Taking the leap can be daunting, but there’s so much to gain from working abroad, especially once you return home.
If you’re studying to be a doctor or dentist, these reasons are why overseas placements are great for your career.
Improve your skills
There’s nothing quite like putting your clinical skills to use in a foreign country where the healthcare systems are different, the patients’ expectations are confusing and the language barrier is real. Whether you’re working in a developed or developing country, you’ll refine and gain skills, simply by being outside of your comfort zone.
Unfamiliar with a particular condition, government bureaucracy or social custom? You’ll learn to adapt, solve problems and take a heap of new skills home with you—not to mention a phrase or two in a foreign language.
Develop a global outlook
Healthcare is a global field - a disease outbreak in the Philippines could soon become a worldwide problem, therefore different countries need to work together to develop treatments for some of our most common ailments. An overseas placement helps you to experience this in more depth.
You’ll learn how your host country’s medical system differs from your own, develop empathy for unfamiliar cultural traditions; discover innovative methods of treatment; and absorb a new sense of cultural awareness.
Build your network
The best way to create job opportunities is through your professional network. You know what they say: It’s not what you know but who you know.
It can be difficult to build up a network of professional contacts when you’re fresh out of university, but an overseas placement can help to fast-track this. You’ll meet a wide range of people on your placement—local practitioners, specialists and fellow international students—and the connections you make will lay the foundation for an international network of professionals ready to help out when the time comes to look for a job, or seek out career advice.
An overseas placement will open your mind in ways you can’t imagine. Plus time away from everything that’s familiar (your friends, family, university and home town) will help you to gain a fresh perspective on how you feel about your studies and what you really want to do in the future. Perhaps you’ll consider a specialisation that you didn’t think was right for you, discover that you love working with children or disadvantaged communities, or be inspired to change your career direction completely.
Boost your CV
One of the most compelling reasons to do an overseas placement is that your future career will thank you for it. Why? Employers really value those new skills you’ve learned, and when it comes time to look for a job after graduation, listing international experience on your resume will help you stand out in a sea of intelligent, highly qualified applicants.
According to Deakin University, 90 per cent of employers believe people who have worked abroad are more likely to have the soft skills they need: cross-cultural awareness, independence, team work and interpersonal skills, communication skills, maturity, flexibility and resilience. Indeed, research shows that graduates with overseas experience find employment faster and earn higher salaries.
Find out more
Fitting an overseas placement into your studies
With an increasing focus on global health, the interest in overseas medical electives has burgeoned in recent years and placements are in high demand for a good reason.
Read further to discover a few things you can do now to put yourself in the best position to undertake an international placement.
Developed exclusively for medical and dental students, our FutureFocus grant is designed to alleviate some of the financial pressures of your overseas placement so that you can focus on contributing to the lives of others in a developing community.
Applying is easy – just click here to answer five simple questions.
The information contained in this article (Information) is general in nature and has been provided in good faith, without taking into account your personal circumstances. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information is accurate and opinions fair and reasonable, no warranties in this regard are provided.