At her clinical placement, a medical elective student examines a child’s vital signs during an outreach.

Medical Student Elective Placements

Learn about healthcare from doctors and nurses in developing countries and gain practical work experience for your future career

If you’re reading this, you’re probably researching options for your elective placement. There are so many routes you can take and they all have their pros and cons.

Many students are finding it hard to arrange placements in the UK. Even if you know you want to travel, you may not have decided whether to organise everything independently or to travel with an organisation.

We’re a bit biased because our overseas Healthcare Electives have been getting rave reviews for decades.  However, we know that everyone’s different. What’s important is that you get the elective placement that’s right for you.  So read on for our take on the key things you need to think about, and advice on getting this decision right.

View medical elective bursary options here or skip straight to our Elective Placements.

Why travel overseas for your Medical Elective Placement?

Doing your Elective in the UK will certainly keep the costs down.  However with COVID-19 restrictions, they’re becoming increasingly more difficult to organise this academic year.  Therefore, the first big advantage of an overseas placement is that they’re running and you can actually join one!

There's also so much to gain both professionally and personally while doing your elective overseas, especially when travelling to a developing country.

“It was incredible to learn about the differences between healthcare in Sri Lanka and in the UK. I hadn’t realised how much I had taken away from this nursing experience until I was back in practice in the UK; I am so glad that I had the opportunity to learn in this limited-resource setting, it has been invaluable for my practice.”

Katherine H - Nursing Elective in Sri Lanka

There are plenty more reasons to do an elective abroad in 2023.  You’ll:

  • experience different medical practices and be faced with illnesses not common in the UK.
  • learn about a new culture and have the opportunity to view the UK’s healthcare system with a different perspective.
  • improve your soft skills such as communication, time management and adaptability. All key skills for a career in medicine and healthcare.
Students doing their medical electives abroad spend time bonding with local medical professionals.

Why travel with Projects Abroad for your Elective Placement?

You may be well-travelled and already have connections in the medical field around the world. In this case, organising your Elective independently might be a good option.

For most students this isn’t the case. Organising each component of your Elective separately can be stressful and time consuming. We often hear of electives falling through or being cancelled last minute without an alternative option available. 

We’re experts at arranging overseas Electives and we do all of the hard work for you. This allows you to have a stress-free experience from start to finish. Whether you’re doing an Elective in Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery or Physio you’ll get:

  • A tailored elective placement
  • £100 student NUS discount
  • Completely flexible dates
  • Placements from 2 to 12 weeks
  • A qualified English-speaking supervisor
  • The option to specialise or rotate
  • A choice of hospitals, health clinics and community outreach
  • Accommodation, food and airport transfers
  • Insurance organised by us if required
  • 24/7 support and guidance from our team in-country
  • The opportunity to meet medical students from around the world

We’ll support you all the way, from liaising with university staff and completing paperwork to helping with visas and flights. We can even help with your independent weekend travel.

If there are travel restrictions in place for your booked destination we will ensure an alternative option is available at no extra cost. You will also be entitled to a full refund for any COVID-related cancellations.

Medical elective interns abroad pose for a photo next to an 'Equator' sign in Nanyuki, Kenya

Don't just take our word for it

“Over the three weeks I was there, we received lectures on HIV and AIDS in Tanzania, had a Swahili lesson, took part in discussions about healthcare in Tanzania and maternal-foetal health in Africa, and we got a chance to meet with Tanzanian medical students and learn about their experiences. On our last night, we even had a cooking class in the office kitchen!”

Kate W - Medicine Elective in Tanzania

If you’re still unsure about what route to take we’re more than happy to discuss your options with you. If you have very specific requirements or want to check whether your specialism is available, contact us today and we will guide you from here.

A medical elective student checks a patient with a local doctor during a medical outreach in Guadalajara

Choose a Medical Elective Project

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1-3 of 11 Projects

Local medical staff with a group of Projects Abroad Medicine interns doing work experience placements in Tanzania.
Medicine Internship in Tanzania
See this project
  • Price: £1,725 for 2 weeks
  • Extra Weeks: £255
  • Start Date: Anytime
  • Minimum Duration: 2 weeks
  • Age: 16 or over
Female medical intern in Peru getting laboratory experience while on her medical placement.
Medical Internship in Peru
See this project
  • Price: £1,725 for 2 weeks
  • Extra Weeks: £255
  • Start Date: Anytime
  • Minimum Duration: 2 weeks
  • Age: 18 or over
Gain midwifery work experience whilst on an internship with Projects Abroad and assist and learn from local doctors.
Midwifery Internship in Tanzania
See this project
  • Price: £1,725 for 2 weeks
  • Extra Weeks: £255
  • Start Date: Anytime
  • Minimum Duration: 2 weeks
  • Age: 18 or over
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Can't find what you're looking for? 

We’d be happy to talk about creating a custom medical student elective placement for you. Most of our staff have been volunteers themselves, so they’re well placed to answer your questions, big or small.

01273 007 230


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