Information for Pre-health Students
Future health professionals will need to be broadly-educated, mature, adaptable citizens who have had significant experience in the world beyond the classroom. Study abroad is an ideal vehicle for developing some of the skills and attitudes that are valued in the practice of medicine—flexibility, self-reliance, and sensitivity to other cultures.
Study abroad can offer pre-health students a unique chance to observe diverse health care systems, explore different cultural attitudes towards health and healing, and often, to gain volunteer experience in a unique healthcare setting. In recent years, students studying in South Africa have participated in AIDS education campaigns, for example. Such experiences can enhance your knowledge of health issues as they impact people in a range of settings, making you better prepared for the future—not only in terms of medical school applications and interviews, but also in terms of the perspective you will have in your medical education, training, and ultimately in your professional life.
Many Princeton pre-health students who have studied abroad have gone on to successful medical careers, but they have had to plan their schedules carefully. The Health Professions Advising Office answers some common questions about study abroad and also has put together a handout about Study Abroad and the Pre-Health Student (.pdf).