From the moment my university mentioned we had the opportunity to take part in an international healthcare placement, I knew it was something I had to do. After chatting with a friend who was also a student nurse, we decided to conduct a little research of our own.
My friend and I read over the destination information and reviews from those who had previously travelled with Work the World for their overseas nursing placements. We decided we wanted to experience a healthcare system unlike the one at home and this is when we fell in love with Tanzania and all it had to offer.
Students from the previous cohort came to share their experiences of their international placements and it was at this point we knew Work the World were the organisation we wanted to use and still today this is a decision I do not regret.
Everyone at Work the World has been so friendly and supportive, making the trip easy to organise and as stress free as possible, which we highly appreciated. I particularly found the MyTrip timeline and pre-departure phone calls beneficial in aiding my readiness and calming my nerves prior to heading out to Tanzania.
After months of preparation and planning, the time to embark on our three-week nursing placement arrived. The journey to Tanzania was… an experience—I was so glad that the Work the World team had prepared us for the chaos which we found ourselves in at the airport. Once through arrivals, we saw that a smiling member of the Work the World team was there to greet us. We then began the drive to our home for the next few weeks—the Work the World house.
We arrived at the house in the middle of the night, exhausted from travelling for nearly 18 hours. We took a quick tour of the house and then went to bed. The next morning, we met our housemates and some of the Work the World team, everyone was lovely and so welcoming.
As we only had three weeks in Tanzania, we wanted to experience as much as possible. We wanted to find out what the healthcare system in Tanzania had to offer, so we spent our first week in general paediatrics, a week in NICU, and a week in maternity. At the beginning of each new week, a member of the Work the World team would travel with us to our new department and introduce us to the staff we would be spending time with, which was great.
Resources were limited and considerations around health and safety were very different.
I cannot stress how different healthcare in Tanzania was compared to healthcare back home. Resources were limited and considerations around health and safety were very different. The doctors, nurses and medical students were all very keen to gain an insight into the healthcare at home and how it differed to Tanzanian practice. The experience made me even more grateful for the amazing NHS.
We had Swahili lessons twice a week at the Work the World house. The lessons were really enjoyable despite languages not being one of my strengths! We also had weekly BBQ nights with African dancing and karaoke at Coco Beach.
With only two full weekends in Tanzania, we really wanted to make the most of our time. We decided to book a safari shortly after securing our placement. We did this through Work the World, and it was easy. It was an unforgettable experience and I would encourage anyone travelling to Tanzania to seriously consider adding a safari to their trip.
For our second weekend in Tanzania we travelled to Zanzibar. We arranged this whilst out in Tanzania, and with guidance from the Work the World team we secured a hotel, booked our ferry and also contacted a tour guide which enabled us to make the most of our time on the island. We also visited Prison Island to see the giant tortoises and booked a blue safari tour to go snorkelling in the Indian Ocean.
I will treasure the memories I made in Tanzania for a lifetime. It really was a trip I’ll never forget. If you are considering whether to take a chance on Tanzania, I strongly recommend that you do!
Asante Sana Tanzania!