The story so far 

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working incredibly hard to repatriate many customers who were on placement in our programmes throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our number one priority as always, is the safety and wellbeing of the students on the programme and our global staff team. 

Since then, the Department of Foeign Affairs and Trade advised against all but essential travel outside of Australia. The safety of our customers is a top priority at every level. We continue to liaise closely with all global health authorities and government agencies to ensure all the decisions we make are guided by the most up to date and relevant information available. In addition to the government advice, we remain in close contact with our locally-hired, highly trained teams on the ground in all of our programmes to get first-hand information and insight.

This has been a difficult and frustrating time for many who have had their placement plans disrupted. Our team continues to work around the clock trying to ease the disruption as much as we can at such a challenging time.

Flexibility to fit your plans 

The travel restrictions have of course been put in place to contain the spread of the virus and ensure your safety. As this is an exceptional situation we believe in the importance of flexibility. We have spoken with hundreds of students who were due to travel with us over the coming months, to ensure we make the most appropriate plans based on their individual needs.

In line with the current travel ban, many universities have made the decision to suspend international placements for the foreseeable future. We are therefore collaborating with our university partners from around the globe, many of whom are rescheduling their placement blocks to later this year or into 2021. In some cases we’ve agreed to several options of block dates spread over the course of a few months with universities, ensuring as much flexibility as possible.

We have also opened the option of a postponement to everyone due to travel with us this summer. Postponed bookings are welcome to join us in any Work the World location at any point in the next 18 months, and we have waived all associated administration fees that would normally be incurred. With so much uncertainty in and around university programme curriculums, it is not necessary to confirm an exact date for any postponement straight away, again giving extra flexibility and removing unnecessary pressure.

Looking into the future

We understand the great concern associated with this global pandemic and we would like to ensure you that you are in expert hands. We are a highly experienced, small and personal team committed to delivering the best overseas clinical and travel experiences in the world. To date we have tailored over 15,000 placements and have been in operation for 15 years. 

While this situation we are all facing is unprecedented, as a team we have worked through a range of crisis situations in the past with great success. We are doing everything we can to adapt to the situation as it evolves, and we will continue to do all we can to support the participants on the programme, our university partners and protect the livelihoods of the hundreds of people that rely on Work the World. 

There still remains a great deal of uncertainty about when opportunity for international travel will resume and our placements will be able to restart. Nevertheless we are confident that these temporary measures will be lifted in the next few months and our overseas teams will be ready to welcome students as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the meantime we want to say thank you for your support and understanding in these difficult times and we look forward to warmly welcoming those who are postponing their placements to a future date.