Even in the 21st century, healthcare comes at a premium in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, the people who are often without access to healthcare are those who are voiceless to change the state of their lives: children, the elderly and the underprivileged. Your mission work as a healthcare volunteer has the possibility of accomplishing an incredible amount of good. Whether you are interested in a medical, dental, nursing or veterinary overseas mission trip, here are plenty of opportunities to let you help improve the health and well-being of under-served communities abroad.
What to Expect on a Medical Mission Trip
Medical mission trips can vary greatly depending on the location, project and special needs of the community you are serving. You could be volunteering in a pediatric hospital in Cambodia, shadowing doctors and helping with medical care at a hospital in Ghana, or working as part of a clinic that serves poor families in Tanzania. You could also be working in a temporary field hospital while providing medical care to communities that do not often have the opportunity to receive regular care for anything but the most grievous injuries. No matter what you do, you are sure to find it worthwhile and life-changing, both for you and the people you serve.
Bring your healthcare experience in the areas of medicine, dentistry, and pharmacology overseas with Projects Abroad and volunteer in developing countries, including Ghana, Vietnam, or Sri Lanka.
As you begin planning, it’s important to realize that medical mission trips and medical internships abroad can be highly individualized. Whether you’re going on a trip alone or with a group, most volunteer abroad placement organizations are more than willing to arrange your trip so that your work aligns perfectly with your skill level, training, and licensure. Depending on your background and licensure, the amount of hands-on work and responsibility that you take on will vary – but sustainable and impactful volunteer organizations will take that into consideration while also giving you the chance to learn alongside local professionals, build your skills, and gain a global perspective of your work. There have been questions raised around some medical volunteering programs as to whether they do more harm than good. Although many medical mission trips do not require prior experience, it is vital to make sure the work you are assigned is not above your comfort or qualification level.
Here are our top picks for organizations that help connect you with medical mission trips around the world. We chose these organizations for a variety of reasons, but two of the most important to us are that they demonstrate strong medical ethics and put the needs of the community served at the forefront.
International Volunteer HQ
Where They Work: Argentina, Bali, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Nepal, Peru, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam.
Length: Minimum of one week
Who Can Join: Medical students and professionals
Housing: Housing varies from country to country, but, generally, you will be staying with either a host family or in volunteer housing.
About the Program: These programs work well as medical mission trips for nurses, doctors, or dentists, and are designed for medical students or professionals who want to gain some additional awareness about the state of world health and help out in low-income areas with poor health systems. Depending on your area of expertise, you will be placed in programs alongside local medical professionals. The types of programs offered include physiotherapy, pharmacy, dentistry, paramedics, clinical laboratory science, emergency medicine (EMTs), speech therapy, optometry, nutrition, public health, orthopedics, radiology, HIV/AIDS support, midwifery, and pediatrics. You could be working in hospitals, clinics, assisted-living homes or public health projects.
What Volunteers Have to Say About International Volunteer Headquarters: “As nursing students, we learned so much with the projects! It’s unbelievable that as a group we helped over 1,000 Peruvians. The project was more than I could have ever imagined! I came back a more confident nursing student because of the IVHQ program. Thank you! Our host family was outstanding. Very accommodating. Meals were great and the housing that we stayed in was more than what was expected. I couldn’t say more amazing things about this program. So thankful that there are programs like this. It was an eye-opening experience and I am so thankful for it.” -Rebecca Sackman
Plan My Gap Year
Where They Work: Bali, Ghana, India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania
Length: From 2-24 weeks
Who Can Join: Anyone who is 17+. No medical experience is required, but the programs can also be done for credit toward a medical program if desired. These programs are geared more to people in the 17-22 age range.
Housing: Volunteers will be housed in volunteer housing located near the project that they are working with.
About the Program: PMGY has a variety of healthcare programs available, including nursing, physical therapy, midwifery, dentistry, pediatrics, surgery, and nursing mission trips. Your level of involvement in any of these programs will depend on your experience and training. While most volunteers operate in a primarily observational capacity, there may be opportunities to get involved. This is dependent on the medical professionals who are overseeing you. There are also supplementary courses you can take to learn more about the culture and values of the country in which you are placed. You will be working entirely with local teams.
Tanzania Medical Volunteers
Gain firsthand experience and insight into the local healthcare system by volunteering with Plan My Gap Year at a government hospital in Tanzania. Based in Arusha, you’ll have the chance to learn from and assist physicians and support staff. Open to volunteers with all medical backgrounds, you’ll be able to choose from the following areas: Dental, Diabetes Clinic, General Medical Consultation, Laboratory, HIV Awareness and Testing, Midwifery and Labour Ward, Newborn Care and Immunizations, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Optical, Pediatrics, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Prenatal Care and Antenatal Care, and Radiology Surgery. Starting from $540 for two weeks, you are invited to stay up to six months on this program.
Volunteer for A Bali Medical Program
Travel to Bali with Plan My Gap Year on this medical volunteering program, where you will work at Rumah Sakit Umum Tabanan, a government-operated hospital that treats 500 new patients each day. Working alongside local physicians and medical staff, you will have the chance to learn about General Surgery, Intensive Care, Emergency, Maternity and Midwifery, Neonatal, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Antenatal, Prenatal, Ultrasound, General Medicine, Outpatient, and Public Health. As a volunteer, you will participate in a seminar that explains the importance of traditional Balinese religion and traditions, and how medical professionals incorporate these beliefs in their medical treatment. Program fees start at $435 for two weeks, and volunteers may stay up to 16 weeks.
Sri Lanka Medical Experience
Are you pursuing a career in medicine, and looking for a way to learn more on a meaningful program abroad? Spend time in Sri Lanka alongside local physicians and staff in the areas of Physiotherapy, Dental Surgery, Radiology (x-ray machine and computerized radiology), Laboratory, and Phlebotomy at a hospital. The level of hands-on experience you will be able to have will depend on your background and the needs of the local staff – while you will be able to take an observational role, you may be able to assist with basic tasks such as taking blood pressure and blood sugar readings under supervision from staff. This two-week program in Sri Lanka starts at $420 and allows you to gain invaluable hospital work experience while exploring an amazing country.
India Medical Volunteers
Volunteer with Plan My Gap Year in India as a medical volunteer, and support healthcare to local people from slum and rural areas of New Delhi. On this program, you will work alongside other volunteers in the free medical camps, in local clinics, and in local hospitals. Open to those with an interest in healthcare, as well as medical students and professionals, this program provides experience in the following areas: Accident and Emergency, Anesthetics, Dentistry, General Surgery, Maternity and Midwifery, Nursing, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Occupational Therapy, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, Pathology, Physiotherapy, and Ultrasound. You’ll perform basic hands-on tasks, such as taking a patient’s measurements, checking vital signs and treating minor wounds under the supervision of the local doctors. Volunteers can choose to shadow physicians at the Royal Hospital, Ghal Hospital, and an eye hospital, gaining experience in multiple departments. Fees for this two-week program start at $330.
Plan My Gap Year offers several program opportunities for volunteers with an interest in healthcare, including one in Ghana at the Manhyia government hospital in Kumasi. These work well as nursing mission trips, dental mission trips, or other medical missions. Depending upon your level of experience, you can participate as an observer, or take on a more hands-on role. Your project can be tailored to your interests, including specific opportunities in dentistry, medical, midwifery, and nursing for medical students seeking an overseas elective. During your time in Ghana, you will learn how an underpaid and understaffed hospital adjusts to the challenges of healthcare in a developing nation, and learn about tropical diseases such as Malaria, Leishmaniasis, and Dengue. Program duration starts at two weeks for $465, and you may be able to combine your medical volunteer program with a teaching project if you wish.
What Volunteers Have to Say About Plan My Gap Year: “Although I was only able to do 2 weeks with PMGY Ghana I have loved every minute and wish I could have done many more weeks! The staff are so welcoming and supportive and I would like to thank Christy, Cindy, and Dennis and also a big thank you to Seth and Florence for being so helpful and being there any time. I have met the most amazing friends along the way which I hope to keep for life!” – Yazmin Harnick
Founded in 2003, Maximo Nivel offers volunteer, intern, study, and teach abroad opportunities. To date, 25,000 volunteers, interns, and teachers have signed up with Maximo Nivel, which partners with local organizations in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru to provide high-quality, engaging placements where you can learn, explore, and make a positive impact. Internships with Maximo Nivel are affordable, starting from $1525 for a four-week practicum, or $2245 for an eight-week internship in Latin America – costs cover placement, housing, meals, and Spanish lessons. Maximo Nivel’s internships are also flexible, ranging from four weeks to as long as you would like to stay abroad, and you may be eligible to earn university credit through your work.
Medical Internship in Latin America
Through Maximo Nivel’s medical internship, you will have the opportunity to learn about medical practices in developing countries while also providing assistance to a local medical professional. Your placement may be at a hospital, clinic, assisted living facility, or private practice, where you will learn about diagnosis, intervention, and evaluation. The exact work you’ll do from day to day will depend on your education, experience, and Spanish language skills. If you don’t speak intermediate Spanish before signing up, or would like to learn more of the language during your stay, you can sign up for Maximo Nivel’s online Spanish classes or Native Spanish Program in-country to build your skills. Learn more here!
Medical and Healthcare Volunteer Programs in Latin America
Maximo Nivel also offers medical and healthcare volunteer programs in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru, where you can make a difference for a hospital, clinic, or healthcare facility that’s understaffed and underfunded. These are great opportunities for medical mission trips for nurses, dentists, and doctors.
Healthcare Programs are open to first- and second-year medical students, pre-med students, those in nursing school, and those studying health sciences. Volunteer programs take place in specialized living facilities, where you can work with people who are physically or mentally disabled, elderly or those infected with HIV. You can help with all aspects of caring for patients, distributing medications, providing meals, and much more.
Medical Programs are open to licensed medical professionals and to third- and fourth-year medical students. Through these programs, you will be able to work in a hospital, clinic, assisted living facility, or another healthcare facility alongside local doctors, nurses, and other professionals. While the types of work you’ll take on are dependent on your skills and Spanish language ability, you may expect to shadow a doctor or nurse, help with check-ups, run medical campaigns, organize patient records, and much more. Learn more about Maximo Nivel’s healthcare and medical care volunteer programs here!
Where They Work: Argentina, Cambodia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
Length: It varies depending on the program. Generally, there is a minimum of a one-week stay.
Who Can Join: It varies depending on the program and location you choose. Some are open to anyone no matter the level of experience and some require medical training. Must be 18 or older.
Housing: Volunteers will be housed in volunteer housing.
About the Program: The nature of the programs varies depending on which country you decide to work in, as they are all highly catered to the needs of each specific location. In general, you can expect to be placed in local clinics and hospitals and to be working alongside doctors and nurses. Your level of involvement will depend on your level of experience. For further information about which program would be best for you, see the health and medical intern website.
What Volunteers Have to Say About Love Volunteers: “I volunteered with Love Volunteers in Cambodia with and their local partner on the medical program, and though I was only there for 2 weeks, that short time had such an incredible impact on me. At the hospital, I was able to be placed in the Maternity Ward and was able to help wash the babies every morning, help give injections and observe surgeries and surgical procedures. The people of Cambodia are probably the nicest, most welcoming people I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. The NGO is incredibly helpful and accommodating and helped me plan weekend trips and sightseeing. They also made sure to accommodate my vegetarian diet, which was not easy in Cambodia, but they still did it. I met volunteers from all of the world and it was overall an incredible experience!” – Abigail
Get a head-start with your dentistry or nursing career through a global internship with Projects Abroad. It’s a great opportunity to develop your skills, gain real-world experience, and build your resume for college and job applications. You’ll work alongside skilled professionals at medical institutions in a developing country. Observe and ask questions about diagnosis and methods of treatment – this will give you a deeper insight into global healthcare challenges that people struggle with.
Gain the practical experience you need for your resume to stand out. On an international medical internship with Projects Abroad, you’ll work alongside skilled professionals in hospitals, health clinics, and other medical facilities. This is a great way to observe medical procedures firsthand and get an insight into the healthcare system of another country. Projects Abroad’s medical internships take place in Africa, South America, Asia, and Europe.
If you’d like to be more focused on outreach work, consider a Public Health internship.
Shadow local nurses during their daily work in a developing country, which will open your eyes to healthcare issues faced in different parts of the world. You can find yourself following nurses during their ward rounds in a large hospital or working at a smaller clinic or healthcare center. Popular internships include assisting at healthcare facilities in Peru and working at a hospital or clinic in Kenya.
International Dentistry Internships
Shadow skilled dentists and help provide important dental care to those in underprivileged communities. You’ll build your knowledge of practicing dentistry and get a deeper insight into the challenges people experience with dental care.
- Travel to Africa to shadow local dentists at a teaching hospital in Ghana
- Work alongside professionals at a dental clinic in Jamaica
- Develop your dentistry skills in Mexico
Types of Programs Offered: Medical, HIV counseling, sports and music coaching, teaching
Where They Work: Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana
Length: From one week up to one year, depending on the program
Who Can Join: All volunteers are welcome, especially those interested in medicine or community health development. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult, or be part of a school or community group.
Housing: Accommodations are in Agape-sponsored guest houses and cottages, which often include dorm-style, same-gender rooms, communal areas, kitchens, showers, sometimes wifi, and most meals.
About the Program: Agape Volunteers (AV) supports humanitarian efforts and environmental conservation initiatives in Africa. Founded in 2011, AV is a registered charity that specializes in volunteering, tourism, and development work. All AV volunteers are covered by the Agape Travel Policy, provided at no extra cost, and there is no registration fee. Accommodations, airport transfers, food, and orientation are included in the program fee.
Travel Opportunities: Trips are often included with volunteer programs. Ghana programs include rainforest tours, visits to monkey sanctuaries, and various city excursions. Tanzania tours are based around the Serengeti. While in Kenya, volunteers enjoy a tour of Nairobi and the opportunity to get up close and personal with giraffes and elephants at an animal orphanage.
What Volunteers Have to Say About Agape Volunteers: “All of my expectations for a memorable summer were met and more. The Agape staff were very helpful and able to answer any questions that I had regarding my placement or cultural differences. I would highly recommend volunteering in Kenya through Agape for a memorable, rewarding experience which you’ll never forget!” – Ben
Medical Volunteering in Ghana
Give your medical career a huge boost when you serve at a hospital in Ghana with Agape Volunteers. If you have completed at least one year of pre-med school, or if you have experience as a nurse or doctor, you can refine your skills and gain hands-on experience from medical professionals in the field. This makes it a great opportunity for medical mission trips for nurses and doctors. Depending upon your level of experience, you may be able to prescribe and distribute medicines, dress wounds, and even assist with maternal care. Fees start at £510 for one week.
Medical Volunteering in Tanzania
This medical volunteering program in Tanzania offered by Agape Volunteers will increase your skills in healthcare, while allowing you to contribute to a worthwhile project. You’ll shadow a medical professional, and learn about common ailments and diseases in the area. If you’re an experienced healthcare professional and are interested in performing basic medical procedures, you’ll have a chance to dress wounds, work in maternal care, and distribute medicines. You’ll also participate in medical outreach projects. Fees start at £695 for one week.
Medical Volunteering in Kenya
If you’re a pre-med student or a qualified healthcare professional, check out this opportunity in Kenya with Agape Volunteers and work in a clinic or hospital to help improve the overall health of the community and to save lives. This is a chance to develop your medical training where it’s needed the most. Depending upon your experience, you’ll perform basic procedures under supervision, including distributing medicines, dressing wounds, and assisting with maternal care. Fees start at £590 for one week.
Global Vision International (GVI)
Types of Programs Offered: General health care, veterinary health care
Where They Work: Fiji, Thailand, Nepal, India, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, Greece, Laos, Costa Rica, Seychelles
Length: From one week up to one year, depending on the program
Who Can Join: All volunteers are welcome, especially those interested in medicine or community health development. Volunteers under 18 are urged to apply for special projects designed for 15-17-year-olds.
Housing: Almost all GVI volunteers stay with host families in local homestays, although GVI is willing to work with volunteers who would like to arrange a different type of housing. GVI can also coordinate housing for groups volunteering together, such as on a medical mission trip.
About the Program: GVI coordinates over 150 volunteers projects around the world and has many different healthcare-based projects. GVI seeks to link local missions with international volunteers, so volunteers are usually placed within established local projects, NGOs or licensed clinics. GVI can connect volunteers to many specialized projects such as preventative medicine, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, and working with the mentally disabled. Although each project is unique, GVI’s medical opportunities are tailored to serve low-income communities.
Travel Opportunities: Although GVI mostly focuses on coordinating the actual volunteer abroad work for the volunteer, optional side trips are available in many locations so that volunteers have the opportunity to interact on a personal level with their local community and see the incredible natural beauty of the placements. Volunteers should expect to work mostly during the weekdays, with the weekends to themselves to plan alternate excursions or trips. Schedules are usually finalized well ahead of time, so groups planning to take weekend trips have plenty of time to make decisions about how to spend extra time.
What Volunteers Have to Say About GVI: “This really was a trip of a lifetime. My 6 week stay in South Africa was the first time I had done anything like this and certainly the first time I had been abroad on my own. The staff both in the UK and in the field were excellent- very supportive, enthusiastic and clearly loved their jobs. In fact, I have never met such passionate people and they really made me determined to finish my degree and follow in their footsteps.” – Amy Smith
Where They Work: Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, India, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia (Bali)
Length: From 1-24 weeks
Who Can Join: For medical volunteer programs, typically anyone 18 or older can join (no medical experience required). For internships and programs where you’ll provide more hands-on care to patients, you must be a pre-med, medical, nursing, or dental student (or studying in a relevant healthcare field). Some GoEco projects may require that you even have completed a few years of med school or be a licensed professional. Be sure to check requirements for each program in advance.
Housing: When you volunteer or intern abroad with GoEco, you’ll room in a shared lodging with your fellow volunteers. Check each program for full details.
About the Organization: Founded in 2006 by experienced volunteers, GoEco successfully placed more than 15,000 volunteers and interns abroad in their first 12 years of operations. Recognized as the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization by GoAbroad in 2015, GoEco’s medical mission trips and global health internship projects have all been vetted to ensure they meet high standards for quality, safety, and commitment to doing good in the local community. Their healthcare projects, from medical internships in Cape Town, South Africa and Palampur, India, to community health initiatives in Bali, Indonesia, are a great way for you to gain international medical experience and help people in need. And you get to travel to exciting destinations! Just check out some of the programs below.
Medical, Nursing and Dentistry Program in Galle, Sri Lanka
Live near world-class beaches as you gain experience in the nursing, medical, or dental field! This project is a great way to boost your CV/resume and empower those in the local community to live healthier lives. If you’re enrolled in dentistry school (a requirement for dental volunteers), you’ll be placed in a specific unit, such as restorative dental or orthodontics. Medical and nursing volunteers can work in a variety of departments, including emergency, surgery, and pediatrics. Sound amazing? Click here to learn more (from $1,180 for two weeks).
Medical Aid in Antelope Park, Zimbabwe
Head to Gweru, Zimbabwe with GoEco, and provide assistance at understaffed and poorly resourced health clinics. Much of the local population depends on these clinics for healthcare services, so your work as a volunteer is extremely helpful. Your main role will be to assist nurses, midwives, and doctors with a variety of tasks, from education about HIV/AIDS to packaging medicine to weighing babies. You’ll get to do and see a lot of different things. When you’re not volunteering, explore Antelope Park, a wonderful wildlife reserve. Interested? Register here (from $1,520 for two weeks).
Peru – Cuzco Health and Medical Care
Volunteer in the southeastern Andes Mountains in health care or for a more hands-on medical care volunteer experience. This program has opportunities available for everyone, from those just starting out at university, and those who already hold medical qualifications. Volunteers will be placed based on their level of experience, but all placements allow volunteers to experience the Peruvian health care system first-hand. Learn more here.
Costa Rica – Health and Medical Care in San Jose
Volunteer in health care or for a more hands-on medical care volunteer experience. This program has opportunities available for everyone, from those just starting out at university, and those who already hold medical qualifications. Volunteers will be placed based on their level of experience, but all placements allow volunteers to experience the Costa Rican health care system first-hand. Learn more.
Looking to jumpstart your career in healthcare? Search for the right global health internship on Abroadly, Volunteer Forever’s booking platform. Abroadly only lists medical internship programs abroad that have been carefully inspected for quality, safety, and commitment to making an impact in the local community.
Whether you want to be a doctor, nurse, or dentist, you’ll quickly find a suitable internship through Abroadly, as you can tailor your search to match your budget and preferences. Additionally, medical internships abroad can get pricey. Applying through Abroadly gives you the chance of winning a $500 scholarship, as well as free use of Volunteer Forever’s crowdfunding tools. And, if you don’t get accepted into the program of your choice, your application fee will be fully refunded.
So, why wait? Start your search on Abroadly and apply today.
Volunteer for Medical and Healthcare in Arusha, Tanzania
Join Volunteering Solutions on a trip to Tanzania, where you’ll intern at a hospital, medical clinic, or dispensary. You’ll not only get to help local people in need, but you’ll also get to learn all about the medical sector in Tanzania. Main duties could include shadowing and assisting local professionals, giving vaccinations, suturing wounds, providing patients company, doing administrative work, and more. The more experience you have, the more hands-on the internship will be.
When you’re not working, explore Arusha and the surrounding natural areas, which include Lake Manyara National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro. Program fees start at $540 for one week. You can intern for up to 13 weeks. Research more and apply here!
Volunteer for Medical Care in San Ramon, Costa Rica
INLEXCA offers a medical internship in Costa Rica, a country that offers free healthcare to its citizens but has limited resources. Your help goes a long way in ensuring everybody gets the healthcare they need. Your main responsibilities will include helping doctors see patients, sorting medical supplies, assisting with emergency situations, and helping conduct health awareness workshops. You’ll be working in a rural clinic or hospital, where the extra staff is needed to improve patient outcomes and experiences.
Please note this program is intended for third-year medical students or further. Current doctors, nurses, dentists, and physiotherapists are invited to apply. You also must have intermediate Spanish skills. Program fees start at $1,449 for four weeks. You can intern for up to eight weeks. Research more and apply here!
A Broader View Volunteers Corps(ABV)
Where They Work: Peru, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia
Length: Minimum of one week up to 12 weeks
Who Can Join: Pre Medical/Pre Nurse/Pre-dental Students, Medical/Nurse/Dental students, and professionals
Housing: Housing varies from country to country, but, generally, you will be staying with either a host family or in volunteer housing. Meals will be included, most houses have internet.
About the Program: A Broader View partners with many universities and colleges as well as many health care associations around the USA and worldwide to provide you the best experience abroad, with training, hands-on work, rotations, surgeries, and education about health care realities in developing countries. Learn more about ABV’s medical volunteer programs.
What Volunteers Have to Say About A Broader View Volunteers: “Volunteering to provide medical and dental care here in La Ceiba Honduras was one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my life. The people here really need the care and the equipment that we donated. It was also rewarding being able to perform and teach some extremely useful Oral & Maxillofacial surgical procedures on the patients and doctors working here (respectively). Other than the initial snag upon our arrival here in La Ceiba everything else was fantastic. I would highly recommend doing this program here in La Ceiba Honduras to anyone.” -Dr. Gadler
Cross Cultural Solutions
Where They Work: Thailand, Costa Rica, Greece, India, Guatemala, Tanzania, Peru, India, Morocco, and Ghana
Length: 1-12 weeks
Who Can Join: There are programs for adults 18+ traveling on their own, for families, and for middle school and high school students.
Housing: You will be placed in volunteer housing, called “home base,” which is staffed by locals, and you are provided with daily home-cooked meals.
About the Program: CCS partners with local organizations who communicate what the needs of the community are. Volunteers are paired with these organizations to help assist and make a real impact in the host country. The focuses of CCS are ending poverty, ending hunger, improving health and education, and working toward gender equality. You will be paired with a program based on your knowledge and skills. There is also plenty of free time in the evenings and on the weekends to explore the country and get to know the locals or fellow volunteers. As a healthcare volunteer, you will work alongside local healthcare professionals to help improve morale and quality of life in a variety of different ways. CCS is also working on implementing a number of public health projects in the countries where they work.
What Volunteers Have to Say About Cross Cultural Solutions: “My overall experience was wonderful. Each day at least once, I had the opportunity to challenge myself either physically, emotionally or spiritually. I also had the experience of saying to myself (and sometimes out loud) “Now here’s something I never thought I’d do/see”. I had wanted the opportunity to push myself beyond my comfort zone and I certainly had that opportunity. I was challenged to re-examine long-held beliefs and values and although I didn’t necessarily change the way I feel, the opportunity was valuable and at times deepened my beliefs.” – Sara Goldberger, age 57
Where They Work: Australia, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Fiji, India, Laos, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand, US, Vietnam
Length: Anywhere from 5-18 days
Who Can Join: Programs are designed for high school students.
Housing: Housing varies depending on the program that you choose. Some involve camping, while others will be housed in housing close to the project.
About the Program: These programs are geared around gaining practical first aid skills. You will take wilderness first aid and wilderness first responder courses and receive a certification from Wilderness Medical Associates. You will get the opportunity to practice these skills in the wilderness and in local communities. There are also programs such as one in the Dominican Republic which provide an introduction to public health and teach the volunteers about political, social and environmental factors affecting health around the world.
Ready for the Next Step?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling as part of a medical mission trip group or are off to serve by yourself, medical, dental, and nursing mission trips are excellent opportunities to make a positive change in the world while growing stronger in your spirituality and personal mission. Although medical volunteering can often be more stressful, expensive, and intensive than other types of volunteering, we urge you to go for it. The results are more than worth the effort if only for all of the lives changed and the opportunity for your own professional and spiritual growth.
So, are you ready for your next steps? Create your Volunteer Forever account today to begin fundraising for your medical mission trip. Remember, you’re not just fundraising for yourself, but for all those lives that you have the opportunity to change. Have a great adventure!
Brittany Edwardes · Guest Volunteer Travel Writer
Brittany Edwardes is a Fulbright Scholar who spent a year teaching and living in Southeast Asia. Brittany is very passionate about service learning, spending time outdoors, and making her own pasta.