International Non-Clinical Summer Experience Checklist

All first-year students are welcome to participate in an international non-clinical summer experience. Students in the Global Health Scholarly Concentration (GHSC) must spend at least eight weeks abroad to fulfill the summer experience requirement. Other first-year students can spend less than eight weeks abroad. 

December - Research potential sites

  • Review the list of pre-identified international summer experience sites that will be distributed by the IMP office
  • Review the Student Opportunities database on the GW SMHS Office of Student Professional Enrichment (OSPE) website. Keep in mind, not all opportunities will be appropriate for a summer project (for examples, the project may have clinical activities, doesn't take place abroad, or doesn't meet eight-week requirement).
  • Share your top priorities for your summer experience with the IMP office, and we can share relevant information and reflection papers from previous participants at those international sites.
  • Reach out to upperclassmen and ask them about their experiences, logistical advice, etc.

January & February - Apply to international site(s) and for IRB approval* (if needed)

  • It is very important that students determine if their project requires IRB approval early on in the planning process. In most cases, the project already has IRB approval or does not require it (i.e., working with secondary data).
  • Even if the project is included in the list of pre-identified sites shared by IMP, all students will still have to submit their CV and other information to the potential international site. Application due dates and requirements differ, so please coordinate your application with the IMP office. 
  • If a student chooses a non-affiliated site, they will have to submit a “vetting application” for approval. Completed applications must be approved by the Associate Dean for International Medicine. Please contact IMP for the vetting application requirements.  
  • Once connected with a potential mentor, students should ask to schedule a Zoom or other call to go over expectations, student activities, timeline, deliverables, any required training that should be completed before arriving to the international site.  
  • Students should review the requirements and application details for summer scholarships available to them through OSPE and GW Career Services, and start gathering that information from their mentor before the deadline (typically in March). IMP is able to provide academic/professional guidance and ensure all scholarship proposals meet all selection criteria.  

March - Submit proposals/scholarship applications

  • All students participating in a summer internship must submit a proposal to IMP for review. However, these proposals are often a copy of the student’s scholarship application since most GW or SMHS scholarship deadlines for summer funding are in March.  
  • If a student is not applying for a scholarship, they should contact the IMP office for the proposal guidelines.   

April & May - Approval and pre-departure requirements

  • Attend mandatory safety/security lectures
  • Take the Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety online workshop
  • Upload mandatory travel documents through the GW Passport Website, managed by the GW Office of Study Abroad.
  • Submit the Communication and Safety Plan to the IMP office.

June & July - Complete summer experience abroad

August - Reflection

  • Submit your reflection paper to IMP
  • Attend the international summer experience reflection forum to reflect on experiences and global health as a group and with a GW SMHS faculty member.