Health Frontiers in Tijuana

HFiT Undergraduate Internship Program (HFiT-UIP)

HFiT Summer Internship Program (HFiT-SIP)

Important Dates for Winter Quarter 2018

  • Applications for Fall are closed 
  • All applicants should hear back at least one week before the start of Fall Quarter

Program Overview

The Health Frontiers in Tijuana Undergraduate Internship Program (HFiT-UIP) is a quarterly internship that affords developmental experiences in public health and healthcare for the underserved, and is especially appropriate for UCSD Global Health Majors and Minors. Students accepted into this program will participate in the HFiT binational student run free clinic project located in Tijuana, Mexico, in conjunction with medical and pharmacy students from the University of California San Diego and Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. Upon completion of the HFiT-UIP, students will have learned about biomedical and social factors associated with communicable and non-communicable diseases seen among vulnerable populations in the San Diego-Tijuana region, shadowed clinical faculty during consultation, and been involved in ongoing UCSD research projects at the HFiT clinic.

The HFiT Undergraduate Internship program (HFiT-UIP) takes place over Fall, Winter, or Spring Quarter at UCSD.  Over the quarter students will be divided into two groups.  The first  group will attend clinic on Saturdays of weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8 during the quarter.  The second group attends the clinic on weeks 3, 5, 7, and 9.  Over the four scheduled site visits students will participate in clinical activities and debriefings on site.  

The HFiT Summer Internship Program (HFiT-SIP) is a 4 week long, intensive immersion experience at the HFiT clinic that is open to all UCSD undergraduates and recently graduated alumni. Similar to the HFiT-UIP, students will volunteer at the clinic by participating in clinical activities, but for 4 consecutive weeks. The HFiT-SIP is broken up into two summer sessions, each corresponding to UCSD's academic summer sessions. The HFiT-SIP consists only of clinical activities and debriefings.


  1. To familiarize students with underserved populations and border health issues endemic to the San Diego-Tijuana area.
  2. To teach students how to positively interact and appropriately communicate with vulnerable populations.
  3. To impart cultural competence through both scholarly and experiental endeavors at the HFiT clinic.
  4. To facilitate binational collaborations and partnerships with students from the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Tijuana.


HFiT-UIP requirements

40 hours participating in HFiT clinical activities and 10 hours participating in debriefings on site, for a total of 50 hours per quarter. Time commitments include:

  • 4 site visits to the HFiT clinic, including debreifings on the clinic site
  • 1 training meeting to be held the first week of the program

HFiT-SIP requirements-

50 hours participating in HFiT clinical activities and training. Specific commitments include:

  • 4 site visits to the HFiT clinic
  • 1 Training meeting to be held the first week of the program

Clincal Activities

Students will partake in a variety of activities that are integral to the clinic's operation. These include:

  • Registering patients in the Electronic Medical Record 
  • Managing patient records
  • Solicitating patients' Chief Complaint 
  • Assisting in vitals measurements
  • Shadowing consultations


Students will attend a mandatory debriefing session during the week to discuss clinical activities. In these debriefing sessions, students will brainstorm ideas for improving clinical activities and help lead student-driven service and fundraising projects both in the U.S. and at the HFiT clinic.

Necessary Materials

A passport is required and a global entry pass or passport card is strongly recommended. They can be obtained on campus ( Plan ahead to avoid fees: routine processing can take up to 6 weeks. Students are expected to attend the clinic in scrubs, closed-toed shoes, and a lanyard holding their student ID.

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