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This project aims to provide pre-medical/pre-nursing and medical/nursing students with a unique medical internship in Palampur. Placements are located in hospitals, clinics, medical colleges and community clinics. There are also specialized placements for physiotherapy, midwifery and speech therapy students in Palampur, for those qualified and interested. The program's goal is to expose all medical and nursing students to India's method of medical practice and teach students about different diseases and treatment methods, while exposing interns to what it's like to work at a hospital with limited resources.
Location of the Project:  Palampur, India
Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 12 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) for volunteers attending the orientation; Gaggal Airport in Dharamsala (DHM) for all other volunteers
Volunteer Work:  Volunteers help medical professionals in their daily work
Age:  18 - 40
Important Note:  A tourist visa is required to enter India and most volunteers apply online. A visa cannot be obtained for a stay exceeding 180 days.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Host family or shared volunteer house
Food:  Three vegetarian meals a day (excluding lunch during optional orientation week)
Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup upon arrival
Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visa (required), travel health insurance. lunches during orientation week, personal expenses
Palampur is a small town nestled in the Himalayan foothills in Himachal Pradesh. While it is a fairly small town, it serves over 50 villages in the surrounding area, so it can get quite busy at times. Palampur is not only famous for its beautiful tea plantations and its low lying pine forests, but also for its two existing universities. One is an Agricultural University and the other specializes in Veterinary Medicine. Although Palampur seems isolated, it is actually very well connected to other parts of India. There is an airport in Dharamsala, the home of the Tibetan government in exile as well as the Dalai Lama, and it is only an hour's drive away from the town. There are also daily air-conditioned buses to Delhi and other major cities in North India, making it easy to get around and explore all this beautiful country has to offer.
As an intern, you work alongside experienced medical staff while they carry out their daily routine. Pre-med students or those in their first or second-year of medical/nursing school will primarily shadow the team. 3rd year medical students will have the opportunity to observe as well as assist the doctors and other medical staff at their placements. You will be given tasks according to your level of knowledge, skills and confidence. If you have experience, please bring a copy of your certifications.

The project tasks are mainly observational and shadow-based, unless you have the certification to do more. Your main role will be to work with and learn from local medical professionals. You can select your preferred department, but interns may also be placed in a general rotation between departments.

To make the most out of your placement, it is very important to build trust with the local medical staff and respect India's methods of medical practice and treatment, as it may be very different from what you are used to in your home country. 

A typical day: You will intern for about 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Your hours may vary according to the volume of patients visiting the center where you are placed. Your responsibilities will also vary based on your level of experience and schooling. If you have a broad knowledge and extensive experience in the healthcare and medical field, you may receive a slightly more hands-on experience.
Internet:  Free Internet access is available at the local office in Palampur and at the accommodation.
Accommodations:  You will stay in shared, mixed-gender rooms in one of two intern houses in Palampur. Your accommodations will depend on the distance from the project and the type of program you are completing. Living is comfortable and intern houses have electricity, running water and hot water heaters. (Please be advised that centralized heating systems are not commonly installed in Indian households). You will be provided with a basic bed, mattress, pillow, bed sheet and blanket. The accommodations are within walking distance of most of the projects and approximately 20 minutes from the main Palampur town market. Transportation to Dharamsala is just 40 minutes by local bus.
Food:  Three vegetarian meals are provided daily. Breakfast is usually comprised of tea, bread, butter, jam and parathas (Indian bread stuffed with vegetables). Lunch and dinner is usually comprised of dal (lentil curry), mixed curry, vegetables, salad, roti (Indian bread) and fruit.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Must be a pre-med, medical or nursing student
  • Police clearance
  • Good level of English
  • CV / Resume
You are encouraged to explore India on your time off. Take a trip to Dharamshala, experience the culture of India through its colorful festivals, unique dance and diverse architecture. On the weekend you can also go Paragliding at Bir (one of the most famous paragliding sites in India) or do a trek with the other program participants at Triund.

Orientation Week (Highly Recommended)
Prior to your volunteering start date, you can join an extensive and interesting one-week orientation program in Delhi. You will have the opportunity to visit Humayun’s Tomb, Lotus Temple, tour the the Akshardham Temple (the largest Hindu temple in the world), take Hindi language classes, learn about India's unique culture, watch a Bollywood movie and eat at an authentic Indian restaurant.  This is a fun opportunity to familiarize yourself with the country and meet other like-minded interns from all around the world. The extra fee for this week is US$250 and you may book this following registration. If you would also like to visit the Taj Mahal, a tour can also be arranged for an additional fee.

Recreation: Yoga class once a week.

Add-on Beach Week in Goa: If you are looking for a great conclusion to your program you can stay for an additional week in Goa. This is an idyllic holiday destination with white, sandy beaches - ideal for swimming and relaxing. You can enjoy the beaches or hire a motorbike and roam around the city as you wish. Please note that the beach extension week is unguided but Delhi-Goa travel tickets, airport/train station transfers, sightseeing and accommodation is provided.
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