Hi there Ryleek,
I always love someone who talks about Africa! I must tell you that anything is possible. In 2003 I was finishing up my BScN and really wanted to go to Africa for one of my clinical experiences. As a result I went to the Professor organizing the placements and asked her if it was possible. She said yes but I knew after speaking to her that it would be up to me to set it up and I would need to pay for the trip etc...on my own. I was willing though, because I knew it would be a once in a life time opportunity which would also be life changing.
After a "tough" search on the internet I came across an organization which I will recommend to you. I see you are from Canada (as I am)but I'm going to recommend an American organization anyway. I'm doing this because for me I wanted to be able to go to Africa when I wanted and for as long as I wanted. Most organizations I found in Canada were not that accommodating with that sort of stuff along with being willing to work with my university. I'm sure they are out there, but I just didn't seem to find them when I was searching the internet and asking around.
Anyway, I did finally find an organization called "Cross Cultural Solutions
". They are based out of New York and I went to Ghana, West Africa for 10 weeks with them. IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!
You can set up the placement you want by talking to the program coordinator before you go, and they even were willing to speak to my professors to ensure everything was set and they had placements where the internet was available so I could write my papers etc...I must say though the final details didn't happen until I was there. I ended up working with the Red Cross, the hospital and a NGO group.
I really wanted to know about HIV/AIDS so I learned how they tested for it in the blood lab and I sat in on peer education sessions and eventually helped with a 3 day workshop on the topic. I also helped with blood drives. We did one under a mango tree!
Anyway, it took a lot of work to organize on my own. I went to the bank and was able to get a loan to go. That's how bad I wanted it! It was expensive I will not lie to you, but I do not regret spending the money AT ALL.
I would definitely go back to Ghana in the future. The people are soooo nice, the Country is safe and I just loved it and miss it very much.
Good luck with trying to set it up for yourself. If you're determined I'm sure it will happen. I had to go to school in the summer so I would only have my placement to do from January to April therefore I could go to Ghana and still graduate on time with my friends. That is why it was so important to me that I found an organization that had many "leave" dates and lengths of stay.
I could go on and on but I will not. Visit www.crossculturalsolutions.org
for more details. If you have any more questions feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org