Abby, our projects advisor, is always answering calls or meeting students at medical fairs that just don't know where they want to go. With such a good range of destinations, all of which have some amazing selling points, it's easy to understand why it can be almost impossible to choose where you want to spend your time. To help you make your decision, we asked our students "how did you decide your elective or placement destination and are you happy with your choice?".
For most, the decision seemed to lie between Africa and Asia as a whole. We had a large group of Chinese students from Hong Kong, who chose Africa and were split between our two Northern Tanzania destinations. Grace Ng said “when planning my elective, I wanted to find a place where I could be exposed to things that I’ve never seen before. I choose Africa as I believe after this elective I’m not likely to have another chance to experience the medical side of this place again. Besides, I would also like to know and feel more on how people in other parts of the world live". Wong Ka Wai also felt that as as a student from Hong Kong, "I wanted to go to a developing country to get to know more about their disease and gain more hand on experience. On the other hand I wanted to go to Africa to have a look. I am quite happy with my choice as this is a brand new experience so far”. Rutherford was the same - he has always had an "immense interest in developing countries. It is fascinating to see the people there work their way to the top through diligence and hard work. Tanzania is a place full of opportunity so I wish to explore more of it. I m very satisfied with the choice and am making the most out of the trip".
Sarah from Arusha “ heard about WTW via careers fayre sponsorship. I wanted to travel with a company and there were lots of good reports about Arusha on the website. There is a lot to do in Tanzania so it seemed like a good choice - I’m very happy to have decided to come here”. Daniel agreed that Tanzania had so plenty of travel potential "safari, mountain climbing, Maasai ect". Originally he had "tried organising (an) elective in South Africa but they look too long to organise so I went with WTW as it was quick and easy". Simon decided on Tanzania after speaking to friends who had travelled previously. "I hoped that I could have a taste of medical care in places where resources are at a premium and limited and Tanzania being one of the safer and more prosperous areas in Easten Africa seemed the best of all choices. There is no doubt having my elective in Tanzania was the correct choice and iam looking forward to embrace any future challenges in Tanzania”.
In Dar es Salaam, Laura said her focus was also on Africa. She "chose Tanzania as it is relatively safe and has lots of opportunities for safari and travel. I also wanted to be close to Zanzibar as it is a beautiful Island with lots of interesting things”. The draw of paradise also appealed to Victoria “ I chose Tanzania because the photos of the beaches looked amazing, my friends were going to Mwanza so I would be close to them too”. Lindsay was more focussed on the placement "during the second year of my nursing degree I had the chance to undertake an elective abroad. I wanted to experience health care in an under developed country so that I could really get involved with the care using my knowledge and skills. I also wanted to see what resources were available in a less developed part of the world. Working in Africa has been harder than I expected but very rewarding and I have experienced so many different illness and ways of treating them”
Of course Tanzania is not our only African programme. In Ghana Joe had a great discussion about how his students chose Ghana. Naomi took into consideration a wide range of factors, but Ghana's wealth of travel opportunities won her over "Ghana had a lot of places to visit. I have been here for just three weeks and i have traveled to Kakum, Voltal, Wili falls,Cape coast and more fun places - you can see I am happy with this". Living near the coast appealed to some of the others and the chance to "chill out at Africa beach!". Chrissie,May and Amy chose Ghana because it has a reputation as a peaceful, friendly country. May agreed " I had two friends who came to Ghana last year and they told me they had a really good time" . Thom having kept quite for some time said, "Amy informed me about Ghana as a perfect destination and that was it". When Amy was asked how she settled on her destination, She smiled, looked up to the ceiling and said"That was the first page that came up when I went to Work the World website!".
Maja in Nepal had originally planned to go to Ghana for her elective but changed her mind after speaking to Abby, choosing Nepal. "It was comparatively smaller which meant I would have more chances to do more things. I have travelled a bit, but still have loads to do - I will still have to come back! It is also cheaper than traveling to the African nation". Justin agrees "I have traveled to Northern India before and envisaged Nepal and the people would be similar. I really enjoyed that trip so chose Nepal as the destination for his elective".
Next weeks question comes from a new student, Jessica: "I'm going with yourselves to Arusha at the end of May and was wondering what is the best mode of money to take with me? US dollars? travellers cheques? bank card? english money? I'm a bit unsure of what to do and which is the safest way! please help!!"
Watch this space to find out what our students have to say....