FAQ - Health Squads
Squads Abroad is a 501c3 non-profit organization under our parent company Global Brigades, a Platinum Level Guidestar member for Financial Transparency. Since 2004, our organization has collectively mobilized more than 70,000 international volunteers to help resolve global health and economic disparities around the world.

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Can you tell me more about what I would be doing if I volunteered for a Global Health Squad?
Global Health Squad volunteers travel to Central America, West Africa, and Southeastern Europe to participate in a one-week medical clinic in remote communities that lack basic healthcare. Global Health Squads allow volunteers to participate in the various activities of the mobile medical clinic. This includes helping doctors with child health screenings, vision screenings, dental screenings, and building handwashing stations in schools. Volunteers with all levels of experience and skills are welcome and encouraged to participate in our Health Squads.
I am interested in being a pre-health student and want to learn more about what it means to pursue a career in medicine. How can Global Health Squads help me?
Global Health Squads is a fantastic opportunity for students interested in pre-health, or anyone interested in pursuing a career in the health field. Our Health Squads offer leaders the role to mobilize peers, to travel abroad, and to gain practical experience in rural communities in Central America, West Africa, and Southeastern Europe. Our one-week Health Squads allow students the opportunity to shadow local doctors, and support child health screenings. The experience is invaluable for both personal and professional growth. Additionally, Squads serve as great topics for college application essays and as résumé items for volunteers’ professional development.
How is Global Health Squads different from other medical volunteering programs I’ve heard about?
Global Health Squads is unique in many ways. First, Squads Abroad acts as an empowering movement by offering a Holistic Model for sustainable development and healthcare in the communities we partner with. Unlike other organizations, we not only support our volunteers but also have an on-the-ground team that works with communities to improve community health year-round. Squads Abroad combats health discrepancies in communities not only through medical clinics, but also through public health and water infrastructure projects. We also work with our parent organization Global Brigades to provide regular access to healthcare to partner communities every 3-6 months in order to provide sustainable medical care, until the community has the infrastructure to provide care to patients.
I want to do more than just watch a doctor. Will I actually be able to participate in the examination and discuss potential diagnosis with the doctor?

Specific volunteer experiences vary between squads. Many of our doctors have been trained to create an inclusive and collaborative environment with the students. We encourage all our doctors to make the Health Squads an educational experience for the students, while still providing efficient and effective care for our patients.

For patient safety, no volunteers will be allowed to do procedures that they are not licensed to do in their home countries.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of volunteers for groups?
Each Health Squads group needs a minimum of 6 volunteers and one adult chaperone. Chaperones participate for free without a donation goal. To fairly serve the community’s needs, this number is non-negotiable. There is no maximum volunteer number, and donation goal amounts become more affordable with larger volunteer numbers.
Where do the funds I raise go?

Education Squads volunteers do not pay to volunteer with Squads Abroad. Instead, volunteers fundraise to support Squads Abroad’s Holistic Model. Once a volunteer meets a set Donation Goal, they are eligible to join us on-the-ground to see their fundraising efforts put into action by participating in a Global Health Squad.

When a volunteer participates in a Health Squad, the volunteer’s ground transportation, food, lodging, and emergency insurance are all covered. The funding that the volunteer raised also supports all the necessary costs for program implementation, such as medications, equipment, local doctors, pharmacists, translators, and support staff.

Visit our parent organization Global Brigades’ financials page to learn about how donor funds are utilized.

Is this safe?
The safety of student volunteers is Squads Abroad’s number one priority and is the single most important consideration when entering a community or choosing a project. Each country that Squads Abroad partners with has implemented safety protocols and policies to decrease any risk of danger and to ensure that any emergency can be properly handled in a prompt and professional manner. For more information on safety precautions, emergency procedures and insurance information, please visit the Safety and Security page on our website.
This sounds great. How do I get involved?
First, find out if your school has a Global Health Squads Chapter by searching for your school on the Chapters tab. If your school does not have a Chapter, click the Lead a Squad button to fill out an application to start a chapter. You will be connected with a Squads Abroad staff member.
Squads Abroad is a 501c3 non-profit organization under our parent company Global Brigades, a Platinum Level Guidestar member for Financial Transparency. Since 2004, our organization has collectively mobilized more than 70,000 international volunteers to help resolve global health and economic disparities around the world.
Squads are passionate groups of volunteers who mobilize abroad to create positive change. Each Squad type has a skill-based focus area that support the education, health and economic development objectives of community partners. Faculty choose their dates, duration (typically 1-2 weeks), and their site location from one of our six program countries.