Health interns in Ecuador will experience the rich culture and history of the vibrant capital city of Quito, located in the Andes mountain range. Interns will get a view into the day-to-day realities of urban medical settings in Quito with regards to resources, diseases, and access to care.
This program will provide intensive language development opportunities via Spanish immersion and 20 hours of Spanish language classes.
Interns are provided with opportunities to learn about global health while imbedded in the existing health systems and social services sectors alongside local community members and champions. This internship seeks to develop students’ broad-based understanding of the interplays between disease processes, social circumstances, poverty, resiliency, geopolitical realities, historical contexts, culture, and the complexities of health and wellness. Our partner company’s expertise is in “preserving the authenticity of the community’s expertise and presenting ‘real-life’ global health, while nesting programs in gold-standard educational pedagogies and safety standards”.
Thousands of students and medical professionals have taken part in their unique programs, which foster reciprocal partnerships and empowerment in local communities. Internships are open to all students with an interest in health in an international context and is especially ideal for pre-med, pre-nursing, public health, and global health students.
Our partner company in Ecuador is a global health ethics leader; as such, their programs uphold strict standards and comply with all local laws. This program is not an episodic volunteer experience, and is not designed to provide service to those who would otherwise not have healthcare. Therefore, the internship experience will be predominantly observational and interns should be aware that they are not to be providing direct healthcare to patients. The learning objectives for this internship, as outlined by our partner company, are:
This program in Quito provides interns the opportunity to intensively develop their Spanish language skills while deepening their understanding of healthcare delivery in a low-resource, urban setting. Participants will come away from their internship with a greater awareness of the social and economic factors that impact the health of the local population.
Interns will experience various non-profits, public health organizations, and public and private hospitals and clinics around Quito. Typically, interns will begin rotations in non-profit and/or public health sites before moving on to medical rotations for the rest of their internship.
Interns may have the opportunity to observe the following medical specialties: primary care, internal medicine, surgery, maternity, pediatrics, emergency medicine, oncology, and more. Clinical placements depend upon availability and local realities. Interns also have the opportunity to appropriately and ethically support ongoing program operations and health and social sector NGOs, these may include an organization serving children with disabilities or community outreach projects.
Activities and Tasks: This is an observation-based experience (see “About the Organization”). Much of interns’ time will be spent shadowing physicians and healthcare providers as they work with patients during routine exams, taking medical histories, and performing procedures and surgeries. Interns will observe patient-physician interactions, and may assist with note-taking as their language skills allow. They may also be asked to assist with fetching and preparing supplies, and may participate in community outreach initiatives. As time and circumstances permit, interns may have the opportunity to ask questions of medical providers and patients.
NOTE: All rotations are subject to change depending on availability and local conditions.
Spanish classes: 20 hours of Spanish language classes are built into this program, and are provided by a local language school. Depending on the number of participants and their language proficiency levels, students may be placed into small groups or one-on-one with a language instructor.
Estimated One-Time Expenses
* *Fees vary based on medical history and insurance coverage
* No visa required for U.S. citizens
Estimated Monthly Expenses
*Fee amounts are calculated with an exchange rate from LOCAL CURRENCY at the time of posting.
Budgeting Note: Estimated costs are based on typical internship-related costs and a modest standard of living. Each intern’s costs will vary based on lifestyle choices (eating out vs. cooking or eating provided meals, taking taxis vs. walking or taking the bus) and recreational spending (travelling on days off, expensive hobbies, etc.).
Additional Expense Information
The host site fees include:
Program participants will find their home away from home in carefully selected homestays, screened by Local Coordinators in Quito and following health and safety guidelines. Nestled within Northern Quito, these homestays offer the perfect blend of comfort and authenticity, situated in middle-class neighborhoods with excellent access to the language school, public transportation, shops, restaurants, and cafes. In some cases, interns may share a house or a room in the same homestay with fellow program participants.
Interns are responsible for their own transportation in the city. Advice and tips on travelling locally will be provided at the welcome orientation.
Interns may arrange their own housing if they do not choose host/partner housing.
Summer: January 25
- See Qualifications and Requirements section