International Non-Clinical Summer Experience


GW SMHS medical students have the option to go abroad with IMP partner and affiliated sites during the summer between their first and second years. These projects vary greatly depending on the student’s interests and host site. For example, some students assist with ongoing clinical research at medical schools and teaching hospitals, while other students have participated in public health or health education campaigns. GW SMHS students enrolled in the Global Health Scholarly Concentration are required to spend eight weeks abroad for their summer experience.  

No summer experience project will be exactly the same. It is up to the student to contact IMP to express their interests and goals for a summer experience, and IMP will connect the student with potential host sites and mentors. Student placements are not guaranteed and are contingent upon acceptance from the host site or mentor. Some sites have their own applications and deadlines, so it is important for the student to contact IMP about participating in an international non-clinical summer experience as soon as possible during the first year.  

Students should be review GW SMHS’ Policies and Procedures for International Experiences and Electives before preparing a proposal for their summer experience. Summer experience students cannot have any unsupervised hands-on patient contact since they have not yet had any clinical training at GW.  

Requirements for International Summer Experiences 

  • Submit a proposal to IMP outlining the project objectives, in-country mentor information, and timeline/plan of action. This proposal must be approved by the Associate Dean for International Medicine, Dr. Huda Ayas. For more information on the proposal contact  
  • After receiving approval, students will be instructed to upload travel details and documents in GW Passport. Students must also register for an international insurance plan with GW’s provider, GeoBlue.  
  • Upon return, students must submit a reflection paper and attend Reflection Forum at SMHS facilitated by IMP (scheduled in September of each year).