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A volunteer measures the heartbeat of a young girl during her medical internship abroad for high school students.

Medical Volunteering for High School Students

All you need to know about our international medical programs

By Isabel Silva | 28th February, 2019
Updated on 02nd January, 2024

What makes our medical volunteer opportunities for high school students special?

  • You'll gain first-hand experience in providing medical care in a global context.
  • You’ll learn to deal with patients speaking foreign languages with unfamiliar conditions.
  • Everything is planned for you, so all you need to do is focus on your experience.
  • Volunteers from around the world will be living and working with you to achieve the same goal.
  • Staff will be by your side every step of the way. Your safety and wellbeing is our greatest priority.
  • We coordinate weekly social activities so you can experience a new country from a local perspective.
  • You’ll become part of a global network of aspiring medical professionals.
  • They coincide with your summer break and follow a set itinerary.

What are the goals of our summer medical volunteer programmes for high school students?

Our Medicine internships for high school students are designed with teenagers in mind.

They aim to:

  • Teach you basic medical skills and give you first-hand insight into what life is like as a medical professional.
  • Provide opportunities to intern in an overseas medical facility in various departments.
  • Show you how medical professionals diagnose and treat patients.
  • Teach you about the different healthcare challenges patients face and how medical professionals can work with limited resources.
  • Spread awareness of medical issues and healthy lifestyles.
  • Help you decide which areas of medicine you want to pursue in the future.

What will you do on a Medical Internship abroad?

There are a variety of Medical Internships available for High School students. They all provide medical training and allow you to learn about local hospitals and outreach work. They also have different areas of focus.

You can choose from:

  • Medicine and Healthcare - Gain experience in a hospital setting 
  • Dentistry - Shadow dentists at their surgery
  • Public Health - Visit different locations and communities to provide healthcare. 
  • Physiotherapy - Shadow physiotherapists at hospitals and spinal injury centers.

Here are a few of the things you and other high school students will experience at your medical placement overseas:

1. Gain experience and learn basic medical skills before college

Students learn how to test for HIV

The first step to becoming a medical professional is to learn the basics. As part of our medical work experience abroad for teenagers, you’ll learn directly from professionals.

They’ll teach you basic skills during workshops and you’ll shadow them as they treat patients in medical facilities or the community.

Some of the valuable skills you’ll learn include:

  • Measuring vitals, such as blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Administering injections and stitches.
  • Providing first aid care and support.
  • Disease and illness prevention.

While you’re shadowing medical staff, you might have the chance to observe various medical procedures. In some of our programs, you might:

  • Observe surgeries, such as abdominal, ear, nose, and throat (ENT), dental, and open-heart surgery.
  • Observe Caesarean and vaginal births.
  • Shadow medical professionals during ambulance night shifts.
  • Assist with eye tests and use the X-ray machine.

Learning is only a small part of the process - We offer so much more, including the opportunity to practice your new skills. You could give injections to oranges, practice stitching on pig skin, or measure blood pressure at community healthcare outreaches.

“Honestly, I always said blood or raw wounds didn’t bother me but at the same time, I didn’t really know if it did or didn’t bother me. In the clinics that we were put in, I was exposed to flesh wounds and blood and I really got to know myself and I discovered I could handle blood.

I learned so many things within the clinic and during our workshop lessons. Things like how to stitch, what type of stitches to use, and how to give injections, which we did on a piece of fruit and a pig leg.”

- Faith L, Medicine in Peru

Want to shadow doctors and gain practical medical experience?

Check out our Medical High School Special Project in Nepal >

2. Assist doctors and nurses on outreaches to improve access to healthcare

For us,  it’s important that we make a positive impact where we work. For this reason, you’ll get to assist doctors at various community healthcare outreaches. For this reason, you’ll get to assist doctors at various community healthcare outreaches.

Many of the communities where we work don’t have the funds or transport to seek medical care. Without regular screening, illness could go undetected until symptoms become severe.

Your participation in our summer medical volunteer programs helps provide free basic medical services to communities in need.

You’ll help with routine health checks under the supervision of medical professionals. You’ll use the skills you learned in your international medical internship workshops.

In 2022, our interns conducted 51 medical outreaches, treating 1,304 attendees!

With the information you’ll gather, doctors can refer patients to seek further treatment.

With all the information you’ll gather, doctors can refer patients to seek further treatment.

"My favourite part of my medical placement was the ability to talk to the doctors; whether it was explaining a patient’s situation, or helping me to figure out how to do the perfect stitch.

Every day was different and this made my experience so much more interesting and helped solidify my desire to pursue a medical degree."

- Kaylie E, Medicine High School Special in Argentina

Looking to gain skills alongside top medical professionals?

Read more about Medicine Internships in Argentina for Teenagers >

3. Participate in awareness campaigns to spread the word about disease prevention and more

You’ll learn all about the diseases and illnesses that are prevalent in the country you work in. You’ll use the knowledge you’ve learned during your Medical Project to create awareness campaigns with other high school students.

These campaigns are important aspects of the project as they educate communities on disease. You'll share information about causes, symptoms, and treatments for these various common illnesses.

This awareness work will increase the wellbeing of the local community. And there’s no limit to the information you can share!

You can:

  • Teach children effective teeth-brushing techniques.
  • Talk to students about preventing diabetes and other non-communicable diseases through a healthy diet and exercise.
  • Help people learn how to avoid mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, and actively remove mosquito breeding grounds.

Any information you share will improve the life quality of local people.

As part of awareness work last in 2018, our interns:

  • Inspected 126 family homes in Jamaica and Sri Lanka and eradicated mosquito breeding grounds.
  • Distributed dengue fever information leaflets to 500 community members in Sri Lanka.
  • Removed potential mosquito breeding grounds along 5 main roads in Sri Lanka.
  • Presented at public health conferences in the Philippines.

4. Have the time of your life!

Last but not least, you’ll share this experience with other high school students from around the world. This is a great opportunity to make new friends and build an international network of future medical professionals.

We do more than just organize an internship with like-minded people, we also make sure you get to explore the country! Our great staff will prepare:

  • Social activities
  • Cultural events
  • A weekend trip

Depending on where you intern, these can include:

  • A safari in Kenya
  • A visit to a traditional Maasai village in Tanzania
  • A day exploring Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  • Cooking lessons in Ghana
  • Salsa lessons in Argentina

We want you to truly embrace cultural exchange!

"Overall, my time in Ghana was the best month of my life and I made friends I hope to never lose. The experience I gained in the medical field was invaluable and it solidified my desire to go into a medical profession.

I hope to return to Cape Coast next summer to visit the many friends I made there, and I also hope to continue volunteering with Projects Abroad. I encourage anyone interested to consider going to Ghana. Who knows? It could quite possibly change your life."

-Victoria, Medicine High School Special in Ghana

These programs will help you decide if a medical career is something you truly want. It’ll push you in the right direction while allowing you to be a part of something bigger: our efforts to improve healthcare in developing countries

And you'll achieve it through the support of our helpful staff and volunteers from around the world.

Are you ready to discover what you’re capable of? Browse our High School Special Projects to decide which one is the best fit for you.

Enquire Now

If you'd like more information about our Medical Projects and High School Special trips, contact one of our team today!

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Want to know more about our Medicine Internships for teens?

Get in touch with our friendly Projects Experts

(+1) 917 810 4744

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