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There are many things to consider when you start planning your elective. Funding is one of the biggest as it can be a make-or-break part of choosing where you go and what you do. Your elective is a chance to experience a new culture, different medical systems, and to make memories trying something completely new. Depending on what you want to do, your elective is going to cost a fair amount of money. The exact cost varies from placement to placement, so you will need to make a budget for yourself. But don’t worry, here are some tips and advice from our team to help you make the most of your money and your elective.
Whilst you may not know exactly where you are going from the beginning, you will know in advance that your elective is happening. Start planning how you can save some money from the get-go, this way you will not have to panic later when your elective is looming. This is the easiest way to avoid monetary stress as much of the work will be done before you have to start applying. Don’t forget, you may need to pay placement fees and other costs quickly once you have chosen an institution. By starting early, you will not have to scramble to find the money for those sudden payments and breeze through the application process stress free.
As soon as you know where you’re going, start planning what you need to book. You may need to travel within your home country to apply for visas, so fit that into your expenditure. We all know the cost benefits of booking travel early as prices will rise for things like plane tickets the closer you get to the travel day.
Shop around for flights, you’d be surprised how much cheaper you can get travel tickets from secondary sites if you look in advance. Flight scanner websites are constantly trawling for the best prices and fastest routes so make sure to do your research. For example, it may be cheaper to fly to a major airport and then use public transport to get to your placement area.
Of course, remember to read all the fine print before you book to make sure there are no hidden fees or areas that could lead to extra costs later.
Whilst it may not completely fund your elective, look for areas where you can save week on week in your daily life. Try cutting back in a few areas and putting that money into your savings to help top up the amount you have for your elective. Whilst the occasional takeaway and night out will not pay for your elective, it will put you in the right mind frame for saving and thinking in the long run about how to fund your elective.
A major contributor to your elective could be from external sources. Our database has a huge number of opportunities available where you can find bursaries and competitions that offer money for your elective. Many are specific to home country, placement location, or specialty, so you will need to research in advance to find the ones you are eligible for. Many also have deadlines that may be well in advance of your elective, so make sure you know the timings and apply in a timely manner to avoid missing out.
Ultimately, funding your elective does not need to be a stressful time and, by following our advice, you can make the process much more enjoyable. Don’t forget, you can always contact us if you are having any trouble or just have general queries about the process. We are here to help make you elective a memorable event and something you remember for the rest of your career in medicine.