Major:Strategic Communication, Certificate in Global Cultures
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I learned about MEDLIFE my senior year through a campus-wide email. Though I was never involved in the chapter at my university, I admired the organization for its work and impact in the global community. I jumped at the opportunity when I heard about the internship and was overjoyed to learn I was accepted!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m an east-coaster turned midwesterner when I fell in love with Madison, Wisconsin. Though my love for UW-Madison runs deep, my love for travel and discovering other cultures is even deeper. I was heavily involved in an international not-for-profit at my university and hope to continue working in the international field in the future. I’m a lover of Sudoku puzzles, my dog Lola, and the occasional yoga class. I eat pretty much anything—though I give preference to chocolate.
Why did you decide to become an intern?:I was looking for a professional experience that would challenge me, and one I would learn an immense amount from. I’ve always been interested in pursuing non-profit work, especially in a Spanish speaking country. I saw working for MEDLIFE as an opportunity to experience a new part of the world while making a difference and gaining more experience in communication for non-profits. This internship checked off all the boxes—it was a no-brainer.
What was your first impression of Lima?: LIMA!! The city pretty much shouts at you from the moment you arrive. It is vibrant, loud, vast, and always packed with a multitude of things to do. The city buzzes with energy, and I can’t wait to soak it in!
Name: Nikita Gupta
Hometown: West Windsor, NJ
School: Johns Hopkins University
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: When I was a freshman, I was looking to volunteer in South America on a mobile clinic for a couple weeks. At that time, the MEDLIFE chapter at Hopkins was just getting started. The officers were so enthusiastic, I knew right away I wanted to get more involved with the organization. I applied for a board position, and went on a 2-week clinic to Lima, Peru that summer. Over the years I became the Fundraising Chair, Community Service Coordinator, and finally President of the Hopkins’ Chapter of MEDLIFE.
Why did you decide to become an intern?: After returning from my service trip in Lima, I could never forget the people I had met and those whose work our efforts supported. I wanted to come back to Lima and continue supporting MEDLIFE’s mission. I had already decided to take a bridge year between college and medical school, and I wanted to volunteer abroad with a global health non-profit organization. The MEDLIFE year-long internship was the perfect fit.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:I was born and raised in New Jersey to parents of Indian origin. Last year, I spent a transformative semester studying abroad in Brazil, Vietnam and South Africa with the International Honors Program. After returning to America, I craved more… more travel, more cultural immersion, more personal growth. I now take every opportunity I get to explore new cultures. In my free time, I love to dance, and I have gone on tour with singers like Jay Sean and Sukhwinder Singh (the singer of Jai Ho). I am also very interested in women’s health and empowerment and hope to become an OB/GYN one day.
What was your first impression of Lima?: I love South American culture in general, but I have a special connection to Lima. When I first came here three years ago, I was blown away by the vast amount of love and warmth that I received from every single person I met. Everyone was so willing to share their music, food and dance with me; it made my time here so enjoyable. I remember listening to Joey Montana and Chino y Nacho for weeks after I came back, and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me!
Name: Julie MacKinnon
Hometown: Montreal, Canada
School: McGill University
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I became involved with McGill’s MEDLIFE Chapter this past year at school. After going on a mobile clinic trip with MEDLIFE to Riobamba, Ecuador this past December, I knew I wanted to learn more about MEDLIFE as an organization and what they are working towards.
Why did you decide to become an intern?: Being given such a wonderful opportunity to learn a new language and travel, all while helping people, seemed like a pretty perfect combination to me. I’m looking forward to learning even more about MEDLIFE and how an organization like this works.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m originally from Canada, but have also lived in England, France, Singapore and the U.S. I am currently a senior at McGill University, and I’m hoping to learn more about pursuing a path in public health after living in Lima. I’m very excited to be living here, and I’m sure it will be a great new experience!
What was your first impression of Lima?: I’m so excited to be in Lima and to really get to know the city and appreciate all it has to offer. So far I’ve been blown away by how friendly everyone is, and how good the food is, and I’m sure I will love even more parts of the city as I get to know it better.
Name: Bill Attwell
Hometown: Portsmouth, England
School: Leeds College of Art
Major: Creative Advertising
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: After I finished university I decided that I wanted to travel, and see more of the world. It became clear to me that the best way to do this is to travel with a purpose. MEDLIFE has given me this ideal opportunity, as I can combine this internship and my passion for creative work and design with my passion for traveling, as well as being able to do good in South America.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am an aspiring Art Director, with the dream of working in an advertising agency. I’m very open minded, a deep thinker, and I love creative ideas that solve problems. No matter where I go on this planet I often find myself in woodland areas, with a fascination for the nature which surrounds me. I love to Skate, Surf, and Go fast!
Why did you decide to become an intern?: I wanted to use my skills to make a change, and MEDLIFE gave me that opportunity.
What was your first impression of Lima: My first impression of Lima was ‘It is HUGE’. Like any large city it is extremely diverse and varied. The city has different districts which all seem like different cities to me, especially when I compare it to my tiny home town. One thing it has which I cannot compare to any other city I have seen before, is an area surrounding the city, packed tightly with poverty stricken areas. It is hard to have fun in the city, then look up at the hills and wonder how these areas might be able to have the same sort of fun?
Name: Charlie Hartley
Hometown: Bethesda, MD
School: University of Wisconsin – Madison
Major: History and Pre-medicine
How I got involved with MEDLIFE: I heard about MEDLIFE through the chapter at UW, which had just returned from a trip to Lima. I went to their spring semester meeting and was struck by the images they showed and decided to delve into the organization a bit deeper. As I was reading through the MEDLIFE website I noticed they had a year-long internship. I applied and lo and behold here I am!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I enjoy exploring cultures and places I’ve never experienced before. I believe the best way to experience the world is through its food. I am a younger brother and have always enjoyed giving my sister a hard time – only because I look up to her. My family means the world to me and the world is my family.
What was your first impression of Lima?: It is exhilarating and chaotic. I’ve never experienced a place with such contrasting frantic and leisurely tempos. You’re racing to catch a combi one second and spending a few hours talking over a plate of ceviche the next. I can tell every day is going to have a new experience.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.