Gaining International Experience
The following organizations have offered opportunities to Princeton students in the past. They may be of interest to you if you seek international health-related experience. We have included medical missions, other types of health-related non-profits, and some language immersion programs if they have a medical component. If you find a program is no longer available or an organization no longer exists, or have any questions, please just let us know.
Guidelines for Providing Patient Care During Clinical Experiences Abroad
International Internship Program (IIP)
Princeton's International Internship Program (IIP) supports Princeton undergraduates who wish to undertake a summer internship abroad.
If you are a freshman, sophomore, or junior interested in spending the summer abroad doing work related to your academic major or interests (including pre-health), you are encouraged to explore the listings on the IIP website and to contact them with any questions. They have created some wonderful opportunities that are specifically health-related.
The mission of the Wellbody Alliance is to model community-based healthcare delivery in rural Kono District, Sierra Leone.
Wellbody Alliance has a vision for its community-based programs to complement the national delivery strategy. Current efforts tackle programs for HIV-infected people, amputees, children under-5, and adolescents from a primary care clinic, which offers high-quality, modern services.
Wellbody Alliance implements its work through a local organization that Dan Kelly and Bailor Barrie co-founded called Wellbody, Krio for "health." Wellbody Alliance is a 501c3 non-profit organization incorporated in Pennsylvania.
World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
International Healthcare Opportunities Clearinghouse (IHOC)
The International Healthcare Opportunities Clearinghouse (IHOC) website is designed for health-care professionals and students who are interested in volunteer work with underserved communities at home or abroad. This list of potential volunteer programs is extensive and very helpful.
International Health Resources
International Health Resources is an annotated listing of international health sites from UC Berkeley Public Health Library.
Child Family Health International (CFHI)
Child Family Health International (CFHI) is the leading nongovernmental organization (NGO) placing health science students on global health education programs in ways that are socially responsible and financially just. Those interested in CFHI should make sure to apply through Princeton's International Internship Program (see above) for funding.
International Medical Volunteers Association
International Medical Volunteers Association provides information on how to become an international volunteer as well as links to hundreds of volunteer opportunities.
Unite For Sight
Unite For Sight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers communities worldwide to improve eye health and eliminate preventable blindness. Unite For Sight’s volunteers range from undergraduate and medical students, educators, nurses, and public health professionals to optometrists and ophthalmologists. Programs are available abroad in the spring, summer, winter, or fall. Volunteers serve as interns at eye clinics, participating with the clinics' eye doctors in community-based screening programs. The clinics' doctors diagnose and treat eye disease in the field, and surgical patients are brought to the eye clinics for surgery. Unite For Sight funds the surgeries for those patients unable to afford eye care. The application, as well as complete details about Unite For Sight's international opportunities, are available here. Upcoming programs are available in Ghana, India, and Thailand.
In April 2011, Unite For Sight took a group of 8 Princeton students to the Yale Global Health and Innovation Conference organized by Unite for Sight and the students wrote about their experiences in the Princeton UFS blog.
Global Service Corps
Global Service Corps’ mission is to design and implement volunteer vacation and service-learning community development programs that benefit the volunteers and positively impact the communities they serve. The do offer some health-related opportunities.
Flying Doctors of America
The mission of Flying Doctors of America is to provide medical assistance and hope to as many of the poor and needy as they are able to reach. They fly medical & dental teams to wherever the need takes them.
Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps (RAM)
Remote Area Medical® (RAM) Volunteer Corps is a non-profit, volunteer, airborne relief corps dedicated to serving mankind by providing free healthcare, dental care, eye care, veterinary services, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world.
Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS)
Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) offers strong undergraduate students the opportunity to study abroad in health policy and practice, pharma, biomedicine and related fields. With DIS, you would enroll in a unique, career-focused and hands-on experience taught by doctors, scientists, policy makers and practitioners. Courses (note: not pre-med requirements, but certainly ones that enhance relevant knowledge for those interested in medicine, health policy, pharma and public health. Courses taken for Princeton credit must be pre-approved.) include field studies; European study tours: a week visiting hospitals and clinics in Germany and Poland, and learning about health care policy in Finland and Estonia. Students engage with Danish society and develop intercultural leadership through volunteering, student buddies, club sports, or being a student ambassador while living with a host family or with Danish students. Apply online.
International Service Learning
International Service Learning (ISL) offers “hands-on” multi-disciplinary humanitarian health programs in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Africa.
Somos Hermanos is a six-month language and cultural immersion program based in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The organization aims to reduce the disparity in healthcare access and quality that results when healthcare providers are unable to effectively communicate with Latino patients due to language and cultural barriers. The Somos Hermanos Student Immersion Program (SIP) seeks to address this problem through increasing the number of bilingual, culturally competent health care professionals.
ECELA Medical Spanish Programs
ECELA: A Spanish immersion program in Argentina, Chile, and Peru offering medical shadowing as part of the experience.
Spanish-Medical.com is a network of three Spanish language schools in four Latin American countries: Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Guatemala. They offer a medical shadowing component.
Médicos del Mundo Argentina
Medicos del Mundo Argentina is a humanitarian organization in the field of Public Health, the only South American delegation of the International Network Médecins du Monde, which fights for the right to health for the people.
The Pasteur Foundation of New York
The Pasteur Foundation of New York has created a program for U.S. undergraduates to conduct 10-week summer internships at the Institut Pasteur. Their goal is to encourage students in the pursuit of a scientific career and to expose them to an international laboratory experience.
During the internships, interns will carry out research supervised by a lab mentor. Applicants should be eager to immerse in a different culture, and self-sufficient enough to arrange travel and secure housing in Paris. Depending on availability, affordable housing in a residence on campus may be possible. Interns will receive a living allowance. Travel/housing are not paid by this program, but a subsidy is provided and intended to defray cost of travel and requisite insurance.
If you are interested, you will find the details here. Read through and follow the instructions to apply.