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Costa Rica Medical Volunteer Opportunity!

Are you pursuing a career in the medical field? Would you like to travel the world while gaining hands-on experience in your chosen profession?

Costa Rica is like nowhere else in the world and is quickly becoming one of the top destinations for international travelers. Beautiful beaches, friendly locals, a laid back atmosphere and multiple recreation opportunities abound in this exciting Central American country.

However, many people are unable to access basic healthcare and private hospitals are costly. As the government run facilities are overcrowded, people are left waiting and end up suffering from easily treatable ailments. Help provide much needed medical care to those in need!

Joining this medical volunteer opportunity in Costa Rica is just the thing you need to give you a competitive edge and show just how dedicated you are to your future career. You’ll shadow and observe local doctors and nurses as they treat patients. In the process, you will gain valuable real-world experience and get a behind the scenes look into life as a healthcare professional.

Do you want to volunteer in a medical field and provide crucial care to those who lack healthcare? Contact Global Crossroad to learn more about becoming a medical volunteer in Costa Rica!

Volunteer Responsibilities & Impacts

As a Medical volunteer in Costa Rica, you’ll be shadowing and observing talented and experienced doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in local clinics, assisted living facilities, HIV centers, rehabilitation centers or ambulance projects. Duties will vary based on your specific background and credentials, you can let us know what specialty you are pursuing and we will try to find the best placement for you.

You’ll get a close look at what it takes to see patients, assist with diagnosis, and develop a treatment plan. You will assist with general duties around the hospital like taking blood pressure and other vitals, maintaining patient records, and preparing medical equipment. You will also help promote health education in the local communities through medical campaigns.

Please be aware that due to laws and regulations you will not be treating patients or participating in surgeries or procedures. You will, however, get a behind the scenes look at patient exams and learn a lot from this experience.

Volunteering in healthcare in Costa Rica will have a tremendous impact on your future career. You’ll get an all-access pass into the lives of these medical professionals and learn tons of valuable skills you’re sure to use with your own future patients. You’ll set yourself apart from the crowd when it comes to job applications and jumpstarting your career!

Skills and Qualifications

We welcome enthusiastic volunteers who are pursuing a career in medicine or are already medical professionals. You’ll need to provide a medical student id, or proof of a degree from an accredited institution, or your credentials and experience. The main thing you’ll need is a passion for healthcare and an eagerness to learn as much as you possibly can while traveling abroad.

You will also need to bring scrubs, a stethoscope and closed-toed shoes. Speaking Spanish will be helpful as many patients do not speak English. If you’d like to work on your Spanish in Costa Rica, you can enroll in our Spanish language program and learn while you volunteer. Volunteers also need to be at least 18 years or older to join this program.

Each day volunteering abroad will be an adventure in the medical world. You’ll be in your element, exploring your passion and learning valuable skills for your future career.

You can expect to volunteer an average of 5 hours per day, Monday-Friday, while volunteering in the medical program in Costa Rica. Your actual hours will vary based on your final placement, but here's a sample schedule to give you an idea of what to expect.

  • First Day: On your first day, you will be escorted to your placement by our helpful local coordinator and introduced to the medical professional who will be your mentor and your guide. You’ll have an orientation to get you started with your project.
  • Orientation: Learn all about your volunteer project, what’s expected of you and what your schedule will look like, safety protocols, and a little bit about the customs and culture of Costa Rica.
  • Weekdays: A typical volunteer day might look something like this:
  • 6.00 to 7.30 AM: Start your day off with a traditional breakfast with your welcoming host family. Typical fare includes café con leche, rice, beans, eggs, and fresh fruit.
  • 7.45 AM: Head out to the hospital or clinic you’ll be volunteering at. Have an exciting and educational day seeing patients and shadowing medical professionals in action.
  • 12.00 PM: Lunch is a great time to connect with your fellow Costa Rica medical volunteers. Ask your host family for a lunch to go and spend the time making new friends from around the world.
  • 3.00 PM: After a fun day of volunteering, you’ll have free time to get out and explore San Jose. You’re in Costa Rica, so make the most of it!
  • 6.45 PM: Join your host family around the table for dinner and immerse yourself in the local culture. Practice your Spanish and learn more about your new international friends.

Fees & Program Dates

Program Dates

Global Crossroads volunteer programs begin every Monday year-round. We allow flexibility if you have travel constraints. Volunteers can join our programs from 1 week up to 12 weeks.


Global Crossroad is committed to offering the most affordable and highest quality Costa Rica volunteer trips. We strive to keep our costs low. The humanitarian side of the business is our passion.

Global Crossroad volunteer opportunity in Costa Rica application and registration fee is US $299. The application fee covers the cost of advertising, program promotion, and office expenses (rent, utilities, and staff salaries in our USA office).

In addition to the application fee, you are required to pay a weekly program fee. You will pay your weekly fee directly to your host family and project (via the country coordinator). This way, the fees that you pay will benefit those who rightfully deserve them. They are not for company profit.

Volunteer Program Fees (US$)

    Duration San Jose Medical Program Manuel Antonio Medical Program
  1 Week   $525   N/A
  2 Weeks $900   N/A
  3 Weeks   $1,265   $1,415
  4 Weeks   $1,600   $1,760
  5 Weeks   $1,870   $2,030
  6 Weeks   $2,140   $2,300
  7 Weeks   $2,410   $2,570
  8 Weeks   $2,680   $2,840
  9 Weeks   $2,950   $3,110
  10 Weeks   $3,220   $3,380
  11 Weeks   $3,490   $3,650
  12 Weeks   $3,760   $3,920

Comprehensive travel insurance $3.49 a day »

Spanish Immersion Classes at $75 per week

How your fee is allocated?

Program fees cover:
  • Shared Accommodation with host family
  • 2 meals per day (Breakfast & Dinner)
  • Airport Pick up
  • In-country support
  • Program Orientation
  • Project Management
  • Volunteer Certificate
  • Discount for returning volunteers
  • Weekly Surcharge
Program fees exclude:
  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses, soft drinks, food, etc.
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

The Costa Rica volunteer program fees cover expenses from the first day of your program to the last day of your program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for any additional expenses.

Accommodation and Meal

Medical volunteers in Costa Rica will have the opportunity to become fully immersed in the local culture while staying with a trusted host family in their safe, clean, and comfortable home. They will welcome you into their family and share two healthy local meals (breakfast and dinner) a day with you around their table.

Learn more about your accommodations and food in Costa Rica.

Free Time and Weekend Exploration

You’ll have your evenings and weekends free, and San Jose has plenty of activities to keep you busy! Catch a show at the historical and impressive National Theater, visit the art museum or peruse countless galleries, go shopping, enjoy live music, or dine out! Weekends are perfect for visiting volcanoes, beaches, zip lining, and more!

Discover what to do in your free time and weekends in Costa Rica.

Safety and In Country Support

Nothing is more important to Global Crossroad than your safety while volunteering in the Costa Rica healthcare program. We offer pre-trip support, carefully vetted trips, trusted local partners, airport pick-up, and even insurance to cover you in case of emergency. You’ll also have the support of our dedicated in-country team .

Learn more about our safety and support.

Costa Rica Medical Volunteer Opportunity: FAQs

Before you pack your bags, there are a few details you’ll need to know. You’re probably asking yourself some questions, so here are some answers for you:

Arrival and Departure

You will fly into Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. Your airport pickup is included in your volunteer fee, and we will have someone waiting for you when you land who will take you safely to your accommodations.


You may be eligible for a visa stamp upon your arrival at the airport in San Jose as you pass through immigration. However, do your research to learn the requirements for your home country before heading out on your Costa Rica healthcare volunteer experience. Research the visa requirements at the official Immigration site of Costa Rica.


Make an appointment with your doctor at least a few weeks before your Costa Rica medical volunteer trip. You should be up to date on your routine vaccines, as well as Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid. You can also find information on the CDC Website.

Why volunteer in a healthcare program?

Kickstart your medical career

Nothing puts your future career on the fast-track like an exciting international internship. Learn valuable skills you’ll need in your profession and see what it’s like to be a medical professional before you even graduate!

Learn from an experienced professional

You’ll be shadowing experienced doctors, nurses, or other healthcare professionals as a medical volunteer in Costa Rica. These generous mentors will teach you as much as they can and are dedicating their time to help further your education.

Gain insight into a foreign healthcare system

Medicine is viewed and treated in different ways all over the world. Get a peek into the Costa Rican healthcare system and learn about your future profession from a different point of view than you have back home.

Experience a new culture

From the doctors to the patients to your local host family, and even during your time off, you are going to be surrounded by friendly locals and immersing yourself in the laid-back Pura Vida culture that Costa Rica is famous for. Make the most of your experience and be open to speaking the language and trying local food!

Contact Global Crossroad today to learn about advancing your medical career in Costa Rica!

Other Volunteer Opportunities Available in Costa Rica:

No matter your passion or interests, we offer a variety of life-changing, volunteer programs in Costa Rica such as
volunteer vacation,
conservation and environment and much more. 

For more information on our exciting programs in Costa Rica, contact us today.