International - Global Health Electives

Authorizing Body:

Curriculum Committee


Nelia Afonso, M.D.

Most Recent Reviewer:

Date Issued:

September 17, 2018

Last Update:

September 17, 2018


International opportunities allow final year medical students to work with different patient populations, develop cross-cultural understanding, and learn about health systems and approaches to medical care in other nations. Many residency programs value clinical experiences received in other countries; however, not all educational experiences offered by outside institutions meet higher learning commission or OUWB standards.

Scope and Applicability:

All students enrolled in the School of Medicine.

Standard Practice Guideline:

  1. Students may choose to complete a rotation for elective credit at an international site.
  2. Students may not complete required clerkships outside of OUWB.
  3. International Global Health (GH) electives must be completed through the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities/Global Health Learning Opportunities (VSLO/GHLO) or at international teaching hospitals or schools affiliated with OUWB.
  4. International rotations require additional special considerations for safety, appropriateness and educational value and have additional stipulations in order to receive approval. (See Process for Planning an International GH Elective)
  5. To receive credit toward graduation, an International GH elective must provide meaningful educational experiences, as reflected in a detailed course description to be submitted with the request.
  6. International electives cannot be redundant with other coursework or requirements in the student’s plan of study.
  7. Typically, (VSLO/GHLO) credit toward graduation is 4 weeks. With permission students may be granted permission to complete a two week elective.
International GH electives:
  1. All students applying for the International GH elective, should submit an International Elective Application form to Records and Registration ( Students who are going on international VSLO electives (through GHLO) also need to fill out the VSLO application. Both applications need to be completed at least 6 months prior to the elective. Forms are available on the OUWB forms page.
  2. Students may only go on an International GH elective between July and March of the M4 year.
  3. For VSLO Electives - Upon acceptance of an application by a host site, VSLO requests records from Medical School Records and Registration (Medreg). Medreg provides VSLO and the host school/hospital with information from transcripts and academic standing.
  4. The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Clinical Education will review the Application form and notify the student if the proposed International Global Health elective does not meet program of study requirements.
  5. Once all approvals are in place, the course is added to the student’s schedule in OASIS. Students are responsible to check to see if their elective is present in OASIS 7 days after notification of approval from Records and Registration. If the elective is not listed, the student should contact
  6. Students need to complete all OUWB requirements prior to travel (See Process for Planning an International GH Elective). Failure to complete these requirements may result in denial of approval for travel.

Related Policies and Guidelines: