Medical Studies, BS

Why YOU Should Participate in a Global Education Program

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.

Global Education programs provide an opportunity for you to develop a valuable skill set that can give you an advantage over the competition by:

  • Exposing you to unique health environments and differences in the human condition worldwide;
  • Expanding your knowledge of culturally specific health approaches;
  • Challenging you to adapt and persevere under sometimes difficult and harsh social and cultural circumstances;
  • Improving your language and cross cultural skills for effective communication across populations;
  • Enhancing your portfolio of experience through the kinds of hands-on research and community-based opportunities you will need to compete and succeed in today’s challenging health professions admissions process.

A Message from the College of Health Solutions

“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.”

- Nate Wade, Senior Director of Pre-Health Advising     

Planning Your Program

When to Participate in a Global Education Program

When to Participate in a Global Education Program

With advance planning, and working closely with your academic and pre-health advisors, you should be able to fit a Global Education program within your four years at ASU. The Pre-Health Advising Office has provided the following recommended timeline to consider health-related research and Global Education activities. As a Medical Studies student, there are a number of terms available for you to participate in a Global Education program. 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
Year 2
Optimal year to participate in a Global Education program
Fall Research Global Education 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 Global Education program
Summer Option 2: Complete a summer Global Education program or a pre health summer program
Year 3 Fall Research medical school options Option 3: Complete a fall semester or winter break Global Education 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 Global Education 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

General Advice

General Advice

Advice from the College of Health Solutions

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, Global Education courses are best applied directly toward your upper division (300 or 400-level) major electives.

Advice from the Global Education Office

  • Be sure to view the list of recommended steps for getting started on your Global Education journey.
  • Attend a Study Abroad 101 info session to get all the basic information from a GEO Student Recruiter on program types, eligibility, housing, finances, searching for and choosing a program and the application process. Discover times and locations.
  • Attend a Financing Your Global Education Program workshop to get information on program fees and deadlines, how financial aid can apply to study abroad, how to utilize community-based funding and tips on finding and applying for Global Education scholarships. Discover times and locations.

Meet With Your Academic Advisor

Meet With Your Academic Advisor

How to make an appointment

  • Call (602) 496-3300 to schedule an appointment with your academic advisor.
  • Visit an advisor during walk-in hours in Health South 4th floor

Key questions to ask

  • What are my remaining degree requirements?
  • How many upper-division credits do I still need to complete for my degree?
  • How many elective credits (lower vs. upper division) do I have left to complete my major?
  • What remaining prerequisites must I fulfill, and how will a Global Education program impact my progress?
  • Which of my remaining degree requirements could I complete abroad?  Are there any that I cannot take abroad?
  • Can I receive academic credit for an internship abroad?
  • Are there any in-residence requirements I need to be aware of before I go abroad?

Meet With the Global Education Office

Meet With the Global Education Office

Meeting with a Peer Advisor

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.

Meeting with an International Coordinator

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 Global Education 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.

  • Find the name of your International Coordinator listed on the Global Education Office webpage for your program of interest.
  • Schedule an appointment online. Click on the International Coordinator name for your program of interest and follow the prompts to schedule your appointment.
  • Visit an International Coordinator during walk-in hours in Student Services Building, Room 278.

Key questions to ask the Global Education Office

  • What are the eligibility requirements for my program(s) or interest?
  • What is involved in the application for my program(s) of interest? Is admission to the program competitive?
  • How will I get ASU credit and grades for the courses I take abroad?
  • What courses are available on my program? How can I get courses approved for my program(s) of interest?
  • What is the cost of participating in my program(s) of interest? What do I need to consider in preparing an estimated budget for my program(s) of interest, and what expenses do I need to plan for up front?
  • Where can I find more information about scholarships for Global Education programs?

Research Your Funding Options

Research Your Funding Options

Global Education programs are 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.

Review Cost Sheet

You can find a link to your program’s Cost Sheet near the top of the Global Education 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 Global Education 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.

Research Funding

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 Global Education program. You can receive funding for Global Education programs through financial aid, scholarships and grants, and community-based fundraising efforts. We encourage you to:

  1. Speak to Financial Aid and Scholarship Services (FASS) about financial aid;
  2. Use our Scholarships and Grants page to search for general Global Education scholarships and scholarships that are unique to your program;
  3. Read the Community-Based Funding Guide for creative ways that past ASU students have funding their programs. 

Financial Aid

We encourage you to speak to a Financial Aid Counselor, who can help you figure out how your financial aid might be applied to your Global Education program. Be sure to seek answers to the following questions from a Financial Aid Counselor:

  • How do loans work for Global Education programs? What kinds of aid/loans do I currently receive, and are there any restrictions on this aid if I participate in a Global Education program?
  • Have I reached the maximum of (insert name of) loan allowed per academic year?
  • When will funds be released for my semester of participation?
  • How will additional scholarships impact my ASU financial aid?

Major-Specific Scholarships

The College of Health Solutions offers Global Education scholarships for which you may apply.

Community-Based Funding

Check out the Global Education 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!

Attend Financing Workshop

Would you like help learning about your financing options? We offer bi-weekly in-person and online Financing Your Global Education Program 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 Global Education program through financial aid, scholarships and grants, and community-based funding.

Helpful Links

CHS Student Testimonials

“The program made me look at the professional world of medicine in a different, more complex way, and the in-class discussions and site visits have added layers of political, social, and historical views that I have never considered.”
- Josilynn C., participant of Exploring Science & Medicine Through Art & Literature program

“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

Recommended Programs

Although Medical Studies majors can participate in any ASU study abroad program, the College of Health Solutions recommends the following programs. You can also find a full listing of CHS Study Abroad programs on our website:

Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Country: United Kingdom
Unique Features: Study how people lived and died in the past through global health and bioarchaeology. Go on behind the scenes tours of the British Museum and the Museum of London mummy and skeletal collections. Academic visits to the Tower of London and Highgate Cemetery, while walking in the footsteps of deadly diseases (bubonic plague, cholera) and Jack the Ripper, included. Day trips to Stonehenge, Oxford, Hampton Court Palace, and Darwin's personal home.
Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Countries: Italy, Spain
Unique Features: Origins, development, and diversity of food preferences and dietary habits in Spain and Italy. Food patterns and attitudes of Spanish and Italian citizens as compared to U.S. citizens. Development of nutrition and health communication materials for selected target audiences. In-depth study of the Mediterranean Diet, its components and research evidence of its health consequences.
Program Type: Faculty-Directed
Available Terms: Summer
Country: Greece
Unique Features: Study happiness and healthy lifestyles on a small, serene Greek Island. Learn why Ikaria has been designated a Blue Zone, one of the five areas where the greatest percentage of people live into their 100s. Learn directly from the Ikarian centenarians what they consider to be the secrets to happiness, healthy aging, and longevity.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Spring Session B
Country: Peru
Unique Features: Live in Trujillo, Peru for six weeks--known locally as the capital of eternal spring. In partnership with Vive Peru, visit families to implement community health programs at the household and community level, and visit the Peruvian Andes and Machu Picchu in your free time. Students will stay with host families who will provide all meals during the program, giving students the opportunity to have an immersive cultural experience.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Summer
Country: Tanzania
Unique Features: Live and work on the side of Mt. Meru in rural northern Tanzania in the beautiful village of Tengeru. The program is focused on rural global health issues and students have a role in addressing gaps in humanitarian needs through service. Students have an incredible opportunity to work in collaboration with the community to facilitate needed discussions about health, as well as develop projects that support the health needs of the community.
Program Type: Partnership
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: Ireland
Unique Features: UCD is Ireland's largest university with over 1,300 faculty and 30,000 students. UCD is a member of Universitas 21, a global network of leading research institutions. Students can participate in a research project while taking coursework at UCD.
Program Type: Exchange
Available Terms: Fall, Spring
Country: Sweden
Unique Features: This university is the product of a desire to improve the quality, enhance the appeal, and boost the development potential of teaching and research, while at the same time playing a prominent role in the local community. Linnaeus University offers an attractive academic environment characterized by high quality and a competitive portfolio of skills. There are roughly 15,300 full-year students including roughly 900 incoming international students.




Key Contacts and Resources