Volunteer Physiotherapy Internships Abroad
Improve the quality of life of patients by joining our one of our Physiotherapy internships overseas. Working alongside local staff, you will gain valuable work experience while learning about healthcare practice in a developing country. Learn new skills, share your knowledge and assist with the physical rehabilitation of those in need.
Volunteering on a Physiotherapy placement
As a Physiotherapy intern, you may find yourself working in a number of different placements, depending on the project you choose. These include assisting in the physiotherapy departments of hospitals, specialised clinics treating those with specific conditions, homes for the elderly or children, sports academies or centres for children and adults with special needs.
There is a shortage of skilled physiotherapists in many of the countries in which we work. Combined with a lack of funds, this means that many patients have advanced conditions requiring treatment. The amount of specialised physiotherapy equipment available also varies from placement to placement – you may have to come up with creative solutions to overcome this obstacle.
What will I do on a Physiotherapy internship?
Your role will differ according to the specific placement and destination that you choose. Those with additional experience or training will take on more responsibilities. Each placement is tailored, where possible, both to a volunteer's level of experience and their interests.
The patients you encounter will all have differing conditions and needs. You will work with children and adults with disabilities or injuries, assisting in their rehabilitation and recovery. By helping them to develop motor skills so that they are able to complete daily tasks, the people you assist will ultimately experience an improved quality of life.
Please bear in mind that any opportunity to gain experience in practical, hands-on work will always be at the discretion of local practitioners. Initially, your role will be mainly observational. However, as you develop a working relationship with the local healthcare staff, you may find yourself taking on more duties.
You will work alongside a local physiotherapist, assisting where needed. This may include helping with treatments, teaching exercises to patients, and running workshops. There is also the opportunity to take part in outreaches with other medical volunteers. These outreaches are not necessarily physiotherapy-orientated, but are still a great way to learn about other aspects of healthcare.
If you are a Physiotherapy student in your Elective year, please see our Physiotherapy Elective page.
"The staff were welcoming, and willing to teach. They encouraged us to ask questions and to collaborate on ideas for alternative forms of treatment. My responsibility was to treat patients who required physiotherapy. Most of the patients had a stroke, spinal injuries or Guillain-Barré syndrome. I would work with the patients on stretching, strengthening, balance as well as gait training. Some of the patients were inpatients and I was able to see them every day, which gave me the opportunity to observe their progress."
Physiotherapy in Nepal