Top 30 Study Abroad Programs for Pre-Health Professions

Margaret McCullers is the Associate Director for Academic and Special Projects at IFSA-Butler.

College students pursuing careers in healthcare tend to be hardworking, professionally-driven individuals, and one could argue that they stand to benefit the most from international experiences, such as studying abroad. Take the example of Dr. Megan Storm, now in her first year of residency at Stanford University’s Stanford/Kaiser Emergency Medicine Residency Program. As a chemistry major in college, Megan studied abroad twice, once in Costa Rica and once in Spain. In addition to leveraging her experiences on her medical school applications, Megan says these experiences strengthened her applications to international clinical rotations while in medical school. Megan explained that “studying abroad definitely boosted my resume to get and as one of up to three non-George Washington (GWU) medical students to be chosen for an international clinical elective at GWU.” This rotation in emergency medicine took place in South Korea, and she completed another in Peru. These small stepping stones led her to where she is today, one of 15 residents in the class of 2018 at one of the most prestigious emergency medicine residency programs in the nation.

More than just a resume builder, Megan sees her study abroad experiences as the birthplace of invaluable insights, ideas and perspectives. “While adapting to the challenges of living abroad and learning new languages and cultures, I realized the importance of overcoming language and cultural barriers in medical situations. I keep these situations in mind during patient encounters, realizing barriers that affect healthcare come in several forms such as socio-economic status, religious beliefs, disabilities, and access to preventative healthcare,” said Megan. She says her study abroad experiences helped her clarify which medical specialty she wanted to pursue and played a role in her residency applications because of the authentic impact they have made on her career path. The topic also emerged during residency interviews.

IFSA-Butler recognizes the important role study abroad opportunities play for students pursuing a wide range of pre-health professions. Interested in taking clinical classes abroad? Holding an international public health internship? Conducting medical research? Fulfilling a required science class, including the laboratory component? IFSA-Butler offers dozens of programs for pre-health students, and the following list of programs highlight some of these opportunities on the path toward a career in healthcare. Which one will be your stepping stone?

Program Country Particularly attractive for: Course highlight
Engage Australia: Adelaide Australia internship in public health PUB HLTH 2100 – Investigating Health and Disease in Populations II
James Cook University Australia pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, pre-therapy, pre-vet, midwifery, nursing, sport/exercise science CH1013: Chemistry for Dental Sciences
University of Melbourne Australia pre-med, pre-pharmacy, psychology, nursing, optometry PATH20003: Experimental Pathology
University of Queensland Australia pre-med, pre-pharmacy, public health, internships, nutrition PUBH2007: Health Research Methods
University of Technology, Sydney Australia sport/exercise science, public health, nursing, midwifery, social medicine, pharmacy 92543: Exercise Prescription
University of Sydney Australia medical research, optometry, public health, pre-pharmacy, psychology, internships IMMU2101: Introductory Immunobiology
University of Western Australia Australia sport science practicum, public health, pre-pharmacy, pre-vet PHAR2210: Foundations of Pharmacology
Imperial College London summer England genetics, global health, pre-med, public health, health care studies Revolutions in Biomedicine, research
King’s College London summer England pre-med, public health Human Anatomy & Physiology
University College London England pre-med, pre-pharmacy, psychology, public health, pre-vet/animal science BIOC3013: Cancer Biology
Queen Mary, University of London England pre-med, global health, pre-vet/animal science ICM4012: Introduction to Research, Writing and Analysis in Global Health
University of Oxford, Mansfield College England pre-med, psychology Human Genetics and Evolution
University of Sussex summer England pre-vet, psychology IS162: Abnormal and Clinical Psychology
University of Westminster England pre-med, pre-pharmacy, nutrition, sport/exercise science, psychology, internships 5BIOM001W: Medical Genetics and Genomics
Global and Public Health: Manipal University India fieldwork, public health, global health, health promotion PUBH240: Epidemiology in Developing Countries
Summer in Pune India public health internships and directed research INST 380: Internship
Trinity College Dublin Ireland pre-vet (zoology), pre-med, nursing/midwifery, psychology GE3M15: Medical Genetics
University College Cork Ireland pre-med, psychology, internship in health promotion, pre-pharmacy BC3002: Advanced Metabolism in Health, Disease and Cancer
University College Dublin Ireland pre-med, nursing, nutrition, sport/exercise science, pre-vet, pre-pharmacy ANAT10110: Clinical Human Anatomy I
National University of Ireland, Galway Ireland pre-med SI206: Introduction to Physiology and Gastrointestinal
Medical Spanish and Public Health in the Yucatán – Summer Mexico pre-med, public health, nursing, any pre-health professions Introduction to Medical Spanish
Queen’s University Belfast Northern Ireland pre-med, nursing 2027: Drugs and the Human Body
Stranmillis University Northern Ireland exercise science, public health SHL2043: Exercise Science
Summer Nursing and Pre-Health Northern Ireland pre-med, nursing, nutrition, any pre-health professions Principles of Microbiology
University of Otago New Zealand pre-med, pre-pharmacy, public health, pre-vet, nutrition PUB 211: Epidemiology of Major Health Problems
University of Canterbury New Zealand public health internships, psychology, research internships HLTH312: Health Planning, Implementation and Evaluation
Victoria University Wellington New Zealand pre-med BIOL 340 Genes and Genomes
University of Edinburgh Scotland pre-med, psychology, nursing BIME09012: Neuroscience 3
University of Glasgow Scotland nursing, pre-med, psychology, pre-vet BIUOL2023: Functional Anatomy for International Pre-Medical Students
University of St. Andrews Scotland pre-med, psychology, pre-pharmacy Organic Chemistry (designed specifically for IFSA-Butler pre-med students)

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