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RIT Global

Use your technical electrical and biomedical engineering skills to improve healthcare delivery in a developing country.

RIT partners with Engineering World Health (EWH) to offer undergraduate engineering students the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program in Guatemala. Engineering World Health facilitates programs in developing countries where students in engineering and science put their technical and problem-solving skills into practice to repair medical equipment that saves patients’ lives. It is an opportunity for study abroad students to make an immediate impact.

The application deadline for this program has passed, and applications are currently closed. Email the faculty director, Iris Asllani (, to inquire about next year's program.

To meet patient needs, many hospitals worldwide rely on donated medical equipment - but much of this potentially life-saving equipment arrives unusable, and after 5 years, nearly all of it is out of service. Infant incubators, oxygen concentrators, and patient monitors lay abandoned in equipment "graveyards." In addition, hospitals in developing countries face challenges accessing skilled technicians who can install, maintain, or repair medical equipment. As a result, equipment essential to diagnosing diseases, sterilizing tools, and performing surgeries can quickly fall out of service. Without working equipment, physicians and nurses cannot deliver quality health care, and patients suffer. Engineering World Health provides students with hands-on technical training to help support hospitals in need to support this global health challenge.

As part of the EWH program, you will be immersed in Guatemala’s language and culture while learning practical, hands-on engineering skills (no previous Spanish language is required). EWH provides intensive training that prepares STEM majors to repair and improve equipment and conditions in their partner hospitals. 


  • Repair and install medical equipment that will improve healthcare outcomes for vulnerable populations.
  • Collaborate with international medical professionals and assist with training hospital staff on equipment use and maintenance.
  • Develop hands-on skills and creative troubleshooting techniques.
  • Experience Guatemalan culture by living in a homestay with local families, learning basic Spanish language, and participating in cultural excursions.

Program Details 

  • Term: Fall RIT class, travel to Guatemala over winter break
  • 2024 Travel Dates: December 26, 2023 to January 14, 2024
  • Credits: 1-3

Course Details:

  • BIME 395: ST: Engineering World Health
    This fall course will prepare you for the repair work you'll do in Guatemala. You'll learn diagnostic and problem-solving skills in electrical and biomedical engineering and receive training on troubleshooting common problems with electrical and medical equipment. 

During winter break, you’ll travel to Guatemala to work with EWH hospital partners in the Western mountainous and coastal cities of Quetzaltenango (Xela), Totonicapan, Retalhuleu, Mazatenango, and Coatepeque. During your three weeks in Guatemala, you’ll work with hospital staff, live with host families, and participate in cultural excursions. EWH will provide experienced staff members who will work daily with you.

    Open to undergraduate and graduate engineering, engineering technology, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and industrial design majors and others with instructor's permission. No pre-reqs. No Spanish language required.

    Program Cost: A student budget worksheet that outlines all program costs is available here (winter break 2024 costs)

    RIT Study Abroad Scholarships
    National Scholarships

    To Apply

    Applications are currently closed.


    Fall/Winter Break
    1 to 3
    Language of Instruction: 
    Course Discipline: 
    Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Biotechnology, Industrial Design, Biomedical Sciences
    Undergraduate, Graduate
    Open To: 

    RIT Students only