FAQs

What makes our trips unique?

Why attend a Development Corps trip?

Who can attend a Volunteer Trip (ie. a Mobile Clinic or Trip for Development)?

Do I need to speak the local language?

What is the Volunteer Trip participation fee?

What does the participation fee cover?

What fundraising opportunities are there for participants?

What are the passport and visa requirements?

How do I puchase my airfare?

Am I required to purchase travel insurance?

If you have more questions, please take a look at the FAQ page on MEDLIFE National website.



Q: What Makes our Trips Unique?

There are many organizations that offer mission trips to undergraduate students and volunteers. Why should you choose a MEDLIFE Volunteer Trip? Because we provide more for our patients, community members and participants.

For our patients:

  • We bring more than just a doctor and some medication. All Mobile Clinics are staffed by local dentists, gynecologists, nurses and primary care doctors. We equip these professionals with the tools and supplies they need so that we can offer more than just a consult.
  • We hire local doctors and specialists. Local doctors have essential knowledge of the language, culture and existing healthcare system of their county. They are also familiar with the symptoms and treatments of common ailments to provide our patients with a higher degree of care than would a foreign professional.
  • We provide follow-up care. MEDLIFE has full-time employees in Ecuador, Peru and Tanzania who dedicate themselves to follow up with our patients year-round. When MEDLIFE sees patients during a Mobile Clinic who require additional services, we make a commitment to return and help them get the care they need.
  • MEDLIFE Fund projects. Our Volunteer Trips serve as the first point of contact between MEDLIFE and impoverished communities. This introduction may lead to further collaboration through MEDLIFE Fund projects. Through the MEDLIFE Fund, we bring long-term aid in the form of new schools, clinics, and a variety of other development projects. In this way, Volunteer Trips are an essential part of MEDLIFE’s plan to bring sustainable forms of aid to the communities and families we serve.

For our participants:

  • Mobile Clinics- Participants have the opportunity to work closely with and learn from our medical professionals, community leaders, and MEDLIFE staff. All MEDLIFE doctors are instructed to give our participants an educational, hands-on experience while they’re volunteering their time at our clinics.
  • Community Development – Infrastructure projects and development workshops give volunteers a chance to work alongside community members on a development project. Working side-by-side with local residents provides a way for participants to forge relationships with community members outside of the clinic setting.
  • MEDLIFE Student Chapters – MEDLIFE is an organization that relies heavily upon the contributions of student chapters. A university or high school MEDLIFE Student Chapter provides a forum for which students who share the common goal of helping the poor can meet to discuss global health topics, socialize, and plan for Volunteer Trips and fundraising events.
  • Further Opportunities – MEDLIFE places a great degree of responsibility on motivated undergraduate and high school student leaders who wish to become involved beyond the member level. Dedicated MEDLIFE members can apply to join the Student Advisory Board (a board of students that oversee MEDLIFE’s operations on the national level), or to a local Chapter Officer position. MEDLIFE also offers summer and year-round internships that allow students to make a direct contribution to our efforts in Latin America.
  • Making a Difference – MEDLIFE Mobile Clinics have provided medical care to thousands of community members in Peru, Ecuador, and Tanzania who previously did not have access to healthcare. The MEDLIFE Fund projects have also had a long-term positive effect on communities. MEDLIFE strives to make a lasting and significant difference in needy areas. Join us!

Q: Why attend a Development Corps trip?

  • Unlike most development projects that other NGO’s offer, our projects will be started and completed by you.
  • MEDLIFE McGill fundraises all the money needed for the project and send the volunteers to complete it. This will truly be a MEDLIFE McGill project from start to finish.
  • MEDLIFE McGill was the first chapter to complete a Dev Corps trip in Spring 2014. We hope to pave the way for other chapters by continuing to offer development specific trips to students,
  • These projects are requested by the community – we strive to provide infrastructure that is wanted and needed by the people who will be using it.
  • Once applicant’s have been selected, there will be a few events to get to know your team member’s socially before going on the Trip. We believe that the more comfortable the team is with each other prior to the project, the more effective the team will be and the more each individual will get out of the experience.

Q: Who can attend a Volunteer Trip?

Any current undergraduate or graduate student from any university can attend a Volunteer Trip. You do not need to be a current member of a MEDLIFE chapter to serve as a volunteer. MEDLIFE also has high school Student Chapters and coordinates trips specific to high school students. For these Volunteer Trips, chaperones must also attend.  Recent graduates and medical professionals interested in participating should contact studentaffairs@medlifeweb.org.

Q: Do I need to speak the local language?

Volunteer Trip participants are not required to speak Spanish or Swahili or to have any previous medical experience. It is helpful for participants to familiarize themselves with basic phrases in the local language and the medical and cultural landscape in the country they plan to visit. MEDLIFE McGill typically offers Spanish lessons before trips, and MEDLIFE has compiled a list of useful Spanish phrases for participants to study.

Q. What is the Volunteer Trip participation fee?

The cost of participation in a one-week Volunteer Trip (including the $200 deposit), plus airfare:

• Lima: $775

• Riobamba: $775

• Tena: $805

• Esmeraldas: $805

• Cusco: $805

• Kilimanjaro: $855

The cost of a two-week Volunteer Trip starts at $1500.00, plus airfare.

The $200 deposit is refundable but only as long as the cancellation is announced prior to registration deadline. Any payments toward the participation fee by the participant or any other party will not be refunded if cancelation occurs after the registration deadline.

Q: What does the participation fee cover?

This fee covers all meals Monday through Friday (the participant is responsible for meals over the weekend), in-country transportation (including airport pick-up and drop-off on the Volunteer Trip start and end dates) and lodging (eight nights) during the Volunteer Trip. It also provides funding for all expenses associated with the volunteering itself (the hiring of doctors and nurses, purchase of medicine and equipment, etc.). Finally, the participation fee funds all aspects of MEDLIFE’s operating budget covering everything from staff salaries to office equipment to medical supplies, as well as patient follow-up care. Airfare is not included in the participation fee.

Q:What fundraising opportunities are there for participants?

MEDLIFE and MEDLIFE McGill offer various ways of fundraising for trip participants to lower the cost of their trip.

One easy way you can reduce the cost of your participation on a Volunteer Trip is with the 50:50 online fundraising campaign. When you register for a Volunteer Trip, an online fundraising campaign page is automatically created for you. During this process, you have the option to edit the campaign text, as well as create a unique campaign URL. McGill’s participants have had the most success by asking their extended family for donations to MEDLIFE through these URLs, emphasizing both the good and sustainable work that MEDLIFE does and the impact the trip will have on their own goals.

IMPORTANT: While your campaign is being created, please do not refresh the page, as it will cause multiple campaigns to be created. When you log in to your MyMEDLIFE account using the yellow myMEDLIFE tab, you should be taken directly to your 50:50 campaign page. From here you can customize your page by adding a photo and sending out your campaign link to friends and family using the email tool. You can check to see who has donated and how many donations you’ve received in total as you fundraise.

Additionally, MEDLIFE McGill will provide opportunities to fundraise, such as food sales on campus and bagging sessions at local grocery stores. More details about these opportunities will be given once you have applied for and been accepted on a trip.

Q: What are the passport and visa requirements?

For citizens of most countries, the only requirement to enter Peru or Ecuador is a valid passport that will be valid at least six months longer than you plan to stay in Peru or Ecuador. However, citizens of some countries may need an additional visa. Volunteers are responsible for their own visa coordinations. However, MEDLIFE will provide documentation or trip information if necessary.

Q: How do I puchase my airfare?

Participants are responsible for buying their own airfare and uploading their flight arrival and departure information to their MyMEDLIFE account. Timeframes vary depending on the location of the trip. Please see below for your specific Volunteer Trip location:

Lima, PERU – You must arrive at the Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) on Saturday, the start date of your volunteer trip, between 18:00 and 01:00 (next day) and depart on Sunday, the final day of your Volunteer Trip, between 18:00 and 02:00 (next day). Participants will be separated according to their times of arrival and departure, and in some cases will need to wait on their own for MEDLIFE transportation to pick them up.

Cusco, PERU – Please contact studentaffairs@medlifeweb.org.

Riobamba, Tena and Esmeraldas; ECUADOR – You must arrive at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito on Saturday, the start date of your volunteer trip, between 19:00 and 00:00 (next day) and depart on Sunday, the final day of your volunteer trip after 10:00am. Participants who arrive in the morning or afternoon will have to wait on their own at the airport until MEDLIFE transportation arrives to pick them up.

Kilimanjaro, TANZANIA – You must arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) on Saturday, the start date of your mobile clinic, between 18:00 and 00:00 (next day) and depart on Sunday, the final day of your mobile clinic, between 18:00 and 00:00 (next day). Participants will be separated according to their arrival times and departure times, and in some cases will have to wait on their own for MEDLIFE transportation to pick them up.

Q: Am I required to purchase travel insurance?

Yes. Participants are required to purchase travel insurance or be otherwise covered by existing health insurance plans for the entirety of their participation in a Mobile Clinic. MEDLIFE does not require that you bring formal documentation of your insurance, however. If you are a Canadian SSMU student, and you did not opt-out of the SSMU insurance plans, you already have travel insurance. 

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