Monday, March 19, 2018
Current Programs


            Any international health elective other than those offered through IUSM must be approved through a special elective titled “Health Care in a Third World Country” (Course #93ZH970).  This process is facilitated by Dr. Ed Liechty (, who can meet with students to discuss various options in international health.  Students who enroll in this special elective may choose to work 1-3 months with the desired international program and are required to select and research a topic related to health care in the developing world.  A written report of the topic which demonstrates accomplishment of specific objectives is required.  Courses offered through Indiana University (e.g. Kenya, Honduras, China) have independent course requirements (see below). 
For any additional questions regarding arrangements of an international health elective, see Q&A. Some financial support for travel is available from outside sources on a competitive basis. Further information regarding financial support is available on our “Funding for International Trips” page. If you have had experience doing an elective that is not listed below, please contact us.




TexasSouth Texas Environmental Education and Research
Details: South Texas Environmental Education and Research (STEER) immerses health professions students and faculty in the unique culture and environment of the Texas-Mexico Border. Our purpose is to reunite Medicine and Public Health. You may choose to take STEER in Harlingen, Laredo, or both sites for a practicum or elective. Many universities offer course credit. Our students come from medical and public health schools across the US. STEER is in the Department of Family and Community Medicine of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio UTHSCSA.
Dates: 4-week course taught multiple times throughout the year.
Updated: 1/31/2013


MexicoIndiana University School of Medicine
** this program is currently on hold, pending further State Department Warning updates.  Students are still free to contact Dr. Stelzner for more current information**
Details: Indiana University has developed a partnership program with the brand new Hospital de Ninos DIF in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico. This pediatric hospital cares for patients with such issues as tuberculosis, ameobiasis, and many advanced chronic conditions.  This experience will be an interesting mix of state-of-the-art facilities with presentations of conditions that most US-trained students and residents never see.  Pachuca is a medium-sized city in a very tranquil and safe area of Mexico located about 1 1/2 hours from the Mexico City Airport.  Transportation is easy, expenses are minimal, and the experience is priceless as you will be immersed in the Spanish language and Mexican culture as well as see how systems of care function in another country.  Spanish language classes can be arranged during your time in Pachuca.  For third and fourth year medical students the rotation is arranged through the “Health Care in a Third World Country” elective. 
Dates: Any time during the year
Duration: 1-2 months
Contact: Sarah Stelzner, MD or Diane Lorant, MD

Updated 6/9/2010


Beliz -Hillside Health Care International
Details: While at Hillside, the students/residents are exposed to a variety of cross cultural experiences as they work with the Maya, Garifuna, Creole, East Indian and other Belizean cultures. They learn to evaluate patients while working through language barriers and cultural differences. Confidence is gained in evaluation skills as participants are required to make diagnoses and treatment plans without the reassurance of diagnostic tools they may be accustomed to. Many participants report gaining a much greater awareness of the barriers to medical care that are incipient in impoverished communities as they participate in home visits in areas where 79% of the population is living below the poverty line. Most return home with a greater appreciation of the healthcare and basic living needs of the medically underserved in their own home countries.
Duration: One month.


Updated 1/31/2013



Honduras – Global Health ElectiveIndiana University School of Medicine
 not available at this time, due to travel concerns

Course# 93ZH850


Details: Immersion experience in urban and rural Honduras for Spanish speaking and non-Spanish speaking students.  Rotation includes a one week medical brigade (clinical work in remote mountain villages, performing school physicals, and participating in home visits) as well as the option for either part-time physician shadowing with intensive Spanish immersion experience (non- or limited-Spanish speaking students) or full-time physician shadowing (bilingual students).  Students attend on-campus orientation covering topics on global health, medical Spanish, and Honduran culture and customs.
Eligibility: MS-III, MS-IV
Availability: February 2010
Duration: 4 weeks.  (Students may arrange 8 week rotation, Jan-Feb, per Jennifer Custer.)
Total Cost: Approximately $2,000 (including airfare, R&B).
Application: $150 Program Fee.


Contact: Jennifer Custer, Program Manager (317) 274-6539 or

Updated 11/13/2009


NicaraguaUniversity of Nebraska Medical Center
Details: The four-week course is an immersion Spanish language study with onsite exposure to primary and community health care in an underdeveloped country.  The course provides one-on-one instruction in the Spanish language, using the facilities of a Spanish language school in Leon. Participants study Spanish language grammar and structure and practice conversing. Due to the individualized nature of the instruction, students at any level of Spanish language knowledge will be able to participate. Students will learn about the delivery of health care in Nicaragua through field trips, visiting Nicaraguan health care facilities, and interaction with Nicaraguan health care professionals. The last week of the course offers hands-on experience at local health facilities in the Leon region. Program components include:
Eligibility: MS-III/IV.
Availability: February 2—March 2, 2013; March 3–31, 2013; April 7—May 5, 2013;
May 26—June 23, 2013; June 30—July 28, 2013
Duration: 4 weeks.
Housing:Homestay with a Nicaraguan family for the first three weeks. Hostel-style housing during the last week.
Costs:$2500 covers Spanish language instruction, program lectures, homestay with a Nicaraguan family, most meals, airport pickup, housing in Leon and during the field trips, ground transportation for scheduled program activities, and most miscellaneous programs fees. Not included: air fare, meals during the weekends and field trips, personal expenses, and some miscellaneous costs.
Contact: Sara Pirtle, Coordinator (402) 559-2924 or

Updated 1/31/2013


EcuadorOhio University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Details: A variety of medical and surgical experiences is available to students via the Catholic University Medical School System in Quito, Ecuador, including the military hospital where care is similar to that in the States, and the government referral hospitals where financially needy patients are referred from all around Ecuador, often with advanced and complex disease processes.  An optional first week will consist of working in a small suburban hospital participating in a surgical “brigade” where medical students, residents and faculty will participate in providing surgical services along with other U.S. and Ecuadoran health care workers to economically deprived patients.  Medical students will be immersed in the Ecuadoran culture every day, working side-by-side with Ecuadoran medical students and doctors to provide medical care.  A summary of the experience in 2008 is available upon request, which outlines the various experiences possible.
Eligibility: MS III-IV.
Dates: March 22 to April 21, 2009.
Duration: 1 month.
Estimated Cost: Program fee: $1,800.  Administrative fee: $150.  Airfare: $450-750.  Other: $900.  Total ~$3,100.
Contact: David S. Drozek, D.O.,


Application Deadline: Deadline January 31, 2009.



Updated 4/28/2009


Ecuador Interhealth South America
Details: Medical students and resident physicians may wish to consider joining us in 2011 for our Interhealth South America global health experiences in Ecuador we have organized the past several years. We have recently returned from our summer work in the country, and have now completed details for next year’s programs. The program includes several components:
* Clinic medical and community health work on both individual and group levels
* Seminar introduction to healthcare provision in South America
* Observation of primary and community healthcare institutions
* Participation in traditional/indigenous rural health activities
* Tours of Andes Mountain and upper Amazon River basin rainforest sites demonstrating a variety of natural environments
* Formal medical Spanish language instruction.
* Interactive introduction to medical interviewing and physical examination in Spanish
* Family homestay for a portion of the program
Duration: January 30- February 26, 2011.
Cost: ???
Contact: Don Wedemeyer, MD (
Updated 9/28/2009
CHINA – China Medical Service Learning Indiana University School of Medicine
Details: The ENLACE China Medical Service Learning Program invites you to go beyond your boundaries, challenge yourself and be part of something meaningful and rewarding during the summer of 2013. Spend 10 days in China caring for some of the world’s most vulnerable children: orphans with special health care needs. Attending to the medical needs of these children requires focused time and training that caregivers and medical students do not usually learn. You will receive in-depth training and hands-on exposure to children with special needs and have an opportunity to teach caregivers the skills needed to care for these vulnerable children. 
Program Eligibility
For the 2013-2014 academic year, this non-credit service learning program is open to rising MSII students during the summer, as well as MSIII and MSIV students with vacation scheduled for this time-period. Students must be in in good academic standing.
  • MSIII students: If interested in this opportunity, you will need to plan accordingly when arranging your MSIII schedule. This means you will need to schedule VACATION as the first rotation for the clerkship block 6/14 – 7-1, 2013.
  • MSIV students: If interested in this opportunity, you will need to plan accordingly when arranging your MSIV schedule. This means you will need to schedule June as your vacation month.
  • Mandarin Chinese language skills are not required.
Dates: June 20 – 30, 2013
Duration: 10 days
Cost: Approximately $4, 800 for 10 days.
Application Deadline: January 4, 2013.
Click HEREfor more information and a direct link to the application at i-Abroad.
Contact: Jennifer Custer, Program Manager (317) 274-6539 or
Updated 11/5/2012
ChinaSun Yat-Sen University School of Medicine

Course# 93ZH870


Details: Students will study for one month at Sun Yat-Sen University’s (SYSU) School of Medicine in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China.  Students should request a specialty or subspecialty of interest to them.  In addition to training in that area, the goals of the rotation include learning about the health care system in a country with a different culture, economy, and society than the United States.  Mentors from SYSU will be assigned to the students based on the student’s area of interest.  Most communication will be in English, but the patient examinations will be conducted in Chinese with the aid of interpreters.  Housing will be provided by SYSU, but students will be responsible for other expenses, including travel and meals.
Duration: 1 month.
Estimated Cost: $3,100 (including airfare).
Scholarships: Up to $2,000—based on academic achievement.
Contact: Dr. Marcus Schamberger, Director, at (317) 274-8906 or

Updated 3/25/2010


ChinaAcupuncture Education International
Details: Acupuncture Education International, Inc. is dedicated to promoting the education, clinical application, and research in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in North America by organizing the “Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Elective” at the World Health Organization designated training center in Beijing, China.  This elective is designed to fit into American medical school’s curriculum, yet it is also open to dental students, nursing students, physical therapy students and all other healthcare professionals. Through six years of collaboration with physicians and educators in China, we are very confident that this international exchange will undoubtedly help more and more healthcare professionals become open to this unique medical paradigm, sensitive to their patients’ cultural and medical beliefs, and therefore motivated to integrate acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine into their clinical practice.
Duration: 1 month.
Estimated Cost: $2,350 (excluding airfare).
Scholarships: None

Updated 9/28/2010


East TimorBairo Pite Clinic
Details:Located in East Timor’s capital city of Dili, Bairo Pite Clinic provides free health care services to the local population. On average, the clinic sees 300 or more patients per day, with a strict policy that everyone must be seen.            Originally, the clinic was set up to serve the immediate needs of a population affected by a humanitarian crisis. As the violence has subsided, BPC has adapted and transformed from an emergency medical service to a more comprehensive community health service. Bairo Pite Clinic provides a variety of services, such as childhood immunizations, pre-natal care, dental work, emergency services and seeking diagnosis and treatment for the most serious health problems facing the country including malaria, tuberculosis, dengue fever, leprosy and child mortality.
Dates: Year-round
NepalVolunteer Forum Nepal
Details: Volunteer Forum Nepal is a registered non-profit organization established in 2005, committed to professional and personal growth through excellence in experiential education while expanding foreign awareness of the developing nation of Nepal. Our health care/medical internships are complimentary to the practicum experience gained at home, and will broaden the training and scope of the professional development gained by students and volunteers through full cultural emersion in Nepali life and the healthcare conditions of our nation. We facilitate local internships connecting students and volunteers within health care and medical facilities throughout the capital city of Kathmandu as well as offer opportunities in other urban and rural communities across Nepal.
Duration: 2 weeks - 5 months.
Estimated Cost: $350/week + airfare.
Scholarships: None

Updated 2/26/2011


PhillipinesVolunteer For the Visayans
Details: You will live with a host family and do volunteer work to benefit the community. There are opportunities to work in the local orphanage, the nutrition office, the social department, the medical clinic, to teach English, and to work with street children. Health volunteers will work directly with patients.
Dates: Year-Round
Kenya – Medicine in Kenya – Indiana University School of Medicine

Course #93ZH820


Details: Created as an exchange for IU and Kenyan medical students, this program allows IU students to participate in the Kenyan medical and educational systems.  Based out of Moi University School of Medicine, this rotation occurs in the classrooms, clinics, and wards of a tertiary referral hospital (Moi Teaching and Referral).  Key experiences of the rotation include participating in ward rounds in medicine and pediatrics, being exposed to the work of AMPATH, as well as living in the medical student dorms.  AMPATH is an ongoing program providing medical care to Kenyans in the hospital catchment area; students may observe both the AMPATH-associated medical clinics as well as ancillary development programs (Family Preservation Initiative, Orphans and Vulnerable Children, etc.).  Additional opportunities, with the effort of the interested student, may include surgery, ob/gyn, anesthesiology, and other medical specialties.  The rotation is open 12 months of the year, with 6-8 positions each month.  Students are selected by a completely random raffle system during fall MS-III.  A mandatory orientation is provided the first three Wednesday evenings in May. Hospital
Eligibility: MS-IV only
Availability: All year
Duration: 8 weeks, with 1 week for vacation, and weekends off.
Housing: Moi medical student dormitory. University
Estimated Cost: $4,000 (including airfare, immunizations, housing, food, and weekend travel).
Scholarships: See “Financial Assistance” below.
Contact: Ron Pettigrew, Program Manager (317) 630-8695 or



Updated 11/13/2009


Kenya – Global Reproductive HealthIndiana University School of Medicine

Course #93ZH880


Details: This two month course offers continued studies in the management of obstetrical and gynecological patients in rural and urban communities of Kenya. This clerkship will combine observational and hands-on clinical experiences in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The student will actively participate in the management of routine obstetrical and gynecologic patients, as well as participate in the care of high risk maternal-fetal patients. During this rotation, the student will gain a beginner’s understanding of the major reproductive health problems specific to Kenya.  The student will be expected to participate in the inpatient clinical activities in labor and delivery, antenatal ward, or gynecology ward at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. They will be required to submit 2 short reflection papers at the end of the course.
Eligibility: MS-IV only
Availability: All year
Duration: 8 weeks
Housing: Moi medical student dormitory. University
Estimated Cost: $4,000 (including airfare, immunizations, housing, food, and weekend travel).
Scholarships: See “Financial Assistance” below.
Contact: Sierra Washington, Course Director,



Updated 11/13/2009


AIDE (Association of International Development and Exchange) – Medical Internships
Details: Non-for-profit organization that offers international internship placements within the context of higher education.  Medical internships in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina.  Placement available in urban hospitals or rural clinics in fields of emergency medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, internal medicine, and surgery.  Academic credit is available for eligible students.
Eligibility: MS I-IV.
Duration: 4-8 weeks.
Cost: Variable depending on location ($2,000-$3,000).
Contact: or (866) 6ABROAD, ext. 137

Updated 1/13/2010


American Medical Student Association (AMSA) – International Clinical Exchange
Details: Exchange program operates through the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA).  Through IFMSA over 7,000 students participate in clinical or preclinical clerkship opportunities every year.  Exchanges are a unique opportunity for medical students to further their training by studying medicine in a different cultural context. If you are interested in doing clinical training in another country, and also are excited about providing the same opportunity for foreign students at your school, then AMSA’s International Clinical Exchanges are great opportunity to grow both as a student-leader as well as a physician.
Eligibility: MS III-IV (“Clinical Clerkships”).
Duration: 4 weeks.
Cost: Varies by location.

Updated 1/15/2010


Amerispan – SALUD Medical Spanish & Portuguese Programs

Updated 2/27/2011


Child Family Health International – Global Health Education Programs & Community Health Initiatives
Details: “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.  We model best global health education practices which demonstrate a priority commitment to community engagement and local integrity.”  CFHI currently offers programs in Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, and South Africa.  
Eligibility: MS I-V.
Duration: 4-8 weeks.
Cost: Variable depending on location ($1,600-$2,300).
Scholarships: CFHI offers occasional partial ($1000) and full scholarships for use towards CFHI program fees.



Updated 4/28/2009


Global Volunteers – Public Health Volunteer Service Trips
Locations: Ghana, Tanzania, and Romania
Dates: Short term, year-round.

Updated 2/27/2011


O.C. Hubert Student Fellowship in International Health – Public Health Fellowship
Details: Established in 1999, the O.C. Hubert Student Fellowship in International Health provides opportunities for third- and fourth-year medical students to gain public health experience in an international setting.  Hubert fellows spend four to twelve weeks in a developing country working on a priority health problem alongside field teams from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Through these experiences, students establish relationships with, and receive training from, recognized experts from CDC and other national and international health agencies.
Eligibility: MS III, IV.
Duration: 4-12 weeks.
Cost: Stipend of $3,000 to cover travel costs.

Updated 1/15/2010


Operation Smile – Medical Student Volunteer Opportunities



Updated 9/28/2010


Physicians for Peace – Medical Programs (Burn, Surgery, Rehab, etc.)

Updated 2/27/2011


Project CURE – CURE Clinics International Volunteer Opportunities

Updated 2/27/2011


Shoulder-to-Shoulder – Medical Trips
Details: The lifeblood of Shoulder to Shoulder is in its volunteers. We have great need for all types of volunteers with varied skills and talents.
Two-week Brigades: Volunteer for a group trip with fellow health professionals, dentists and teachers. Provide care to the poorest and contribute to the long-term effort to improve the community. Spanish is not required. Generally participation in "brigades" are dictated by the affiliate or academic group running the particular brigade. Construction and bilingual translators are always needed on these trips.
Long-term Rotations, (1 month or more): Shoulder to Shoulder welcomes volunteers of all sorts for longer periods of volunteering. Health care providers, dentists, teachers, administration and business skills in particular are needed. Spanish proficiency is required.
Medical Rotations: We offer extensive opportunities for medical students and residents in international medicine during either the brigades or long-term rotations.
Construction Trips: Construction volunteers of all talents are welcome for short or long term. Spanish is not required. Please contact Art Ranz at
Eligibility: Open to all.
Duration: 2-4 weeks.
Cost: Variable depending on location.



Updated 9/28/2010


Unite for Sight – Global Impact Corps
Details: Unite For Sight's Global Impact Corps is an immersive global health experience for students and for professionals. All volunteers participating in Unite For Sight's international programs are Global Impact Fellows.  What do Global Impact Fellows do? Global Impact Fellows participate daily with local doctors to eliminate patient barriers to care and to facilitate comprehensive year-round eye care for patients living in extreme poverty.  They assist with patient education, visual acuity screening, patient intake, distributing the glasses and medication prescribed by the local eye doctors, data compilation and analysis, and other important support tasks.  They also observe the surgeries provided by the local doctors.
Through hands-on, structured training, Global Impact Fellows gain a comprehensive understanding about best practices in global health and social entrepreneurship.  Global Impact Fellows gain skills and are nurtured to become new leaders in global health, and they receive a Certificate in Global Health & Program Delivery.  Additionally, Global Impact Fellows may participate in the Global Impact Lab, an optional program for those interested in pursuing global health research. For example, current Global Impact Fellows are pursuing research studies about medication management, the use of visual resources for patient education, traditional medicine practices, and patient barriers to care.
Who is eligible? Anyone from any country is eligible to apply.  Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellows are 18 years and older, and there is no upper age limit. Global Impact Fellows range from undergraduate students to medical students, public health students and public health professionals, nurses, educators, opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists.
Duration: 1-10 weeks.
Cost: Variable depending on location.
American Medical Student Association (AMSA) – International Health Opportunities Directory
Christian Medical & Dental Associations – International Missions Opportunities
American Medical Association (AMA) – International Health Database
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals –Global Opportunities Tool – Volunteer Opportunities Directory
Global Medicine Network – International Opportunities
Mission Finder – Missions for Medical Students
Dates: January 11-19, 2014
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mercy Obeime, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, in partnership with the Timmy Global Health .
Trip Description: The selectedstudent will join a team composed of medical professionals and students, as well as local Dominican physicians, health promoters, and nurses who will volunteer as support staff in primary care clinics throughout ten rural and underserved communities supported by Timmy Global Health and other partner organizations. Dr. Obeime will supervise student volunteers in these medical clinics where they will play largely non-clinical roles (i.e. scribe for physicians, take vitals and assist with clinical histories, shadow medical professionals, manage Timmy’s EMR system, etc.) and be involved in more advanced clinical functions (under strict supervision). Also, students will participate in a number of cultural activities, including tours of rural communities.
Qualifications: Applicants must be third-year medical students in good standing with the institution and have an interest in global health and/or care of the underserved.
Scholarship: One scholarship which supports travel, housing, board, and fees for this non-credit bearing experience will be provided by Indiana University School of Medicine, Division of Diversity Affairs. 
Application: Interested students should submit 1) a current resume, and 2) a letter of interest that addresses why you would like to participate and how acceptance for this experience will promote your career goals. Selection is based on maturity, seriousness of purpose, and appropriateness of match between program and applicant. The deadline to apply is Friday, November 15, 2013.
Note: In keeping with the Medical Student Affairs International Travel Policy, the student selected for this sponsorship must seek approval as outlined in the section on individual students pursuing international educational activities. Procedures for seeking approval are available in the student handbook. Funding for this trip is contingent upon approval by MSA.    
Submit your application electronically to:
Study Abroad Trip Selection Committee
c/o Rita Flynn, Administrative Specialist
Office of Diversity Affairs

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