Covid-19: Where you can go & flexible booking
114,124 volunteers since 2007

Medical Volunteering in Arusha - Tanzania

Apply now. The next available start date for this project is Jun 1, 2021

In many poor communities in Tanzania, healthcare is not easily accessible or affordable. The Medical volunteer project aims to change that by placing you in medical clinics to help to serve vulnerable people.

You’ll volunteer in either a local clinic or hospital, shadowing local medical professionals and assisting with daily duties. Local regulations and language barriers mean volunteers are unable to perform independent tasks, however you can observe healthcare in action in a developing country and help where permitted.

Some hospitals and clinics include departments such as laboratory testing, pharmacy, maternity and family planning, radiology and ultrasound. If you have an interest in any of these fields, you are welcome to make a note in your application. Your placement will also be determined by your previous experience and training.

Medical volunteer in Tanzania with IVHQ

You may also be able to take part in Medical Outreach campaigns twice a week. Campaigns take place in local villages, delivering basic medical care where it’s not often available. These campaigns are fully organized and funded by volunteers, and you’re welcome to reach out to your Program Manager for more information about arranging these.

If you’re someone who has a strong initiative, enthusiasm and readiness to work in basic facilities with limited resources, this project will be a good fit for you. Volunteers need to be students in at least their third year of medical or nursing school, or fully qualified professionals. Paramedics, EMTs and CNAs are also welcome, however it’s important to note that you’ll be volunteering in a general practice clinic or hospital, rather than working within a specialized field.

All Medical volunteers are required to provide the following to our local team once they have registered for the program, no later than three weeks before the program begins:

  • Copy of current level of study or certification
  • Two reference letters from a professor or supervisor in the medical field
  • CV/resume specific to medical skills and experience

The Medical project in Tanzania has an extra cost of US$50 (approximately CA$64) per week for extra supervision, materials and logistics. This amount will be included in the Program Fee quoted to you when you apply for the program.

Apply now
Apply now
Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from CA$348 for 1 week
  • Shadow and assist local medical professionals

  • Volunteer in medical clinics or a local hospital

  • Assist in a wide range of medical fields

  • Suited to volunteer medical students and professionals interested in observing healthcare in a developing country

  • Additional US$50 (approximately CA$64) per week surcharge for extra supervision, materials and logistics

  • Volunteer for up to 6 hours per day

Destination Highlights
Tanzania at a glance
  • Based in and around the city of Arusha, near Mt Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania

  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support

  • Accommodation in a volunteer house or homestay

  • Between 30 and 60 volunteers start in Tanzania each month

Fill out the quick form below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Tanzania, based on your country of residence.

The IVHQ Tanzania volunteer program is based in Arusha and has volunteer placements located in rural and urban Tanzanian communities and villages. Volunteers are advised to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is a 15 to 17 hour flight from most major airports in Canada. As this project is based in Arusha, volunteers will need to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport ​or Arusha Regional Airport (if traveling to the program by air).

Volunteer programs begin on the 1st and 15th of each month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for period ranging from 1 week to ​16​ weeks.

The program orientation begins on the 1st and 15th of every month and volunteers need to arrive in Arusha on the day before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) in Arusha. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Arusha. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Tanzania prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Arusha on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our local team at the volunteer house in Arusha. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date. If your start date falls on a weekend or a public holiday, your orientation will begin on the Monday or day following the public holiday. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Tanzania – Introduction to Tanzania, Tanzanian Customs, Rules and Expectations, Language Lessons (Kiswahili) Safety, Travel Opportunities in Tanzania, Introduction to your Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

First Day: On the first day of the volunteering placement, you will be escorted to the project by our local staff and introduced to the staff at the project you will be working with.

Weekdays: A typical day would be as follows:

7.30 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house or homestay.

8.00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at.

2.00PM - 5.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel home, prepare for the next day or do some shopping and sightseeing.

8.30 PM Dinner at the volunteer house or homestay.

Volunteers in Tanzania are either accommodated in a volunteer house or a​ ​homestay with a host family. Volunteers can expect to share a room with 1 to​ 5 other volunteers of the same gender and volunteer houses can accommodate up to 30 volunteers at one time. Volunteers in homestays can expect to be living with at​ ​least four other volunteers. All volunteers under the age of 18 years are accommodated in a separate room within the volunteer house or together in a separate homestay, under the supervision of our local team.

Living is basic but the volunteer house and homestays have running water and electricity, however it is important to note that there are​ ​often power outages which affect availability of hot water and power. Bedding is​ ​provided, however you will need​ ​to bring​ ​your own towel and toiletries. It is​ ​also​ ​recommended to bring​ ​a​ sleeping bag for weekends away​. ​In the volunteer house, there is a cook who​ ​​prepares meals for the​ ​volunteers and there is a security guard.​ ​The local​ ​​team​​ are also available on a daily basis​ during the week for support and via phone over the weekend.​

If you would like to keep connected during your stay, we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Tanzania. The local team can assist you with purchasing a SIM card during your program orientation. You can also access WiFi from cafes and restaurants in Arusha.

If you would like to arrive a day earlier than your recommended arrival date, or wish to spend a few extra nights after finishing your program, we can arrange extra nights of accommodation for you for US$35 per person, per night, meals included, subject to availability.

If you would like to arrange extra nights of accommodation, just make a note in your application or contact your IVHQ Program Manager who will be happy to assist you.

Tanzanian cuisine varies across the country, owing to the difference in produce inland and along the coast. The immigration of Khoja Indians has resulted in local dishes influenced by Indian cuisine. Staple foods in Tanzania include rice, ugali (maize porridge), chapatti and coconut milk. Volunteers are served three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Breakfasts generally consist of chai (tea), toast, fruit and mandazzi (deep fried dough). A typical lunch can include meat and vegetables with rice and fruit, while dinner usually sees traditional food, such as ugali and chapatti accompany the meat and vegetables. Meals are served at the accommodation​,​ however a packed lunch can be provided upon request if you​r​​ ​placement is due to finish after lunch time.​ ​Bottled water​ ​is​​ ​readily available in Tanzania and volunteers should budget approximately CA$6 per week for this (2 liters per day). If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know so we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.

“To say that Tanzania changed my entire life would be the worlds greatest understatement. The country, the people but most of all the children! I guess the reason I chose to volunteer was to help make a difference in these kids lives, but in reality it was them that made a difference in mine. Such a rewarding and life changing experience and I would recommend it to anyone willing to throw themselves into a different culture. My greatest advice would be to go with an open heart and an open mind and I can guarantee you that you’ll come home a different person.” - Nikola Bonacci (Teaching Volunteer in Tanzania)

Read more reviews from IVHQ volunteers in Tanzania here


Duration Program Fee
1 week $270 CA$348
2 weeks $390 CA$503
3 weeks $565 CA$729
4 weeks $705 CA$910
5 weeks $855 CA$1,104
6 weeks $1,005 CA$1,297
8 weeks $1,320 CA$1,704
10 weeks $1,650 CA$2,130
12 weeks $1,980 CA$2,556
16 weeks $2,640 CA$3,409
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee from US$299 (approximately CA$386) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in CAD.
  • Independent volunteers under the age of 18 will have an additional cost of US$80 per week added to their program fee to cover extra logistical support provided by the local team. The Medical project has an additional surcharge of US$50 per week for additional supervision, materials, and logistics involved. The Animal Welfare project has a one-off surcharge of US$80 which covers costs involved in supervision and transport, and goes directly to the veterinarian volunteers are working with.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours.
  • Transport to and from your placement and transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program
  • Spending money - Volunteers in Tanzania generally find US$50 to be sufficient for weekly expenses
Registration Fee
What it covers
  • Most affordable program fees
  • Expert support from a program specialist
  • Full MyIVHQ account access
  • Online volunteer training
  • Comprehensive preparation tools
  • IVHQ alumni rewards
Program Fee
What it covers
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Volunteer placement
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
Capital Dodoma
Population 47.78 million
Languages Swahili and English
Currency Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
Time zone UTC+03:00

Weather and climate: Tanzania is hot throughout the year and is humid on the coast and dry on the central plateau. The heavy rains last from March to June and can make unsealed road travel difficult. The hot, dry weather in January and February attracts the most tourists. The best time to visit the Serengeti is from January to March, when the grazers are calving and there are plenty of lion around, or to witness the wildebeest migration to and from Kenya, which occurs at the onset of the dry season and again with the first rains, usually around the beginning of June and mid-November. Zanzibar has a warm climate year-round and its coastal resorts are tempered by sea breezes. The island is best avoided during the rain season in April and May.

Volunteers who are under 18 years old will be required to provide IVHQ with parental/guardian consent and two character reference letters in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team. Volunteers under the age of 18 can only participate for a maximum stay of up to 4 weeks, on only the Childcare, HIV/AIDS Support, Teaching and Animal Welfare projects. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Tanzania. Additional requirements apply for Medical volunteers, please read the project description below.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

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!