Northumbria University 2018

Physiotherapy, Nepal Pokhara

I had intended on carrying out an overseas placement ever since starting my degree. Choosing Work the World  was definitely the correct decision!

I carried out my 4-week placement in Pokhara, Nepal and I'm so glad I did. It was such a unique place! I didn’t know much about the country and wanted to choose somewhere that I didn’t think I would travel to in the future.

Without a doubt I will be going back, and maybe one day I will climb to the top of Everest!

The Work the World team were amazing at organising my placement, all the way up to the day of departure. This made travelling to an unfamiliar destination much easier than expected.

Mainprize, Hannah

The in-country team made us feel welcome from the moment we arrived at the house. I felt totally safe and settled in after the welcome meal on the first night, as if we were one big family!

I spent two weeks in a rehabilitation centre and two weeks in a government hospital. This allowed me to see the differences between the quality of care and the facilities in Nepal's healthcare system.

Mainprize, Hannah

The physiotherapy staff at the rehabilitation centre were all friendly and spoke exceptional English. After arriving, it hit home how advantaged we were to have the facilities we do in the UK—it was an eye opener.

It was amazing to see how local staff managed to treat patients with what few resources they had. We saw a range of cases including spinal cord injuries, strokes, and others we’d never dreamed of seeing, like Guillain-Barré syndrome.

We also saw a range of treatment methods including electrotherapy, wax therapy, and manual therapy, which were considerably different to what we were used to at home!

In the government hospital, the physiotherapy department was situated in the basement. There were regular power cuts, which made it much more interesting when trying to treat patients!

Mainprize, Hannah

The hospital's ICU was quite shocking. Limited resources meant staff were doing everything they could for patients, but sometimes it just wasn’t enough. It was challenging to see, as if we'd have been in the UK things would have been a completely different story.

Family members waited hours on end, often sleeping in hospital corridors to see their loved ones.

At the end of each day, going back to the Work the World house took my mind off of things. My housemates all shared a strong connection. This was true the Work the World in-country team too. They were there 24/7, whenever we needed anything.

Mainprize, Hannah

After humongous rainstorms, we saw the whole Annapurna mountain range and it was magical. It felt like a different world—definitely one of the highlights of my time away!

There is such a variety of things you can do which is why the place is so great to visit!

We were lucky enough to be in Nepal during the annual the Rice Paddy Planting Festival. One of the local traditions is to have competitions between locals and tourists. This involved us playing tug of war, racing across the extremely muddy paddy fields, and of course planting some rice. It was an experience to say the least!

Mainprize, Hannah

On the weekends, we travelled to many places. We visited Chitwan, where we saw elephants and rhinos. We also trekked 3200m up to the top of Poon Hill to see the most beautiful sunrise.

Mainprize, Hannah

One weekend, we visited Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, where we explored the temples and tried lots of local cuisine. Momo dumplings are a must!

Mainprize, Hannah

Don’t let funding be a reason you think twice about going, look into what your profession has to offer! 

Travelling to Nepal was an experience I will never forget. Having the opportunity to complete an overseas placement was just exceptional. Comparing healthcare in Nepal to the UK really made me appreciate what the NHS does for us.

This trip boosted my confidence not only within a clinical setting, but also when it comes to travelling alone.

My advice: don’t deliberate, just go for it! It will  be an experience of a lifetime and you'll never forget it.

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