Students Outside the U.S. Pursuing Electives

Students enrolled in medical schools outside the U.S. that are interested in going abroad.

International medical or public health students enrolled at VSLO participating home institutions are able to search and apply for opportunities in the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities Program (VSLO). Check with your own medical school to see if they have other requirements as to when you can participate in VSLO.

Who Can Use VSLO?

Students who are enrolled in a VSLO-participating home institution can utilize the VSAS application service to search and apply for opportunities. 

If your school is not in the VSLO program

You can recommend that a staff member from your institution set up a meeting with a VSLO team member to learn how to join. Please email  

Why Use VSLO?

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

  • Many students who apply outside of VSLO report needing to send numerous emails and make phone calls to follow up on their applications.
  • When you apply using the VSAS application service, 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.
  • VSLO-participating institutions who are in the Global Network all have agreed to the standard 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. 

VSLO improves your chances of being accepted as an international visiting student.
Because documents are submitted electronically, in most cases, VSLO applications are given consideration ahead of unaffiliated international visiting students, additionally:

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

Before You Leave

Preparing to apply for opportunities abroad can be daunting. We've compiled resources to help you get organized. 

Tips for Medical Students While Abroad

As a medical student participating in an elective at a host institution abroad, it is important to be prepared and organized. 

When You Return Home from Abroad

We're so glad you were able to take part in the VSLO experience. Here are some tips as you reflect on your experience. 

VSLO® Application Service: Student Training Videos

Please log in to view training modules for the VSLO® application service (sometimes called the VSAS application service).

VSLO® Student Essentials

Use the VSLO ® Student Essentials guide to help you access the application service, complete your profile, search for and save electives, and begin the application process.

Search for Electives

Browse our catalog of away electives at participating host institutions by location, keywords, specialty, and more.

Find Participating Host Institutions

Find a complete listing of participating host institutions.

VSLO® Participating Home Institutions

Find a complete listing of all participating home institutions. 

VSLO® Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about VSLO? Check out these frequently asked about topics. 

How to Use the VSAS Application Service

The VSAS application service makes it easier for medical students to apply for clinical or research opportunities.

For VSLO® Help or Inquiries

Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET