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Taking midwifery overseas

24 May 2019

Girl with globe

We asked our midwifery student, Natalie Dibsdale how she got funding to travel to Namibia during this summer to undertake a placement abroad in Namibia.

What made you want to apply?

I wanted to apply because not only because financial support from Iolanthe would make my overseas placement a reality, but also because they are a fantastic organisation to be associated with. They support midwives at any point in their career and really foster innovation, supporting midwives to develop ideas and projects to improve care and support for women and babies, as well as research and leadership projects. It's so refreshing to be given an opportunity like this as a student Midwife too! It feels very inclusive as an organisation.

How did you apply?

I applied online via the Iolanthe website. It was really straightforward but requires a lot of information about your placement plans, so you have to make quite firm plans and links with the overseas placement to provide the information they require. Pre-planning is key!

What are your plans for Namibia?

I am going with three other student midwives from my cohort and we will be observing midwifery practice in Windhoek Central Hospital as part of a partnership between Cardiff University and the University of Namibia. They send nurse/Midwife students to Cardiff and midwifery students have been to Namibia before in a regular cross-cultural exchange, organised through the Cardiff University Phoenix Project with links to the Welsh Government's Wales for Africa programme.

We're going for 4 weeks and I really hope to gain skills and experience from this placement in an area where there are such different challenges in maternity care to inform and complement our care for women and their babies and families back in Cardiff.

What would you advise about others thinking about applying for the scholarship?

Absolutely do it! Do it with plenty of time as you will have to get references from your tutors and a lot of information about your placement plans. Also, make sure you do research about the context of midwifery in your overseas placement area and include some learning objectives for your placement.

If you’re interested in taking a placement abroad you can contact us on to find out more about the opportunities available to you

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