One of the most exciting elements of training and working in the medical or dental profession is the opportunity to take on an overseas placement as part of your study. But what will it cost you?
Doing what you love while you’re travelling overseas beats any Contiki Tour. You’ll get to see the world, meet amazing new people and discover incredible learning opportunities while making a difference to local communities. Your trip will put you outside of your comfort zone, but you will always work under the supervision of an experienced local doctor.
While the idea of an overseas placement is thrilling for many students, such an adventure is not without its costs. Read further to understand some of the expenses you may run into.
Overseas student placement agency registration fees
The opportunity to work in Africa, Asia, Latin America or beyond will rapidly expand your knowledge and your hands-on experience.
One of the easiest ways to find a placement is to register with an agency. The cost of getting started for a medical, midwifery, pharmaceutical or other health industry student kicks off at around $500, according to Australian healthcare placement agency Work the World.
This expense will help the organisation which is organising your placement to file paperwork, liaise with the relevant parties and make all the necessary arrangements before you leave.
Accommodation, meals and insurance
When undertaking a medical elective overseas, your priority is building your hands-on experience and, of course, providing quality care to the people you are helping.
To make your placement a positive experience, many agencies now offer full packages which include accommodation and meals. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense, particularly if you plan to travel to a developing country where access to quality food and lodgings may not be readily available.
The overall cost of an overseas medical placement can be anywhere from $2 700 for a two-week trip to over $4 000 for an extended stay.
Your placement company may provide travel insurance, but double check when you’re getting set up if this is included in the cost or not.
Flights and Visas
Another big expense is the cost of travelling to your placement.
Keep an eye out for student flights, or set up a Google Alert for a cut-price fare to the destination you’re headed to. There are some great deals available, particularly if you can be flexible with the times and dates you travel.
Before you leave, check out the local visa requirements. You may have to allocate some funds to ensure you have permission to enter the country.
Equipment and travel supplies
Stock up on appropriate supplies and clothing before you head to your destination. Things like comfortable shoes and good luggage are worth investing in.
Travel expenses and spending money
It is unlikely your daily transport costs will be included as part of your overseas placement package so allow budget if you expect to be catching buses or taxis. The cost of transport will vary depending on where you are.
Then there are all the adventures you’ll be getting up to on your days off. Local tours, car hire or any recreational activities aren’t covered when you pay for your placement. Do some research before you leave about what your planned activities will cost… and make sure you have some cash ready for souvenirs!
Overseas placement companies recommend a budget of at least $200 per week to put towards sightseeing and other activities on your days off.
Find out more
Career benefits of an overseas placement
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, read about the reasons why an overseas placement is great for your career.
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.