Volunteering in Nepal has given me a whole new perspective.
I was able to carry out a placement as part of my physiotherapy studies in Pokhara, Nepal, thanks to funding from Sir Alex Ferguson’s Mobility Scholarship.
Travelling with www.worktheworld.co.uk , I was based in Manipal Hospital and worked in intensive care and in the outpatients department treating musculoskeletal issues and managing chest health and mobility under the supervision of a qualified physiotherapist. I also had an opportunity to shadow child birth and radiography sessions.
The experience has given me an insight into the difficulties developing countries face in providing healthcare and I now appreciate our fantastic NHS so much more. Our healthcare system is amazing; until you see the limitations of other countries’ systems for yourself, you just have no idea how lucky you are.
I am so grateful to Sir Alex for contributing to my travel fund, enabling me to have this experience, and for taking the time to meet all of the beneficiaries. It would have been very difficult for me to travel otherwise and, although I would have been determined to earn the money, I’m not sure I could have without it impacting on my studies. The scholarship gave me time to achieve highly at university.
More importantly, however, the money (along with a little extra I earned working many hours in Greggs!) has made a huge difference to lots of people’s lives in Nepal. Not just the people I treated and the friends I made but I was also able to use some to buy wheelchairs for orphans who had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. And the funding will also make a huge difference to my future patients as I have new motivation and a fresh perspective to provide better care.
I would advise anyone thinking about studying abroad to 100% do it. It gives you an amazing perspective on life and work. I never had any plans set in stone for my career, and I am still am not sure of the exact path I will take, but I’ll definitely be heading overseas.