International Trainees & Scholars

The Center for Global Health (CGH) can help to facilitate research and clinical experiences at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Applications for both clinical and research experiences are restricted to students from the international medical schools that have affiliation agreements with the School of Medicine. 

Affiliated Institutions

NOTE: The elective application process is highly competitive and the Center for Global Health does not guarantee that elective slots will be available to an applicant at the date selected and for the specific electives noted on the application. Placement in an elective is made jointly between the Office of the Registrar and the course director in the department in which the elective takes place; thus, submission of an application is not a guarantee for placement. Availability of an elective cannot be determined until the student’s completed application is received.

Argentina

  • Universidad Austral Facultad de Ciencias Biomédicas
    ContactAngel M Centeno, MD, PhD, FACP; Professor of Internal Medicine & Director, Office of Biomedical Education, (+54) 2322482635

Austria

  • The University Hospitals of Graz, Innsbruck, Vienna and Salzburg
    Contact:  The American Austrian Foundation, Kaerntnerstrasse 51, 1010 Vienna, ++43 1 533 8658

Note: If you are a medical student applying through Going International, please contact Dr.Gerhard Polak, Going International, Vienna, Fasangasse 28, 1030 Vienna, Phone: +43 (01) 798 2527. Students must apply through either the American Austrian Foundation or Going International, but NOT both.


Botswana


Chile


Egypt


Ireland


Japan

  • University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine
    Contact:  Dr. Joseph Green, Office of International Academic Affairs, Faculty of Medicine
  • Hiroshima University
    Contact: Yumie Watari, International Office at Kasumi Medical Campus

Kenya


Lebanon


Peru

  • Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
    Contact: Suni Su, MD, Deputy Head, Unit of Social Responsibility and Interinstitutional Relations

Philippines


Singapore

  • National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
    Contact: Electives Team

Tanzania

  • Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS)
    Contact: Maryam Amour, MD MMED MPH

Vietnam

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Application Instructions

Clinical Electives

Penn makes an effort to provide the greatest possible variety of clinical rotations to our affiliated visiting international medical students. Rotations typically available, though not guaranteed, are listed on the clinical elective ranking form. Please note that if a course is not listed, it is not available; these courses are the only ones for which course directors have authorized enrollment of international students. Please note that pediatric electives are not available for international students.

The Perelman School of Medicine policy does not sanction other types of clinical experiences (i.e observerships, shadowing, internships, etc). Do not contact physicians or departments directly; doing so may result in a rejection of your application.

Rotation Dates

International students may apply for up to 2 consecutive electives at Penn. You have six rotation months to select from each year (see below). Please note that each one has a specific start and end date and that these dates cannot be modified for individual students. Late arrivals or early departures are NOT ALLOWED. For greatest consideration, your application should be submitted at least four months before the start date of the rotation that interests you. Our application is in 2 parts. Both parts need to be submitted by the due dates below.  

Reminder: the representatives from our affiliated universities select the students who can apply. If you are interested in taking a clinical rotation at Penn you must contact the administrator at your school (those individuals are listed above under each partner school). 

Remaining Rotation dates for 2024:

FALL 2024
October 21 - November 15
November 18 - December 13
(app due July 1, 2024)

Rotation Dates for 2025:

spring 2025 SUMMER 2025 FALL 2025
March 3 - 28 July 7 - August 1 October 27 - November 21
March 31 - April 25 August 4 - 29 November 24 - December 19
(app due Nov. 1, 2024) (app due March 1, 2025) (app due July 1, 2025)

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be in good academic and professional standing
  • Applicants must provide (by the application deadline) a passing grade for the following required core clerkships: Medicine, Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, Surgery, and Psychiatry
  • Where English is not the language of instruction, students must provide evidence of English proficiency in either of the following ways:
    • Official TOEFL (iBT) score, taken within the last 2 years, with minimum score of 100. The required breakdown is as follows: Reading 25; Listening 25; Speaking 25 (26 is preferred); Writing 25. 
    • Documented passing score on the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills Exam

To complete the application below you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Attend an affiliated medical school (mentioned in the section above)
  • Meet the above eligibility requirements
  • Selected by your school representative

Submitting Part 1 before meeting the above criteria can result in a rejection of your application. This application is in 2 parts. Once Part 1 is received, CGH will send you Part 2. 

Clinical Application


Research Opportunities

We can accept applications for research opportunities from students from affiliated medical schools only. You must be a current medical student and have already completed the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree and must be returning to your home institution to continue your studies upon completion of your research experience at Penn. Placement is not guaranteed. Applications must be received no later than 6 months prior to your start date. You must be fully self-funded to participate and placements need to be a minimum of 2 but not longer than 6 months. Keep in mind, as you determine the length of placement, that you will need to provide proof of funds ($2050/month of your stay) in Part 2 of this application. 

Research Application

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Preparing for Travel

Housing

CGH encourages students to begin their housing search about three months in advance of your arrival. Only after receiving your invitation letter and elective assignment confirmation should you finalize housing plans. There are a variety of short-term housing opportunities to choose from:

Visa Information

We are advised by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at the University of Pennsylvania that medical students pursuing a medical degree at a foreign institution, who are coming to engage in a required clerkship (unpaid) may enter the US with a B-1 (visitors for business) category or, if citizens of participating countries, a visa waiver. Details on participating countries and how to apply for the visa waiver are found on the US Department of State website.  The use of the B-1 or the visa waiver program for this purpose is limited to medical students, and does not extend to alien physicians who have already completed medical school. 

For further information regarding visas, please contact ISSS

Dress Code

On clinical rotations, you are expected to dress professionally.  Button-down shirts (with or without ties), professional tops/blouses, slacks, khakis, skirts, or dresses are appropriate. Students must have a short (28-30") white lab jacket/consultation coat. It is required that you wear closed-toe shoes. Shorts or jeans are NOT acceptable for clinical rotations.

If you have to purchase a lab coat or other supplies in Philadelphia, Nurses Uniform Place is located at 1104 Chestnut Street.

Orientation to Philadelphia and Penn

Transportation from Airports

  • Philadelphia International Airport
    The University of Pennsylvania is located in the "University City" section of Philadelphia.  Therefore, you can take a taxi for the flat rate (not using the meter) described on the Philadelphia International Airport website
  • JFK Airport
    Limousine service to Philadelphia is probably the most convenient and affordable way to travel.  You can contact Dave's Best Limousine to make arrangements in advance. Additional information is available on the JFK Airport website.
  • Newark Liberty Airport
    This New Jersey airport is also served by Dave's Best Limousine service (see above) and a number of other alternatives. Additional information is available on the Newark Liberty Airport website.
  • Amtrak also has a train route from Philadelphia's William Gray III 30th Street Station to Newark Liberty Airport. 

The City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia is one of the most historic cities in the United States, where the Declaration of Independence was written and the Constitution was drafted. It served as the original capital of the country until the city of Washington was built. Currently, Philadelphia is a vibrant city of 1.5 million population in a metropolitan area of about 5 million. It has outstanding cultural institutions, including world class museums and a renowned orchestra. Center city is readily accessible, 1-2 miles east of the Penn campus. Useful links below:

The University of Pennsylvania: Information & Services

The University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine is among the top five medical schools in the United States based on its faculty, educational reputation, quality of its medical students, research grants, health system, and position as the first medical school in the United States, founded in 1765. With a newly renovated medical campus and its five affiliated hospitals, Penn has a vibrant program of patient care, clinical research, and basic science investigation

At the University of Pennsylvania, you'll find a historic, Ivy League school on a picturesque campus amidst a dynamic city and a world-class research institution.  

Locations of clinical electives:

Other important locations on campus:

There are a number of services you will be able to access after obtaining a PennCard. Contact CGH in order to receive your PennCard soon after arriving on campus.

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Graduates of International Institutions

The scope of CGH services does not include clinical graduate medical education (i.e. residencies and observerships) in the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS).  To explore such opportunities, please contact the UPHS Graduate Medical Education office (gmepc@uphs.upenn.edu).

International medical graduates from our affiliated institutions (mentioned above) may explore potential research opportunities within the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in one of the following ways:

  1. Completing the CGH research application (recent or imminent completion of a doctoral degree is required; this application is not suitable for individuals who earned their doctoral degree more than two years ago; although the application indicates that it is for visiting "students", it may also be completed by recent graduates, as defined above).
  2. Applying directly for postdoctoral positions posted on the Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs (BPP) website
  3. Applying directly for positions advertised on Penn's job site, under the "Job Family" of "Technical/Professional Research": Click here for Jobs @ Penn
  4. Writing directly to faculty you have identified who are doing research of interest.  Click here to search BGS faculty    

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