An intern checks a woman’s blood pressure during an undergraduate medical volunteering opportunity abroad.

Our Top 6 Pre-Med Projects for Students in 2022


By Vicci Parry | 06th February, 2019
Updated on 06th October, 2021

Medical school applications - if these three simple words are enough to send you reeling, you’re probably a pre-med student. It can be a stressful process - filling out forms, planning for interviews, and, most importantly, worrying about how to get your application to stand out.

Admissions are extremely competitive. But the good news is there’s a solution that’ll help you get pre-medical work experience, learn directly from medical professionals, and boost your CV. That’s why the three words that go hand-in-hand with ‘medical school applications’ are ‘medical internships abroad’.

Our medical work experience abroad projects show the admissions board that you’re serious about a career in medicine. It affirms your passion and commitment to understanding global healthcare issues. It also sets you apart as flexible and able to adapt to vastly different healthcare settings.

But which of our shadowing opportunities for pre-med students is for you? With so many out there, it can be a challenge to narrow down your options.

To make it a little easier for you (we’re sure you’re tired of sorting through admin for applications!), we’ve compiled a list of our top six internships that offer medical work experience abroad. Even better, most of these projects are suitable for 17 year-olds interested in medical work experience! 

1. Medicine in Vietnam

Does shadowing doctors abroad, doing night shifts, and observing surgery as a student sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not! You can have a fully immersive learning experience on our Medicine internship in Vietnam.

This pre-med project places you in the middle of it all. You’ll work in a large, modern hospital, spending your days learning directly from qualified doctors. You’ll also have the chance to observe a range of surgeries and rotate through different departments. You’ll even get to interact with and learn from local medical students in the hospital.

Two students in Vietnam working at an outreach during their medical internship for undergraduates.

2. Physiotherapy in the Philippines

If you’re looking to go into physiotherapy, there’s no better way to get experience than on our Physiotherapy Project in the Philippines. As part of this project, we opened the first and only physiotherapy and rehabilitation centre in the north of Cebu. The centre provides free treatment to many people in surrounding communities who can’t afford regular medical care. We even provide home visits for those who are unable to travel to the centre.

As a Physiotherapy intern, you’ll shadow a local professional in their day-to-day work. You’ll get to see how physiotherapists improvise with limited equipment and how they can turn everyday objects into therapy tools. It’s a great way for you to become a more adaptable and well-rounded physiotherapist.

An undergraduate student works through a physiotherapy session on a medical internship in the Philippines.

3. Nutrition in Fiji

This one’s for the budding nutritionists, dieticians and anyone else interested in promoting a healthy lifestyle! On this Nutrition Project in Fiji, you’ll learn about the field of nutrition, while also gaining practical skills during outreaches and raising awareness of the importance of healthy eating.

These are some of your main tasks for this internship:

  • Measure blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, and height during healthcare outreaches
  • Help schools, women’s groups, and corporate groups develop nutrition education courses
  • Run workshops on nutrition and healthy living for students
  • Plan and cook nutritious meals for cooking demonstrations
  • Create community vegetable gardens to support the consumption of local produce
A Nutrition intern measures blood sugar during an outreach as part of an undergraduate medical volunteer opportunity.

4. Occupational Therapy in Kenya

Prepare for a career in occupational therapy with our internship in Kenya! You’ll work in either a hospital or a care centre for people with special needs. This is a chance to work closely with a qualified therapist and gain a deeper understanding of this field. You’ll learn how to do assessments, run therapy sessions, and improve the daily functioning of patients. 

You’ll spend your days shadowing a therapist and learning from them. Be sure to ask lots of questions and take notes so you can really get the most out of your internship. The local staff have a lot of knowledge and experience to share!

On this Occupational Therapy placement abroad, you’ll get to see how staff cope when resources are low and will learn some innovative therapy techniques. This will give you a better idea of how occupational therapy is practised in a developing setting.

An undergraduate student in Kenya working at an Occupational Therapy placement abroad.

5. Public Health in Belize

For a chance to do hands-on work like checking vital signs and collecting data, consider our Public Health internship in Belize. You’ll spend most of your time helping at medical outreaches in disadvantaged communities. This is the perfect way to combine gaining experience with a medical volunteer opportunity for students.

First, you’ll attend medical workshops to make sure you’re up to speed on the work you’ll be doing at outreaches. Then, you’ll go into local communities and take measures like blood pressure and blood sugar, and test for diseases like HIV.

You’ll be under the supervision of medical professionals. They’ll refer patients who need it for further treatment, based on the measures you take.

You’ll also run awareness campaigns to share your knowledge about the symptoms, treatments, and prevention of major health issues.

A student takes healthcare measures as part of a medical volunteer opportunity in Belize.

6. Nursing in Mexico

Work in a hospital or clinic on our Nursing internship in Mexico. You’ll get medical work experience abroad shadowing healthcare professionals. And you’ll gain first-hand experience of what it’s like to be a nurse in Mexico. You can find out more about diagnosis and treatment, learn about specialised equipment, and sit in on consultations.

Depending on how long you join for, you can rotate between a wide range of departments. These include areas like:

  • Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Endocrinology
  • Surgery

The hospital or clinic where you work might not be as well-equipped as what you’re used to, but it’s a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of the medical field in a developing country.

Keep in mind, you’ll need to be able to speak basic Spanish to join. But it’s the perfect opportunity to improve your Spanish skills and even learn Spanish medical terminology.

A pre med student shadows doctors and nurses abroad on a Nursing internship in Mexico.

Take your university application to the next level with our Pre-Med Projects

Now that you know more about how to get medical work experience as a student, take a moment to think about which of these medical internships best suits your needs. No matter the specialization you choose, there’s a pre-med project for you with Projects Abroad. Read more about our international medical internships

So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to start planning your trip so you can ace your university applications, get international experience, and become a well-rounded practitioner!

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