Summer Internships in Philippines - On Site

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Philippines—Remote Island Medicine

Compromised of over 7,100 islands in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is an archipelago filled with natural beauty and rich culture. Along with its rich biodiversity, white sandy beaches, mountain ranges, and tropical rainforests, the country’s colorful history is filled with a unique blend of cultures. Known for their warm hospitality and contagious smiles, Filipinos truly make the Philippines a very special country to visit.

In the Philippines, the majority of citizens are covered under the Philippine Heath Insurance Corporation. However, since the out-of-pocket payment is so high, there are many people who lack access to public health care. In many remote, hard-to-reach islands, otherwise known as geographically isolated disadvantaged areas (GIDA), hospitals and health care clinics lack infrastructure and investment, as well as supplies and personnel.


For the first two weeks, participants will stay in a hotel or dorm-style lodging in Manila. For the remaining three weeks, participants live with homestay families in identified remote island sites in Quezon and Romblon provinces. Homestay families are chosen and screened by the CFHI Local Coordinator. Please note that the accommodations do not include facilities like air conditioning, internet, telephones, mineral water, and hot water baths. Homestays provide a unique opportunity to learn about local culture on a daily basis in an informal setting. UC Davis reserves the right to change the accommodation location. Should this be necessary, we will arrange comparable lodging.


2 meals a day are included on this program.

Clinical Rotations

Sample Schedule

Clinical rotations will start on Monday of the second week and usually take place in the mornings for 4 to 6 hours usually Monday through Friday for the remaining four weeks.

Once a week you will meet with your Medical Director to discuss your experiences at the clinics and hospitals. A lecture on a health related topics will also be provided. Students can use this time to discuss particular issues of interest, review their progress in clinic or bring up any concerns they may have. Clinical rotation sites include: 


WHO Western Pacific Regional Office Headquarters

The office represents the WHO in Asia Pacific and its primary purpose is to support all countries and people in their quest to achieve the highest attainable level of health.

Department of Health (DoH)

The principle health agency and executive branch of the Philippine government is responsible for ensuring access to public services to all citizens through provision of health care and regulation of health goods and services.

Alabat Island or Romblon Island

Rural Health Unit (RHU)/Clinic

This primary health care center provides health services to patients in remote areas. Participants will learn about traditional healers, reproductive health, community health system management, and shadow local nurses and registered midwives with patient consults, live birth deliveries, and vaccination/immunization.

Barangay Health Stations [BHS]

The BHS are an extension of the RHU located at the village level and supported by a midwife or health worker/community health volunteer. Participants will have the opportunity to shadow health workers with live birth deliveries, vaccination/immunization, and nutrition promoting activities.

Excursions and Day Trips

Short excursions and day trips will be included during orientation week.

Orientation Week Sample Schedule

  • Welcome dinner and cultural show
  • Lecture about Filipino history and culture
  • Manila city tour, focusing on socio-economic realities of Philippines
  • Guided museum tours
  • Community service project
  • 3-day (2 night) field trip to Bagui, Banaue and the villages of Ifugao- traditional villages, spiritual healers and rice terraces

Study Abroad Advisory of Student Risk

Participation in this UC Davis Study Abroad program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UC Davis Study Abroad endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible.  However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Davis. All participants must download and review the following information prior to departure. Any questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Study Abroad General Risk Advisory

Program Specific Risk Advisories (PDF)

About Manila, Quezon and Romblon, Philippines

Manila is the capital of the Philippines. Home to over a million inhabitants, Manila is arguably one of the most densely populated city in the world. It is located on the eastern shore of the Manila Bay and one of the sixteen cities that make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region of the Philippines, whose overall population is estimated at 12 million.

Polillo and Alabat are two major islands that make up the Quezon Province, located southeast of Metro Manila. Polillo Island is on the northeastern side of Quezon and is marked by rugged terrain and rich biodiversity. Alabat is a smaller island located between the Pacific Ocean and Lamon Bay. It is known as "paradise island" in the Pacific because of its fishing grounds, fertile soil, and wide plains.

Romblon is a province composed of 17 municipalities scattered across seven islands on the Sibuyan Sea, located in the geographic center of the Philippines. It has three main islands: Tablas, Romblon and Sibuyan, and four island municipalities: Banton, Concepcion, Corcuera and San Jose. It is rich in mineral resources and boasts of lush vegetation and numerous white sand beaches.

Philippine Currency: Philippine peso
Language Spoken: Filipino and English are the official languages (out of 120-175 languages spoken)

Weather and Climate

Research Your Destination

Keeping in Touch

Since communication options can vary dramatically from country to country, Summer Abroad advises checking with the instructor or the Program Specific Guide for advice about what might be the best option for your particular program.

Calling the U.S. from Abroad

Many U.S.-based long distance phone companies provide special services that make it easy for you to phone home from abroad. Some provide toll-free access numbers that connect with an operator in the U.S. Some provide the means to charge long distance calls to a credit card or to a third party. Some provide better long distance rates. Others provide access to emergency, medical, legal, translation, and entertainment information. Students are encouraged to investigate these options before departure and to shop for the best services and rates.

Global Cell Phones

Most cell phone companies can sell you a special global cell phone with the option to add more minutes as needed. Also, most cell phone companies can unlock your cell phone for global use, but this requires a trip to a provider at your destination who will give you a SIM card and sell you minutes. Check with your cell phone provider for more information. Global cell phones are also available through travel agencies and online. Be sure to check the policies for both incoming and outgoing calls and text messages.

Cell Phone Rental

Some students choose to rent a cell phone that works at their destination. Some companies will ship the phone directly to the student in advance of the program dates—and include a packet for sending the phone back when they return. Interested students can locate service providers via the Internet.

Phone Cards

Many travel agencies and specific phone providers carry great options for phone cards. Check the rates available from your long distance provider. You can often buy phone cards on site.


Skype is a computer program that you can download for free that allows you to talk (for free) on the phone over the Internet with anyone else who has Skype. Go to to download the program. For an extra fee (as low as .02 cents/minute) you can enable your Skype to call land lines instead of just other computers. You will need a microphone and headset so that you can talk to the person on the other line. Skype also includes a chat option for instant messaging.

Instant Messaging Systems

Instant messaging systems are also a great free way to communicate with people back in the states. There are numerous options for messaging systems from AOL Instant Messenger to Yahoo Messenger. Just about every messaging program can be downloaded for free online.

Internet Access

Computer and internet access varies by program. Information for your site will be listed in your Program Specific Guide.

Internet access is offered in all the countries we go to, but the reliability of it differs from program to program. Internet can be accessed through internet cafes. Some programs also offer access through the dorms or on-campus computer labs. Internet cafes are very reasonably priced and often times have various instant messaging programs installed and headphones available to chat with loved ones. Relying on internet cafes may reduce worry of bringing your own laptop with you. You can upload pictures at most internet cafes, but remember due to the speed of some connections, it may be a better idea just to bring multiple memory cards to avoid spending your whole day on the computer.

Cultural Learning

Living in a new culture can be exhilarating, rewarding, and stimulating. It can also be frustrating. It is one thing to tour a country, but it is quite another to live and function according to different norms. It is important to be open toward a new culture, to try to discard stereotypes, and to learn as much as possible about the culture before departure. If you educate yourself about the country you will be visiting, you will better understand and appreciate your new surroundings!

Even with preparation it is likely that you will experience "culture shock." Recent studies show that there are distinct stages of culture shock. Some of these stages include: awareness of the host culture and preparation, initial euphoria and excitement, irritability phase during acclimation, gradual adjustment, and adaptation to culture. Upon return to the United States, many students face "reverse culture shock."

There are some things you can do to minimize your cultural adjustment. Keep a sense of humor! Treat yourself to an occasional U.S. indulgence like a favorite food, or purchase a U.S. magazine or newspaper. Avoid other Americans who are overly negative or who complain a lot. Keep healthy. Above all, don't be afraid to try new activities!

Resources for Further Study

Ethical Considerations in Study Abroad