International Elective Clerkships
Students who wish to take clinical clerkships outside of the United States should apply to the international hospital or medical school by the host institution deadlines. When the student receives confirmation they are accepted for an away clerkship, an International Away Elective Clerkship Approval Request Form must be completed and submitted. Students must meet with their Advising Dean and obtain approval to participate in the international elective.
In addition to the International Away Elective Clerkship Approval Request Form, students must also complete all the requirements on the International Away Elective Clerkship Checklist Form. For more information, including the instructions, form, and checklist, please see International Away Elective Clerkships. Medical students officially enrolled in international away elective clerkships are covered under the School of Medicine’s Professional Liability Insurance policy.
Students must obtain a letter from the international host institution stating the following:
- That emergency care is available to the student.
- Provisions are in place to ensure both student and patient safety. Any potential risks to the health and safety of patients, students, and the community are to be explained, along with an outline of the possibility of natural disasters, political instability, and exposure to disease the student may encounter.
- Any student need for additional preparation prior to, support during, and follow-up after the elective should be explained.
- That the level of student supervision is appropriate and adequate.
- That the tenets of professional ethical conduct endorsed by the School of Medicine are shared by the facility. Any potential challenges to the code of medical ethics adopted by the School should be stated.
After a student is approved to participate in the international away elective clerkship, they must request a change to their clerkship schedule and complete the travel requirements listed on the International Away Elective Checklist Form.
When the student receives confirmation they are accepted to participate in the international away clerkship, they must meet with their Academic Advising Dean to discuss their plans and obtain pre-approval to participate in the clerkship. An International Away Elective Clerkship Approval Request Form must be completed and submitted to obtain approval.
International Travel Safety Precautions and Resources
Prior to the elective receiving approval, the student and School of Medicine Registrar’s Office checks the travel warning level for the country of travel on the Stanford International Affairs Risk Rating website. Stanford University strongly recommends against, but does not prohibit, travel to countries that are a “high” or “extreme” risk. Stanford Risk Management developed guidelines for travel to countries that are “high” or “extreme” risk destinations. For more information on Stanford’s policy, please see Travel Advisory FAQs.
All students are strongly recommended to book their travel through a Stanford travel provider to provide visibility to travel location and travel details. Students must register their travel with the Stanford University Office of International Affairs through the International SOS tool prior to participating in an international elective. Students travelling to countries that are “high” or “extreme” risk must also register through the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for U.S. citizens to receive information from the Embassy about safety conditions in their destination country and be contacted by the U.S. Embassy in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest, or a family emergency.
Stanford provides a 24/7/365 global operator that connects the traveler with trained Stanford professionals who can assist the traveler. Should there be a need, Stanford’s third-party emergency response provider, International SOS, provides medical students on overseas elective rotations with in-country emergency medical, safety and security assistance. International SOS has worldwide assistance centers reachable by phone or online. International SOS services include vetted medical clinics, evacuation services, and security assistance. More information is available through the International Travel Assistance Program available to all enrolled students.
After a student is approved to participate in an international away elective clerkship, the following must be completed and affirmed on the International Away Elective Checklist Form at least 4 weeks prior to the clerkship start date in order to ensure student safety and prepare for the international elective:
- Travel itinerary, including description of travel plans to and from the site, including air and ground transportation information as appropriate.
- Confirmation of Emergency Record and MyTrips completion.
- Copy of Passport.
- Copy of Visa (if applicable).
- If High or Extreme travel risk:
- Confirmation of registration of travel with the U.S. Department of State
- Signed University Travel Release and Waiver.
- Preceptor/Administrator’s contact information.
- Expected international address, email address (if different than Stanford email), and phone number while participating in the clerkship.
- Details for pre- or post- away clerkship travel plans (if applicable).
- The location and phone number of the closest United States Embassy or consulate.
- A US-based emergency contact person and their contact information.
For more information, please see International Away Elective Clerkships. Medical students officially enrolled in international away elective clerkships are covered under the School of Medicine’s Professional Liability Insurance policy.