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Professional health education is competitive. Less than 50% of students that apply to medical schools are admitted. There are four applicants for every one seat in physician assistant (PA) programs. We know medical and professional school admissions increasingly focus on students with dedication to community service, so engaging in community activities and research abroad will help any student attempting a health career to create a diverse, accomplished portfolio.
Study abroad programs provide an opportunity for you to develop a valuable skill set that can give you an advantage over the competition by:
“Study Abroad is an excellent opportunity for students to experience unique cultures, systems (including health care), and perspectives. Studying abroad is one of the best college experiences a student can have, because it challenges them to grow personally, professionally, and academically. It is also a fantastic way for students to get to know their professors. If a student has the opportunity to embark on a meaningful study abroad experience, I highly recommend them to seize the chance.”
With advance planning, and working closely with your academic and pre-health advisors, you should be able to fit study abroad within your four years at ASU. The Pre-Health Advising Office has provided the following recommended timeline to consider health-related research and study abroad activities. As a Nutrition major, there are a number of terms available for you to study abroad. Check out our recommended options below:
|Year||Term||Recommended Student Action|
|Year 1||Spring||Identify and apply to a pre-health summer program offering clinical or research experience|
|Summer||Complete a pre-health summer program|
Optimal year to study abroad
|Fall||Research study abroad programs focused on clinical/research experience, or that allow you to complete major/elective coursework|
|Spring||Option 1: Complete a spring semester, spring break, or post-spring study abroad program|
|Summer||Option 2: Complete a summer study abroad program or a pre-health summer program|
|Year 3||Fall||Research medical school options
Option 3: Complete a fall semester or winter break study abroad program
Begin studying for MCAT or GRE
|Spring||Study for MCAT or GRE
Take MCAT or GRE in late spring
Begin medical & professional school applications
|Summer||Submit medical & professional school applications
Option 4: Complete a summer study abroad program
|Year 4||Fall - Spring||Medical & professional school interview process
Option 5: If you will not immediately enter medical or professional school, complete a winter break, spring semester, spring break or post-spring program
The ASU College of Health Solutions has generated a list of required and recommended courses for entry into medical or professional schools. There is no certainty of earning direct credit for these courses at a foreign institution so it is generally advised that students take these requirements at ASU. Typically, study abroad courses are best applied directly toward your upper division (300 or 400-level) major electives.
Peer Advisors are ASU students who have studied abroad on various types of programs and who are here to help you get started on a journey of your own! They are prepared to help you understand the different types of programs offered, narrow down your program options, guide you on the application process, discuss program costs, and speak about student life abroad.
No appointments are necessary to meet with a Peer Advisor.
Your International Coordinator can answer your questions about specific programs, can talk you through the application process, and can help you find funding resources for your particular program on the Study Abroad Office website. Your International Coordinator is happy to meet with you multiple times to answer your questions, and he/she would be glad to schedule meetings in person, by phone, or via Skype.
Studying abroad is an investment in your future. Like any other type of investment, it requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets, and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad.
You can find a link to your program’s Cost Sheet near the top of the Study Abroad Office webpage for your program. The Cost Sheet will highlight the costs that are billed to your student account as well as additional estimated costs that are not billed to your student account but that you might expect to spend while abroad. Be sure to note what expenses are included in the fees charged by the Study Abroad Office, and remember to budget additional money for airfare, passport and visa fees, and personal expenses since these are not included in any Program Fee.
Once you have reviewed the Cost Sheet for your program and are aware of the costs you might expect to spend on your program, you can begin to make a plan for financing your study abroad program. You can receive funding for studying abroad through financial aid, scholarships and grants, and community-based fundraising efforts. We encourage you to:
We encourage you to speak to a Financial Aid Counselor, who can help you figure out how your financial aid might be applied to our study abroad program. Be sure to seek answers to the following questions from a Financial Aid Counselor:
The College of Health Solutions offers study abroad scholarships for which you may apply.
Check out the Study Abroad Office website to learn more about community-based funding, including tips and tricks for crowd-source funding. There is funding out there… you just have to ask!
Would you like help learning about your financing options? We offer bi-weekly in-person and online Financing Your Study Abroad Workshops. Join us in the MU on Monday afternoons or log in through Adobe Connect (find login information here) on Thursdays to learn how to finance your study abroad program through financial aid, scholarships and grants, and community-based funding.
“For the most part, studying abroad was about fulfilling a dream, but I didn’t realize the impact it would have on me professionally. The class discussions gave me new insight on contemporary issues and the site visits gave me different experiences I never would have gotten anywhere else. Because of this program, I have gained new confidence both personally and professionally and solidified my passion for medicine.”
- Allison S., participant of Exploring Science & Medicine Through Art & Literature program