RIIN - Rural Immersion Institute of the North

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Gain healthcare experience the Alaskan way! RIIN is apart of the Alaska AHEC Progam.

Rural Alaskan "Edventure" for undergraduate & graduate healthcare students or professionals interested in rural health practice. All disciplines are welcome.

Interested in applying? Spots are limited! 

Click here to apply for summer 2024! 

RIIN introduces healthcare students to the realities of providing care in rural Alaska. Students spend the beginning of the program in Anchorage, learning about Alaskan culture and meeting with healthcare professionals to hear about their experiences. Participants are then paired with healthcare professionals from around the state to obtain hands-on experience in rural Alaska communities. The program ends back in Anchorage, where students present their experiences and lessons learned. 

Program Costs: 

- Out of State: $4,000
- In-State: $3,175 
- Application Fee: $25 
Please note that the price includes in-state travel fees, excursions, and select meals. Flights to Alaska are not included. 

The sample schedule is as follows:

June 20th - Student Arrival and Check-in

June 21-23 - Outdoor Experience: Kayakers Cove

June 24th - Orientation Day: Cultural center, Tribal Health Overview and Tours

June 25-29 - Rural Placement

June 30th - Debrief and Wrap-up

July 1st - Participants Depart

  • Visiting Alaska

    Alaska has a lot to offer the visitor, but it has some special challenges as well. Here are some things to be aware of in planning for your trip.

    Girl holds fish


    There are no poisonous snakes or spiders in Alaska. No mountain lions, either--the only cat species native to the state is the lynx, which mainly eats rabbits. Ticks have recently moved into the southeast, and mosquitoes are everywhere. Moose and elk can be dangerous if disturbed, but will ignore you if you leave them alone.

    Bears are found in all parts of Alaska, including the Anchorage metro area. The state offers some advice on staying safe, and we will go over bear safety as part of the RIIN program, including a demonstration of how to use bear spray. (Note that bear spray is considered a weapon and cannot be carried on a plane. If you want to carry bear spray at your rural site, you will have to acquire it there.)

    There is also a staggering range of wildlife that presents no threat to humans (there are 471 species of birds alone). The Department of Fish and Game offers a partial list of the most common species found throughout the state.

    What To Bring

    The climate and terrain of Alaska varies enormously from place to place, so be prepared for a wide range of conditions. We have compiled a short packing/advice list for the necessities.

  • Rural Sites in the RIIN Program

    Alaska includes an enormous variety of climates and terrain, and our rural communities reflect that diversity. Utqiagvik (Barrow) is the northernmost town in the United States, while Ketchikan is more than a thousand miles farther south; Bethel is surrounded by flat marshlands while Talkeetna rests at the base of the continent's highest peak. Our students have visited all these places, but no two experiences are the same.

    Resources for Prospective RIIN Students:

    Rural Sites Quick-Comparison Chart: All the rural sites in the program, with their amenities.

    Rural Site Fact Sheets: Detailed information about each community.

    Community Index: A website, maintained by the State of Alaska, which includes statistical information on many smaller villages.


    Petersburg is located in southeast Alaska and is a busy fishing- and tourist town.

  • Photos and Videos

    Anchorage Mountain Hike

    The 2016 RIIN students went for a group hike in the Chugach Range, close to Anchorage.


    All the Alaska AHEC's videos can be found online at the Alaska AHEC YouTube channel. Videos include interviews with students and clinic personnel from past years; recordings of all the final presentations from the end of the program; and Q and A sessions between the students and a live audience.

    Photos from RIIN 2018

    RIIN Firefighter
    RIIN atop Mount Marathon
    Girls pose in front of waterfall


    Flight to Tanana
    RIIN 2018 at Wildlife Conservation Center


    Photos from RIIN 2017

    Dinner at Fox Island, in Resurrection Bay
    Dancers at the Alaska Native Heritage Center
    Telehealth Tour at Alaska Native Medical Center


    Evan Checks Out the Latest Fashion
    The Bear Enclosure at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
    RIIN 2017 at Exit Glacier

    Photos from RIIN 2016

    Alaska Native Heritage Center
    Fort Yukon
    Anchorage Mountain Hike
    Sticker Shock
    Riding the bus in Anchorage
    Simulation Lab

For more information on RIIN, contact: