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COVID-19 and your overseas fellowship

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You’ve planned and secured an overseas fellowship but recently, as we all know, the Coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to all international, and a significant dent in many travel plans. When boarders do eventually re-open, there may still be an element of trepidation felt by travellers that would not have otherwise been.

Many medical professionals choose to further their specialist studies overseas by undertaking a 6-24 month fellowship. Pre-Covid-19, it was common practice to visit the UK, Canada, Europe or the US to work with the best minds in a certain subspecialty.

But, if you cannot go overseas, will you be able to gain the same experience training locally? This is something you will need to discuss with those already in your network, but there are some potential advantages.

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Expand your Australian networks with a local fellowship

There is likely somewhere you can go within Australia to expand your knowledge. If you are in Melbourne, moving to Sydney or another capital city could mean meeting some of Australia’s best specialists and learning from them first hand.

Save money

Completing your fellowship locally instead of overseas will likely save you significantly. It was often the case that your finances were forced to take a step backwards to fund your overseas fellowship.

By staying in Australia, you will save thousands in flights and accommodation costs for you and your family at a minimum. There is also less temptation for the additional holidays that you feel you should take ‘whilst you have the chance’. Afterall, if you are already in Germany for fellowship, you might as well visit France, Italy and Switzerland on a long weekend! These costs certainly add up.

On top of a reduction in associated costs, you will likely be paid an income in Australia instead of going without pay or being paid a very small salary for the duration of an overseas fellowship or observership.

Easier to relocate

This can be very challenging, especially for those uprooting families to move overseas. Putting children through different schools for a short term might be good for their education, but what about their social circles? Similarly, a spouse may struggle to find work or a community to engage with in a foreign country. These worries are certainly mitigated somewhat when you are on Australian soil, even if you are in a different state. The language, currency and ideals are reasonably consistent across our great land.

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See Australia

We all dream of seeing world renowned sights like the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, Niagara Falls and the Empire State Building, but Australia has plenty to offer too! You could use your local fellowship as an excuse to visit Uluru, Rottnest Island or the Big Banana.

At the end of the day, local and overseas fellowships each have their pros and cons. You’ll need to consider the options available to you in your specialty, weigh up the impact each will have on your personal circumstances and what will be most advantageous for you and your ongoing career.

To learn more about fellowships and what should be considered when planning one, click here.

 

Disclaimer: * The information contained in this site is general and is not intended to serve as advice as your personal circumstances have not been considered. DPM Financial Services Group recommends you obtain personal advice concerning specific matters before making a decision.

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