IFMSA International Externships
Clinical Exchange Details
- The International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA) is an established federation of medical student associations from across the world. IFMSA is recognized as an important non-governmental organization and collaborative partner by WHO, UNESCO, other UN agencies and several NGOs, such as the Global Health Forum. Through IFMSA over 7,000 students participate in clinical clerkships (available to all levels of medical students) every year. IFMSA exchanges are well-established and offer medical students the opportunity to further their training by studying medicine in a different cultural context, in a clinical elective across the world.
Annually, thousands of future physicians attempt to complete a course of international study; thousands more profess in interest in learning more about the issues that shape our global health dynamic. Yet medical school curricula are full, and typically offer limited opportunities and services for students with international interests.
This outline has been prepared to assist student applicants. Each country participating in the Exchange Program independently determines the conditions of exchange for their country. However, a general format is followed by all countries and participating universities, and is described below. Go to www.ifmsa.net/public and click on the professional exchange conditions for individual countries’ specific exchange conditions.
Apply online (link to application, google checkout, email to LEO of UIC, and NEO) Applications are accepted with a priority deadline of November 15th and January 15th for additional slots available.
Selected applicants will be notified by March 25th
You must be a member of AMSA to participate in IFMSA exchanges. Become an AMSA member
Additional documents needed for exchange varies from country to country those so please see specific country e‐specific exchange conditions.
Clinical Exchange Fee
The international clinical exchange has a nonrefundable $200 application fee. Once you have been placed, you will pay the UIC chapter fee. This fee usually is between $350‐400. It is used to pay the room and board of the incoming IFMSA student. The same will be done for you in your host country. Hence, your room and board (1‐2 meals/day) will be covered for the 4‐week elective.
General Exchange Conditions
- Country and Organization
In the United States, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations – United States of America (IFMSA‐USA) coordinates the exchange program on the international level through the NEOs. Local exchange programs receive incoming through and give outgoing information directly to the IFMSA‐USA NEO.
- National Exchange Officer (NEO)
Every country identifies a National Exchange Officer who coordinates the exchange program for their country. Please do not contact the other countries’ NEO’s directly as this will create confusion and communication problems for you and for them!
Refers to the city, town or village hospitals, and/or clinics available. The number of different sites accepting international students varies from country to country.
- Times Available
Generally year round, but check the country’s exchange conditions for details.
Any medical student in good standing who is fluent in English or the language of the host country. Not all countries accept preclinical students.
- Types of Programs
“Clerkship” generally is used to refer to the clinical curriculum typical of 3rd and 4th year US medical education (i.e. Internal medicine and medical subspecialties, surgery and surgical subspecialties, pediatrics, etc). These are available in all countries to 3rd and 4th year students, and in most countries can be adapted to 1st and 2nd year students. Generally they are 4 weeks long, room, board, and social program are provided. Application forms are available through the Local Exchange Officer at your school or by the NEO if you are from medical school without an active local exchange committee.
Refers to the subjects offered at each hospital clinic.
- Duration of the Clerkship
Standard clinical and preclinical clerkships are 4 weeks in duration. Many countries accept students for a “calendar month” only, meaning the clerkship begins on or near the 1st of the month and lasts 4 weeks.
- Working Conditions
Refers to the weekly schedule with hours in the hospital as well as call requirements.
- Board and Lodging
Provided for participating students on bilateral agreement.
- Social Program
Many countries offer a social program for visiting students that consists of cultural orientation, touring, social activities etc. which enrich the students understanding and experience of the country they are studying in.