The Long-Term Benefits of Volunteering Abroad with MEDLIFE - MEDLIFE

The Long-Term Benefits of Volunteering Abroad with MEDLIFE

long-term benefits of volunteering

At MEDLIFE we are constantly doing research into the world of volunteering to ensure we are providing the best opportunities for both our partner communities and those who volunteer with us. Recently, the Harvard Study of Adult Development caught our eye and we were fascinated by its findings on the profound long-term benefits of volunteering for social connections as well as health and happiness. This insight deeply resonated with us at MEDLIFE, as it highlighted the incredible value of the connections—something we strive to build during our Service Learning Trips (SLTs) and chapter events. Realizing the parallel between the study’s outcomes and our on-ground experiences, we have been inspired to further emphasize the value of building lasting relationships in our programs—not just among volunteers, but between volunteers and the communities they serve. As a movement dedicated to empowering communities and developing global citizens, MEDLIFE is committed to turning these insights into actions that have a lasting impact.

Insights from Statistics and Research

  • Embrace Community: The Key to Happiness
    Inspired by the Harvard study, we understand more than ever how crucial close relationships are for lifelong happiness. As part of our movement, MEDLIFE prioritizes community building as a cornerstone of our approach, ensuring that strong, supportive connections are a major outcome of all our engagements.
  • Volunteering’s Value: Boosting Your Mental Health
    Aligning with research from the Journal of Happiness Studies, our programs not only allow volunteers to contribute meaningfully but also enhance their own life satisfaction and mental wellness, echoing the benefits identified in global studies.
  • Community Connection: A Key to Physician Well-Being
    Research suggests that fostering a sense of community is vital for the well-being of individuals, including physicians who face unique challenges. By facilitating community engagement and support networks, MEDLIFE strives to promote the mental resilience and well-being of all those involved in our initiatives.

Alumni Spotlight: Elizabeth Shenk Reflects on Her MEDLIFE Journey

Elizabeth Shenk, a former MEDLIFE intern and volunteer, shares her insights on how her experience with MEDLIFE has shaped her career and personal growth: “Although I worked with MEDLIFE over a decade ago, I still reflect on my time in Peru working on the mobile clinics and the incredible impact we had on educating community members about common health issues and how to better care for themselves. Since leaving in 2014, I returned in 2018 to help with a Wilderness First Aid course for MEDLIFE staff, and revisited some of the communities where we had completed projects. This reignited my passion for medicine and reminded me why I started in this field. Sometimes you need that reminder of what pushed you to start.” As illustrated by Elizabeth Shenk’s experiences, volunteering abroad with MEDLIFE offers profound personal and professional benefits. It not only helps in addressing global challenges but also supports personal development and resilience. By joining MEDLIFE, volunteers step into a legacy of connections and change, inspired by a community that values deep engagement and lasting impact.

Exploring the Long-Term Benefits of Volunteering Abroad with MEDLIFE

  • Lifelong Connections: Our programs are designed to forge deep, lasting relationships that foster a sense of belonging and solidarity among all involved.
  • Expanded Perspective: Volunteers gain a comprehensive understanding of global issues through direct cultural immersion and interaction.
  • Enhanced Empathy: By working closely with diverse communities, volunteers develop a profound empathy and understanding, witnessing firsthand the challenges others face.
  • Personal Growth: Each volunteer experiences significant personal development, learning to navigate and overcome challenges in unfamiliar environments.
  • Continued Impact: The insights and connections from volunteering have a lasting influence, inspiring continued advocacy and action within volunteers’ home communities and beyond.

A Legacy of Connections and Change

Our discovery of the Harvard study on the long-term benefits of volunteering has not only confirmed the value of our work but has also inspired us to deepen our commitment to fostering meaningful connections through our volunteering programs. As a movement, MEDLIFE ensures that every volunteer experience is transformative, benefiting both the communities we serve and the volunteers who join us.

Are you ready to experience these transformative benefits first-hand? Join the MEDLIFE movement today and be a part of a global effort towards sustainable change and personal enrichment. To get started, fill out the interest form below or download our free brochure!