Travel Abroad

Global Health Center Travel Application
Click image to access the travel application.

Medical students traveling abroad should review the information on the page, "Documents Required for International Travel".

Not all sites are created equal.  Our medical students have found different experiences, as seen from this map below which shows average scores.  For recommendations please see the "Selecting Sites" tab and/or contact the Global Health Center.  

Help Setting Up Overseas Electives

Many students are interested in travel abroad for a variety of reasons.  This section is designed to help step students through that process.  PSU's Education Abroad site is an excellent site and resource.

STEP 1 - Safe Travel
Students should ensure that the country-of-interest does not have a travel advisory on the US State Department's website.  Students/Faculty may also use this service by World Watch to learn about safety issues for individual countries.  It requires log-in using PSU ID. 

Important PSU policies related to international travel include:

STEP 2 - Electives
In general there are two periods of time during medical school during which students may travel abroad.   These include during the summer between first and second years, and during fourth year for elective credit. 

STEP 3 - Selecting a Site
Selecting a site can be very challenging.  Many options exist.  It is prudent to consider what you hope to achieve through the experience. 


How much travel experience do you have with impoverished areas?
  None Some A lot
Recommendations Seek a structured educational and cultural experience in a general practice (medicine, surgery) setting Semi-structured experience;  consider MSR Consider MSR; consider a self-tailored experience (in a safe, well-supervised setting)
  Look for broad range of clinical and cultural exposures; pay attention to the needs of the poor, and look for their strengths (assets) Pay specific attention to health care system and the logistical challenges of providing care Same as other sections.   Consider narrowing clinical focus (i.e. Public Health, Women's or Children's Health, HIV/TB); 


See "Selecting a Site" tabs for further information

Step 4 - Preparing for an International Experience
Students who intend to travel abroad should consider whether they will require the following.

Other Travel Health and Safety Resources

List of items to considering bringing on your overseas trip:     

  • For a printable check list of "What to Bring Abroad" click here
  • For additional resources/lists click here

Flight Arrangements:

  • Penn State Travel Services 814-865-1508