University of Manchester 2013
I chose Work the World to tailor my 8 weeks elective placement in Ghana at the end of my second year. I had an incredible time and have many fond memories that I'm certain will stay with me forever.
The reason behind trusting Work the World with organising my elective was simply because I had consistently heard many great things. Previous students from my university in Manchester had travelled with them and had nothing but good thing's to say. The staff both in the Head Office and in Ghana itself were amazing and the support they provided before, during, and after my trip was exceptional. Making the decision to leave England for a developing country for two months was daunting but the Work the World staff were with me every step of the way. There was no question they couldn't answer and were there quite literally whenever I needed them (including when I was out in Ghana).
Upon arriving at the airport in Ghana, my group and I were greeted by very friendly local staff and taken to a hotel for the night - which made our group feel better after our flight. The following day we took a bus to the Work the World private accommodation where we met other students from a range of disciplines. We went for lunch and had the chance to unwind before placement the following day. The house was fab with a really friendly atmosphere. If you're travelling to Ghana yourself, remember that weekly BBQ nights are on a Thursday!
Whilst in Ghana I spent time in a number of areas to get a well round idea of what it's like across multiple wards and departments in a developing country. I spent most of my time in gynaecologically related areas; on the gynae ward, in the gynae theatre; and also on the labour ward. The latter was amaing as I had the chance to care for new born babies! A&E was another great place to spend a week or so - it was definitely an eye opener!
Takoradi (the town where the Work the World house is located) was right on the coast, which meant after a stressful day on placement we would all head down to the beach and unwind in the sun - not something you’re likely to get on an elective at home!
Weekends were also great fun as they provided the perfect opportunity to travel further afield in Ghana. We visited a number of amazing places all over the country; going on safari is very high up on my list of unforgettable memories.
If I were to offer any advice, it would be to go with an open mind. It's worth remembering that Ghana is a developing country and things are typically not as you'll be used to at home. Some things I saw out there were thought provoking - there were times when I found certain clincal practices difficult to accept. But after all it helped remembering that this was the way they did things in Ghana and that needed to be respected, however challenging.
Going to Ghana has opened my eyes and changed my views on many of life's wonders. I made lots of great friends out there and have amazing memories that I will never, ever forget. If you’re thinking about a placement abroad, stop thinking and choose Ghana! I promise you'll have the experience of a lifetime.