General Service Learning Trip FAQ
Please visit our Register for a Trip page for more information. After creating an account on the main MEDLIFE website in Section 2, you can log in by going to the yellow myMEDLIFE tab at the top right of the screen. Then, visit the 'Upcoming Service Learning Trips' page under the 'Service Learning Trips' tab and click 'Register' for the Service Learning Trip you would like to attend. When you have submitted your application and paid the $200 deposit, your spot on the Service Learning Trip will be fully reserved!
2. What makes a MEDLIFE Service Learning Trip unique?
There are many organizations that offer mission trips to undergraduate students and volunteers. Why should you choose a MEDLIFE Service Learning Trip? Because we provide more for our patients, community members, and volunteers.
For our patients:
- We bring more than just a doctor and some medication. All Mobile Clinics are staffed by local dentists, gynecologists, nurses, and primary care doctors. We equip these professionals with the tools and supplies they need so that we can offer more than just a consult.
- We hire local doctors and specialists. Local doctors have essential knowledge of the language, culture and existing healthcare system of their country. They are also familiar with the symptoms and treatments of common ailments to provide our patients with a higher degree of care than would a foreign professional.
- We provide follow-up care. MEDLIFE has full-time employees in Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, and Tanzania who dedicate themselves to follow-up care with our patients year-round. When MEDLIFE sees patients during a Mobile Clinic who require additional services, we make a commitment to return and help them get the medical support they need.
- Our Service Learning Trips serve as the first point of contact between MEDLIFE and impoverished communities. This introduction may lead to further collaboration through the MEDLIFE Project Fund. The MEDLIFE Project Fund supports the development of sustainable development projects via long-term aid in the form of new schools, clinics, and a variety of other development projects. In this way, Service Learning Trips are an essential part of MEDLIFE’s plan to bring sustainable forms of aid to the communities and families we serve.
For our volunteers:
- Mobile Clinics: Volunteers have the opportunity to work closely with and learn from our medical professionals, community leaders, and MEDLIFE staff. All MEDLIFE doctors are instructed to give our volunteers an educational, hands-on experience while they’re volunteering their time at our clinics.
- Community Development: Infrastructure projects and development workshops give volunteers a chance to work alongside community members on a development project. Working side-by-side with local residents provides a way for volunteers to forge relationships with community members outside of the clinic setting.
- MEDLIFE Student Chapters: MEDLIFE is an organization that relies heavily upon the contributions of our Chapters. A university or high school group provides a forum in which students who share the goal of spreading the Movement can meet to discuss global health topics, socialize, and plan for Service Learning Trips and fundraising events.
- Further Opportunities: MEDLIFE places a great degree of responsibility on motivated undergraduate and high school student leaders who wish to become involved beyond the member level. Dedicated MEDLIFE members can apply to join the Student Advisory Board or to a local Chapter E-Board position. MEDLIFE also offers summer and year-round internships that allow students to make a direct contribution to our efforts in Latin America. Read about all our leadership opportunities here.
- Making a Difference: MEDLIFE Mobile Clinics have provided medical care to thousands of community members in Peru, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Tanzania who previously did not have access to quality healthcare. The MEDLIFE Project Fund projects have also had a long-term positive effect on communities. MEDLIFE strives to make a lasting and significant difference in needy areas. Join us on an SLT!
3. Where can I attend a Service Learning Trip (Locations)?
MEDLIFE conducts Service Learning Trips in several locations. Service Learning Trips are held in Lima, Peru; Cusco, Peru; Riobamba, Ecuador; Tena, Ecuador; Esmeraldas, Ecuador; Managua, Nicaragua; and Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Click here to see read more about the different locations for Service Learning Trips.
4. When does MEDLIFE host Service Learning Trips?
MEDLIFE offers several different Service Learning Trip options during students' winter, spring, and summer breaks. Click here to see the upcoming Service Learning Trips with our chapter.
5. Who can attend a Service Learning Trip?
Anyone can attend a Service Learning Trip! You do not need to be a current member of a MEDLIFE Chapter to serve as a volunteer, however we highly recommend you register through us if you are a UTSG student to make the most of your trip!
MEDLIFE also has High School Student Chapters and coordinates trips specifically to high school students. For these Service Learning Trips, chaperones must also attend. Medical professionals interested in participating should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. What is the minimum number of volunteers needed to confirm a Service Learning Trip?
MEDLIFE requires a commitment from a minimum of 20 participants to confirm a Service Learning Trip.
7. Do I need to speak the local language?
Service Learning Trip participants are not required to speak Spanish or Swahili or to have any previous medical experience. It is helpful for participants to familiarize themselves with basic phrases in the local language and the medical and cultural landscape in the country they plan to visit. Here is a list of useful Spanish phrases for our Latin American locations.
8. I am concerned about obtaining a Visa and Insurance. Also, my family members and I are worried about my health and safety when attending the SLT. What should I do?
MEDLIFE has run SLTs since 2005, and since then, safety and security of their volunteers and the communities MEDLIFE serves has always been their #1 priority. For the most up-to-date information regarding health, safety, insurance, and security, please visit MEDLIFE's webpage. Additional information can also be found in the FAQ link below, or by contacting us directly.
What is the Service Learning Trip donation goal?Am I eligible for a MEDLIFE discount? What are the passport and visa requirements? How do I purchase my airfare? Am I required to purchase travel health insurance? What should I pack? What happens on the SLT? What does a volunteer do?