International Medical Volunteer Programs Provide Hands-on Experience and Self-Realization through Cross-Cultural Learning
American Medical Volunteer through CrossContinental.org Reports an Outstanding Cross-Cultural Learning Experience in Africa.
While most people look for volunteer opportunities near home, Miria White from Colorado, USA aimed her sights higher. After browsing CrossContinental.org, she quickly found herself applying for medical volunteer abroad program in Africa through Cross-Continental Solutions.
Over the course of a month, she worked with and learned from medical professionals at a hospital in rural Kenya. In the attached video (https://youtu.be/AQ_OjaLinzg), Miria talks about her experience while showcasing the maternity and female wards at the hospital.
-Host Family, Work Project, and Local Coordinator
Upon her arrival in Kenya, CrossContinental placed Miria with a caring host family. When individuals travel, they often encounter cultural challenges that may require some adjustments. A local support network enables international volunteers to ease into such adjustments more naturally. Even though Miria faced her own share of cultural challenges while in Africa, her host family and local coordinator were always there to help her get through them.
She explains, “I’ve been extremely happy with my host family’s hospitality and the hospital [staff] could not be more welcoming. I appreciated the local coordinator’s willingness to explain culture when a problem or conflict arose.”
“Josker [a host family member] was a delight” She continues, “I loved making her laugh most evenings and teaching her new things to cook. I loved the experience so much that I cried the whole way home, wishing that I didn’t have to go back.”
-Hands-on Medical Experience in a Foreign Culture
Medical volunteer abroad programs at CrossContinental.org provide volunteers with a meaningful experience where they not only learn about the medical practices of their host country, but also discover their ability to integrate themselves in a foreign culture. Additionally, it provides new insight on the workings of another nation, which is knowledge that will remain with them for years. The skills one learns in a foreign hospital help an individual achieve their lifelong goal of becoming a doctor or, at the very least, give them the kind of satisfaction that can only be achieved when one is caring for those in need.
At the hospital, Miria assisted doctors with HIV testing and counseling, child vaccinations, injections, medicine dispensing, screening for cervical cancer, family planning, minor surgeries, and diagnostics.
While participating in medical projects abroad, Miria comments, “It’s just incredible how willing the nurses, physician assistants, clinicians, and doctors are willing to explain things. And they really want you to learn while you’re here. I’ve just had a really amazing experience, so I’m very very grateful.” She added, “I would highly recommend CrossContinental to someone else, especially a future medical student or pre-medical student that wants to get more hands-on experience.”
-Cross-Cultural Experience and Self-Realization
According to Miria, “I absolutely loved my experience. I don’t think that it could have been any better than it was. It is very difficult to pick just one rewarding aspect of the experience. So just one thing: I really appreciated what I learned about myself.”
She also emphasized the cultural differences between American and Kenyan culture explaining, “Whenever faced with a different culture (especially one as radically different as African culture), it makes me think about American culture and what I value when I’m home. The submersion causes me to analyze my priorities and review how I want to live when I return home. This self-realization happened in every aspect of my trip, whether talking to the local coordinator about important issues facing Kenyans, or seeing the suffering at the hospital, or even just wandering down a street in Keroka, reflection was happening.”
Even though volunteer work in another country may be intimidating to some people, in the end, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
- International Internships and Volunteer Abroad Programs through CrossContinental.org
Organizations like Cross-Continental Solutions are opening new avenues to people around the world interested in having their own cross-cultural experience. Miria explains, “I appreciated CrossContinental’s flexibility, local support and host family placement most of all during my trip to Kenya. I had to change the dates of my trip and Jenn [international program coordinator] was very gracious and flexible about helping me do so.”
She continues, “Dickson and his family were the best host family that I could have imagined. They included me as if I was one of them. While being in a foreign country, and sticking out all the time (not very many white people around in western Kenya), Dickson took extra precautions to make sure that I was safe and happy all the time.”
She concludes, “Overall, the experience was absolutely invaluable. I wish the trip had never ended.”
Access valuable resources or plan a life-changing trip at https://www.CrossContinental.org.
Cross-Continental Solutions provides affordable yet flexible international learning programs, including volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural immersion, language study, and gap year programs. A large variety of work placement options are available such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Development, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Microfinance, Tourism, Marketing, and more. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By living and working side by side with locals, participants gain an exceptional cross-cultural experience and the opportunity to truly make a difference. For more details, visit CrossContinental.org.