Grassroots On-site Work (GROW) 


Photo taken during Cornell University's GROW internship in Guatemala (2015).

Photo taken during Cornell University's GROW internship in Guatemala (2015).

Since 2007, more than 1,100 students have interned on-site with GlobeMed partner organizations around the world.

GROW (Grassroots On-site Work) strengthens the relationships between students and their grassroots health partners. Every year, 3-5 students from each chapter intern on the ground for 3-8 weeks with their partner organization. The mutual learning that results strengthens the capacity of both sides. Back on campus, students share their learning with their chapters, equipping them with the firsthand knowledge to be improved advocates for the following year.

GlobeMed is proud to work alongside the Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II to support GROW interns and to enhance the US Agency for International Development’s efforts to advance diversity in international development by connecting underrepresented communities with careers in global health.



GROW has three goals:

1. To engage mutual learning & to build strong relationships in order to strengthen all aspects of the partnerships

On GROW, students work alongside partner organization staff, gaining a firsthand look at grassroots work to see the barriers that communities face  and how their partner organization is addressing them. The stories they hear inform their perspective as future leaders and equip their chapter to mobilize more resources to support their partner in the future. At the same time, partner organizations deepen their knowledge of the GlobeMed model and network and gain experience managing student interns. The time students and partners spend together on GROW fosters friendship and mutual understanding, which inspires individuals’ commitment to global health equity and deepens the partnership for future collaboration.

2. To collectively reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the previous year of partnership

GlobeMed students work with their partner organization to evaluate the previous year’s projects and partnership. Together, they assess the data collected, stories told, and goals achieved to plan for the following years. This process ensures accountability, learning, improvement and sustainability on both sides.

3. To set a strategy for the upcoming year of partnership through the development of a new Partnership Action Framework

Building on the previous year’s partnership successes and challenges, GlobeMed students and their partner organizations are able to apply these insights to the design of the following year’s project. By the end of the GROW internships, students and partners complete a draft of the next year’s Partnership Action Framework (PAF) . By highlighting short-term successes and setting long-term goals, GROW interns shape the future of their partnership. GROW Interns are also able to take these lessons learned back to their chapter to integrate them into their chapter’s on-campus experience and functions.