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Pre-departure preparations

Photo: Yann Geay / Läkare Utan Gränser

If you are accepted into our staff pool, there are some preparatory courses you need to attend. Some courses are mandatory for all staff while others are specific to certain professional profiles.

Pre-departure training

If you are accepted as international mobile staff, you will need some courses to be well-prepared for an assignment. 

Induction days

All new office and internationally mobile staff are offered two induction days at the Swedish office where they are introduced to MSF as an organization and to humanitarian work. 

Global Induction

Prior to their departure, international mobile staff undergo a preparatory training organized by MSF. The course is one week long and is offered about seven times a year. In addition, there is a week of preparatory training for specific technical areas such as supply, logistics, HR and finance. This course is compulsory and costs are covered by MSF. 

Preparatory courses for medical personnel

Mandatory preparatory training in humanitarian health operations is required for medical staff. However, there are exceptions for surgical and anesthetic personnel, operating room nurses, gynecologists, emergency physicians and psychologists.

Doctors Without Borders refers to the specialized program titled "Health Assistance in Humanitarian Crisis" offered by the Karolinska Institute, 12 ETCS (eight weeks full-time). The training is designed for potential Doctors Without Borders candidates and is conducted both on-site in Stockholm and remote. 

To attend the course, candidates need to meet certain requirements:

  • Relevant profile and motivation to work with humanitarian work and Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
  • Participation in MSF information evening
  • Accept MSF's policy on safe abortions
  • English level corresponding to English B/English 6

After completing the course, we refer you to our recruitment process. As an exception, one can be recruited as an International Mobile Staff withouth having attended the course, in which case this is scheduled after recruitment. The 2024 course has already started and the next one will be in 2025. If you're interested in participating, you can apply for the course by expressing your interest here. The course is also open to participants from other organizations.

Participation in the course is free of charge. However, you are responsible for covering expenses related to travel, accommodation and other associated costs. Since the course falls under commissioned education, applying for CSN (financial aid for students in Sweden) support is not possible.

If you've previously completed preparatory training, you must mention this in your application. In order for the course to be considered valid, it should cover the following subjects:

  • Global health
  • Communicable and non-communicable diseases
  • Maternal and child health care
  • Mental Health
  • Disaster medicine

If you've taken part in a course or come across one and are unsure if it meets our criterias, or if you have questions regarding the Health Assistance in Humanitarian Crisis course at KI - feel free to reach out to

After your assignment

Working with MSF is more than a job. Hopefully the commitment will not end when you finished the assignment! When arriving back home you will meet with your development advisor in Stockholm to debrief your assignment. You will aslo meet with our psychosocial focal point to talk about your experiences during your assignment. 

Thereafter we will start to plan for your next assignment. After your first assignment, you have knowledge and experience that is very valuable and we would like you to take on more assignments. With experience, you can also get coordination posts with greater responsibility, something that is important for us in order to maintain the quality of our operations. 

Once at home, you can participate in a variety of relevant activities and be part of an active association. The Swedish section of MSF is structured as a non-profit organization that aims to increase knowledge and awareness in Sweden about important humanitarian issues through information and advocacy at home. You can join the association after 6 months of international programme work or two shorter assignments.