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Affordable Medical Electives Abroad


Affordable Medical Electives Abroad with International Volunteer HQ

When the time comes to organize your medical elective abroad, we know that finding an affordable opportunity that’s all organized for you can feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle. That’s why thousands of medical students turn to International Volunteer HQ to organize their medical electives abroad - not only will you have the opportunity to learn about medicine as a global entity and experience new cultures, healthcare systems, technologies and see different conditions, you’ll be living and working alongside other international volunteers, and have the opportunity to travel with them during your free time. And importantly, we’re committed to making your medical elective affordable.

We understand that the transition between finishing medical school and working as a doctor is tight, and our medical elective volunteers appreciate having access to international travel opportunities while meeting their medical elective requirements in one of our 16 medical elective destinations.

Whether you’re studying to be a doctor, nurse, dentist, midwife, pharmacist, physiotherapist, or any healthcare-related profession, IVHQ has an all-inclusive and cheap medical electives that we can customize for you. With over 10 years of experience in organizing medical electives for international students, IVHQ specializes in taking care of all your pre-departure and in-country arrangements. We provide international medical placements to meet your elective requirements, while offering you a rewarding travel experience, as you are immersed in the local culture and have the opportunity to spend your weekends traveling with like-minded medical elective students. We also arrange your airport pick-up, accommodation, meals and orientation, and provide you with access to 24/7 in-country support to ensure you’re all set for your elective.

IVHQ does everything we can to ensure that the process of organizing your medical elective abroad is as hassle-free as possible and we’ve simplified the process of becoming an IVHQ volunteer for you in 4 simple steps…

1. Browse our medical elective destinations

With medical elective options available in Africa, Asia, South America and Central America, you will need to narrow down your options to find the best medical electives for you.

Medical volunteering in Tanzania

Given each country’s insurance regulations, laws and the specific demands of your medical elective, our destinations have varying entry requirements for international medical students. Your first consideration should therefore be finding out which medical elective options you’re eligible for:

Are you currently in medical school?

If you’re currently studying in medical school, you’re eligible to apply for our medical electives in the following destinations: Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, India - Delhi, Peru - Cusco, Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh, Tanzania and Peru - Lima.

Have you already completed 2 years of medical school?

Students who have already completed at least 2 years of nursing school or medical school have the additional opportunities to join IVHQ in Nepal, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Ghana.

Are you a pre-medical student?

If you’re starting out on a medical path, you’re eligible to apply for our medical electives in the following destinations: Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, India - Delhi, Peru - Cusco, Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh, Tanzania and Peru - Lima.

2. Consider your medical elective options

Now that you have an idea of what your destination options are, you can consider which causes you are most interested in, what your personal specilized skills are in the medical field, and which countries appeal to you on both a cultural and tourism level.

Medical volunteering in Uganda

To narrow down your destinations options, you can ask yourself:

  • Do I prefer a city scene, or a more rural volunteer placement?
  • What are my accommodation preferences (ie. homestay or volunteer house)?
  • What is my budget for flights?
  • How much time do I have available for travel?
  • Will I be arranging travel and free time activities in addition to my medical elective?
  • Do I want to work within a specific field or can I be flexible with the volunteer tasks?
  • Do I want to take any language classes during my medical elective?
  • Am I aiming to fulfil internship requirements, course credits, or a basis for a thesis?

Deciding where to take your medical elective is a personal decision and we recommend doing some independent research to help determine the perfect fit for you, as all of our programs are unique and what is best suited for others, may not be the best match for you. The IVHQ team is more than happy to answer any questions that you have and can provide you with better guidance if we know more about your personal goals, preferences and expectations.

3. Choose your medical elective duration

Practical considerations will include when you intend to take your elective, and this will also dictate how long you can volunteer for.

Volunteer on the medical project in Tanzania with IVHQ

  • It is wise to check the climate/season of your preferred elective destination so that you will know what to expect from the weather during your elective period.
  • The majority of our Medical/Healthcare projects accept can accept students for a minimum duration of 1 week
  • The Nepal and the Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City options require a 2 week minimum duration
  • Maximum volunteer durations range from 12 to 24 weeks.
  • Your program fee is calculated according to the number of weeks you choose to volunteer for.

4. Decide whether you want to volunteer indiviudally or bring a group with you

Now you’ve found the perfect medical elective option, it’s time to consider if you will you be sharing this opportunity with your classmates, or if would you like to undertake a volunteer trip on your own. If you want your classmates to come along, that’s awesome - IVHQ can tailor an experience for groups of 8 or more to ensure that your elective meets any requirements from your University or College. For more information, you can contact our groups team at, or you can take the plunge and apply right away!

5. Apply online for your medical elective

You know what your options are. You know what your preferences and budget are. You know when you’re available to travel. And you’ve checked out the in-country climate information. Your ideal program destination awaits and if you wish to volunteer in multiple program destinations, you can take advantage of IVHQ’s multi-trip rewards - chat with our team to learn more.

Apply to volunteer on a Medical project with IVHQ

In your application, make sure you include a description of your skills, experience and qualifications that are relevant to the medical field, as well as any specific requirements of your elective. This helps us to accurately assess your application and provide extra guidance if needed. Our local team will also take your skills, interests and experience into consideration when making arrangements for you.

Whether you’re just starting out on your career path and seeking extra insight and experience, or already well on your way to becoming a fully-qualified professional, IVHQ’s medical electives provide options for various levels of medical qualifications. Browse our full range of medical elective options here.

The IVHQ staff are really friendly and contactable. Whenever I emailed with a questions someone had responded to me very quickly and answered my questions in full. Orientation was fantastic. It was great to have the Swahili lesson and to be shown around town and how to take the Dalla Dalla. It was great to be taken to placement on our first day so that we knew how to get there and who to talk to when we arrived. This removed all anxiety about starting placement. Our accommodation was good and our house Mama’s were amazing. Living standards and food were good and we could always approach our house Mamas with questions or problems. The hospital staff loved having us there, they said that they were so glad we had been and could we stay forever! I loved every minute of my trip to Tanzania. Our placement, homestay, local staff, other volunteers and our safari were all incredible. Thank you so much for the trip of a lifetime! Rhonda Hubbard, 24 (Tanzania Elective)

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!