Our destinations abroad are more than simply a backdrop. From the Caribbean all the way to Asia, our programme locations are carefully selected and will offer you a truly enjoyable and unique hospital work experience placement. So if chilling with elephants, taking selfies with lions or relaxing on sublime beaches sounds inviting, we have a destination perfect for you.
Botswana, Southern Africa
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Our much-anticipated new Africa programme for under 18s is here - and it's right on the doorstep of some of the most exciting safari country on Earth! The Okavango Delta is a watery paradise, surrounded by the Kalahari Desert, and home to an abundance of elephant, lion, zebra, giraffe and hippo to name but a few. Best of all, the Delta can be explored in traditional dug-out canoes called mokoros, relying on the expert knowledge and years of experience of local guides to get up close to the wildlife in its truly natural environment, unspoilt by mass tourism.
The Gap Medics programme itself is in the friendly little town of Maun (pronounced "Ma-oon"), literally on the edge of the Okavango with super-easy access to weekend safari adventures. Most of our placements are in the main government hospital, a short drive from the Gap Medics house. Getting here is easy too, as Maun has its own airport to serve the safari industry, with regular international connections via Johannesburg.
Botswana is an ideal destination for first-time visitors to Africa, being safe and hassle-free, with an authentically African feel. English is widely spoken, including by all of our hospital mentors.
Rwanda, East Africa
Rwanda today is a shining light among East African countries - a fantastically safe, welcoming little nation with a thriving tourist industry centred on the wild mountain gorillas that inhabit the forested slopes of its spectacular volcanoes. It's a far cry from the terrible genocide back in 1994 that many people think of, and this is an exciting time to be part of the evolution of Rwanda's healthcare system. Through distributing mosquito nets to the whole population, the country has massively reduced the prevalence of malaria, and the passionate determination of doctors, nurses and other health professionals here is inspirational.
Arriving in Kigali, there's no mistaking that you've landed in Africa, with bustling streets and women in colourful local dress carrying mind-boggling loads on their heads! And it's a pleasant city. The streets are clean, and safe to walk on well into the evening. There's a cosmopolitan feel too, with open-air coffee shops, great restaurants and live music playing in many of the bars.
At the weekend, the trek to visit wild gorillas in their natural forest home is undoubtedly a highlight. Great - and much cheaper! - alternatives are Lake Kivu, with its natural hot springs, canoe adventures and laid back waterfront accommodation, or the many national parks that protect Rwanda's huge array of other wildlife.
Poland, Central Europe
Steeped in history and bursting with cosmopolitan vibes, Warsaw sure packs a punch! As one of Europe's most dynamic capital cities, this modern gem is conveniently located in the middle of Poland making it a convenient and easy two-hour flight from London. It's also an ideal springboard location for any cheeky interrail adventures you may be thinking of doing before or after your placement.
As a city, Warsaw is incredibly safe to travel around with many attractions—like the hospital—only a short walk or tram ride away. During your time with us, there are also plenty of activities to keep you busy. You'll get the opportunity to visit museums, ice skate, enjoy the local cuisine in the city's vibrant cafes and restaurants, hike, horse ride, and even try your hand at indoor skiing! If you're into music, the city also has a thriving music scene with a number of festivals happening throughout the year.
Croatia, Central Europe
If it's warm nights, sun-drenched beaches, and fresh seafood you're after, Croatia is the place for you! You'll spend your days in Pula - a picturesque seaside city ideally located at the tip of the Istria peninsula.
Your time in Pula will be packed with fun, sun and adventure. When you're not at the hospital, Italy's floating wonderland—Venice—is only a short trip away. If you’re more of a sailing the seven seas kind of person, why not hop on a boat and explore the big wide blue of the Adriatic? If you're looking to get up to something more local, you can explore the city's ancient Roman amphitheatre.
Another great thing about Pula is that it's easy to reach from the UK. At a short two and a half hours away from London, Pula is the perfect location for a cheeky one-week placement abroad. Pula is also host to two major music festivals, Dimensions and Outlook, so pack your dancing shoes.
Dominican Republic, Caribbean
With stunning beaches and lush plant life in abundance, it's difficult to imagine a more beautiful location than La Romana. This exciting, eclectic coastal city is a hive of activity day and night - from horse riding on the sand and snorkelling through coral reefs, to enjoying art and architecture in Altos de Chavón, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to filling your downtime.
La Romana has a friendly, happy vibe. The streets are lined with market stalls and local cafes, and lively Dominican music can be heard playing almost everywhere. In the evenings, head to the beach for a "mocktail" in the moonlight, or explore the many eateries in the city centre.
Take the road less travelled at our over-18s programme in the Dominican Republic. You could not ask for better scenery to be surrounded by as you shadow professionals in our partner hospitals, with temperatures across the Caribbean regularly averaging over 30 degrees Celsius and the allure of sun, sea and sand waiting for you at the end of every day. If you’re a nature lover, prepare to be amazed by everything from colourful coral reefs to whimsical whales.
Because the Caribbean is home to many small and isolated communities, you have the chance to make a real difference. Our community healthcare placements could see you out and about, helping your mentors deliver basic but much-needed healthcare to those who need it, as well as shadowing in our partner hospitals.
With convenient connections to Cuba, Jamaica and The Bahamas; the Dominican Republic is an excellent choice for those planning to extend their travels in the Caribbean.
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