Nicaragua Pre-Med/Public Health and Service Adventure
94% Rating
(5 Reviews)

Nicaragua Pre-Med/Public Health and Service Adventure

During this pre-med/public health focus program, students participate in activities with the Nicaragua Ministry of Health (MINSA), shadow physicians and healthcare professionals at MINSA outposts, as well as learn how to take blood pressure and other vital signs. Students also explore the historic city of Granada, bargain for goods in the National Artisan Market, visit and tour Volcán Masaya National Park.

Community service is at the heart of every Global Works trip and, on this one, students earn 30-50 community service hours by working alongside professionals at an NGO, planning and implementation of public health campaigns, assisting in the construction of double pit latrines as well as work with local, community health educators in promoting their use and maintenance, and constructing community wash stations in public schools and communities, which reduce hygiene-related disease. No prior language study requirements are needed.

2-4 Weeks
Starting Price

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 5 reviews
  • Growth 8.8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.6
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Default avatar

Be More Than A Tourist!

Anyone who wants to see the world outside of a five star hotel should consider coming on this trip. It will challenge you, inspire you, and teach you, all against the beautiful backdrop of Nicaragua. Whether you chose the Pre-Med/Public Health trip because you want to be a doctor, you wanted to experience the culture of South America, or you just needed some community service to graduate, there is something in this experience for you! Once you arrive in country, you will be surrounded by great group members who hail from across the country. You will be immersed in environments ranging from the bustling, dynamic, art-filled city to the agriculturally rich, home-y feeling mountains. And all along the way, you will encounter warm, friendly locals who are guaranteed to inspire you with their work ethics, resiliency, and genuine hospitality.
I came home from this Global Works trip with a new understanding and sensitivity to the issues facing Nicaragua and its neighbors today. I had a sense of confidence in my ability to adapt to new environments. And I felt more inspired to promote cultural appreciation and social change back in my U.S. community. I hope you'll feel the same. Then again, the only way to find out is to experience this wonderful country for yourself.

How can this program be improved?

More group language activities would have been helpful. Since there is no Spanish language (or premed) requirement to go on this trip, not everyone has experience with Spanish. This can lead to some interaction difficulties at worksites and in homestays, and while this is not a major problem, some non-Spanish speakers will struggle to connect with locals and fully immerse themselves in environments outside the group.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Extremely Eye Opening and Rewarding

This trip was a once in a life time opportunity. The reason I chose this program was because of the public health and medicine focus. We observed doctors in clinics and laboratories in the city, to installing water pipes in small communities, to water clean projects in the mountains. We also meet with NGOs to learn more about the history of Nicaragua. It was interesting to learn how different communities adapted to their situations. For example in places with low literacy rates, we helped paint murals that gave instructions on how to avoid getting Dengue Fever. It was the most rewarding to collaborate with communities and help them achieve their goals, as well as learn about their culture, different cuisines, and even dances. The staff, students, and locals I worked with were all immensely welcoming and hardworking.

How can this program be improved?

Overall the program was great, but the only thing I would change would be maybe not having home stays at the beginning of the trip because then the group was divided and didn't really get to bond until the end.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Global Works is the way to go!

This trip being a custom one was quite unique since it was based on gaining a medical experience and learning about the Nicaraguan culture at the same time. I've got to shadow some doctors and nurses at the local hospitals, get my hands dirty by digging a trench with a pick axe and shovel, and teach third graders about proper hygiene. I have learned to value the basic necessities I take advantage of back home, especially hot water. There were many first-time experiences for me, such as bargaining, zip-lining, and seeing bats. This was truly a wonderful experience for me.

How can this program be improved?

There are no major things I would change, but maybe have some more variety in the food that we eat.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

A Great Trip and Great Memories

Getting to go to a foreign country alone is always fun. I loved how the group was really small (5 boys 5 girls), so we really got to bond with the other members and the staff. The best part was definitely the homestay and getting to ski. Over the summer my spanish improved, but I did lose most of it once I got back to school. Overall though, it was extremely fun.

How can this program be improved?

I would maybe plan out the community service a little better (lets maybe not go back to the guarani community and make sure we have a good type of paint thats not too thin when we decide to completely paint the walls of a scary house), and enforce that we speak spanish a little more forcefully (i never really spoke spanish except at the homestays)

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

My stay in Nicaragua was my first experience away from home alone, and it was definitely an experience of a lifetime. The Global Works leaders were accommodating and approachable, and I was ecstatic to discover the similarities I shared with many of the other people on the trip. To this day, I am still in touch with the wonderful people in my group; we still share memories from this life-changing trip that brought us together. It was a thrill to be immersed in the rich, colorful Nicaraguan culture filled with amiable, welcoming Nicaraguans. Although there was often a language barrier, we had laughs about the misconceptions that resulted, and our leaders were helpful in clearing the misunderstandings.
During the clinical rotations, I found myself comparing the Nicaraguan practices with the procedures in the U.S., and I was amazed by the marginal differences. For example, while gauze is manually folded and sterilized in Nicaragua, it is crafted by machines in the U.S. Furthermore, before this trip, I had only heard about the poverty and resource shortages in developing countries--living in these conditions made them a reality. I truly learned to appreciate the luxuries in the U.S. that I had taken for granted my entire life such as hot showers, excellent drainage, clean water, air conditioning, technology, wifi, and our seemingly endless supply of medicine (pharmacies in Nicaragua frequently ran out of medicine, as they often received merely one shipment each month). Moreover, it was rewarding to see the community's appreciation for our service projects. I cannot express how rewarding it felt to see the community's gratitude for our contributions. The mere knowledge that I had made a difference in the community was comforting.
Witnessing these critical conditions firsthand has raised my awareness of developing countries' conditions; overall, this experience has motivated me to take action, because it is truly rewarding to make a difference in peoples' lives.

How can this program be improved?

I would have included more pre-med-related activities, since this trip is supposed to be geared toward pre-med studies; the reforestation efforts and building of hand-washing stations were not as pre-med as the clinical rotations during the first week of the program.

Yes, I recommend

About Global Works

For more than 27 years, Global Works has been an industry leader in community service-based adventure travel programs for high school students and custom group trips. Much more than a vacation, Global Works international trips are the bridge for...