Health professional shaking a woman's hand

Medical Mission Trips with International Volunteer HQ

Get an In-Depth Look at International Volunteer HQ and the Medical Volunteer Opportunities They Provide Around the World

Health professional shaking a woman's hand

Medical mission trips are a unique way for healthcare professionals and students to volunteer their time while providing healthcare to the world’s most impoverished and underserved people. Medical missions provide volunteers with valuable, hands-on healthcare experience and open your eyes to how medicine is practiced in different parts of the world.

The organizations that arrange medical mission trips range from large, multi-national operations to much smaller efforts coordinated by local charities and organizations. International Volunteer HQ is a large volunteer travel organization that partners with local medical professionals to bring a wide range of healthcare services to those who may not otherwise have access.

(Click here to see our full list of the best medical volunteer opportunities and medical mission trips)

What is International Volunteer HQ?

Founded in 2007, International Volunteer HQ is a Certified B Corporation and the only volunteer travel company join the Volunteer Groups Alliance. Based in New Zealand, International Volunteer HQ provides multiple volunteer programs, including medical mission trips, teaching, wildlife conservation, and special needs care.

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) has over 14 years of experience organizing medical volunteer programs for students and healthcare professionals of any stage or skill level. From certified nursing assistants and nursing students to physical therapists and medical school students, IVHQ offers 25 different medical and health programs that allow you to provide care in your field of interest in communities around the world. All IVHQ medical missions are fully aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being.

If an international medical internship is what you’re looking for, Intern Abroad HQ is a sister organization to International Volunteer HQ and they offer internships for students with at least one year of study in medicine or nursing, and internships for those in their second through final year of studies.

International Volunteer HQ Mission Statement

At International Volunteer HQ, we bring people of more than 96 nationalities together to create positive transformation through life-enriching travel experiences. This transformation takes place not just within the communities we support, but also within volunteers themselves.

Where Does International Volunteer HQ Serve?

International Volunteer HQ provides much-needed medical care in underserved communities in Central America, South America, North America, the Caribbean, Africa, Oceana, Europe, and Asia.

Their list of upcoming medical mission destinations includes:

  • Arusha, Tanzania
  • Delhi, India
  • Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
  • Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Santa Elena, Ecuador
  • Multiple communities in Nepal
  • Kandy, Sri Lanka

What Kinds of Medical Professionals Does International Volunteer HQ Need?

The makeup of International Volunteer HQ teams varies. IVHQ accepts qualified professionals, students, and those with certain certified specialties. Volunteers are placed in line with their level of training and experience. To help volunteers make informed decisions on the types of trips they wish to take, each medical project webpage details the level of experience needed and the type of work needed for the mission. Volunteer travel specialists are also available to help with those decisions.

The most common roles needed for IVHQ medical missions include:

  • Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Physiotherapists/Physical Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Phlebotomists
  • Paramedics
  • Dietitians/Nutritionists
  • Midwives
  • Medical Interpreters
  • Radiologists/X-ray Technicians
  • Sonographers

Hospital manager with team in the background

International Volunteer HQ Volunteer Requirements

The International Volunteer HQ application process is thorough. It begins by picking a destination and project, filling out an application, providing appropriate documentation, meeting with the Program Manager, paying the registration fee, and receiving your Volunteer Guide and Preparation Checklist.

After a check of your credentials is conducted and volunteers are approved for travel, they’ll need to present a clean criminal background check and a negative COVID-19 test. All volunteers are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Volunteers are also responsible for paying booking insurance and the program fee, which offsets some of their in-country expenses and is due 30-days in advance of arrival.

Apart from speaking English, volunteers have no language requirements, as interpreters are often at hand, but knowing the local language will prove very useful.

What Benefits Does International Volunteer HQ Provide?

International Volunteer HQ will assist you in many of the necessary arrangements, including travel coordination and access to discounted airfares. Additionally, IVHQ can help you arrange excursions for your off-duty free time. Once in-country, volunteers also receive a complete orientation that includes a program briefing, guidance on using local transportation, accessing nearby amenities, security precautions, and available free-time activities.

Exact specifics about which expenses IVHQ covers vary by both project and destination, but in general, they will provide the following:

  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodations
  • Meals (the number of meals per day can vary by project)
  • 24/7 in-country support

What Expenses Am I Required To Cover?

When serving on medical mission trips with International Volunteer HQ, there are several expenses that are the volunteer’s responsibility to cover during your trip. These expenses include:

  • Registration fee
  • Program fee
  • Airfare
  • A Covid-19 test and result report
  • Inoculations and vaccinations
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Criminal background check
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Toiletries
  • Entertainment
  • Excursion expenses

How to Get Started

Like all medical mission trips, the application process to volunteer with International Volunteer HQ is a multi-step process that takes time to complete. We suggest you start by visiting their website to familiarize yourself with the organization’s mission structure, the destinations they serve, the type of medical missions on offer, and program schedules. Once you find a destination and program that interests you, click to explore the details surrounding that program and click to apply.

Click here to learn more about International Volunteer HQ.

Close up of a nurse on a laptop

Start Your Career in Healthcare by Earning Your Degree or Diploma

Advancing your healthcare career is a great way to earn a more competitive salary*, but the rewards go far beyond the money and increased responsibility. By becoming a medical assistant, registered nurse, or earning a BSN degree, you’ll play a key role in restoring health to the patients you serve. If this sounds like the kind of challenge you’re looking for, then the perfect place for you to begin your journey could be at Provo College or its sister school, Eagle Gate College.

The Medical Assistant Program at Eagle Gate College can be completed in as little as 9 months and provides the necessary training for entry-level positions as a medical assistant in a healthcare facility such as a clinic, physician’s office, or urgent care facility.

Or, if you’re ready to take the next step towards becoming a registered nurse, you can start by enrolling in our BSN program. If you already hold an ADN, then you can earn your BSN degree online in as few as 20 months through the Eagle Gate RN-to-BSN program.

Finally, if you’re interested in helping injured or disabled people restore their strength and mobility, we encourage you to explore our Physical Therapist Assistant program.