Child Family Health International


Child Family Health International (CFHI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that conducts socially responsible global health service-learning programs for medical, pre-medical, nursing, PA, MPH, and other health science students. CFHI's 35+ programs in 11 countries connect students with local health professionals -transforming perspectives about self, global health and healing. CFHI supports local communities worldwide through these global health education programs and community health initiatives. CFHI is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations.



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Yes, I recommend this program

The Perfect Experience for an Uncertain Time

CFHI's intern experience was perfect for me, and I actively recommend it to everyone I meet. I wanted an internship that I could do online because of my job and uncertainty with the pandemic, and this aspect met my expectations well. I learned so much in the month before my job started full time, and it really opened my eyes to the jobs in the field of Global Health. This helped me direct my career path in a very unique way. Logistically, the instructors offered flexibility and grace, and the physician in charge of directing my cohort and teaching us about Ghana was living there at the time, so we learned from someone in the field, rather than someone talking about their time in the country you choose. CFHI also does a fantastic job of cultural respect, humility, and making sure that their practices are sustainable long term. I am so thankful for this program and the opportunities it afforded me.

What would you improve about this program?
In this program, we choose a country to do a "deep dive" on, but the countries instructors all have different time slots in which they are able to meet. I wish that we knew these times in advance, because I work and it was a very real possibility that I would've had to miss some meetings. Luckily, my country worked out!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Virtual internship, Ghana

Child Family Health International is an amazing organization. I participated in the virtual internship in Ghana and felt like I was truly there. The leader gave us so much insightful information. Sometimes wifi wouldn’t work but they always figured it out and kept us informed. If your thinking about participating do it! I think my favorite part was thinking I knew something and quickly realizing I didn’t know what I was talking about. I have such a broad understanding now which I wouldn’t of had without this internship.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Go for this experience!

I decided to join the Child Family Health International Virtual Global Health Comparative internship with the determination to get more than just experience in public and global health but also connect to other students and global health professionals. My one-month program focused on Ghana, and I've learned a lot from our weekly lectures on Ghanaian culture and public health.
I would like to recognize Dr. Nwobu, our main lecturer in Ghana region, for his work in moderating our discussions and sharing his personal experiences of being a public health practitioner in Ghana. Likewise, I learned a lot from the webinars on comparative and professional aspects of global health in general. During some sessions I got an opportunity to share my personal experiences with health care in Turkmenistan (my home country).
Even though CFHI was offering primarily in-person internships before, they perfectly managed and executed virtual internships. I was lucky to study with a diverse cohort of students from Canada, the USA, Ghana, Turkmenistan and India, who shared their culturally-unique perspectives on topics that we discussed in class. Our sessions were interactive and informative, which helped me to stay engaged during information-intensive sessions.
Even though my internship didn't include a Spanish aspect to it, I still got an opportunity to practice my Spanish listening during round-table discussions, where delegates from Latin and South America shared their perspectives on different health-related topics in Spanish.
My internship ended two weeks ago and I can't help but keep thinking about what to try next. I gained immense insight into public and global health from the CFHI virtual Global Health Comparative Internship and this positively contributed to my decision to study global and public health in graduate school. Hopefully, I will have another opportunity to participate in CFHI internships (next time in person) to get a different experience and share it with my friends.

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment for me was finding a place where I can spend 1 to 2 hours for every session. The virtual internship was flexible and I could watch recorded sessions if I skipped any webinar or lecture, but I tried to attend every single session synchronously so I could ask questions as they arise. My work would finish 5 minutes before my internship session starts and I was running two floors down to find a place where I could speak.
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Yes, I recommend this program

CFHI Global and Public Health Internship

The Child Family Health International (CFHI) Virtual Global and Public Health Internship was an enriching and valuable learning experience for me. The sessions were very well organised, and it enabled me to gain a better understanding of the public healthcare system in India and the local and national public health programs. The sessions on personal and professional development, as well as cultural sensitivity, were very insightful. Thank you CFHI for this amazing and excellent internship experience and I highly recommend the CFHI Internships to students interested in Global Health and Public Health.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Virtual Internship - Ghana

As an adult graduate student with school-aged children, I was always looking for internship and practicum opportunities to participate. The internships that I came across were good but the timing was always an issue. I was looking for a specific internship that will give me the flexibility to work around my family's schedule.

So, when CFHI announced last May that it was opening the doors of virtual internship opportunities, I was all over the place! It was a dream come true for me. Even though it was a virtual one, as far as I am concerned, an internship is an internship. Of course, the face-to-face, in-person internship in a global setting has its perks and advantages. No doubt about that. Without the COVID-19 pandemic, I would have opted for an in-person internship abroad as well. However, due to the pandemic, the CFHI staff was strategic enough to think beyond the traditional internship format and bring forth an innovative virtual one that will suit many adult students like me, including much younger students. It is a matter of opportunity and such opportunities never last. So, if one appears, just grab it!

And that is exactly what I did. I grabbed the opportunity and participated in my first-ever (virtual) internship with CFHI.

It was an amazing, eye-opening experience. From our Ghana preceptor to my cohort colleagues, and all the lessons learned and videos shared with us about the healthcare systems, food, history, and cultural traditions in Ghana, everything in between was enriching, enlightening, and exciting.

I concluded my one-month CFHI'S global public health internship (Ghana) just last week and I am already thinking of when to enroll for another CFHI internship in another part of the world. This is how fulfilled I am with my CFHI experience!


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose participate in CFHI’s Maternal and Child Health Program in India because it allows me to experience the challenges expecting mothers face in the developing world. On top of that, I have always been fascinated by the vibrant and colorful culture of India. Hence, this program is the perfect fit for me!

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The website of Child Family Health International (CFHI) has very clear instructions on the entire application process and how to proceed after being accepted into the program. The staff at CFHI were very helpful and knowledgeable. They provided me with all the information needed (contacts both locally and abroad, reading material on the traditions and culture of India, as well as the healthcare system, options for travel insurance and the outline of the program and accommodation details). I only had to search and purchase my flight ticket, apply for my traveling visa and get necessary vaccinations.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

There is free time during the weekends, so it would be great to research on the places/ attractions that you would like to visit beforehand so you are able to make full use of your time in India. Most importantly, go and experience with an open mindset! You are abroad with two identities - a tourist and a student.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

We would start our day with breakfast (traditional Indian food) at the medical director's house and move on with shadowing rotations at different pediatric and obstetric hospitals and small rural clinics in and around Pune, under the supervision of local preceptors. We attended optional yoga classes once every week before breakfast. During the weekends, we would explore around the nearby cities in Maharashtra State to learn more about the history and culture of India. Also, jamming to Bollywood music is part of our daily routine when we were on the road.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I was a little worried about not being able to adapt the living conditions and the issue of obtaining clean drinking water. However, the accommodation was fine and we have easy access to clean drinking water. I realized that sometimes worrying does not help to solve the problem. The best thing that you can do is to stay positive, accept whatever comes your way and you will be surprised that you can adapt and be just as fine! Putting yourself out of your comfort zone is the way to allow yourself to grow and learn from others!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Nick Penco

Job Title
Associate Director for Latin America and New Partnerships
Nick Penco, a native of Argentina, joined Child Family Health International in 2005. His natural ability to communicate across cultures and his ability to fluently speak Spanish and French are an asset in working with CFHI partners from Africa, India, Latin American and Asia. His passion for international education and travel were sparked by a year spent in Germany as a foreign exchange student during his teenage years.

What is your favorite travel memory?

The first time I traveled to the Philippines. It was a country I knew little about prior to arriving. I was taken aback by the hospitality and friendliness of its people and awestruck by the majestic beauty of its landscape, the intricate flavors of its cuisine, and mesmerized by a culture that encapsulate the best qualities of East and West, Spanish, Asian, and American.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

My role has allowed me to travel to locations and meet people that you normally would not see on a top 10 travel destinations vide on the Travel Channel.

This has allowed me to grow as a person on so many levels, increasing my cultural competency and making me a more humble and patient person, I have also met and worked with people who devote their entire lives to the service of others, this has made me more self-reflective as to how I live my daily life.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

That is a very difficult questions to answer! I would pick all of course if I could! I would say "Remote Island Medicine in the Philippines" - the country has so much to offer and I feel I barely scratched the surface with my time there. The program offers a perfect balance between public health activities, academic rigor and fun in the sun.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I believe that the people that make up the organization, our partners abroad as well as our staff in San Francisco, our passion and commitment to providing quality programs. There are plenty of organizations that offers health related programs, but what we offer is a boutique experience - with a group of individuals that we call the CFHI Family.

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