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

Joost Meijerink, Hanze Hogeschool 2017

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"An experience I will never forget"

MAISY PROVAN, CARDIFF UNIVERSITY 2017

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Foster, Caitlin

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

Caitlin Foster, Monash University 2015

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Dunsford, Caitlin

"My time in the hospital was rewarding both personally and professionally".

Caitlin Dunsford , Professional Placement 2015

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