Volunteering Abroad Question

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Jun 28, 2023
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I go back home (Central America) from college every summer and winter break and wanted to do some non-clinical volunteering back in my home country during those break times. Would this be considered "voluntourism" even though I live here? Is volunteering outside of the US generally frowned upon?

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I can’t see any admissions committee having an issue with this. Just make it clear in your narrative why you’re working in this place (because it’s home) and try to tie it into your larger narrative.
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I wanted to ask something similar regarding an experience I have.

As a part of a school fellowship, for almost three months, I got a chance to work abroad with a grassroots NGO on their community health and development projects.

I had the opportunity to assist with sanitation and sexual health presentations alongside a healthcare team (following training). I also had a chance to work for a rural health clinic and work for patient intake, taking vitals following training, and documenting histories (I have a scribe certification).

I have an interest in rural health, so I got a chance to learn more about rural health disparities and dynamics, and had the chance to speak with community members regarding issues within their community and how the NGO is trying to promote self-sustainability and address some issues.

The work I did was all under supervision and l was trained, and everything I did was within my scope, but I’m just wondering if this would be looked down upon negatively by medical schools. I believe the work I do has an impact, but of course, students going abroad has been looked down upon more recently.

So I just want to hear your thoughts regarding whether something like this is considered voluntourism.
How long were you working in this activity?

Is this the type of work that would displace workers there?
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3 months is a time period abroad that shows serious commitment to me. One week would be in the voluntourism category
Yeah that makes sense, and I 100% wanted to avoid an NGO advertising one week stunts.
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