Is GHLO® for You?

Global Health Learning Opportunities® (GHLO®) is the AAMC's service that makes it easier for final year medical and public health students to pursue visiting electives outside their home countries. GHLO's network of institutions offers nearly 2,000 clinical, public health, and research opportunities in over 36 countries.
GHLO's streamlined application process is used by all GHLO-participating institutions. The GHLO community will assist you with advice from host institutions and medical students, and offers resources for supporting your international travel and temporary stay.

Why pursue an elective abroad?

As a GHLO® participant, you will:

  • Work with different patient populations
  • Learn about global health systems
  • Increase your intercultural understanding
  • Possibly receive academic credit 

Who can participate in GHLO?

U.S. and international students in their final year in medical school and public health programs at GHLO-participating home schools who have completed all clinical science courses and/or rotations are eligible to participate in GHLO. Check with your own medical school to see if they have other requirements as to when you can participate in GHLO.

In addition, each elective rotation will have its own requirements. For example, some schools may require fluency in a language; others may require the completion of specific courses. All requirements, including proof of insurance, immunizations, etc., will be clearly stated in the application service.

Get Started with GHLO

If you are a medical student at a GHLO-participating institution, speak with a GHLO administrator at your institution. If you're not sure who your institution's GHLO administrator is, please email

If your school is not in the GHLO Collaborative:
You can recommend that a staff member from your institution read How Institutions Can Join the GHLO Collaborative.

Why Use GHLO?

GHLO makes it easier to apply as an international visiting student.

  • Many students who apply outside of GHLO report needing to send numerous emails and make phone calls to follow up on their applications.  
  • When you apply using the GHLO application, you transmit your documents electronically, and it's likely you will need to submit fewer documents than if you apply directly, especially during the first phase of application.
  • GHLO-participating institutions all have agreed to the GHLO terms and conditions, which require that applications be acted upon in a timely manner.  
  • There are required forms that both the student and their home institution submit, which streamlines the process.

GHLO improves your chances of being accepted as an international visiting student.

Because documents are submitted electronically, in most cases GHLO applications are given consideration ahead of unaffiliated international visiting students, additionally:

  • All GHLO-participating host institutions have agreed to set aside electives for GHLO participants. The number of electives varies from one institution to another and from one specialty to another. 
  • Some GHLO-participating institutions limit international visiting students to those from partner institutions and from GHLO.

GHLO® Introduction

This video introduces the Global Health Learning Opportunities® program.

Contact GHLO

Have questions related to GHLO?

Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET

GHLO® for Medical School Staff

Global Health Learning Opportunities® (GHLO®) resources for institutional employees including deans, faculty members, administrators, and others who work in the sphere of global health education