As a pre-med student, you are likely committed to both receiving a high quality education and serving the greater good in some capacity. Often this might seem like it doesn't exactly fit with a semester abroad eating cheese in the south of France or surfing off the coast of Costa Rica, but you might be surprised!

Learning how to work with patients from different cultures will be increasingly valuable as you become a medical professional -- no matter where you end up practicing medicine!

Additionally, study abroad gives you the chance to step outside your comfort zone. Learning a new language, volunteering in a local community, or taking an unexpected class will help round out your knowledge for when it comes time to apply for med school.

As a pre-med student, you don't have to rule out the opportunity to study abroad. Several of your general requirement classes in non-scientific fields can actually be taken abroad, or you can round out your resume with other areas you're interested in. Certain programs also offer the chance to practice medicine in other countries. Here are some examples.

Shadowing Programs

One great opportunity while studying abroad is the chance to learn from fellow medical professionals on the ground. Whether it's shadowing doctors in a world-class medical facility or learning from resident medical students as they master their rounds, study abroad gives you an opportunity to see how medicine differs between countries, both in theory and practice.

Public Health Programs

A good counterpart to a pre-med education involves a thorough understanding of public health, and how government bodies help support the medical field. By studying public health abroad, you'll get a bigger picture of how public health is managed around the world.

Volunteer Programs

If you're ready to try your hand practicing the medical theories you've learned, consider a volunteer program abroad. Several programs offer you the chance to combine class time and homework assignments with clinical rotations, giving you invaluable firsthand experience for your future medical profession.

Medical Language and Sciences Programs

Understanding how medicine differs between countries and cultures will be a valuable tool in your professional toolkit. Programs that teach you to speak a foreign language relating to medicine (such as Medical Spanish) are a great option that can fulfill any language requirements you have for graduation, too.

In some ways, your choice for where to study abroad as a pre-med student are limited only by your personal interests. That said, there are several countries and regions that are worth considering for the strength of their pre-med study abroad programs.

Tanzania

While it might sound unusual, Tanzania is a great country if you're eager to experience life in one of the most economically developing regions of the world while still enjoying a safe and stable educational experience. Programs in Tanzania allow you to focus on both classroom time and shadowing doctors in the field.

The Iberian Peninsula

Both Spain and Portugal have strong medical fields and equally strong educational institutions to support study abroad students who choose to spend a semester (or more) there. Similar to studying abroad in Tanzania, you'll have the chance to mix classroom and clinical hours while shadowing medical professionals. Some programs offer the chance to learn Spanish for students who want both language lessons and practical experience.

Latin America

Ecuador, Peru, and Costa Rica have excellent reputations for their medical industries, and offer great study abroad options for students. Whether you want to practice Medical Spanish in San Jose, Costa Rica, enhance your knowledge of medical sciences in Lima, Peru, or apply your skills in a volunteer program in Ecuador, this region can offer it all.

Vietnam

If the Far East is of interest, consider a public health program based in Vietnam. Classes are taught in English, but you'll have Vietnamese lessons and the chance to learn about the medical field in a developing country.

In addition to making sure your study abroad program fits in with your graduation requirements and educational goals, there are several other aspects to consider when choosing to study pre-med abroad.

Housing

Most study abroad programs will provide accommodation as part of the costs associated with the program. Depending on the country and city you study in, your living arrangement may (or may not) have a roommate, may be in a dorm, and may include a homestay. Most programs spell this out in pre-application materials.

If you are looking into a volunteer program, you will likely live in a homestay or volunteer house. Your options will vary based on your destination, but expect more modest accomodations.

Scholarships

Our blog post on why you can (and should!) study abroad as a pre-med student has some great scholarship resources. When searching for financial assistance, you are more likely to find general scholarships that you can apply for than specific pre-med ones, but keep your eyes open for scholarships pertaining to your subject matter.

Contributed by Valerie Stimac

Pre-Med Study Abroad Programs

Displaying 1 - 15 of 72 programs
Organization for Tropical Studies
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Atlantis
Internship in Greece Shadow Doctors 20+ Hours/Week
Greece
9.94 •16 reviews

Shadowing experiences for adventurous pre-med students. Shadow 60+...

University College Dublin
University College Dublin - Study Abroad
Ireland
9.21 •34 reviews

University College Dublin (UCD) is Ireland's largest and most diverse...

Atlantis
Shadow Doctors 20+ Hours/Week in Spain
Spain
9.77 •22 reviews

Shadowing experiences for adventurous pre-med students. Shadow 60+...

IES Abroad
IES Abroad Santiago – Health Studies
Chile
9.4 •5 reviews

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Global Engagement Institute
GEI Study Abroad in Rwanda | Global Health
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9.6 •5 reviews

The 3-week Global Health field course in Rwanda introduces concepts of...

Forum-Nexus Study Abroad
Ultimate Summer in Europe: 10 Cities in 5 Weeks with Forum-Nexus
Multiple Countries
9.71 •62 reviews

Spend a summer in Europe while earning credits toward your degree...

Loyola University Chicago Global Centers
Learn, Intern, and Live Abroad at the John Felice Rome Center
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9.44 •18 reviews

Spend a summer, semester, or an academic year at Loyola University...

The Spanish Course
Study Abroad at One of the top 3 Spanish Universities
Spain
10 •6 reviews

Study in Santander, a safe and idyllic city, whilst living at your...

Red Tree Study
Public Health in Colombia
Colombia
9.13 •15 reviews

The Public Health in Colombia course was launched in summer 2018 in...

University of New England
University of New England: Tangier Campus, Morocco
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10 •3 reviews

UNE's campus in Tangier, Morocco offers a variety of English-language...

Forum-Nexus Study Abroad
Nursing, Pre-Med, and STEM Traveling Summer Abroad in Europe
Multiple Countries
10 •3 reviews

Make your summer unforgettable! Travel throughout Europe with students...

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Study in Israel: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Israel
9 •7 reviews

BGU International offers students the opportunity to enroll in...

BCA Study Abroad
BCA Study Abroad: Cheltenham, England
England
9.8 •5 reviews

Cheltenham is a cultural hub! The city hosts more than 40 festivals...

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