Affordable Medical Programs with IVHQ

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About

Are you looking for an opportunity to give-back your much-needed medical and healthcare skills, while growing your global perspective on medicine? You can with International Volunteer HQ, the world’s most affordable and top-rated volunteer abroad provider.

As an IVHQ medical volunteer, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from and work with local staff at the frontline of promoting better health and wellbeing outcomes to communities where healthcare is limited or difficult to obtain.

International Volunteer HQ has over 10 years experience organizing medical missions trips for qualified healthcare practitioners, aspiring medical professionals and pre-med, pre-health and pre-nursing students.

While the scope of medical volunteer work depends on your specific experience and qualification levels, you’ll be supporting access to basic medical care and resources, hygiene campaigns and health education which enables people to live longer, happier and more productive lives.

Volunteers can be placed in several different settings - including hospitals, clinics, assisted living homes, special needs facilities and home care - and are assigned according to their qualifications, interest, and country. Projects include working with HIV/AIDS patients, working on public health campaigns, assisting local doctors, caring for the elderly and more. No matter which project you participate in, you'll be making a huge impact on the needs of the community.

Below is a list of 5 of the 20 countries that we offer medical programs in. The rest can be found on our Medical and Health page.

  • Costa Rica: Pre-med, nursing and medical students, as well as medical professionals, have the opportunity to gain a first-hand insight into the healthcare system in Costa Rica while supporting local professionals in a cross-cultural exchange of knowledge
  • India - Delhi: Based in one of the fastest growing countries in the world, the Delhi Health project offers qualified medical professionals, and those studying towards a medical or nursing qualification, the opportunity to shadow well-respected physicians who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise
  • Ghana: In rural Ghanian communities there is a shortage of trained medical professionals to provide basic healthcare services and therefore volunteer support is always appreciated. If you are a qualified medical or nursing professional, or have completed at least 2 years of training, this project will be a great fit!
  • Peru: Medical volunteers based in Cusco support a diverse range of under-funded placements and extra hands provide support to local medical professionals. This project is open to pre-medical, medical and nursing students, as well as qualified professionals
  • Zambia: Medical and nursing students, as well as qualified professionals, are placed in low-income communities where healthcare is neither easily accessible or affordable and give assistance to grateful local medical professionals.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

91%
based on 12 reviews
  • Impact 8.3
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8.5
  • Value 9
  • Safety 8.6
Showing 1 - 12 of 12
Tan
9/10

When's the next trip?

My first solo trip, first time trying crowdfunding, first time sitting on a motorcycle with 2 other people, first time making chapati, first time vaccinating people, first time helping with delivery of a newborn, etc. There are too many "first times" for me to mention them all, but in conclusion, this was the best trip ever! I have never felt unsafe at any one time during the trip and had received a lot of kindness from the people there (be it the locals or other volunteers). The experiences during my medical programme were amazing and exceeded my expectations! I think that I would never get a chance to have so much hands-on experience ever. I have made so much friends and memories in just 2 weeks and definitely looking forward to the next trip with IVHQ.

P.S. A tip from me would be to travel alone as it would be easier for you to open up and make more friends instead of staying in your clique.

How can this program be improved?
NIL
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Tan, Thanks for sharing! We are so glad that our program in India allowed you to have a vast range of new experiences and gave you the chance to meet new friends from all over the world. Thanks for your recommendation and for being a wonderful volunteer.
Louise – IVHQ India Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
Aimee Leduc
Aimee
9/10

IVHQ Uganda Medical Program

As my first time volunteering abroad I felt extremely supported through the application and preparation process. My emails were answered in a timely fashion and all of the staff were very pleasant to deal with. Upon arrival into Uganda, I was picked up at the airport and taken to the volunteer house where I was given a brief tour and settled to bed. Orientation covered everything needed and I was given every opportunity to ask questions.
My placement at the health center was amazing. It truly was such a rewarding experience and truly made me feel fulfilled. Interacting with the local people was at times difficult, because of the language barrier, but the language lessons provided by IVHQ were very helpful.

I felt very supported throughout my time in Uganda. IVHQ arranged everything, making transport to and from placement easy. We volunteered until about 2pm every day so I felt that I had a good amount of free time to explore the country and town. IVHQ also gave us the opportunity to arrange tours on the weekend if we wanted to view other places in Uganda. At the end of my placement, one of the staff members even drove me to the airport. Working with IVHQ was extremely easy and I can't wait to plan another trip with them sometime soon. I never wanted to leave Uganda!! It was so amazing and so rewarding and the people were absolutely lovely!

How can this program be improved?
The only improvement I can say would be to inform medical volunteers to bring Scissors, tape, and a penlight!!! Also, remember to bring gloves for yourself, pens, alcohol swabs, and cotton balls. I was always looking for pens and scissors!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Aimee, Thank you for your beautiful review! We are thrilled to hear that you had an amazing and rewarding time in Uganda, as we were so happy to have you join us on the Medical project. Thank you for making the most of your time on the program by pushing through the language barrier at your placement and exploring Uganda in your spare time. We would love to have you join us again in the future.
Will – IVHQ Uganda Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
Sammy
9/10

Medical Placement in Ho Chi Minh for IVHQ

Ho Chi Minh is a great city to explore and the people here are amazing. The hospital I volunteered at is full of nice people and the patients are locals who you really do want to get better. They are currently building a more up to date hospital next door, but this hospital certainly has its charms, but also a few drawbacks. The 2-week program was great as we were able to learn about Vietnam and explore.

How can this program be improved?
More language immersion would be nice.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Sammy, Thanks for sharing. We are glad to hear that you had a great time volunteering on the Medical project and exploring Ho Chi Minh. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
Lynn – IVHQ Vietnam Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
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Hayley
9/10

Nurse in Argentina

My experience in Argentina has had positives and negatives but overall had been a great experience. The staff here is incredible, and I really felt at home during these past 6 weeks. I have made such amazing new friends that I will continue to keep in contact with throughout my life. I have also had the opprotunity to see many wonderful places around Cordoba, as well as many other beautiful places around Argentina. My ability to understand and speak Spanish has also improved so much during my time here. One negative aspect of my experience was the impact I contributed within the community. I am a nurse at home and wanted to help with the healthcare project here. I felt at times I wasn´t able to use all my skills as a nurse within the clinic and hospital I worked in. The staff at these places were wonderful and I love bonding with them and the patients, but I felt like I wasn´t very helpful, which was frustrating at times. I would reccommend the healthcare program to nursing students or pre-med students who have a fairly good understanding of Spanish. It would be a very difficult placement if you don´t know Spanish and it isn´t ideal for licensed healthcare professionals since it isn´t very hands on.

How can this program be improved?
I think it could be very beneficial to do some sort of public health community outreach project within the healthcare project, or possibly working in some poorer communities nearby that need more help in their clinics and hospitals.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Hayley, Thanks for your feedback regarding the healthcare project. We will be sure to pass this feedback on to the Argentina Program Manager so they can look into your suggestions for this project. It is great to heat that, despite the challenges, you had a great experience in Argentina. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend this program
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David
10/10

New awakening

During one of our medical campaigns I was introduced to the sweetest child who with just her tiny smile changed my life. You see this little girl was born without a palate and was able to survive in a remote town without proper medical care. She had some additional birth defects but cognitively appeared normal. You could see she was loved and happy and her mother and all the other children treated her no differently because of her appearance. As this little girl walked out of our remote clinic and I said "hasta luego, Wendy" I realized that just by the virtue of your birthplace a simple surgery to fix the cleft palate is not considered or more importantly not available. I began to wonder what was going to happen to this sweet angel and my eyes began to well up. I spent the rest of the day feeling as if I should intervene in some way but the thought of separating this child for even one moment didn't seem fair. Every time I think of Wendy I have to put my sunglasses on but I thank her for changing my life!

How can this program be improved?
As with anything money to buy more medical equipment to better assess patients would be awesome. So often I felt the need for an EKG and pulse oximetry as an added tool. I realize that even if this could be accomplished is there support for said equipment. Not that I think this can happen but this would improve the outreach program.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi David, Thanks for sharing this story from your time on the program in Guatemala. The respect and compassion you have for the patients at your placement is truly heart-warming. Thanks for being a conscious volunteer and it would be our pleasure to welcome you onto another IVHQ program in the future.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jade
10/10

Amazing experience!

As it was my first time travelling overseas alone I was very apprehensive about it, however volunteering was the best decision I made!! Prior to leaving IVHQ offered a lot of support and the information they provided covered everything I needed to know. The local company we worked with once in Peru were also great, they were very supportive and the orientation was extremely helpful. The accommodation was excellent, the food was delicious and there was always more than enough, we were provided drinking water and the facilities were always clean. It was a great way to meet new people and I feel I have made life long friends even though we live on opposite sides of the world. At my placement the nurses were welcoming and it was a very eye opening experience for me. Due to my spanish not being very good I feel it was a bit of a language barrier to doing more at the project, however I was warned of this by IVHQ prior to leaving and I expected it. The patients were very grateful for my help, which made me feel like it was all worth it! My only regret is not volunteering for longer!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey Jade! It's great to hear from you :-)
Thanks for the amazing review, IVHQ are stoked that you felt supported by the team and that all of your apprehensions were eliminated. We can't wait to have you volunteer with us again! - Thanks from IVHQ - Hailey

Yes, I recommend this program
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Lori
8/10

Great Experience

It was great to go into the hospital placement and be able to have a connection with not only the children but also the parents. I remember I once was with a father and his disabled son and as soon as the kid was having fun and happy playing with me the father run off to have a shower, do washing and get lunch. It was such a great feeling to know that your not only helping the kids but also helping the parents.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lori, It's great to hear from you! Thanks for sharing, it sounds like you had a really special time volunteering for 8 weeks in Hanoi. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jess
9/10

Unreal kindness

I volunteered at the national hospital of accupunture in Hanoi Vietnam. The experience was eye opening and overall unreal. Each day I would play with the kids and massage them, which is part of their treatment plans. It was evident the parents were extremely greatful for our help, which I witnessed even more so as a family who I had been working with for a while invited me back to their home for a meal in my last week. I believe this is a rare experience and if ever offered should be grasped immediately as it truely was amazing. Throughout my time I had many great experiences, however this one stood out for me. I will run it down. To begin I was picked up on motorbike from the hospital after placement and we rode 20 minutes to pick her children up from school, which then we returned to their home. I felt like a queen as the prepared the most extravagant traditional Vietnamese meal for me. All th family including extended family attended, where we shared a beautiful meal as they expressed how truely greatful they were for my help. After several hours I returned home on a motorbike, (which is a lot of fun) and they provided my with a huge bag full of fruit and drawings from the kids, which was truly touching.

How can this program be improved?
I believe the orientation sheet provided regarding about each placement needs to be updated as I believe that it does not portray the placement accurately
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jess, Thanks for sharing your thoughts from your experience volunteering on our Medical project in Hanoi. It sounds like you had a truly special experience. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Stanley
9/10

IVHQ - Volunteering in Ho Chi Minh City

I had a great experience visiting Vietnam for the first time and volunteering in Ho Chi Minh City thanks to this fantastic program. This is a perfect program if you're traveling by yourself, with some friends, and even if it's your first time traveling. It's a very good blend of fun, tourism, and service to the local community.
This was my first time traveling on my own so I was a bit wary at first. But when I got to Vietnam, the staff at Green Lion was incredibly friendly and accommodating. Right when I got to the airport, Jenny was there to pick me up and bring me to the Saigon Tourism College where I was hosted for two weeks. The room and accommodations are fine - I had my own bunk with another 4 guys in the room. The most important thing was that I had A/C, which kept our room very cool. The first week was Culture Week and consisted of exploring Ho Chi Minh City's main sights of interest, markets, museums, the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, and even a cooking lesson. Our guide Leah was always cheerful and fun; you can tell she loves Vietnamese culture and introducing people to it. The Culture Week is organized enough to where the days are filled with activities but there's enough time and freedom at night to go out and do more activities. The cool thing about this program also is that you get to meet so many interesting people from around the world - I met Australians, Dutch, English, German, and it was quite fun hanging out with them and enjoying an exotic country for the first time together. We even rented out a field and played soccer! Green Lion also has a wonderful travel agent Quyen on staff as well - she was able to book us tours and tell us of the interesting places to go for cheap. And it's so cheap to travel within Vietnam! We had our weekends to travel to different cities.

I volunteered in the medical placement at the local hospital in Tan Binh District. I was able to rotate in different wards like acupuncture, surgery, physiotherapy, and wound care. My goal going in was just to see their healthcare system and interact with the patients and healthcare professionals there. It definitely helps to know Vietnamese! Only a few doctors knew some English and it was difficult for some of my friends to communicate with them. However, all the healthcare professionals appreciated when we taught them English. They all desire to learn. The program didn't involve too much specialized, hands-on procedures, which was fine for me. As far as the volunteering experience, I think what you put in is what you'll get out of it. I tried my best to talk to the patients and also the therapists and doctors and I feel like I gained some insight into their lives and culture. My favorite ward was the physiotherapy ward because it was the most interactive one - I was able to help toddlers with cerebral palsy perform leg strengthening exercises. It was amazing to see their joy despite their condition. All in all, the medical placement was well-rounded - you get to see a lot although not everything is hands-on. This is understandable considering the specialized nature of medicine.

To conclude, I think this program is organized and fun, and will give travelers a fantastic intro to Vietnam. The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly. They really do take care of you. I highly recommend it for people who have never traveled on their own but want to. Believe me, you will learn so much about yourself and the world. Just give in and do it!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Stanley, Thanks for taking the time to review your experience volunteering on our Medical project in Ho Chi Minh City. It's great you had such a positive experience and felt welcomed and cared for by our local team in HCMC. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope to see you on another IVHQ program soon.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Gabby
9/10

IVHQ India- Experience of a Lifetime

I participated in the week long orientation and then one week of health placement volunteering in Delhi, India.

For orientation, the local program director provided a morning information session about India's culture, customs, religion, food, dress, etc. It was a nice introduction to the country. For the rest of the week, we received Hindi lessons from a local staff member, spent one day sightseeing in New Delhi (transportation and lunch provided), spent another day seeing Old Delhi (transportation and lunch provided), and then I also attended the option Taj Mahal tour (transportation, breakfast, lunch, and local guide provided.) This was a great way to get to know the other volunteers and local staff members.

As for suggestions during this time, definitely try to take the opportunity to explore Delhi as much as you can during free time because it becomes more difficult to do so once you're in your placement. Also, swap contact information with the other volunteers before orientation ends. That way, you can still communicate and coordination times to meet up on afternoons or nights after your placement.

For the project, I was in the medical volunteer program for one week. During that time, we hosted health camp in the slums. On those days, we had breakfast (roti/chappatti and chai) before being driving to our placement by the family's driver. We set up tables and provided health screenings to any community members between the hours of 10am and 1:30pm. The services we provided included checks of blood pressure, glucose level, pulse, oxygen saturation, upper body examination, and lower body examination. Then, we made a probably diagnosis based on the aforementioned findings and the patient's reports. After compiling this information, we passed the patient on to the doctor. The doctor then confirmed or changed our diagnosis, discussed the patient case with us, and provided treatment (including some medications such as antibiotics, nutrition supplements, cough suppressants, etc.).

Professionally I gained a lot of hands on experience. Personally, I was very humbled and inspired by the work we did.

After volunteering, we returned to the home stay for lunch which was cooked by our host mom and was always delicious. Then, we had the afternoons free. We had some difficulty going into the city to explore during this open slot because it took roughly an hour to get into the city and required us to take a tuk tuk prior to taking the metro. Therefore, we usually enjoyed down time during our afternoons and travelled to local markets. One volunteer even joined a local gym for a small month membership fee.

Curfew was at 8:30pm, and dinner was served shortly after.

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing, I would chose to not have the afternoons free from volunteering

For me, this was most difficult because I was only volunteering for a short amount of time, so I wanted to gain the most experience and help as much as possible. By having afternoons off, I didn't feel like I was contributing as much as it could have if we were able to return to the health camp or go to the hospital after lunch.

Based on this, I would suggest staying for at least two weeks, if not longer. Volunteers will gain more experience this way.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Gabby, Thanks for sharing such a detailed review of your experience volunteering on our Health project in India - Delhi with IVHQ. It definitely sounds like you had a great time. We hope to have you volunteer with us again in the future.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jamie
9/10

Great Program

I loved my program with IVHQ. I spent two weeks in Guatemala with IVHQ and their partner, Maximo Nivel. I would take the local transportation (chicken buses) to my placement in Sumpango each morning and work at a medical clinic there from 8am-12pm. My job there included taking blood pressure, temperature, height, weight, and symptoms of the patients. In addition, I was able to shadow the doctors and assist with some things, such as giving injections. I absolutely loved my placement and all of the staff there who were so welcoming, kind, and helpful. In my free time I could explore the exciting city of Antigua and do things such as hiking Volcano Pacaya, going to Lake Atitlan, visiting Monterrico Beach, and spending time at an orphanage on Christmas Eve. My house stay was also wonderful, with great staff, comfy accommodations, delicious food, and awesome other volunteers. This was one of my greatest travel experiences and I could not recommend IVHQ more!

How can this program be improved?
I think Maximo Nivel could be more accommodating to volunteers and flexible with their schedules if I could pick something to change.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jamie, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures from your volunteer program in Guatemala with IVHQ. It sounds like you had an awesome volunteer travel experience and we are glad to have been a small part of that. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jan
9/10

Medical Placement in Kajiado, Kenya

Loved it! I was placed in a clinic in Kajiado for 8 weeks, which is in Maasailand. The staff at the clinic were very accommodating, hard working and dedicated. Together with another international volunteer we lived with a host family who tried very hard to make us feel welcome in their home - including giving up their own bed (they slept on the couch). There is much to see and do in East Africa (including going over the border to hike Mount Kili - Mount Kill Me). IVHQ staff are supportive - your safety and happiness with your placement are of their utmost concern. I highly recommend this placement with IVHQ. I am currently investigating another placement with them in Central America/South America. And will go back to Kenya next year!

How can this program be improved?
A quieter street to live on. Mosque across the street and bars with music going all hours. And roosters! Bring ear plugs.
Yes, I recommend this program

About International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 40+ destinations around the world.

Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the...