How can I apply to the DeCal?
Our applications open the beginning of each semester (usually August for the Fall class and January for the Spring class). The applications can be found on our website under “APPLY”. Please follow our Facebook group for updates when they are open!
What should I expect in the DeCal?
The purpose of our DeCal is to provide a background for our Berkeley students to be aware of the background, history and language of Peru as well as to be more aware of the different stations that they will be volunteering during their MEDLIFE trip. We do this by presenting and engaging students in activities that will teach them these topics.
What is expected of me in the DeCal?
We expect all our students to be open and willing to learn and serve the low-income population of Peru. We hope that by the end of the DeCal, our students will be culturally sensitive and aware of their position as a foreign volunteer in Peru.
What times do you go to Peru?
The UCB MEDLIFE chapter typically holds two, 2-week trips per year. This is typically during the last two weeks of winter break and the first two weeks of summer break.
Why does your chapter only send students to Peru?
By sending our students to the same space, we believe we are practicing sustainability. Some of our officers have been to Peru multiple times and our chapter has made a connection with the staff and community members of Lima and Cusco, Peru. In addition, MEDLIFE has its headquarters in Lima. Thus it is organized, safer than the other locations, and has a better understanding of the community and the work they do for the underserved Peruvian population.
What should I expect during my time in Peru?
A typical week as a volunteer in MEDLIFE includes setting up mobile clinics in various communities in Peru and assisting in various stations (including dentistry, OB/GYN, education, toothbrushing, pharmacy and vitals). One day of the week will be dedicated to development work, such as constructing the base of the staircase, painting, gardening, etc.
As for the cultural and social experience, we hope that each student who participates in our chapter will go with an open mind to absorb as much of the experience as they can.
What is the cost of attendance?
The entirety of the cost of the trip (including room, board, flight, and personal expenses) is estimated at $2000-2600 for the two week brigade. Prices fluctuate based on personal spending and flight costs.
A detailed breakdown of the costs can be found here(updated for Fall 2016).
Do I need to know Spanish?
Not at all! We welcome students of all levels of Spanish and incorporate medical Spanish lessons in our DeCal course.
How do I help with fundraising?
Please follow our Facebook page for updates on fundraisers, 5k runs and galas that will be held by MEDLIFE to help sponsor our projects and our scholarships!
How do I participate in the UCB MEDLIFE chapter without doing the deCal?
A UCB MEDLIFE club, made specifically for alumni and those who are interested in helping the MEDLIFE cause without going on the trip, is in the works! Stay tuned.
Do I have to be part of the DeCal to be part of the UCB MEDLIFE trip?
Yes. As part of the MEDLIFE chapter, we emphasize that all of our students must take the DeCal in order to be as culturally-sensitive and prepared as possible. Many of our students in the trip has expressed that the DeCal has been helpful in their time in Peru (if you know someone who participated, we encourage you to ask them!)
However, MEDLIFE is open to anyone who is interested. If you would like to volunteer with MEDLIFE and not take the DeCal, please visit the official MEDLIFE page (medlifeweb.org) to sign up.