There are numerous global health opportunities at Weill Cornell Medical College. Students in the first year are encouraged to design their own international elective for up to 8 weeks but no less than 6 weeks in a developing nation. Fourth year students have a wider choice of international electives ranging from 4 weeks to up to 12 weeks, depending on their schedule.
Four week electives include a clinical elective at the Christian Medical College in Vellore India; the Max Kade Program in Vienna Austria; the USEU MEE program in London, England, Copenhagen Denmark, and Munich, Germany; and the American Hospital in Paris.
All other electives must be for a minimum of 6 weeks (preferably 8 weeks) and include, but are not limited to, Weill Bugando Medical Centre located in Mwanza, Tanzania, the University of Sydney in Australia; the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College in Tanzania; and San Marcos Medical College in Lima, Peru. For a complete listing of independent electives, please see the OGHE website, and Global Health Initiatives.
The contents of this page are to guide students in their development and completion of a Global Health International Elective
- Defining a Global Health- International Elective
- Developing a Global Health- International Elective
- Application Process
- Deadlines/ Timeline
- General Guidelines
- Listing of Weill Cornell Endowed Fellowships
- External Links
- Preparing to Complete a Global Health- International Elective
- Passports and Visas
- Immunizations and Health Precautions
- Booking Airline Tickets
- Safety Precautions (Country Specific Alerts and Warnings)
- International Medical Insurance
- Packing Guide and Universal Precautions While Abroad
- Preparation Guides
- Define and develop an idea for an elective.
- Meet with the Director of the Office of Global Health Education (OGHE) to discuss the proposed elective.
- Identify a Weill Cornell faculty mentor.
- Identify a mentor in the setting where the elective will be completed.
- Write a formal proposal with both mentors that explains the scope and purpose of the elective.
- Submit proposals to the OGHE and to external sources of funding. (Be sure to include the appropriate cover form when submitting the application to the OGHE.*)
- Approval by Weill Cornell's International Committee is necessary for the student to receive funding by the OGHE.
- Prepare to complete the elective:
- Apply for a passport and visa, as required by host country
- Acquire necessary medications
- Acquire necessary vaccinations
- Stay updated on the news and health concerns of your host country
- Complete the "Agreement and Release" and "Consent" forms.* These forms, along with a copy of the student's valid passport and visa, should be submitted to the OGHE prior to departing.
- Upon return, submit the "Student Evaluation" and "Supervisor Evaluation" forms to the OGHE.*
- Write a report on the elective experience. This report is to be submitted to the OGHE within a month of returning from the elective. Reimbursement for travel will not be made without prior receipt of the written report.
- Participate in the OGHE's bi-annual International Day.
- First-Year Students: First-year students complete Global Health-International Electives during the summer following their first-year of medical school. Applications for consideration must be submitted prior to a specfied deadline, usually mid-March. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
- Leave of Absence Students: A leave of absence may be taken between the third and fourth years of medical school to complete a Global Health- International elective. Planning for such an elective should begin the summer following the second-year of medical school.
Students interested in completing a year-long elective often apply for outside funding through the Fulbright Fellowship Program, the Doris Duke Fellowship, the O.C. Hubert Student Fellowship in International Health, and/or the Fogarty Fellows Program.
Interested students should meet with the Director of Global Health Education and the Office of Academic Affairs (1300 York Avenue, Room C-118; 212.746.1050) as early as possible to discuss the logistics of taking a year off to go abraod.
- Fourth-Year Students: Global Health-International Electives are frequently taken in the spring of the fourth-year after the required clerkships have been satisfied.
- International electives must be 6 - 8 weeksin duration. There are, however, a few specific electives that are 4 weeks in duration (e.g., American Hospital in Paris, Christian Medical College, the Max Kade Program, and the USEU MEE).
- Identify a mentor both from Weill Cornell and the host country and work closely with both mentors to develop the project proposal.
- Be mindful of language requirements for the host country.
- Ensure the project is reasonable in scope for the time allotted. For example, electives with a heavy clinical focus are reserved for third and fourth-year medical students.
402 East 67th Street
New York, NY 10065
Oliver Fein, MD
Associate Dean of Affiliations and
the Office of Global Health EducationMadelon Finkel, PhD
Director of the Office of Global Health Education
646.962.8038Dianne Young, MPH
Global Health Electives Coordinator
Global Health Electives Assistant
Listing of Weill Cornell Endowed Fellowships
- American Hospital in Paris Fellowship
- Auxiliary International Fellowship
- Dr. B.H. Kean Class of 1964 Fellowship
- Ferienakademie Fellowship
- Ida S. Scudder, M.D. 1899 Fellowship
- Joan M. May Fellowship
- Lynford Family International Fellowship
- Marian and Jack Blankenship Fellowship
- Max Kade Foundations Fellowship
- Dr. Milton B. Rosenbluth Fellowship
- United States European Medical Education Exchange Fellowship
Tel: (202) 647-5225
Tel: (404) 639-3311
Passports and Visas
- Passport: U.S. Passports can take up to 6 weeks to process.
- Visa: Visa application procedures and processing times vary from country-to-country. Students should become familiar with their host country's visa requirements and application process as well as entry/exit fee policies.
Immunizations and Health Recommendations
- Immunizations: Plan ahead. Vaccinations vary in the length of time needed to reach maximum efficiency. Further, not all vaccinations can be given at the same time. Allow at least 4 to 6 weeks before departure to plan your course of vaccinations. In addition to country specific vaccinations, be sure that routine vaccinations are up-to-date.
- Health Recommendations: Students should obtain knowledge in precautionary techniques relating to insect repellent and food/ water consumption before departure. In addition, students should also become familiar and remain updated on the health status of the host country.
Booking Airline Tickets
International Medical Insurance
- The Medical Student Guide to Electives Abroad
- A Student's Guide to International Health and Funding Guide
- ToolKit for Going Abroad
- Advising Medical Students and Residents: International Health Experiences