International Study

Updated: January 27, 2015

Year 4 International Clinical Experience

Wayne State University School of Medicine students have the opportunity to travel and study abroad. Students travel to a variety of countries and participate in patient care delivery, health education and outreach and health care systems education.

  • To gain knowledge of diseases that are uncommon in the United States
  • To observe and develop existing clinical skills
  • To broaden public health knowledge
  • To develop creativity in problem-solving
  • To deepen commitment to providing high quality medical services
  • To provide opportunities to explore alternate career possibilities
  • To gain experience in aspects of medicine beyond the core curriculum
  • To understand the relationship between medicine and society in another culture
  • To understand different health care systems
  • To develop an opportunity for research in international health and education

Students describe the International Clinical experience as a significant, expansive experience and report increased cultural competency and heightened clarity about career goals.

We recommend you start planning early and make a schedule of deadlines as some Universities require 12 months advance notice. A lot of things need to come together in order to participate in an international health elective and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with paperwork. Consider the deadlines for:

  • WSU SOM applications
  • Overseas placement applications
  • Financial aid applications
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Proper immunizations
  • Passports
  • Visas

After completing the below guidelines please contact Dr. Chih Chuang for approval. Mazurek 204, 313.577.3019,

The administration of Wayne State University School of Medicine has the ultimate decision making authority to cancel or modify any and all international clinical experiences.

Wayne State University School of Medicine has a Memorandum of Understanding with these Universities:

  • Technion Institute of Technology – Rambam Medical Center in Haifi, Israel
  • Christian Medical College in Vellore, India
  • University of Santo Tomas in Manila, the Philippines

We are in the process of vetting several Universities around the world to establish academically sound, well organized and safe bilateral exchanges.

In addition, we have joined the Association of American Medical College’s Global Health Learning Opportunities (GHLO) program.

When evaluating international clinical experiences, determine the expected quality of the experience, identify a dependable contact person and a preceptor with a passion for education and service.

Meet with the Director of Global Health and Education and identify a faculty mentor who has had international health experience for guidance. Priority will be given to electives that are well organized with a good track record.

Please read and review the Policies and Procedures Manual: International Clinical Experiences for Wayne State University Medical Students

Also review the Office of Global Health and Education’s International Experiences Handbook

Review these resources to assist in identifying an International Experience:


  • Your level of cultural and language proficiency
  • The period of time you have available (No student’s will be approved for International Experiences during Match Week)
  • February and April are the months for International Electives
  • Housing needs and financial resources at your disposal



  • Schedule appointment with travel clinic – University Pharmacy operates a full-service travel clinic, offering immunizations, location information, travel kits, and skin/clothing protection, also check with your health insurance carrier for benefits coverage. Health Departments and Travel Clinics
  • Visa application if necessary
  • Application for new or renewal of Passport if necessary – U.S. Department of State – Passports
  • Travel health insurance is required – Main campus has an option for travel health insurance which and be accessed here: Travel Guard is an option for purchasing travel insurance and travel health insurance. The School’s liability insurance provides emergency assistance through TravelAid that all students are provided

The following criteria must be met for an international elective to be eligible for academic credit by the department at Wayne State University School of Medicine:

  1. The preceptor is board certified by the specialty board in which the elective is being offered or its equivalent.
  2. The preceptor spends the majority of his/her time in the specialty which is being offered as an elective and supervises you in all clinical activities.
  3. The preceptor must provide the University their curriculum vitae (CV).
  4. The elective course must be described in detail with at least three (3) stated objectives.
  5. International electives are to be done in university hospitals or clinics.

After completing Steps 1-5, meet with Dr. Chih Chuang The process may take several months to complete so make sure to start early.

IMPORTANT: Once a program and a preceptor are identified, we much receive communication from them addressing the following:

  1. Potential risks to student health and safety
  2. The availability of emergency care
  3. The possibility of natural disasters, political instability, and exposure to disease and an action plan if these were to occur
  4. A reciprocal statement of ethics: Our students will respect the ethical code of the international institution and our students will not be asked to perform any activities that may violate Wayne State University’s ethical code

Academic credit may be granted for Public Health Independent Study Programs and will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Director of Global Health and Education.

Finally, for Dr. Chuang to grant academic credit for the international elective, every student must complete an evaluation form and meet with him upon return.

The following forms and copies must be submitted by all medical students registered for International Clinical Experiences orparticipating in International Relief Trips to Student Affairs no later than 6 weeks before your departure.

Here is a checklist to assist in organizing your packet Checklist for International Travel (link for checklist)


Copies of:

  • Passport
  • Airline ticket receipt
  • Proof of travel health insurance
  • Proof of travel emergency assistance (Student will be provided a copy of TravelAid card)
  • Proof of vaccinations
  • Verification of enrollment in U.S. Department of State’s STEP program

Additional Websites and Resources