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Top elective planning tips

Post date: 09/02/2023 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 22/02/2023

    Here's our list of top things to consider before and during your elective trip.


    When planning your elective, it’s essential to stay organised and have the right measures in place to help make your experience as stress free as possible. 

    You should begin planning an elective well in advance, not least because your final year will be stressful enough. When contacting places for spaces, you should also consider the working conditions and amenities of the places to which you apply; a remote hospital may have fewer admin staff, and might not get back in touch for some weeks. The earlier you apply, the more time you give yourself for the application process and to help you foresee when delays may occur.

    It is also a good idea to explore alternative options in case your first-choice location isn’t available. Remember to compare the costs involved in travelling to your first and second choice destinations, and bear in mind what you might need to do in order to secure appropriate funding, visas and vaccinations.


    Here's our list of top things to consider before and during your elective trip.

    1. Make sure you take out elective indemnity: most host institutions will ask for proof of this. Remember, it is free, but you do need to contact us so that we have all the relevant details on record. If you haven’t already, sign up with us here. If you are already a member, apply for elective protection here.

    2. Tell your bank you are going away, including the dates and times.

    3. Consider many different kinds of accommodation. It could take the form of  staying with a local family; a room at the university or hospital where the elective is taking place; a B&B, a hotel or a hostel, or an AirBNB. 

    4. Take a mobile phone that will work in the destination. Check with your provider that you won't be charged extortionate rates. And don’t forget to make sure you turn data roaming off.

    5. Avoid taxis that don't have a license and agree a fare to your destination before getting in the cab. If your taxi driver won't agree a fare, we suggest getting another taxi.

    6. Use your GP, occupational health department and, where necessary, other practitioners to help advise on the health aspects.

    7. If you have a medical condition, chat to your specialist about it (you may require documentation about different medicines, in particular if you use insulin).

    8. Be organised! Keep a record of all your documents and tell family and relatives of your planned itinerary. Make digital copies of your passport, health insurance, visa and other travel documents.

    9. Be realistic and have a budget, one that plans in some leeway for unexpected financial costs. When in the early stages of elective planning, making an overview of your budget is always helpful, as it gives you a solid base from which to work on building a more detailed plan down the line. 

    10. Consider travelling in a group and remember, don't do anything on your elective that you wouldn't do in the UK.

    11. Make sure you plan in some free time to explore your destination. Even though you will be there to learn, develop your skills and offer your time and services, there will also be some downtime for you to recharge and enjoy some recreation. During your planning time, indulge in a bit of research and get to know your new locale before you arrive. 

    12. And finally, don’t forget to use our electives checklist when figuring out what you need to pack! 



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