Every year over the past two decades, ten or more volunteers have traveled to IUBAT to teach. Others have worked with our NGO partners.
You can read about previous volunteers' experiences on our blog.
Although our in-country work is greatly reduced, please contact us if you are interested to volunteer.
The Bangladesh Health Project offers volunteers a meaningful way to support population health in Bangladesh through education and staff development. Prior to the Covid pandemic and hopefully again soon, volunteers have traveled to Bangladesh to teach BScN and MPH students and to provide professional development for hospital- and community-based practitioners.
Presently, we focus on home-based volunteer activities, developing curriculum and other educational materials for nursing and public health students. We also need help with activities such as research and evaluation, communications with supporters, and writing proposals and scholarly publications related to the Project.
Occasionally we can offer in-country experiences through special arrangements with our partners. Because we are a self-funded project, we cannot pay airfare or salary, but we provide airport pick-up, accommodation and meals at our guest house near the campus. When in Dhaka, most volunteers enjoy their interactions with the other faculty, students and neighbours. It is a friendly and appreciative atmosphere where we are completely immersed in the local society.
Previous experience in teaching nursing is not essential. Social workers, dietitians, rehab professionals, pharmacists and physicians have worked with us. The most important qualities for BHP volunteers are flexibility, openness to other cultures and enthusiasm about developing novice nurses.
Current Volunteer Positions
We receive many queries from volunteers about what teaching positions are available. As circumstances change, it is best to inquire when you have specific dates in mind. Usually, our greatest on-going need is for clinical supervisors with maternity nursing experience. Because IUBAT has now hired permanent faculty, the volunteers focus on coaching and mentoring rather than responsibility to manage a course.
Generally speaking, the academic calendar is as follows:
SPRING TRIMESTER January 5 – April 18
SUMMER TRIMESTER May 5 – August 18
FALL TRIMESTER September 5 – December 18
We will develop an individualized teaching assignment for you based on your availability, interest and experience.
Support The Project From Your Home
We always need assistance from volunteers working from home in areas such as curriculum development, communications and mentoring of students and alumni. Please contact us if you would like to help.
"Although poverty is visible everywhere, so is a sense of determination and desire to grow.”
BScN student from Vancouver Community College who completed a practicum at IUBAT
Planning to Go
Our Volunteer Guide contains some basic information about the experience of teaching at IUBAT. However, there are always details unique to each individual volunteer.
When you write to express interest, we will arrange a phone or video conversation as an opportunity to ask your own questions. We also like to discuss your motivation and experience with life in low-income countries like Bangladesh. Afterwards, if you feel that you would like to volunteer, we will need your current CV and a cover letter that provides your reason for taking on this fascinating, challenging assignment.
Typically, we arrange several e-mail and phone exchanges to sort individual details with each volunteer.
When you come back from IUBAT, one of our volunteers will contact you for feedback about your experience. We like to check in to make sure the adjustment is going well. Some people find that re-entry to regular life can be stressful. We can provide some resources to assist with that.
We also provide a recognition certificate and thank you letter, and in February of each year, a Canadian tax-deductible receipt for eligible expenses.
There is a lot to consider in taking on a volunteer commitment like this. You can download our Volunteer Guide or head over to our Volunteer FAQ page, both of which will cover a lot of the information that you will need.
After you make contact with us, we will also send you links to articles from scholarly and popular journals that help explain the social and cultural context of nursing in Bangladesh.