All medical students are entitled to participate in a four-week clerkship in a chosen clinical or preclinical field of medicine. The language of instruction is either English or the language of the host country. In order to complete the clerkship, the exchange student must show adequate knowledge of the English language or the native language of the host country. Clerkships are purely educational and students will not receive a salary. During the exchange, the student has the chance to observe a different health care system and learn from foreign tutors. All students are assigned to a physician supervisor, who acts as a tutor and mentor.
Exchange Contracts are signed between two participating National Member Organizations and are of two types:
Bilateral Contracts: where the participating countries exchange two students (one from each country) between themselves.
Unilateral Contracts: where a single student participates in the exchange.
In exchange of a participation fee, the incoming student is offered a one-month clerkship at the hospital and department of his or her choice, lodging at a student facility or with a host family, and at least one meal per day.
For more information about IFMSA Exchanges, visit Exchange the World Section.
Examples of recent achievements
Exchanges Profile Book
SCOPE and SCORE international teams created the Exchanges Profile Book, which is currently available in 3 other languages (Spanish, Portuguese, French), in addition to its original English version. The Profile Book provides readers with a comprehensive overview of the exchanges system within the IFMSA and gives statistics on the programs.
Endorsement of exchanges
The World Federation of Medical Education, the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA), and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) – among others – recognizing the academic quality and the professional organization of our program.
Health System Database
The Health Systems Database includes the health system profiles of 140 IFMSA NMOs in 130 countries to strengthen knowledge of IFMSA exchanges and members about health systems around the globe.