As you begin researching study abroad programs, you will find that there are literally hundreds of enriching opportunities around the world. One of the most difficult decisions you have is determining which program is right for you. This is a decision you must make for yourself, no one can make it for you. As you begin the selection process, it is helpful to make preliminary decisions regarding the type of experience you want to have.
The University of Illinois College of Medicine is the nation’s largest medical school. Its diverse student body of 2,600 students hails from a wide variety of cultural and economic backgrounds. The college’s four campuses — in Chicago, Peoria, Rockford and Urbana-Champaign — take advantage of the state’s urban and rural environments and offer numerous opportunities for clinical training and research. UIC offers many opportunities of international externships for current medical students. Students can apply for international externships through University of Illinois or through the IFMSA International Externships Program.
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 an 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.
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