International Trainees & Scholars
COVID-19 Update: Penn Medicine is unable to place visiting international students in clinical electives for the remainder of 2021. Please check back for information on clinical elective availability for Spring 2022 and beyond.
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.
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.
- Universidad Austral Facultad de Ciencias Biomédicas
Contact: Angel M Centeno, MD, PhD, FACP; Professor of Internal Medicine & Director, Office of Biomedical Education, (+54) 2322482635
- 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.
- University of Botswana School of Medicine
Contact: Prof. Japhter Masunge
- Kings College London
Contact: Amy Maddin, Senior Undergraduate Officer Electives
- Universidad Francisco Marroquín Facultad de Medicina
Contact: Dr. Ricardo Blanco, Director, Oficina de Asuntos Academicos
- Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala Facultad de Ciencias Médicas
Contact: Dr. Fernando Torres, Medical Student and Residents Exchange Coordinator
- Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Dublin)
Contact: Ms. Malgorzata Jankowska, Faculty Coordinator
- Trinity College Dublin
Contact: Ms. Rita Keane, Coordinator - International Programmes
- University College Dublin
Contact: Una Fitzgerald
- University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine
Contact: Dr. Joseph Green, Office of International Academic Affairs, Faculty of Medicine
- University of Nairobi School of Medicine
Contact: Dr. Fredrick N. Were, Dean, School of Medicine
- University Medical Center Groningen
Contact: Dr. J.R. Huizenga, International Liaison Officer, Institute for Medical Education
- Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Contact: Cecilia Herbozo Nory MD, PhD, Deputy Head, Unit of Social Responsibility and Interinstitutional Relations
- National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
Contact: Electives Team
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.
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. For greatest consideration, your application should be submitted at least four months before the start date of the rotation that interests you (see due dates in parentheses next to rotation dates below).
|Spring 2022||Summer 2022||Fall 2022|
|February 28 - March 25||July 5 - July 29||October 24 - November 18|
|March 28 - April 22||August 1 - August 26||November 21 - December 16|
|Application Due Nov 1||Application Due March 1||Application Due July 1|
- Official TOEFL scores are required for all students from medical schools where English is not the language of instruction. Minimum acceptable TOEFL scores are 270 (for computer-based test) and 637 (for paper-based test). For TOEFL® iBT, minimum scores are: 26 (Speaking) + 26 (Listening) + 22 (Reading) + 22 Writing.
If you are a medical student who attends an affiliated medical school (mentioned in the section above), meets the above eligibility requirements, and have been selected by your school representative, please click below to begin your application.
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. You must be fully self-funded to participate and placements are between 2-6 months.
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:
- International House
- Penn Hospitality Services
- Penn Off-Campus Services
- Right at Home Homestay program
- University City District Website
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.
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.
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:
- Philadelphia Visitors Guide
- Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
- University City Visitors Guide (restaurants, lodging, culture, etc.)
- Indego: Philly Bike Share
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:
- Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP)
- Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
- Presbyterian Medical Center (Presby)
- Pennsylvania Hospital (Pennsy)
Other important locations on campus:
- School of Medicine (SOM)
- Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine (Perelman)
- University of Pennsylvania (Penn)
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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:
- 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).
- Applying directly for postdoctoral positions posted on the Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs (BPP) website: http://www.med.upenn.edu/postdoc/positions.shtml
- Applying directly for positions advertised on Penn's job site, under the "Job Family" of "Technical/Professional Research": Click here for Jobs @ Penn
- Writing directly to faculty you have identified who are doing research of interest. Click here to search BGS faculty