So you finally decided it is time, this was the part of the journey in school were most students get excited about, and then there are others that dread it the most; so they push it till the very end. Whether this is your first or final year in med school this is a journey you will partake in that will change your life, and your view point on how you approach medicine.
Whether you’re climbing up the mountains of Kilimanjaro, performing a cesarean with just a flash light, or even eating the most unorthodox countries delicacies like fried grasshoppers. This journey will bound to give you bragging rights, this journey will open up so many doors to you, this is also the journey were the stories you create will be told to your friends and family and possible future students for generations to come.
You probably have heard so many ex- students elective stories, that it built up this huge ball of excitement and energy, and all you want to do is get out of here and go out there and conquered the world and save everyone’s lives. That’s how pumped you are. You can even barely concentrate in lectures cause all your seeing is what all you can do once your there.
Right now you’re probably sitting next to a computer thinking, how do I plan this? Where do I go? How do I get there? Oh my god there is so much I don’t know about planning an elective! Don’t worry, that’s why we have written you this awesome guide to help you at least get there, and as for how it will be...well that’s whole another article on its own now.
When do I go?
Customarily all medical schools have their specific elective periods towards the end of their fourth or final year of school. However some students can also opt to anytime they wish to go as long as their school permits. (We like those students, those are the dedicated ones that want to know how it really all is in real life, and they want the real world experience much earlier in their school years).
How long is the Elective?
Most schools have an average of 4-8 weeks allocated for electives, however some students even opt to spend their summer off week’s abroad; learning, helping, and not forgetting get a tan too.
So many locations to pick from?
Electives are placed all around the world. The choice is all yours. You wish to surf the waves in Australia or gets your hands dirty in Kenya and really use your medical capacity? This is possibly the hardest decision students have to make, they have to decide that they want complete hands on work and apply all their knowledge and skills or they wish to go on a pure holiday, or you can also be that person that balance between both worlds.
Elective International offers seven locations in six different countries in all low resourced settings, were you can mix serving with fun.
· Jaipur, India
· Kathmandu, Nepal
· Yogyakarta, Indonesia
· Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
· Mombasa, Kenya
· Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
How do I get a placement?
After weeks of research, program reviews, hunting the web for company legitimacy, you finally came to the decision of your placement location. So now, how do you go about at it? Well you first have to start by submitting an online application and submitting your 300$ registration fees. These fees are used a deposit to hold your spot and also to start your pre-departure preparations. The form can be located on the website or click on the following link http://electiveinternational.com/apply. Upon submission of your application, you shall receive a email with your login details and password for your personal elective international portal. You can upload and download documents pertinent to your elective abroad. The most important letter being the letter of good academic standing from your university and their approval to allow you to receive credit for the elective program.
Our programs can fill up pretty quickly from May-September and December, so we advise that you book a few months in advance for these months to avoid disappointment.
Students are recommended to have a good correspondence going so they can know their program mentors and possible students and doctors they will be working hand on hand with.
Funding the most dreadful part!
Traveling abroad can get expensive, and it also fully depends on the elective you’re going in and what the company offers for your buck. Below are some options on how you can get help to raise the funds for your trip. However not all options can work, and not all options can apply to you, so keep an open mind when reading below.
Take a Loan: Take a loan from your friends, parents and in the last resort the bank. Because I and you both know once you’re done with med school, paying off an elective loan is not challenging at all, especially after all your cash starts rolling in.
Sell Stuff: Now you can always organize events, fund raisers, or even sell some of your belongings to raise the funds for your elective.
Knock on Prospective Doors: Some business even conduct philanthropic ventures. What you could do is knock on those doors, and ask for financial help. Some firms will even ask you to in return help them out by working there part-time while they pay for your elective. Still not a bad idea. Its better then selling your kidney.
Below are some useful websites that will help you along the way of travelling abroad so you are never left stranded.
http://www.studentuniverse.com/ and http://www.statravel.com/ are great websites if you want to find cheap deals on flights for students. Especially useful when you know you’re already on a very tight budget. These sites also offer a wide range of travel tips for students that know very well the value of their buck.
http://babelxl.com/ going into a foreign country and not understanding a word they are saying? Want to learn a couple of important terms in a foreign language? So many sites out there to help you, but babelxl appealed to us more. It’s easy to use and supports all languages, so you won’t feel lonely in another world again.
http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/ your very own guide to knowing everything there is about the country you’re visiting. Because doing some sort of background check is very important rather than just going to the country for the first time blindly.