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Child Family Health International

About

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.

Reviews

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Marcela
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great intro experience to the world of Global Health!

This experience is perfect for those curious about global health and looking to further their knowledge through the lens of a particular country. During the program, you have the opportunity to learn from the perspective of your program host and create a relationship both with the host and your classmates, who all bring valuable perspectives. The program also allows the opportunity to collaborate with students from other programs and backgrounds, which creates a wonderful atmosphere to learn about some important general topics in global health. Each expert was engaging and welcoming, inspiring creativity and curiosity in all students! I felt comfortable to ask my program host anything and feel comfortable to reach out after the program about more opportunities for furthering my knowledge. I would recommend this program to someone with a hunger to know what the field of global health is all about, and to those who want to open their minds to health care in a global context

Pros
  • Relationship building and learning new perspectives
  • Lots of resources to develop professionally
  • Will make you add a new country to your bucket list!
Cons
  • Internet connection of some host sites
  • Goes by way too fast!
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Whitney
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a fantastic time

I always dreamed and yearned to leave the country for study or internships while I was in college. At the beginning of August, I was finally given the chance to travel to Ghana with CFHI, not just for a practicum but also to take in the sights of a different nation. I merely adored it. I was quite nervous and eager because I was traveling to a nation where I didn't know anyone, but I realized that this was an opportunity for me to overcome my introversion.

Contrary to my expectation, I adjusted quickly since the CFHI made sure a coordinator and a preceptor were present for each step we took. Yes, there were instances when we solved problems on our own; that was also a valuable part of the experience. I improved my freedom and started to operate with less guidance. I had a great time and learned a lot during my rotations at Princess Marie Luis Hospital. In the classes I took at Liberty University, I came into contact with and experienced all the health facts I had learned. Through my interactions with others, I developed cultural sensitivity, but I never saw myself as superior to them. Instead, I learned to value the beauty in our differences. I also gained cultural humility as a result. I will always be grateful to CFHI for this transformation, and I eagerly anticipate traveling to other places with them. This program has my recommendation.

Pros
  • Good communication
  • growth
  • Educative
Cons
  • slow internet
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Maria
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience!

I never thought virtual experience can be this enriching until I participated in the internship program by CFHI. They made sure to make this virtual space the most engaging and interacting one. Everything starting from the correspondence, timely response and process of selection is highly appreciable. The program, discussions and content gave me Public and Global Health perspectives from a lens I had never imagined. This experience had definitely added value to my professional and academic journey by allowing me to explore different health care systems in an innovative manner. I had the opportunity to: Virtually engage with different countries and health care systems added value to my existing knowledge and experience, Self paced learning and activities provided the time of self reflection and evaluation and helped me design my own pathway towards work in domain of public and global health issues, and More time to interact with fellows and colleagues from different demographic regions created opportunities for more networking and socializing.

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Franly
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Learning about Intercultural differences!: )

I had the wonderful opportunity to expand my knowledge and awareness about cultural differences, and how to have better interpersonal communication. They provided me with great tools to learn about professionalism and intercultural effectiveness within the global health field during my 4-week virtual internship. I really enjoy the space they created for us to meet doctors and professionals from all over the world to bring awareness to disparities within health systems and global issues. Their realities and how it is important to dig deeper to understand how we can make a change was a great start to learning how to support my own community. I enjoyed learning about my country of choice from home and found it very meaningful to learn about its culture and traditions. I feel more confident now approaching and communicating with people from different backgrounds and plan to use the tools from CFHI throughout my career working internationally.

Pros
  • Great program resources
  • Team building and group learning
  • Insight from doctors and professionals international
Cons
  • Went by quick!
  • Time difference can be inconvenient
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Tina
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

This Program Helped Me Solidify that I Want to Work in International Healthcare

Prior to the program, I had never had the opportunity to travel alone and never really got to explore healthcare in other countries even though I always had interest in global/public health. Before CFHI, I didn’t know who to ask or where to go in order to find shadowing opportunities overseas that would allow me to learn about medicine and culture. I learned about CFHI at the UC Davis Pre-Health Conference during two lecture sessions about global health (one anecdotal and one from the program on ethics) and I knew immediately that this program was what I had been looking for.

Dr. Jenny was even kind enough to exchange her contacts with me for a one on one zoom call where she talked to me and my friend for 2 hours about all our concerns post-COVID. The program even granted me the Community College Scholarship to help my family with the cost.

I learned quickly the best way to reach the staff is by email pre-departure, though information on logistics could be more readily available, sooner released, or clearer. The application and training is very straightforward.

The entire month in Puerto Escondido passed by too soon. I loved my clinic placements! The doctors, nurses, “chemicos,” and entomologist I met were all willing to teach and they are super sweet. I definitely find that you need to be willing to step out of your comfort zone, ask questions, and come in with an open mind. Anything I asked was answered in detail. Clinics themselves had a limited scope of practice focused on prevention, metabolic disease, and there was a lot of visits on women’s health, mostly prenatal care and family planning. Between the clinics and Spanish class, I learned how Mexico organized their medical care in the public sector, public programs, culture, and from many conversations with medical professionals and my professor, what is working and what needs to be done. The medical staff, including Dra. Isabela the Medical Director, even helped me learn in depth about violence against women in Mexico (an issue I want to address in the future as a doctor). When when things were slow, the doctors would explain the procedures we had done and taught us to take blood pressure (of course only taking hers and a fellow CFHI student to practice).

In terms of the homestay, I was blessed to be placed with a sweet older lady who cooked bomb foods, mixing it up with traditional stewed meats to steamed veggies and rice when my roommate had gotten sick. The host sister even invited us to her birthday, took me out my first few days, and everyone made sure we got our conversations in.

This being said, the experience is what you make of it and what you put in, you get out. For me, it was everything I could ask for.

Pros
  • Easy Application
  • Kind Staff, Wonderful Spanish Teachers, and Passionate Medical Professionals
  • Fully Immersed into culture
Cons
  • Some programs have less students, so it might be lonelier.
  • Overall felt safe, but be weary of catcalling on the street/surroundings. You are still traveling!
  • I wish I had time in a hospital too.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 13

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.

Amy Krzyzek

Job Title
Assistant Director, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and US Programs
Amy is passionate about the field of experiential education and has 8 years of experience managing global education programs in the Global South. She feels really grateful to work for an organization that engages in conversations around ethics and social justice, and that tangibly supports the work of communities and NGOs in the places where she works.
Amy Krzyzek standing in front of a seaside view with mountains in the distance

What is your favorite travel memory?

In 2019, I was working in Nepal for a couple months, and I was able to do several days of trekking in the Annapurna region. One morning, we woke up really early to climb to a snowy peak at 12,000 ft, and we were greeted with the most beautiful sunrise, with 360 degree views of the Himalayas. There were only a few other people there, and we all silently enjoyed the stunning views together, with mugs of hot chai in hand.

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

I used to travel with students and serve as lead educator on global education programs. Now, I am behind the scenes, where I have the opportunity to support partners in Asia, Africa, and the US to be the stars of the show. It's really great to have students be taught by our global partners, as these local leaders are the true experts of the global health challenges and solutions in their contexts.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Last summer, a talented student shared a beautifully-illustrated journal of her experiences in India, and I appreciated seeing her reflections and all of the day-to-day changes that occurred in her thinking. These small shifts in perspectives, assumptions, and worldviews plant seeds that help shape our studies and our careers.

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

I grew up in a rural area and enjoy learning about the challenges of delivering healthcare in rural/remote settings. For that reason, some programs I am drawn to are Remote Island Medicine in the Philippines, Rural/Urban Himalayan Rotation in India, and Maternal Child Health, HIV, & Realities of Health Access in Uganda.

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

We are thought leaders in the field of global health education, and we are always pushing to advance ethics in this space. We do this in formal ways, including publishing research. We also do this informally in our conversations with academic partners and students. We know that universities, students, and professionals often have good intentions, but good intentions are not enough. CFHI is committed to ensuring that global health programs have positive impacts on locally-led health initiatives.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe the biggest factor in being a successful company is that CFHI is so fortunate to have a network of global partners across 12 countries. We work with 200+ individuals in about 75 clinics, hospitals, and NGOs at our sites. This network of global health leaders who teach and support our students is without a doubt our greatest asset.

Professional Associations

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