Internship Program

The FIMRC Internship Program provides the most driven individuals with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience developing innovative and sustainable solutions to a variety of global health challenges. 

Interns have contributed to a number of initiatives on-site over the years. Through a rigorous interview process, the Internship Team learns more about your skills, education and background and matches you with a project site where we feel you will have the largest impact. Each intern has the opportunity not only to gain exposure in the clinical setting, but is also responsible for a project. Past project examples using unique skills include:

  • In Costa Rica, a class was created for children using ballet skills of an Ambassador. The girls were taken through a holistic health education course focused on healthy habits and self-esteem, and the dance background of our intern was incorporated into a series of ballet classes. The culminating event was a recital put on by the girls who went through the program. This happened in conjunction with another Ambassador who created a similar Women's Health program. You can read more about it here!
  • In India, an Ambassador took her passion for community development and helped build out our Women's Group. She taught the women important skills to help with economic development by helping them create a small business and understand important pillars of the business such as budgeting and marketing.
  • In the Dominican Republic, an intern learned about the Superman initiative taking place on-site and built out a similar program called Chicas Maravillas.

The exact nature of your Internship will vary greatly depending on the amount of time you spend on-site, current operations and initiatives that are in the site's strategic plan. Specifics are discussed throughout the interview process depending on site selection. 

Program Details

  • Internships are available at all FIMRC locations as well as at our US Headquarters in Philadelphia.
  • Two types of internships are offered: 
    • Ambassador Program (3 to 6 month commitment) 
    • Fellowship Program (7 month to 1 year+ commitment)
  • Applicants do not apply to specific sites but rather the Ambassador or Fellowship Programs in general. Placements are based on the sites' needs, applicants' skill sets, and information gathered during the interview process.
  • Internships are unpaid.

More Information

Despite the differences in the Internship Program between project sites, there are similarities no matter your location. As an Ambassador or Fellow, there are a few guarantees of the experience. You will:

  • Face the challenges of providing basic health care services in areas with little technological, financial, and/or educational support by designing, executing, and evaluating a self-driven project;

  • Gain valuable insight into the inner workings of an international non-profit organization and foreign health care systems;

  • Become immersed into the language and culture of your host community, thus gaining an intimate view of how behavior, culture, and economy affect health;
  • Work side by side with skilled field staff to help drive change in the communities we serve;
  • Contribute to programming - a contribution that will last well beyond your time on-site.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a FIMRC Ambassador/Fellow?

A: FIMRC Ambassadors/Fellows are highly qualified and driven individuals who believe that community development and a holistic approach to patient care are essential to improving global pediatric/maternal health services. They commit 3 months to 1 year of voluntary service developing sustainable projects at FIMRC Headquarters in Philadelphia or any one of our international project sites.

Q: Where do FIMRC Ambassadors/Fellows work?

A: FIMRC Ambassadorships/Fellowships are available at our Headquarters in Philadelphia and all of our international project sites.

Q: What do FIMRC Ambassadors/Fellows do?

A: FIMRC Ambassadors/Fellows develop sustainable solutions to common problems that FIMRC partner communities face on a daily basis, such as access to clean water and nutritious foods, HIV/AIDS education, and the improvement of prenatal/postnatal patient services. Most projects involve basic health education and community outreach components. For more information, please see individual project descriptions above.

Q: What is a typical day like?

A: Each project site maintains its own unique agenda. However, all Ambassadors/Fellows can expect to meet with their staff mentor or community leaders on a weekly basis to discuss project planning, implementation, and analysis. Community meetings and house visits as well as attending to patients at the various partner clinics, hospitals, and health outposts is also an important component of daily life in the field.

Q: What level of support do interns receive?

A: While in the field, Ambassadors/Fellows work closely with the Field Operations Managers and clinic staff. Quite often, community members become important and influential partners in project development and implementation as well.

Q: What is the difference between the internship program and GHVP?

A: FIMRC's Internship Program is distinct from the Global Health Volunteer Program in several ways. Primarily, only a handful of internships are offered per year, so the application process is both rigorous and selective. Additionally, Ambassadors/Fellows have a differing level of responsibility on-site and are expected to work in conjunction with staff members on independent projects that contribute to the overall sustainability of the program. Finally, Ambassadors/Fellows must fulfill pre-determined dates of service in order to successfully complete their internship.

Q: What are the benefits of participation in the Internship Program?

A: Ask any former Ambassador/Fellow and they will tell you they received much more from the FIMRC experience than they gave. In addition to gaining field experience working within a foreign health system and with an international NGO, participants develop project management and research skills, and benefit from the personal growth that always comes through intensive language and cultural immersion experiences. Many former Ambassadors/Fellows continue on to graduate school, medical school, or careers in NGOs.

Q: What are the Intership Program requirements?

A: Because of its holistic approach to patient care, FIMRC encourages diversity of backgrounds and experiences among applicants. In addition to students and professionals of community/global health and medicine, those with experience in NGO/business management, psychology, sociology, anthropology and the performing arts are highly encouraged to apply. The ability to work in intercultural settings and comfort with international travel is highly valuable as well.

Q: Do Ambassadors/Fellows need to speak another language?

A: There is no language requirement for Project Bumwalukani, Project Kodaikanal or to work at HQ. All those interested in placement in Central or South America must have conversational Spanish.

Q: What is the minimum/maximum time commitment?

A: Ambassadors commit 3 to 6 months of service. Fellows commit 7 months to 1 year (or more) of service. In some cases, this time may be split between HQ and an international project site.

Q: Why do Interns have to pay to work voluntarily?

A: Ambassadors/Fellows are very special and important members of the FIMRC family. We understand that due to their extended commitment to working in the field, personal financial situations can become complicated. We therefore offer rates that reflect our gratitude for the long-term support. Pricing can be discussed once an applicant is involved in the recruitment process.

Q: What are the living/lodging costs involved?

A: Living costs vary depending on the project site. Pricing will be discussed once FIMRC Staff has identified the location of the internship.

Q: How do FIMRC Ambassadors/Fellows fund their travel?

A: Past participants have funded their service through the assistance of family, friends, church groups, school associations, scholarships, and loans. While we can't offer financial assistance to Ambassadors/Fellows, we strive to make the experience affordable by greatly reducing costs. We also provide great tips and ideas to use our new fundraising platform, FIMRC Give. We will walk you through the process and hope that you find it to be an easy experience!

Q: Do Interns need to purchase travel insurance?

A: Travel insurance is only necessary if the current insurance plan does not provide emergency evacuation from foreign countries. We partner with Worldwide Risk Management (WRM) to assist in providing Ambassadors/Fellows with adequate international travel and medical insurance. WRM specializes in providing international health insurance to mission groups, volunteer organizations, and individuals traveling overseas for missions and humanitarian relief. FIMRC and WRM would like to suggest the Outreach Travel Medical Insurance product as the most appropriate insurance plan for your traveling needs. It is designed for the individual short term volunteer traveling for five days and up to 12 months. Outreach Travel provides medical benefits, emergency evacuation, terrorism coverage, natural disaster benefits, trip interruption, and lost luggage benefits. These are just a few highlights. For more detailed information, click here. To purchase your insurance, click here.

Q: Do Ambassadors/Fellows need a visa?

A: The requirements of each partner country are different. For more information, please see individual project descriptions above. Ambassadors/Fellows who are not U.S. citizens must check with their consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required for travel. It is the responsibility of all Ambassadors/Fellows to read and act upon all of the information provided by FIMRC, in order to ensure safe and legal passage.

Q: Do FIMRC Ambassadors/Fellows need any vaccinations?

A: In some cases, vaccinations will be necessary. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most current vaccination recommendations.

Q: What about safety?

A: We takes the safety and security of all participants very seriously. We strive to provide secure housing and transport at all locations and provide orientation on the norms of the country to ensure that Ambassadors/Fellows do not mistakenly put themselves at risk. Close contact with community leaders ensures that in-country staff is aware of any potential situations that could compromise participants’ safety, thus allowing them to be proactive in taking the necessary precautions. However, traveling to a developing country involves inherent risk and the Ambassador/Fellow must take full personal responsibility to mitigate potential risks. It is also highly recommended that participants register themselves with the US Embassy in the country of service.

 

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Submit the following to internshipprogram@fimrc.org:

  • Personal statement of interest including dates of availability (no more than 500 words)
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation

Once received, your application will be reviewed by our team.  If you are selected to proceed to the recruitment process, you will be contacted for an interview. 

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall: July 15
  • Winter: September 15
  • Spring/Summer: February 15

Should you have any questions regarding application deadlines, please contact internshipprogram@fimrc.org for further information.