volunteer abroad opportunities? please help!


So I'm currently an RN, applying to grad school, and before I go back to having absolutely no life, I would like to travel! I'm only thinking of going somewhere for about two weeks, and I've looked into programs on several websites. I thought it would be fun too volunteer in Belize (I don't want to go TOO far away), but there's a ton of programs out there that are almost $2,000 just to volunteer! Plus, I'm not sure which ones are reliable and which ones aren't. I stumbled on one called Hillside, and I'm not sure if anyone has heard of that one? If anyone has any great experiences please let me know! I'm kind of lost. I also though Costa Rica would be interesting. I want to go somewhere safe also, since I will be traveling by myself.


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I am an RN and recently volunteered with an excellent organization called International Volunteer HQ. They are based out of New Zealand, placing volunteers in multiple countries working with the local NGO's. They have placements specific to the country, but also medical, teaching, and orphanage placements. I volunteered in Nepal for 3 months at a hospital in Pokarah as well as a small rural clinic in the southern area of Chitwan. I enjoyed it so much I went to India with the same organization and volunteered in an all-girls orphanage. The experience was incredibly valuable and I am forever changed by it. Their program fees are very affordable, and my biggest cost ended up being the plane tickets. Their website is volunteerhq.org. The biggest hurtle I experienced was the language barrier. If I volunteer in healthcare again, I would pick a country that speaks English to better communicate with local nurses and the patients.

Good luck!


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Prevention International: No Cervical Cancer pincc.org I highly recommend. They train doctors and nurses to do cervical cancer screenings in developing countries (cervical cancer is the leading cancer killer of women in developing countries). I volunteered with them in Kenya in August/September of 2013. I researched volunteer opportunities for a year before choosing this one, because most volunteer organizations require you to pay your way (as you are probably discovering). I wanted to make sure my money was being spent wisely. I'd also read articles that showed how short term medical missions can sometimes do more harm than good, which was another reason I researched organizations for such a long time. I was impressed before I volunteered with PINCC and even more so after my experience with them. They promote training local staff to do the screenings and make site visits about every 6 months until a site is self sustaining. Check out the website if it sounds interesting. Certainly there are other quality organizations that you can volunteer with, but from personal experience, I'd recommend PINCC as a good option. I am hoping to travel with them to Nicaragua in 2014.

Specializes in Dialysis. Has 13 years experience.

Do they have nursing opportunities Nicole? I'm very interested, but all the descriptions for medical placements talk about med students. Thx for any info!


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Hi! I found your post through a google search on medical missions. That was a month ago and I've been researching about the organization extensively and as someone who's always wanted to go on a medical mission focusing on women's health, PINCC sounds like the right fit for me. I've already sent them my CV and just waiting to hear back. I'm hoping I can join them for a week in March for their Tanzania trip. (I'm a full time LVN and taking classes to get into the RN program) I was just wondering if you could give me more info about your trip in Kenya? Thank you so much :)