What to take on your elective

veena aggarwal

It's a common mistake to take too many clothes and unnecessary items. However, these items have been recommended by other students.

Basic items

  • Mobile phone and charger.
  • Plug adaptor for your destination country.
  • Passport photos.
  • Money belt.
  • International driving licence (available from AA or RAC).
  • Photocopy of your passport.

In hospital

  • Stethoscope.
  • Latex gloves.
  • Mirror, probe.
  • Oxford handbooks.


  • Medical kit.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Contraception.

Carrying medical supplies

Some organisations may ask students to carry extra medical supplies and equipment. Be aware of any restrictions in the places you're travelling to. The general advice is to obtain a letter from your host hospital requesting medical supplies and a letter from your university confirming you are a student and carrying supplies for your elective placement, making it clear you're carrying a donation.

You should always pack your own bags and check the contents of packages you're asked to carry through customs.

Do they still expect you?

It may be some time since you were in touch with your host organisation, especially if you organised your elective well in advance. Reconfirm everything with the hospital about a month before departure to check your arrangements are still in place.

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This page was correct at publication on . Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.


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