Frequently Asked Questions


What's included in the package?
We understand that organizing an international elective placement takes time and this is the one thing that healthcare students or professionals don’t usually have in any great supply. We appreciate that arranging accommodation can be a massive hassle and that factoring in the costs of this, your meals, and a continual supply of safe drinking water means you can quickly find yourself going over budget, which just adds to the stress. And we know what it is like to arrive in a foreign destination, without any clue what to do, where to go, or how to go about even asking for answers to these questions!

This is why all EmergencySA placements include the following:

  • A well organized structured placement of which you will have all the details prior to your departure.
  • All accommodation, breakfast and dinner, drinking water and necessary transportation.
  • Flights to and from Perth; Western Australia including domestic flights in South Africa.

Once you have finalized your application, the staff in our head office will be in touch with you to determine exactly what it is that you are hoping to get from your elective experience – what area of specialty you are interested in, what kind of hospital or clinic you would like to work in, etc. We then liaise with the staff in our destination countries who – thanks to the strong links they have forged with local institutions - will be able to arrange a placement which matches your requests.

They will provide you with a designated clinical supervisor, who will act as your main point of contact with the hospital or clinic, both before and during your placement. As part of their role, this supervisor will provide you with an elective experience suitable to your skills, experience and the confidence they have in your abilities.

For each placement we will be paying a fee or make a set donation, a large chunk of your package cost. It is important to us that the people working with our students benefit from the placement fees that we pay each hospital, and not just upper management, so we make regular donations of money and equipment to individual wards and departments as well.

What's not included but essential to have?
There are a number of additional costs and requirements that you may have to factor in when planning your trip, including:

  • Insurance

It is a requirement of all our medical elective students or professionals that they have travel insurance in place before they travel, for the duration of their time away with us. Because it is such an important part of our service, we did originally consider factoring insurance cover into the cost of our programs, when we first set. However, we decided in the end that there was such variety on offer in terms of type of policy and price range that we could not possibly do this and keep everybody happy!

If you have insurance already in place, please check that it will cover you for the destination you are going to, the duration of your trip, and any activities you are intending to do.

  • Professional Indemnity

Indemnity protection for your particular field of healthcare is essential for working in a hospital or other clinical setting. Its main purpose is to provide legal protection and assistance, especially in cases of alleged negligence or malpractice.

Many healthcare students and professionals around the world are able to obtain free professional indemnity, either through their university as a student member of the relevant national professional body or their employer.

  • Personal health

Travel to most countries will involve some sort of health cost, particularly if you have not ventured far from home before. Vaccinations and various types of prescription & over-the-counter medication may all be recommended in your chosen destination, and it is a good idea to start thinking about this a good few months before you leave, as some vaccination programs are spread out over a few weeks and may have costs involved, depending on your country of origin.

  • Travel kit

It is possible to find out from our staff what is available at your destination before you leave if there is something you think you will need, and various items can often be bought out there, but as a general rule we ask that you bring all clothing and equipment that you are going to require with you. A checklist will be sent to you on acceptance of your application which will help in this regard.

Should you require, we have a service provider that will provide you with anything you might require.

Everybody who signs up for our internship courses, stays in one of our selected holiday accommodation sites across Cape Town. These holiday facilities are sought after accommodation units with all the luxuries which you share with the other healthcare students on the course. We are justifiably proud of all our premises, which are 4 or 5 star rated holiday units*! Each one is maintained by a housekeeper who keeps it clean and tidy at all times. We also ensure that the house is always well-stocked with food and drinking water, as well as providing all students with breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the working weeks.

*As rated by the TGCSA

Food is catered for at all times and supplied through a popular restaurant chain where students are taken after a day’s work to enjoy great South African cuisine. We make use of a delivery service which delivers any type of food from a whole range of restaurants at any time of the day or night.

What about safety & security during my stay?
Our international and local team work incredibly hard to ensure that all aspects of your time away with us run as smoothly as possible. In the run-up to your trip we put a great deal of effort into planning the placement, informing you of everything you need to know and answering any questions that you may have.

Once you actually arrive at your destination, you will be met by a representative of EmergencySA which will take you to your accommodation and ensure you settle in along with the other students. When you have recovered from the journey you will be given a full orientation of the local area, including how to use public transport, where to withdraw cash or change traveler's checks, the location of the best internet cafes, and anything else that you need, or may wish, to know!

The following day after you arrive, you will attend an induction course which will include local culture, local protocols, safety briefing and an introduction to the vehicle you will be using. You will also be introduced to your supervisor and your colleagues, and taken through all the important documentation and information that is required. After this you are free to start your placement in earnest. Your initial placement consists of 4 days on our frontline response vehicles accompanied by another one of your student colleagues, one of our staff paramedics and a doctor or security official.  After completion of the front line response vehicle placement, you will attend your selected hospital placement. All transport and guidance will be offered by us.

We aim to give you all the information and guidance that you require in order to feel safe and secure when you are going about your daily life at the hospital or clinic in which you work, and likewise while you are out in the local area. Then, whilst you are in the accommodation unit, we want you to see it very much as a safe haven, which is why we take steps to ensure we maintain high health & safety standards, and we do not hesitate to employ additional security measures where we deem them appropriate.

What support will be available for me during my stay?
Before you leave the country, you will be in contact with our head office staff, who are responsible for preparing you for your trip - telling you everything that you need to know. They will be able to answer any questions that you have, or else be able to find out the answers and get back to you with them promptly! They are qualified healthcare workers with international experience and they are expert organizers who have lived in, worked in or travelled across our destination city, and know it inside out!

Once you’ve arrived at your destination you will be met by one of our dedicated overseas staff. From the moment that you arrive in the airport, they will be there to meet you and take you over to the accommodation facility. They will provide you with an orientation of the local area and take you to your induction on the first day and generally help you with anything that you need to know. There will always be at least one staff member around you throughout the day and they are contactable by phone 24/7, if you have any problems.

Will I have any free-time to enjoy some of the local experiences?
We understand that choosing an international healthcare experience such as ours is not simply about working in a different medical setting; there is a whole new world out there and you are going to want to explore! Fortunately most of your companions are often like-minded people so you shouldn't have any trouble finding traveling companions, if you want some, whether that be on sundowner trips or a sightseeing trip to the city centre. And the fact that you have this ready-made community of students on the course means that you really don't need to worry if you are flying out to your destination alone; you will soon have a group of friendly faces around you!

If you are interested in doing a bit of tourism or experiencing the beautiful country of South Africa, you are in luck. We have set a day aside after your placement for a day of debriefing and sightseeing. We offer many opportunities you can select from such as shark cage diving, local wineries and Table Mountain hiking trips.