lily09

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Jun 19, 2006
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Hi there, I'm new to SDN but was hoping that someone can help me out with this dilemma.

I've been out of school for a couple years and have been working, doing clinical research at a hospital. I am applying this year to med school but have been thinking about going abroad for international volunteering for a couple of months, hopefully in Africa. I ran the idea by my boss and will be able to do it and still have a job when I get back. I just submitted my AMCAS and am hoping to get secondaries done within the next month or 6 weeks (pending verification) and then go abroad in October/November. So, the question is, will it be ok to go or will it interfere too much with the application process, particularly interviews? Also, does anyone who has done volunteer work abroad have any particular organizations that they can recommend?

Thanks so much to everyone for any help with this situation! :)
 

Hkoser

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Jul 27, 2006
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I went to Central America for two weeks with International Service Learning www.islonline.org mostly ppl in school or recently graduated tho
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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Oct/Nov seem to be prime months for interviews. For example, NYU had all of its decisions made before Christmas. Being unavailable for interviews at that time would really be shooting yourself in the foot. Far better to go in March/April.
 
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leahmaria

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Jun 25, 2006
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I also participated in an International Service Learning trip. I know that they do work in Africa as well--though I'm not sure of the length of the trip. This is great if you want some clinical experience in a third-world country.

I have also traveled internationally with Habitat for Humanity to many places and I have really enjoyed these trips. I am going on a Habitat trip this friday for two weeks, but with internet access, I think I'll be alright.
 

letitgo

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Apr 28, 2006
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How do you afford these volunteer programs?? Sponsorships?
 

leahmaria

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Jun 25, 2006
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Midwest
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for international service learning, i got a scholarship for 1200 from my school to go, and I paid the other 800 or so.

I went to Madagascar a few years back for three weeks and the cost was near 4000 (airfare was crazy) and I raised it by writing letters to friends and family and organizations in my hometown. I did similar things for my trip to Thailand the next summer.

This summer, I led the trips that I went on, and so their cost was pretty much covered. It was a bit of work, but the trips were great and since I don't have much money with applying to medical school, it was nice to have them mostly covered.

I've found that if you write letters to people requesting sponsorship, most will say yes. Also, I've done presentations and churches and one for the PTA at my little brother's elementry school and it all worked out. I think that if you want to volunteer internationally, you'll be able to find the money to do it.
 
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