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New Service Learning, Same Impact

The world around us has changed, but MEDLIFE remains committed to both our partner communities and our student communities around the world. As we continue with our emergency response to COVID-19, we have established new and innovative ways to offer service-learning experiences to volunteers. We are thrilled to introduce our new measures and opportunities that prioritize public health and safety during a once-in-a-lifetime MEDLIFE trip.

MEDLIFE’s core values prioritize public health and community impact, so you can be sure that we are taking all of the necessary precautions to keep our volunteers and community members safe while traveling. Here is how.

The ABC’s of Safe Travel With MEDLIFE

Above and Beyond Precautions

Travel with Confidence and know that MEDLIFE and partner organization Good Life Expeditions takes safety seriously. Our organization is implementing the safety and security protocols recommended by the World Travel and Tourism Council which can be found here.

In addition to meeting local requirements in all destinations where we operate, we will ensure the following as measures of extra precaution:

Daily Vehicle Sanitization

Our vehicles will be sanitized and disinfected daily in order to significantly reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19. While our vehicles have always been cleaned at the end of each tour, we have implemented additional disinfectant technology in response to the pandemic. This ensures that our guides, drivers, and customers stay safe while exceeding the requirements set by the CDC.

Driver and Guide Protection and Testing

We will require drivers and guides to receive frequent testing and will install barriers in vehicles. Staff will receive daily temperature checks and participants will have assigned seating with the same member of the group they are rooming with for the duration of the tour. Hand sanitizer will be available. We will ensure vehicles have plenty of extra space.

Small and Private Groups

There will be a maximum of 15 passengers on all Service Learning Programs and social distancing 6+ feet apart. The use of masks throughout the tour is required and will be provided by MEDLIFE. Our trip leader will be responsible for the daily health check-ins of individual participants and will conduct temperature checks. If a participant is demonstrating symptoms, they will be separated from the tour and we will coordinate a medical visit. A doctor will have to clear you before rejoining the tour.  

If your group is able to register 8 participants or more, you will have the option of running your tour as a private program.

Twin Accommodation 

We have changed from multi-share dorm-style accommodations to twin share accommodations. Participants will share a room, cabin, or tent with the same member of the group throughout the tour. Options to upgrade to single room accommodation for all trips are also available. 

On-Call Insurance with all International bookings

As always, we have partnered with On Call International to provide emergency medical insurance when our participants are outside of their home country.  

 

Booking Flexibility

We understand that we are in a time of constant change, so our booking flexibility reflects that. While the pandemic continues, we will ensure the ultimate flexibility.

Postpone or Change your trip up to 30 days before travel

During COVID-19 we are allowing travelers to postpone to a future date, or transfer their booking to someone else for any reason up to 30 days before departure. 

 

Community Safety

As travel slowly returns, we will continue to be in constant communication with our partner communities in Peru, Ecuador, Tanzania, and new communities to understand their needs and also their concerns regarding COVID-19. We will only be taking student volunteers to communities that have explicitly expressed their comfort and enthusiasm. When visiting our partner communities along with requiring strict social distancing and use of masks, our focus will be on project work that allows our students to support communities while maintaining a safe distance.  This ensures a positive impact to the community while ensuring the safety of vulnerable populations.

Social Distancing While Giving Back

Social distancing also means protecting our partner communities.  Our students will not participate in Mobile Clinics but instead, focus on service projects and educational leadership workshops. Our workshops will be led in open outdoor areas and projects in communities will be distanced from participants. All trips will support our work towards food insecurity and patient follow-up programs to ensure that MEDLIFE can still provide the necessary medical care and support to community members.

Direct Impact

With 15+ years in operation, MEDLIFE is ready to create an impact even if volunteers are unable to do the physical work. Every single trip with MEDLIFE will still be supporting our medical, educational, and community development work. During your travels, we will have guest speakers such as staff, local professionals, or community members, to tell you about the impact your trip is making in partner communities. Whether it be a new staircase or home, a Mobile Clinic, a series of educational workshops, or a myriad of other things, your trip will have a direct impact in the same way any classic MEDLIFE Service Learning Trip does. 

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
Parent

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.