Individual International Health Experiences and Medical Clerkships or Rotations
for students enrolled in
MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine or the College of Human Medicine
In accordance with MSU policy, all credit-bearing learning experiences must be registered with the Office of Study Abroad. Medical students participating in non-credit bearing medical missions have different requirements; please contact your medical school to complete the appropriate forms.
MSU medical students participating in non-credit university-sponsored travel abroad must comply with university procedures for medical missions.
Group or Individual?
If you are setting up your own credit-bearing international rotation/clerkship experience, please follow the directions below. If you are part of a group, note that the group leader must contact OSA to create a program before participants can apply in the manner described below.
All medical students seeking credit for international experiences must apply to the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) at least six weeks prior to departure. You must start by contacting Morgan Swartz firstname.lastname@example.org by e-mail. You must provide:
- the city/country of your international medical clerkship
- your program/travel dates (arrival and departure dates)
- indicate who in your college has approved the experience
Do not contact Morgan until your dates are firm. After Morgan creates a sesstion for you in the OSA database, she will instruct you to apply online. Special permission is required to travel to countries with U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings. See details below.
Submitting a program application automatically generates a $100 fee. However, this amount will be quickly refunded and replaced by the actual cost of the mandatory international health insurance. The policy cost of $1.13/day provides comprehensive health care coverage as well as evacuation/repatriation. The total fee covering the number of days for your program plus 3 additional days to allow you to return to the U.S. will appear on your student account. Students are not permitted to waive coverage.
As of September 2, 2009, all medical students applying to OSA will be charged a flat fee of $100, and not the daily rate. This is an across-the-board policy change involving all graduate students.
You can indicate on the application if you plan to use financial aid to support your study abroad costs. You are responsible for informing and providing documentation to OSA in a timely manner about the costs associated with the international elective – airfare, lodging and meals, in-country transportation, books and supplies, immunizations, spending money, fees, etc. In most instances you will receive an increase in loans.
A month before departure, you will receive your health insurance documents from HTH Worldwide via e-mail. Please look out for this information – it is often presumed as SPAM and deleted. If you have not received your insurance documents via e-mail a week prior to departure, contact the Office of Study Abroad at 517-353-8920. You will also be asked to provide overseas contact information so that OSA is able to reach you in the event of a crisis or emergency.
OSA will also register your travel with the U.S. Department of State’s Travelers Registry program.
Pre-departure Health Recommendations
At least two months before you travel, the Office of Study Abroad recommends that you visit the MSU Travel Clinic at Olin Health Center or another Travel Clinic for advice on immunizations and preventive medications, if they are needed. The Clinic will not contact you about needed or required vaccination, but only if you have a pre-existing condition that may require special pre-departure preparation. You can research this information at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Travelers’ Health site. MSU Office of Study Abroad policy is that if immunizations or medications are appropriate, they recommend, but do not require, that you get these before your departure. In some cases you need immunizations to enter or leave certain countries. Call (517) 353-3161 for an appointment, to get some information, or visit the website. Be prepared to bring your immunization record with you to the clinic. You may also contact your area county health department which can advise you about travel immunizations.
Pre-or Post-Rotation Travel
If you intend to travel abroad before or after your program dates, OSA strongly recommends that you order a supplemental medical insurance policy to cover such travel. The policy provided by MSU only covers your program dates. For more information read about insurance coverage before or after your program at the OSA online handbook.
Pre-departure Safety Recommendations
MSU does not generally permit study in country with U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings; however, some exceptions are available to medical students. These exceptions are typically granted to students who are current or former residents of the country with the Travel Warning, or who have significant family ties in the city or country they plan to serve/study.
You must first contact the Clinical Advisor for your medical school (Reza Nassiri email@example.com in the COM and Margo Smith firstname.lastname@example.org in the CHM) to discuss your plans. If approval to participate in a rotation in a country with a Travel Warning is granted from the medical school, you must provide a letter to your sponsoring college and OSA’s Ben Chamberlain email@example.com which includes:
- acknowledging awareness of the Travel Warning
- steps to mitigate risks outlined in the Travel Warning
- an evacuation or shelter-in-place plan should the political or economic situation in the country worsen
- telephone contact information for residence, workplace and additional local contact
- the following statement, "I release the College of Human Medicine or the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University, its Board of Trustees, staff, faculty, volunteers and students from any liability that may result from my participation in this experience.”
MSU students participating in credit-bearing group programs organized by the MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine or the College of Human Medicine must also be registered with the Office of Study Abroad. Group leaders must contact the relevant OSA Program Coordinator to register their group before a student can apply as described above. Leaders must provide the following information:
- the program’s city and country;
- the program dates; (arrival and departure dates)
- names and contact information for all program leaders.
All program leaders will be required to participate in OSA's Emergency Preparedness and Response Seminar, and submit a detailed travel itinerary and contact information at least four weeks prior to departure.
Note that MSU does not permit study abroad program in countries with U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings. However, program leaders can seek a waiver by appealing to The Study Abroad Risk and Security Assessment Committee.