Explore opportunities to gain experience in other countries and/or with other cultures to better prepare yourself to professionally practice in an increasingly global society.
Student interested in gaining experiences abroad should review the menu below as well as the PreMed and PreHealth Advising Program’s Global Handout.
Studying Abroad as a Pre-Med or Pre-Health Student
Coursework taken through many of Northeastern’s global academic programs do not pose any issues for Pre-Med and Pre-Health students, including NUin and Global Scholars (beginning Fall ’23), and DOCs (more information below).
However, planned coursework abroad through other study abroad programs should be reviewed with your PreHealth Advisor prior to departure for consideration toward PreMed or PreHealth requirements as not all health professional schools will accept core science (Biology, Chemistry, Math or Physics) prerequisite coursework taken at institutions outside of the U.S. or Canada.
If you are planning to take core science prerequisite coursework abroad, it is recommended you consider an Overseas US Institutions (i.e., American College of Thessaloniki, John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, etc.). Despite the fact these institutions are physically located outside of the U.S. these schools are treated like any other U.S. or Canadian school.
If you are considering attending a foreign institution outside of the U.S. or Canada, please contact the schools you are interested in applying to before going overseas to ensure that your coursework will be accepted.
If a student does take prerequisite coursework at a foreign institution, the most common remedy is to complete additional credits in that subject area during their undergraduate career (i.e. taking general chemistry abroad, then taking an additional upper-level chemistry course at NU). Students should ideally create a preliminary list of schools to understand exactly what credits would be necessary to satisfy outstanding prerequisites absent foreign credits.
While uncommon, some programs may wish to review foreign transcripts. If needed, applicants are encouraged to use a recommended foreign evaluation vendor like World Education Services (WES) to facilitate this process.
NU Academic Programs Abroad
NUin: Beginning Fall 2023, all NUin will be co-registered at NU in the equivalent courses, graded with standard letter grades, and appear on your NU transcript. Students can freely take prerequisite courses via the NUin program. These changes are not retroactive to NUin students prior to Fall 2023.
Global Scholars: Beginning Fall 2023, all Northeastern University London New College of the Humanities will be co-registered at NU in the equivalent courses, graded with standard letter grades, and appear on your NU transcript. Students can freely take prerequisite courses if attending NU London or NU Oakland via the Global Scholars program. These changes are not retroactive to Global Scholars students prior to Fall 2023.
Dialogues of Civilization: Not only are DOC’s wonderful global experiences for PreHealth students, but the courses are fully NU credits as well! Many students have participated in service or clinical observation while on a dialogue.
Semester Abroad: Students opting to travel abroad during any given academic semester of their undergraduate career should be aware of the information above when selecting a destination, and that by not taking prerequisite courses for a semester, they may extend their timeline or necessitate summer credits to stay on track with their original plan. Students should meet with their PreHealth Advisor to discuss their academic plan and application timeline prior to a semester abroad to ensure an understanding of requirements.
Experiential Learning Abroad as a Pre-Med or Pre-Health Student
Participating in experiential learning abroad is a unique way to explore personal interests, develop cultural competency, enhance your professional skillset, and demonstrate service orientation.
Clinical Experiences Abroad: Experiences within the field of healthcare are an important way to demonstrate ongoing interest in the profession and gain exposure to a diverse array of specialties. Experiences should include direct interaction with practitioner sand patients, but need not be at an advanced level. Examples may include shadowing or clinical co-op positions. While clinical exposure abroad provides a valuable perspective to a PreHealth student’s portfolio, ethical standards must remain consistent with those in the US. Students may refer to guidelines published the Association of American Medical Colleges prior to engaging in clinical experience abroad. Additionally, clinical experience abroad should be supplemented with experience in the US to ensure that health graduate programs are confident in an applicant’s familiarity with the system. Students are also encouraged to attend the Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety free online workshop before participating in a health related experience abroad.
Research Abroad: PreHealth students may wish to participate in a research-focused opportunity abroad through co-op. Research can be done globally without fear of complication on a future application. PreVeterinary students have participated in the ThreeSeas program, while PreMed students have worked with well-known companies and organizations around the world on a variety of projects.
Service Abroad: Many PreHealth students develop an interest in global health, joining organizations like Global Medical Brigades, Global Dental Brigades, GlobeMed, or Alternative Spring Break to travel abroad and assist in providing care to a population in need. As these activities are university-sponsored and under the supervision of US practitioners/organizations, these activities are safe to participate in.
Exam Preparation While Abroad
Entrance exams vary by pathway and require 2-6 months of preparation. Applicants should be aware of the following options. Testing should be completed prior to applying to your health professional program.
MCAT (Physician, Podiatrist)
GRE (Veterinarian, PA)
Testing in US/Canada Only:
Applying While Abroad
Most health graduate program application timelines span a full calendar year or more and consist of several phases where being present in the country is beneficial or necessary.
|Professional Path x|
prior to matriculation)
Applicants require consistent Internet access prior to/during submission
While interviews were virtual during COVID-19, it is expected that in-person
interviews will return as the default option. Applicants should be prepared to travel during this period
|Program Start Dates|
Applicants should ensure that any commitments they have will end by orientation dates
|Medical/Dental||June (Primary), July-|
|August-Late Spring of following year||July/August of following year|
|Physician Assistant||April/May||Mid-summer-Spring of following year||May-August of following year|
|Veterinary||June-September||Fall-Early Spring of following year||August of following year|
|Optometry||July-September||Late Fall-Late Spring of following year||July/August of following year|