Questions to ask yourself when choosing your Gap Medics destination

July 5, 2016

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

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Gap Medics Midwifery studentsOnce you’ve decided to register for a Gap Medics placement, you’re faced with the extremely difficult choice of deciding which of our locations to join us in. Each destination offers a totally unique experience, so we understand how difficult it is to decide – but there are a few questions to ask yourself that might make your choice a bit easier.

Which placement are you looking to do?

Almost all of our placements are available at all of our destinations; whichever one you choose, you’ll be working with carefully selected mentors in constantly inspiring settings.

However, there are four allied health programmes that are only available at selected locations due to how specialised they are. For details of where you can complete physiotherapy, radiography, lab science and paramedic science shadowing, check out our Quick Guide at the bottom of this page.

What is your budget?

All of our placements are similar prices and will require a serious commitment if you are planning to raise the money yourself. There are slight differences, though – placements in Tanzania and the Dominican Republic tend to be the cheapest, while some countries with higher living costs (such as in Europe) will cost more. You should also consider the cost of flights to and from your home country.

Tip: It is only £400/$700 more to join us for a second week on any placement, so you may want to factor in an extra week and then travel a bit further.

Do you mind traveling?

We have placements available in four continents, so if you aren’t a fan of long-haul flights and stopovers in strange countries, you might want to consider somewhere a bit closer to you. Alternatively, if that’s part of the adventure for you, we’ve had students travel for 30 hours or more and don’t regret a thing (check out our profile with Kate Gunther, who did just that when she came from Sydney to Croatia)

Do you mind sharing a room?

We always try to foster a sense of community both in our Gap Medics’ houses and also when our students are out in the community, so you should be prepared to share your living space with other like-minded people. Your roommates will always be Gap Medics students of the same gender as you, and all of our accommodation is exclusively for students and staff on our programmes.

If you do want that extra bit of privacy, though, our house in Thailand has single rooms – but book fast, because there are only twelve available.

Are you planning to travel after your placement?

Most of our destinations are extremely well-connected, but some offer particularly fantastic opportunities for onward travel. Phitsanulok in Thailand is a great base for exploring Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pai when your placement ends, while our locations in Croatia and Poland make it extremely easy to travel around Europe. If you want a more focused, isolated experience, our East African placements in Iringa or on Mafia Island may be ideal for you.

Are you searching for the sunshine?

Our Dominican Republic and Croatian locations boast beautiful sandy beaches with lots of opportunity for snorkelling, horse riding and good old-fashioned tanning. Our more central locations such as Warsaw offer brilliant city experiences instead.

What type of hospital are you after?

Once you have chosen which type of medical placement you’d like to do, you need to consider what type of hospital you’d like to see. Would you like to observe procedures almost exactly as they would be done at home, or would you like to see how medical professionals work with limited resources? Would you like to see private health facilities or see a pop-up clinic in a developing country? In both instances, you’ll be assigned a dedicated mentor to answer any questions you have about the hospital and any of the cases you see.

Quick Guide

   Tanzania    Thailand    Poland    Croatia    Dominican Republic
   16-17 destination available X X
18+ destination available X X X X X
Offers Physiotherapy X  X X
Offers Radiography X
Offers Paramedic / EMT X X
Offers Lab Science X X
Single rooms X
Swimming pool* X X X
Near to a beach X X
Good for extra travel X X X
Modern hospital X X
Traditional hospital X X  X
*Phitsanulok, Morogoro and La Romana only


Thankfully if you are having trouble deciding then you needn’t suffer in silence. Give one of our student advisors a call and they will clear up any last questions you have.

Once you’ve made your choice, the pre-departures team will make sure you have everything prepared, from VISAs to scrubs. Wherever you join us, we know you’re going to have the adventure of a lifetime.

See you when you land!



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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.