How Volunteering Abroad Can Build Your Resume

As a student, a large majority of what you learn comes from textbooks, lectures, and research. While these are all very important tools in your learning experience, there is something to be said about what you can learn from hands-on, life experiences. That’s where MEDLIFE comes in. We offer opportunities for students to visit low-income communities and assist in providing access to healthcare that would otherwise be unavailable to the people in these communities.

You may be wondering, how will volunteering in a foreign country help me to achieve my career goals in my home country? And it’s simple. The experiences you will have will diversify not only your outlook on life but how you interact with the wide variety of patients you may encounter in the future. 

You will interact with people from all kinds of backgrounds. People with different views on life, from different cultures, and different barriers keeping them from accessing knowledge or assistance. This will most definitely allow you to build on your empathy for others and to understand how people function in different situations. 

Having a Service Learning Trip on your resume also shows you have great initiative and are capable of stepping outside your comfort zone. As a healthcare worker, you often will find yourself doing things that require some bravery and maybe even an element of discomfort on your side. Future employers or med schools will no doubt recognize you are willing to do what it takes to be an excellent healthcare provider. 

While we were interviewing a member of a Toronto MEDLIFE chapter, Aaron, and his father Jeff, about their experiences with being involved with MEDLIFE, Jeff provided us with some insight on the benefits of an SLT. For context, Jeff is a medical professional and has been part of the onboarding process for certain medical boards in Canada. Jeff told us that from his experience, grades are not the only thing that matters on a resume. Many medical schools and boards will be looking at your experiences and what you have done outside of your education. 

Unique experiences related to your field are excellent resume boosters. While you are on your Service Learning Trip, you will have the unique experience of working alongside established medical professionals and witnessing first-hand how they work. This alone could set you apart from other med school applicants. Like we said before, there are certain things you can only learn from seeing and experiencing things yourself.

Join a Service Learning Trip today and discover new experiences and connections you will never forget!


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.