Pre-Professional Students

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Pre-professional students

Future medical professionals need to be broadly-educated, adaptable citizens who have significant hands-on experience beyond the classroom. Study abroad is an ideal way to enhance your knowledge of health issues as they impact people in a range of settings, making you better prepared for the future --not only in terms of medical school applications and interviews but also in terms of the perspective you will have in your professional life. The following information is intended to help you navigate a study abroad opportunity, while also preparing for your professional school application. 

 

Important Considerations

 

  • Work closely with your CLAS and faculty adviser to customize your study abroad plan. When, where and the courses you take abroad depend on your chosen profession and major. Start planning early!
  • Professional school prerequisite courses are not recommended to be taken during study abroad unless they are part of a GVSU faculty-led program. Electives, General Education & Issues courses can be taken abroad. Other Suggested courses can be taken abroad.
  • Professional school admissions committees conduct a holistic review of applicants. This means that they not only look at GPA and test scores but also at the larger context of a student’s courses, experiences, achievements, and challenges.
  • Students who gain relevant experiences beyond the classroom tend to be stronger candidates for professional graduate programs.
  • International experiences offer the opportunity for intense personal growth and a deeper understanding of health issues from a global perspective.
  • Cultural competence and language abilities that students develop abroad look great on applications for both professional schools and future job applications.

Academic Planning

Meeting Academic Requirements

Did you know..

  • The General Education GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES requirement is automatically fulfilled when participating in any study abroad program that offers at least 3 credits?
  • The General Education ISSUES requirement,is easily fulfilled by studying abroad. Find out more information on issues
  • General Education FOUNDATION requirements are easily fulfilled abroad, especially Art and History. Find out more information on General Education classes abroad
  • UPPER ELECTIVE CREDITS could be fulfilled by doing an internship abroad. Find out more information on internships
  • You can find PREREQUISITE classes in English abroad, but use caution and make sure you read the prerequisite information below. 
  • Keep in mind, the courses suggested under "other suggested courses" on the Fact sheets may be taken abroad. 

 

Chiropractic School Fact Sheet

Medical School Fact Sheet

Pharmacy School Fact Sheet

Veterinary School Fact Sheet

Dental School Fact Sheet

Optometry School Fact Sheet

Podiatry School Fact Sheet

Professional School's Prerequisites

We generally advise that students take caution when choosing to take professional school's prerequisite courses abroad as many professional institutions prefer those classes to be taken in the US and might not accept them otherwise. If you do decide to take prerequisite classes abroad, do your research beforehand to see how the professional school you plan to apply to will use this credit to calculate your science GPA, if they accept credit or no credit classes, and if they would accept an official transcript from the host university in place of the credit or no credit (sometimes this is acceptable if the transcript comes from an American college or university). In the end it is up to the student to weigh the pro's and con's

  • If the students do decide to take prerequisites abroad, that they consider taking PSY 101 or a SOC class abroad rather than sequential upper level science classes
  • That regardless of what classes the student takes abroad, that they hold onto an official transcript issued by the host institution translated to English that might be needed when applying.
  • Other suggested courses listed on the Fact Sheets can be taken abroad.
     

Timing

  • Timing your study abroad opportunity so it works in your schedule, in your major, and in your professional school application can be a challenge.  Students and their advisers must carefully evaluate and plan course sequencing into any study abroad experience. 
  • Begin with the end in mind.  Identify when you want to begin a professional program, and then work backward to determine when you will need to submit an application, take the entrance exam, or complete coursework.
  • Carefully consider the professional school application timeline: completing the necessary prerequisites, taking an entrance exam (MCAT, DAT, GRE, OAT, PCAT or other), completing the application, etc.
  • Summer study abroad programs typically don't interfere with prerequisites and the application process. Typically, the summer of sophomore year make well for pre-professional students. 
  • It may seem convenient to go abroad after you have submitted an application to a professional program, however, if that program requires interviews – you will not want to be out of the country during that semester. 

Global Health Experience Considerations

Many students pursue a global health experience abroad during the summer. This allows students to gain hands-on experience while fulfilling their Issues General Education requirement as well as their Global Perspectives requirement. 

  • Choose the experience abroad that would make the greatest impact on your health program application.
  • Consider the legal and ethical boundaries that should guide your activities while abroad.
  • Understand your own limitations as an unlicensed student.
  • Please see AAMC ethical advice here.

Seeking the Right Experiences Abroad

  • The purpose of studying abroad is to have a cross-cultural experience.  Look for programs that offer significant cultural integration. Extensive involvement in the host culture leads to personal growth and instills the cross-cultural skills that are so important to success as a health professional.
  • If you prefer to participate in a classroom-based group program, consider seeking one that houses you with a family or host-country roommate. Look for experiences outside the classroom such as internships, service-learning, or research opportunities. This does not have to be in a clinic or hospital, and in many countries is in the community.
  • Some study abroad programs have a “health” focus.  Review the options, and identify programs that will help you consider an experience that will strengthen your knowledge of global health issues. 
  • If you're minoring in Spanish, consider learning the medical terminology course abroad. The programs listed below may allow you to fulfill  SPA 304 MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY
  • Consider health care in the broader context of health and the social systems that support health.  Understanding health and health care in a larger social context will help you to be more effective as a future health professional.
  • Check out EduMed's guide: Studying Abroad: An online Guide for Students in Medicine and Healthcare


     

Program Suggestions

You are not limited to the programs options listed below. 
To explore additional program options and/or to discuss next steps .Please contact Pic !

Hands on Global Health Opportunities (Credit bearing)

Program Type 

Country

Program, Host Institution, or University Name

Semester

Academic Year

Summer

External

Italy

John cabot University: Premed/Health Internship

   

External

Argentina 

AIFS: Buenos Aires Medical Spanish Immersion

   

External

Costa Rica

ISA: San Jose Health Care Courses

External

Costa Rica 

AIFS: San Jose Health Care Professionals

   

External

Chile

IES: Santiago Health Studies

 

External

Ecuador

IES: Quito Community Health & Health Science Courses

   

External

Ecuador

KEI: Guayaquil Medicine & Science Courses

External

Peru

ISA: Lima, Peru

   

External

Spain

ISA: Salamanca Health and Medical Sciences

   

External

Spain

AIFS: Barcelona Global Health

   

External

Spain

API: Salamanca Medical & Health Programs

 

External

Botswana

CIEE: Community Public Health

   

External

Chile

Chile: Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment

   

* Programs listed above offer significant shadowing opportunities in a clinical and/or medical setting. These programs offer Credit-bearing courses that will transfer to your GVSU transcript. Most of the programs listed above include Spanish courses.

Hands on Global Health Opportunities (Non-Credit bearing)

Program Type

Country

Program, Host Institution, or University Name

Term Available 

External

Argentina 

CFHI: Primary Care and Social Medicine

4-10 Weeks

External

Multiple Destinations

Work the World

Varies

External

Multiple Destinations 

ELI Medical Internships

2 - 12 Weeks

External

Bolivia

CFHI: Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in La Paz

4 - 10 Weeks 

External

Vietnam

ELI Vietnam Medical Internship

2 - 12 Weeks 

*A transcript is not issued upon completion of the programs listed above. You may choose to participate in these programs for no credit. If you choose to do so, there is no need to follow PICs process. If you would like to earn credit for participation, you will need to follow PIC's independent study process.

Internships

Program Type

Country

Program, Host Institution, or University Name

Varies

Varies

Internships Abroad