How It Works
Applying for one of our placements is simple. Just click Apply Now and fill in our online application form. You don’t have to pay everything up front – at this stage we just need your £290 registration fee, which covers the processing of your application and access to our pre-departure support services. This fee will also secure your place on the programme.
When we receive your application, we will give you a call and talk you through a few details about your booking. You can select any weekend of the year to travel on any of our programmes as they are open all year round. Our programmes do fill up early, especially at busy times of year such as July- September. If we do not have space on the exact dates you want we will offer you alternative destinations and/or dates straight away. If we can’t find a placement you’re happy with at this stage, we will refund your registration fee in full.
Once we’ve confirmed your placement, the registration fee is non-refundable as it is used to hold your space on the programme (which may mean turning away other students). It also gives you immediate access to all of our pre-departure services.
Finally, if you are under 18, we will need your parent or guardian to sign a consent form so we know that they are happy for you to go!
Personal, professional support
Our head office in Newcastle upon Tyne has a small, friendly and dedicated team of staff with detailed knowledge of our destinations, partner hospitals and what students want from a work experience placement. Whether you are travelling next week or next year, wondering whether you can see orthopaedic surgery in Thailand or your Mum is worried who will be meeting you at the airport- we’re here and happy to help you!
Your online trip planner
To make sure that you stay up to date with all the information you need about your placement, you will receive access to your own personalized section of our website. This section is called My Gap Medics.
The My Gap Medics page has its own personalized preparations timeline, which gives you an easy snapshot of everything you need to think about before you go, from vaccinations to travel insurance.
As your placement approaches, more and more information becomes available on My Gap Medics, including details of the house you’ll be living in, your hospital departments and the doctors or other health professionals who will be mentoring you. There is even a gallery showing you the other students you’ll be living with and the Gap Medics staff team at your destination.
Connect with other students
The Gap Medics Facebook page is a great way to see and chat to other students who you’ll be living and working with. Lots of students also use the page to talk to others who are travelling out at the same time to coordinate getting the same flight or meeting up at the airport.
We don’t give out contact details of students on our programmes in order to protect the privacy of our customers, so the Facebook page is a useful way to connect with the people you will be sharing the experience with.
Flights, insurance & visas
We don’t include flights in our package because students join us from all over the world, so prices vary depending on where you are coming from. Prices also fluctuate depending on when you book and the route or airline you choose. We give you full details of where and when you need to arrive at your destination and make sure one of our staff is at the airport to meet you on arrival.
We can also recommend travel agents in the UK and USA who know our programmes and destinations. They can recommend flights that fall within our arrival and departure times. It is also worth checking flight prices online to make sure you are getting the best deal.
You will also need to take out good travel insurance for your trip. We recommend getting a policy that also covers you for working in a hospital (which not all high street travel insurance does). We’ve teamed up with Endsleigh to offer a policy designed specifically for our students on hospital placements, which is available to purchase through your My Gap Medics page.
For some destinations, you will need a visa or permit to undertake a hospital placement. You will get full details about what’s needed and how to apply through My Gap Medics. As always, our UK head office staff are here to help if you have any questions.
Travelling overseas, especially to tropical regions, does carry some health risks and being prepared for your trip is important. As soon as your placement is confirmed, you’ll have free access to InterHealth – a specialist London-based medical charity that provides healthcare and support to many of the major international agencies involved in humanitarian relief and poverty reduction around the world. You will receive comprehensive online advice on vaccinations and medications that are generally recommended for your placement type and destination. As well as this, you can contact InterHealth travel doctors and nurses over the phone for free.
We also strongly recommend that you arrange a personal consultation with you family doctor or travel nurse a couple of months before your trip. This is important as some vaccinations and medications recommended for prevention of diseases such as malaria can be unsuitable for some individuals. There is no substitute for advice from a qualified professional who knows your medical history.
Hospital & house details
About four weeks before you travel, the following information will be available on your My Gap Medics page: details of the hospitals and departments you will be working in, your placement mentors, the house in which you’ll be living and other students who will be there at the same time.
The reason we don’t provide this level of detail earlier is simply that things can change. Doctors and nurses change departments, so if we assigned your mentors months in advance they might have changed by the time you arrive. We also quite often get students booking placements at the last minute, which can mean we make small changes to ensure the programme runs smoothly and everyone gets the best possible experience.
When you arrive
As long as you’ve given us your correct flight details in advance, one of our own staff will be at the airport to meet you when you land and take you to the Gap Medics house. You’ll then have some time to freshen up, meet your housemates and settle in before your welcome briefing.
The welcome briefing is very much an informal chat, during which the Programme Manager will run you through how everything works at the house and on placement, things to do in your free time and staying safe in the local area. It’s a good chance to get to know the Programme Manager who will be the person to go to if you need anything during your stay, and meet the rest of the Gap Medics in-country staff team.
After a good dinner and a night’s sleep, one of our staff will take you into the hospital on a Monday morning to meet your first mentor and then jump straight in to your placement. You’ll have a fairly early finish on the first day so that we can take you out for your local orientation during the afternoon. This is an opportunity to get to know the area, transport systems, Internet cafes, cash machines and just about anything else you want to know!
During your placement
You will be in the hospital from Monday to Friday, and receive a minimum of approximately 23 hours per week shadowing an appropriately qualified mentor (e.g. a doctor, dentist, nurse or midwife). This is based as a guide on 5 hours per day Monday to Thursday, with an early finish on Friday to allow you to make the most of weekend travelling opportunities. However, day-to-day routines in the hospital, availability of mentors, public holidays and other factors may cause your exact timetable to vary.
Evenings and weekends are free time. Students enjoy spending this time chilling out at our sociable Gap Medics houses, making use of the spacious communal areas and gardens. Our staff also arrange activities on at the house for students to get involved in, for example, language lessons or cookery classes. If there are excursions or trips you would like to go on, such as elephant riding, or scuba diving (depending on destination) the staff team would also be more than happy to help you with booking.
You will spend each week in a different department, so every Monday for the duration of your stay you will meet your new hospital mentor. Our staff team will be around at the house at all times to make sure you are enjoying every aspect of your experience.
At the end of your placement, our staff will help to arrange transport to the airport, or if you are planning on travelling after your placement, our staff team would be happy to help you make plans for the next stage of your trip.
My Gap Medics Timeline
Your My Gap Medics timeline contains all the information you need to prepare yourself for your trip, including downloadable preparation documents and a countdown to your flight!
My Hospital details
Read all about where you'll be working, which departments you will be working in and when as well as who your student mentors will be. All available on your My Gap medics page after you confirm your placement with us.
My House, Housemates and Staff
Read all about the fabulous Gap Medics house you'll be staying in, who will be there with you at the same time and read detailed profile information about our key staff members in country too. Your My Gap Medics page means you can get to know everything a little better before you travel!