We strongly encourage you to participate in international experiences during your undergraduate career. Gaining awareness and appreciation for other cultures will benefit both you and your future patients. Many pre-health students think they won’t have time to go abroad, but for most students it’s possible to do so not only in the summer, but also for a semester or a year. It’s not at all necessary to participate in a health related program, however, there are options available if this is what you’re most interested in, including opportunities to do research abroad.
Tips for study abroad:
- Do NOT take pre-requisite science or math courses at a foreign institution. These courses should be taken at a U.S. school only, as many professional schools do not accept foreign credits for pre-requisites.
- It’s fine, and encouraged, to take science electives abroad if you’re interested, or even participate in research abroad. UF’s exchange programs offer the most options for these types of courses.
- While almost any semester is possible for study abroad, it’s best to avoid being abroad during the Fall or Spring of the year you are in the application process since you may get interview invitations during that time. If you apply after your junior year, this means try to go abroad prior to your senior year. If you are taking a growth year, any semester is OK.
- See a pre-health advisor to determine how your semester abroad will impact timing for your courses, standardized exam, and application.
Some students choose to participate in medical “mission trips” or shadowing programs offered through private organizations. UF does not endorse any of these programs. These are private programs you should carefully research, as some do not follow ethical guidelines. Students participate at their own risk and should be fully aware of the ethical issues involved in international medical volunteer programs.
Tips for non-credit programs:
- Complete the International Experiences module on Pre-Health Essentials including the Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety and Global Health Experiences workshops.
- Carefully research any program you are considering to be sure they follow established ethical guidelines. If you see testimonials that indicate participants are allowed to do anything inappropriate, find another program!
Health related study abroad programs:
See a list of both UF and non-UF programs.
- UF in Cusco
- UF in the Dominican Republic
- UF in England & Scotland – Medicine, Microbiology & Health
- UF in Merida: Epidemiology
- UF in Northern Ireland
- UF in Pontevedra – Clinical Shadowing
- UF in Quito – Community Nutrition
- UF in Thessaloniki: Health Innovation, Design, & Narrative
- UF in Vigo – Clinical Shadowing
- UF in Zanzibar – Theatre & Playmaking for Literacy & Community Health
Many UF exchange programs offer courses of interest to pre-health students. Exchange programs offer you the chance to go abroad for a full semester or academic year at an affordable cost. Search the International Center’s website for all exchange programs, or speak with your college advisor to find programs in your college.
CLAS Exchange programs offer numerous upper-division science courses