What to Expect from Medical Volunteering and Work Experience

Published on Wednesday 3 February 2016

Whether you’re a pre-university student looking for work experience, a medical student looking for a worthwhile elective, a medical professional taking a career break or simply just want to volunteer your time and skills, a medical project overseas can be a daunting prospect. When leaving the comforts of home behind to embark on a new adventure, you’ll want to be sure that you know what to expect when taking on a medical volunteering project.

We’ve put together a brief introduction to medical volunteering, from the personal and career benefits to daily life and the working conditions you’ll experience.

Personal Benefits

They say that travel broadens the mind, and by volunteering with us on a medical project overseas you will be able to travel to an amazing country you probably wouldn’t have considered journeying to before.

Volunteering is an extremely rewarding thing to do and you’ll have the opportunity to create some amazing memories and make new friends in an entirely different environment.

It’s important to remember, that whilst rewarding, it will be a demanding experience and one that you should prepare yourself for. Working away from home, surrounded by people you don’t know and in an environment which may be emotionally draining can be challenging, but you’ll be supported by our friendly overseas staff and the comradeship of your fellow volunteers who will all be based in the same area.

Career Benefits

Everyone has different motivations for joining our medical volunteering placement. Whether you’re a pre-university student looking to boost their application to medical school, an elective student or qualified professional, volunteering will look great on your CV / Resume.

Aside from what you learn about medicine overseas on the placement, volunteering abroad will allow you to learn a new language and experience a new culture, both of which are great qualities that universities and employers will be keen to make use of. Helping a local community will show your charitable spirit and can also help to aid your career choice or your next step in life.

Daily Life

At Global Medical Projects we have a variety of volunteering options available for those interested in medical, nursing, physiotherapy, dentistry, paramedic or radiography projects. You could be assisting on maternity wards, providing dental care or shadowing doctors and nurses.  No two days are the same and you will have the opportunity to experience a variety of hospital departments and clinics but rest assured that you will be fully integrated into the team.

Typically you will work office hours, Monday to Friday, leaving weekends free to travel with the other volunteers but be prepared to work occasional evenings and weekends too.

Working Conditions

Volunteering certainly isn’t a luxury holiday and working conditions during your hospital experience will be vastly different to home. You’ll be working in a variety of communities, most of which are under privileged, and see the challenges these communities face on a daily basis.

Volunteering abroad will give you real hands on experience and you’re likely to see different tropical infections and diseases that you may not have encountered previously. You may see a lack of funding during your placement and experience times when patients can’t afford to pay for treatments.

What’s included on a Trip?

Your trip with Global Medical Projects will include;

  • Accommodation
  • UK support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Local induction and orientation
  • Medical placement and donation
  • Local overseas support
  • Food provided by your host family or organisation


You’ll need to take care of the following;


  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Spending money
  • Visas
  • Inoculations
  • Food at weekends

Volunteering is a life changing experience and one that we hope will stay with you for a long time. We look forward to welcoming you on one of our placements soon!