Youth Futures International
6 University Drive, Suite 206-181
Amherst, Massachusetts 01002 USA
Phone: +1 413.658.0224
Fax: +1 413.658.0242
WARNING: Due to the nature of the UMI program, videos and pictures contain graphic medical images
that may disturb some viewers.
Gain insight into various specialties and departments by shadowing doctors in a hospital setting as well as have anatomy lab experience.
Health care practitioners of all stripes are in short supply throughout the world, not just in the U.S. And the process of obtaining required education is costly, time-consuming, competitive, academically challenging, and expensive. As such, we give high school students a good look at what awaits them so that they may be better prepared and sure of the direction they wish to go. We also give college students a similar, but more clinical experience as a means to motivate them further in the pursuit of the goals they have already set in motion.
Watch surgery being performed while standing in operating rooms or observation rooms as you see surgeons and their teams do their work.
Take part in community service opportunities serving children in hospital and clinic settings.
Many of our former students have raved about how their UMI experience has helped them get into college or graduate programs and medical schools. Of course, YFI has no sway over admissions departments, but we like to believe that a student can stand apart from the crowd by taking part in the UMI.
“Going on UMI is one of the best opportunities you can go on if you want to go into a medical career."
Takara Richard - King of Prussia, PA
“UMI was the greatest experience I’ve had so far in my life."
Rocio Dunlap - Kingwood, TX
"I would go anywhere in the world with UMI. I would. No questions asked."
Simron Balyan - Los Angeles, CA
Youth Futures International created this dynamic opportunity in 2014. Though we began the program in the Philippines, we moved it to India in 2015 due to the high interest in holding the program there. India is one of the few non-western countries in the world from which the U.S. accepts medical college graduates for internship and residency programs, which speaks volumes about the quality of medical education students receive in India.
The UMI was originally created under the title of "Ultimate Med Internship" and due to input from the medical communities we work with, we have renamed it "Ultimate Med Immersion". It's still the same exact program, just a slightly different name - a name that is now proudly trademarked in the U.S. by Youth Futures International, Inc.
YFI has been hosting high quality, successful programs for several years in Ghana, the Philippines, United Kingdom, and India and continues to add new and unique programs to its repertoire in various parts of the world. The 501 c(3) non-profit organization began with public health programs and has since branched out to include this extraordinary medical program, the UMI. The UMI itself started with 41 students in 2014 and has grown to over 175 students in 2017!
“I wanted to thank you and share with you a success story (I am sure one of many) that is a testament of the success of your program. As you know Christian was an alumnus of the Philippines UMI last year. The experience was highly impactful in Christian’s life in not only strengthening his interest in medicine, but in directly contributing to his success in admission to University. The Philippines experience was a major topic of his college application essays and a major topic of discussion in interviews he was invited to for direct entry programs into medical school from high school. His experience in the UMI was very unique and more intensive compared to shadowing experiences in the US, and I think really made him stand out among the applicant pool. Among other offers, he was admitted to Johns Hopkins, North Eastern Ohio Medical University (a direct entry 6-year medical program), Vanderbilt, and Washington University. He has accepted the offer from Washington University St. Louis, where he was one of only eight accepted into their University Scholars Program in Medicine (and direct entry acceptance in their medical school provided he maintains good grades a an undergraduate). My intention in writing this is not to brag about Christian, but to really thank you for your program and highlight the uniqueness of your program and how it can really contribute directly to a student’s success. In my opinion, I think it is really worth the cost, and I hope you will expand your program to offer it to a larger number of students in the future.”
Sherif Farag, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.
Parent of a UMI Alumnus and Associate Director of Clinical Research at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center
In addition to India, YFI expects to announce a UMI program for 2018 in Ghana, West Africa very soon. Due to YFI's longtime presence in Ghana, our organization has great relationships with individuals who are opening doors for us in hospitals and medical colleges in Cape Coast and/or Accra. YFI maintains a permanent presence in the village in which it hosts its public health programs, Abeadze-Dominase, where it completed building a community center in 2016. The Andrew Ampah-YFI Center is used to host village peer education public health classes and events as well as house students enrolled in YFI programs throughout the year.
“Ever since I was little I’ve always wanted to do something in the medical field. At UMI, you get to experience what you love. I want to become a cardiologist, and I got to hear heart murmurs. I got to see and hold a heart! It makes you love what you’re going to be doing in the future. It amplifies what you want to be. It’s an amazing feeling, knowing what you want to be.”
Luke Holden - Hickory, NC
We accept high school students who will have completed 9th grade through graduating seniors (generally ages 14-18) by the time the UMI takes place. Students should have a strong interest in going into the medical field, whether as a doctor, nurse, researcher, or any other health care practitioner field. We do require students to have a GPA of 3.5 or higher (based on a 4.0 scale) that may be cumulative or current, weighted or unweighted.
"I have shadowed [doctors] before, but the level of interaction I've had over the past two weeks doesn't compare at all. This is definitely a unique experience."
Amit Mehrotra - University of Buffalo
"I would say, absolutely, go on this trip. Whether you're the doctor, you're the nurse, you get to see things you will never ever see."
Alyson Jett - Old Dominion University
We accept undergraduate college students who have completed at least one semester as a full-time student. Students should have a strong interest in going into the medical field, whether as a doctor, nurse, researcher, or any other health care practitioner field. We do require students to have a GPA of 3.2 or higher (based on a 4.0 scale) that may be cumulative or current.
We do advise college students who have had extensive and advanced U.S.-based shadowing experiences and/or internships that the UMI is not going to be of that same nature. The UMI is a general and immersive medical experience that gives students an overview of how medicine is practiced in various departments. Governmental hospitals in developing nations do not often have specialty departments often found in major U.S. hospitals. And not all governmental hospitals have the same departments even amongst themselves. What is unique to the UMI, however, is that students get to not only experience how medicine in general is practiced, but they also experience the extraordinary care doctors give patients under difficult conditions.
All students who enroll for the UMI, whether as a high school student or college student, MUST have or obtain the following:
Students should be in general good health as the UMI requires them to be on their feet all day, often in hot climates where hospitals, medical colleges, and community clinics do not have air conditioning. Basic dietary requests such as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets are generally able to be met. Those with severe food allergies should consult with YFI prior to enrolling.
The Ultimate Med ImmersionTM is a unique opportunity (we never say once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as we've had several students join us twice!) for high-school and college students to experience medicine up close in, operating rooms, clinics, anatomy labs, and hospital wards, and they may even be able to observe human autopsies (if available). Students will shadow and watch physicians as they treat patients and perform procedures in the emergency room, outpatient clinics, and medical wards. Normally, experiences like these are reserved for students in medical school.
The UMI is open to all high school students, typically 14-18 years old. This includes students who have completed their first year of high school (9th grade) and those who will have recently graduated from high school prior to UMI 2017.
Undergraduate college students interested in the College UMI must have completed at least one semester as a full-time undergraduate student.
The hands-on learning students will experience will give them an undeniable competitive advantage over other students interested in pursuing a career in the field of medicine. This is one opportunity that will make them significantly stand out when applying to colleges, writing admission essays, and more. At the same time, students will receive a substantial increase to their self-confidence, thanks to experiencing a rare opportunity like this one.
These students will have the opportunity to experience a truly remarkable hands-on and face-to-face approach to medicine they cannot get anywhere else. Students will also be given the opportunity to experience a different culture as well as build long-term friendships with those students who share their dreams and passions – other young people who want to make a difference in the world and devote their future to saving lives.
UMI is designed to give students an opportunity to see, touch, and feel medicine like they never imagined possible at this point in their lives.
This program is designed to motivate and inspire students to work harder and with greater focus and dedication. It will give them a newfound confidence. This will allow them to mold themselves into stronger candidates for admission to any college or medical school.
YFI does not make any guarantee that participating in the UMI will have any official weight when schools and programs determine who to accept. Admissions departments and counselors make their own determinations as to what they consider important when considering students for admissions. However, we've heard from past participants that the UMI they experienced definitely helped them in their applications for college, scholarships, nursing programs, and medical schools.
Arrangements will be secured for students and staff to reside at a modern, air conditioned hotel. Lodging will also be in close proximity to the participating medical school. Students will be chaperoned and will travel as a group with UMI staff to all program events.
Strict curfews will be enforced on students throughout their stay, who again will be assigned a specific UMI staff member to report to.
Students will be chaperoned at all times when outside the care of staff at the medical center and hospital. UMI staff will be assigned to students in case they need anything during their trip. Parents will be given contact information to contact UMI staff directly if they cannot reach their child for any reason. Students will not be without UMI staff outside the hotel.
Students will be accompanied in their group with UMI staff to and from the program activities via private scheduled transportation or will walk if within close walking distance. Private motor coaches will be arranged for any excursions or activities to take place outside the area.
UMI tuition includes all program costs, hotel accommodations, and three meals per day, as well as any local transportation necessary. It does not include airfare, recommended travel insurance, visa costs, passport costs, or spending money.
YFI through 2017 included airfare for the UMI program. However, we have found that a number of students wish to travel to the UMI from various countries, travel from the UMI to other countries, fly certain airlines over others, etc. By no longer including airfare, YFI is confident the overall cost of the UMI will be cheaper as students and families will be able to monitor airfare rates, use and/or accrue miles, and easily book their own itineraries according to their needs. The group flights YFI used to book were generally more expensive than individual fares due to group booking policies of airlines.
YFI will announce flights that UMI staff will be on so students can be booked on those very same flights. We will also provide a travel agent that YFI works with that can help in booking travel.
Students who fly to India on their own on flights that do not have UMI staff will be met at the airport at the UMI's host location and escorted to the hotel. UMI staff will accompany students back to the airport at the end of the program.
We choose developing nations because of the extraordinary access governmental hospitals and medical colleges give us. Western nations, like the U.S., have more patient privacy concerns that developing nations do not. However, though the these nations do not have such stringent privacy concerns, YFI still requires its students to honor patient privacy. Doctors are instructed to only show our students patients who are fine having their cases shown to and discussed with our students.
In addition to the access, students will get to see cases of illness and injury that are often rare in the U.S. And due to the fact that developing nations have large segments of their population that do not seek medical attention due to cost concerns (healthcare itself might be free, but the cost of traveling to a clinic or hospital is not) or not being educated on the import of seeking medical attention, students will see illnesses and injuries that are far worse cases than similar cases readily found in the U.S.
Conditions of hospitals vary, from old to new (though new is not to be equated with having the latest equipment). They can be dingy, smell, and have so many patients in wards that there are some laying on mattresses on the floor. Doctors see hundreds of patients a day and work long hours. Hospitals are teeming with people because it's not unusual for several family members to accompany a patient since they have to perform bedside duties that nurses and others do in the U.S. (sponge baths, feeding, etc.). Operating theaters have chipped paint on walls. Yet, despite all this, the level of healthcare our students witness is extraordinary as they see doctors perform their duties in conditions not found in even the poorest U.S. neighborhoods or rural areas. And it's unique, allowing the experience to be carried with students the rest of their lives.
In the case of our programs in India, we like to remind students that though the physical conditions of hospitals and medical colleges are nothing like they are in the U.S., the education medical schools give their students is high enough to make many graduates eligible for internships, residencies, and fellowships in the U.S. It's not unusual these days to encounter a doctor living and working in the U.S. who is originally from India (as well as other developing nations).
Generally, no. As stated previously, YFI honors patient privacy even though laws are not as stringent as they are in the U.S. Doctors also like to see us maintain patient privacy. We understand that students want to take pictures, but the UMI is not a photo-shoot. Experiences in medical colleges do allow for photo opportunities, and of course, sightseeing provides such opportunities as well. The photos and videos seen throughout the website were taken by staff and professional videographers who were given special permission to do so as a means to promote the UMI program.
Students will experience this in the U.S. someday as medical students or students in another healthcare profession program. Photography will be strictly prohibited to them as well. In fact, there are cases where medical students in the U.S. have taken selfies where a patient can be seen in the background and have been expelled because of it.
There are two types of insurance we HIGHLY recommend obtaining: international health insurance and trip cancellation insurance.
International health insurance covers or reimburses the cost of any healthcare sought in the UMI host country. Many U.S. insurance plans do not cover or reimburse healthcare costs internationally.
Trip cancellation insurance covers the cost invested in the UMI tuition should students not be able to attend due to illness, injury, family emergency, etc. UMI tuition is non-refundable which is why we recommend that you protect your investment by obtaining this type of insurance. YFI doesn't recommend any particular company or another, so feel free to shop around and see what terms and prices are the best fit for you.
Due to the limited spaces available for students, we do not offer refunds once a student has committed to attending this program.
“UMI is beneficial for someone interested in studying medicine because it gives you a chance to see what the future holds for you. It gives you a brief preview of what life would be like, and that’s helpful for someone who’s struggling to determine what they want to do. It’s best for a student that truly cares about getting their education and continuing along the path of medicine. This is life-changing and it really determines whether you will or will not continue following the path of medicine. You are going to be blown away by the things you see, the things you hear, the things you get to touch. It’s so hands-on on, it’s amazing. I would have never imagined I would be delivering babies or cutting into dead bodies or seeing a beating heart. It was eye-opening. Getting close to my future colleagues here has been amazing. We all want to pursue medicine and have come here with the same interest. All the friends here that I’ve made are going to be life-long friends. I don’t think there’s any possibility that I’m going to lose touch with these people because the experience we’ve shared has been truly amazing.”
Kyle Culley - Forsyth, GA
Unfortunately, we do not have an endowment fund to allow us to grant scholarships. However, students often establish gofundme.com campaigns to get help to pay for their tuition. They also seek out donations from organizations, businesses, doctors, and hospitals within their community. Previous UMI students have been so successful in fundraising for their trip that they earned enough to pay for everything.
In addition to fundraising, YFI offers discounts on tuition dependent upon dates students enroll by. Students can also earn $100 for every student they refer to us who also enrolls for the UMI or any other YFI program!
YES. India and Ghana both require students to have a passport that is valid no less than 180 days from the date of arrival in their respective countries. They also require students and UMI staff to obtain a tourist visa to enter their respective countries. Instructions on how to obtain a visa will be sent to students. Please note that students MUST have a valid passport prior to applying for a visa. That passport MUST be valid for the travel dates of the UMI.
All students’ routine vaccinations must be up to date. Required vaccinations include Hepatitis A and Typhoid. A complete list of other recommended vaccinations will be provided well before departure and in time for proper administration prior to the program. The location where our internship will take place is in a malaria risk area, so malaria prophylaxis will be necessary for all staff and students.
YFI is well experienced in serving youth attending programs in a malarial zone and all protective dress and medicinal precautions are strictly enforced. Mosquito nets will not be necessary due to the level of hotel lodging reserved. We are fortunate through our other partnerships in Ghana, West Africa, which is a very high malarial zone, to have gained vast experience in this matter and pleased to note that no student has ever contracted malaria.
If students are taking any prescription medicines, they should pack enough for every day they are away from home (17 days), along with an additional 3–4 days’ supply. Students are required to keep all prescription medications in the original prescription bottles and to always carry those bottles in their carry-on luggage. Be sure to check TSA guidelines if the medicines are liquids.
As with travel to any international destination, general awareness, staying within the group as required by program policies, and trained leadership from program staff will greatly reduce the likelihood of any safety concerns. All staff and students will be trained on safety and security measures as well as plans of response should a safety concern arise either locally or elsewhere within the country.
Should a student become ill on the trip, injure themselves, or require medical treatment, the UMI team leader to whom the student is assigned will bring the student to the emergency room and remain with them while parents are contacted immediately. YFI requires all students who participate in UMI to submit emergency contacts and disclose medical conditions, allergies, dietary restrictions and/or special needs, prescriptions, etc. before the trip so that if it becomes necessary for the student to go to the hospital for any reason, our team has all this important information on hand.
Students can bring all of the above. In fact, we encourage all students to bring their mobile phones, laptops (with a laptop chain lock), iPads, iPods and any other portable electronics they want to bring. Please note, however, that YFI is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen items that students bring on the trip.
Students will be asked to dress “business casual” (khakis and short- or long-sleeved, collared shirts) or in medical scrubs for all UMI sessions at the hospital and medical college. No jeans or athletic wear. For weekend excursions and off-time from the hospital or medical center, students should pack comfortable/casual clothes that are conservative in nature (not too revealing, skirts/shorts at knee length, etc.).
Students are welcome to bring any personal items and spending money for the duration of the program. We recommend students also pack a small first-aid kit and any over-the-counter personal hygiene items they might need because many personal items we are used to getting easily are not as easy to get in another country.
Once enrolled, we will be sending a “packing checklist” to help students pack everything they need for this adventure.
Students may want to bring pocket money for their own personal expenses, shopping, personal care items, etc. ($250-300 should be more than adequate). Visa and MasterCard is readily accepted for point of sale purchases in stores. ATM machines readily accept credit and debit cards with Visa and MasterCard logos for cash withdrawal. Students and families should ask their credit/debit card companies about their international transaction fees and alert them of international travel to avoid security holds.
Hotels we house students and staff in provide WiFi which will allow students to keep in touch with home throughout the trip. Many students also have international mobile service established through their service provider so that they may keep in touch that way as well.
YES, YFI is legitimate. You've probably not heard of us because we are a small 501 c(3) organization registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that does not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on direct mail marketing and email campaigns. We're proud that 80% of all the income generated from our programs' tuitions go into the programs themselves, our program development, charity work, and outreach. The rest of the income allows us to pay a few full-time employees and a few part-time employees who are all dedicated to the mission and vision of this wonderful little non-profit. For further proof of our validity, check out our certificate from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts below.
The UMI was created by YFI in 2014 under the name Ultimate Med Internship. We've since decided to change the name slightly to Ultimate Med Immersion, for which YFI officially was granted a trademark from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. It's still the same program. We just wanted to make sure that no one confused this program with an actual medical internship like those found in higher education. After our summer 2017 UMI programs, YFI will have had over 400 students participate in the UMI since 2014.
YFI is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization in the U.S. based in Massachusetts. Though we don't pay federal or state taxes, we do pay federal and state employment taxes for our employees. And though we aren't required to pay sales taxes, we do pay many service taxes associated with airlines, hotels, etc., in the U.S. Plus, the business we give to stores and various service providers generates revenue that is taxed.
For-profit businesses and organizations pride themselves on being tax-paying organizations, which is great. They also get to generate profits and spend their money as they please. As a non-profit, however, YFI is governed by how much of its income goes back into the work it does.
A student who participates in YFI programs, especially those in high school, can often have our organization sign off on paperwork from schools that show he or she earned a certain number of service and/or educational hours associated with YFI programs. However, our experience has been that public schools and many private schools require that those programs be through non-profit organizations. Of course, since YFI is non-profit, there's no issue. However, a for-profit organization's programs will often not be eligible for students to earn those types of hours.
Please note that though YFI is a non-profit, tuition paid to YFI for any of its programs is not tax deductible. Donations to YFI are tax deductible, but program tuitions are not considered donations as they go to pay for program services provided by YFI.
For further answers to questions, please contact us at:
+1 (413) 658-0224 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuition for the UMI (for high school students) and the College UMI
3 Ways to Save $
SAVE $650 Pay in full and have your tuition reduced to $4300
SAVE $350 Pay by payment plan and have tuition reduced to $4600
GET $100 for every person you refer to us for any YFI program, not just the UMI or College UMI. Your referrals MUST enroll and pay the applicable deposit for you to earn your referral money. If you're paid in full, we'll issue a $100 check. If you're on a payment plan, we'll reduce your final balance by $100. For more information on other YFI programs, please visit www.YFIexperience.org. There is no limit on the number of referrals you can make. Get the Referrals Form by clicking on the image below.
Save $100 - Print the coupon below and include it with your enrollment forms. This offer is valid for enrollments paid in full or by payment plan. If by payment plan, all payments must be made by check, money order, or cashier's check. This offer may be combined with the above offers. Only one coupon ($100 discount) allowed per UMI or College UMI enrollment.
College UMI Dates
Dec. 28, 2017-Jan. 14, 2018
June 7-24, 2018
UMI Dates (High School)
June 7-24, 2018
June 28-July 15, 2018
UMI is open to all high school students, generally age 14-18, who have completed 9th grade through graduating seniors by the time the UMI program takes place. The UMI will be held in Ahmedabad, India with two sessions to choose from. UMI Session 1 is June 7-24, 2017 and is limited to 50 students. UMI Session 2 is June 28-July 15, 2017 and is limited to 100 students.
To get the application package, click on the UMI 2018 Application image below. The application is in PDF format and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view, download, and print.
College UMI is open to all undergraduate students who have completed at least one semester as a full-time student by the time the UMI program takes place. The College UMI will be held in Surat, India during the winter break and Ahmedabad, India during the summer (we'll be announcing our College UMI Ghana program dates soon).
The winter program is December 28, 2017-January 14, 2018 and is limited to 50 students.
The summer program is June 7-24, 2018 and is limited to 50 students.
To get the application package, click on the application images below. The applications are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view, download, and print.
Ultimate Med Immersion is a trademark of Youth Futures International, Inc.
Youth Futures International
6 University Drive, Suite 206-181
Amherst, Massachusetts 01002 USA
Phone: +1 413.658.0224
Fax: +1 413.658.0242