SUMMER & JANUARY INSTITUTES
Engineering World Health’s Summer & January Institutes are engineering service abroad programs in the hospitals and clinics of low-resource countries that lack needed technicians. The Institutes recruit top-notch engineering undergraduates, graduate students, and young professionals. At the outset, participants learn the local language and complete a technical training course designed to give them the hands-on skills they need to troubleshoot and repair vital hospital equipment. Teams of two or three participants are then placed in hospitals – ones that often lack any biomedical engineering staff – where they repair equipment, conduct preventative maintenance, take inventories, and train staff on how the equipment is to be operated successfully.
Participants work closely with hospital staff. They learn to listen to local perspectives as they conduct interviews on each hospital’s needs, and they learn new ways of approaching challenges as they seek creative solutions in low-resource settings. Their interactions become a global exchange of information. Participants teach hospital staff how to use new devices, translate manuals, and instruct technicians in device maintenance. At the same time, students learn the significance of medical device design choices when “just buying a new one” isn’t an option.
Since 2004, almost 700 Institute participants have repaired more than 6,500 pieces of equipment, returning an estimated $13 million worth of medical technology back to service.
As EWH reaches new countries, each of our programs offers a unique opportunity for students. Some countries are only open to students of particular Universities, or EWH Alumni who have already completed a previous SI. Follow the links below to find out more:
Nicaragua, Tanzania, & Rwanda Summer Institutes
Open to any qualified applicant, these programs place participants in-country for nine weeks.
The Rwanda Summer Institute began in 2013 in partnership with Texas A&M University. This program features an additional emphasis on design, innovation and product production for under-resourced areas, encouraging students to think about how their work as engineers impacts people around the world and not just at home. More info here: ewh.org/rwanda.
There is one application for all three programs; applicants rank their country preferences when applying. Click here to apply to Nicaragua/Tanzania/Rwanda.
*Application materials, financial aid and other information can be found in the menu on the right side of this page. Online live virtual info sessions are available to find out more. The final deadline to apply for the coming summer is January 2017. We also offer two rounds of early decision, click here for more information.
Nepal January Institute for Alumni
Former participants are also invited to participate in the January Institute in Nepal, which is a three-week program. More info here: http://www.ewh.org/students/summer-institute/locations/nepalalumni
Campus to Country Programs
Expanding on the success of the Summer Institute programs, in 2014 EWH began offering Campus to Country programs. Students take the required technical training on medical equipment operation and repair at their home institution to prepare for multi-week placements in a developing country. The courses closely follow the EWH curriculum developed for the Summer Institute program, may provide academic credit, and can be easily integrated into a student’s degree schedule.
After training on their home campus, students travel to a developing country and are provided additional in-country language, cultural, and technical training by EWH. Students are then placed in low resource hospitals for 2 – 6 weeks to make repairs, install new equipment and train staff how to better utilize hospital technology.
Our newest Summer Institute is in Nepal, and began in 2016 in partnership with the Technical University of Denmark. This six week program is only open to EWH Alumni (former SI participants) or students from Technical University of Denmark, Aalto University in Finland, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and Norwegian University of Science and Technology. More info here: ewh.org/nepalsummer.
In 2015, EWH launched its first January Institute in Guatemala. This three-week program is open only to EWH Alumni (former SI participants) or students from George Mason University and Rochester Institute of Technology who complete a Fall training course. More info here: http://www.ewh.org/students/summer-institute/locations/guatemala
Cambodia January Institute
Finally, in 2016, EWH started the January Institute in Cambodia in partnership with the University of New South Wales. Open only to UNSW students, who train in Australia during the semester before they travel, this program is eight weeks long. Students spend the first two weeks learning Khmer and working alongside EWH's BMET Training students, and the next six weeks working in small teams in hospitals.