The International and Global Health Office (IGHO) supports Faculty of Medicine learners, members and support staff taking part in international activities. Travelers should thoroughly read the guidelines to familiarize themselves with the requirements and to know what to expect from the process and the services provided by the IGHO. 

There are several international opportunities available to you depending on the type of placement you are seeking and where you want to travel. Please give yourself ample time to plan your international experience.  

Once the placement has been approved, it is possible to revoke this decision and the placement can be cancelled due to a change in conditions in the country, loss of in-country supervisor, OR arising academic or professional concerns on the part of the learner. 

ALL learners at the University of Ottawa planning international travel related to their program must complete mandatory International Mobility Risk Management online modules 2 weeks prior to departure.

Warning: Countries with an advisory of ‘Avoid all travel’ or ‘Avoid non-essential travel’ will not be approved. 

Undergraduate Medical Education

Students planning to do an international placement must keep in mind the following: 

  • Applications must be submitted a minimum of 2 months prior to the start date of the placement. 
  • International placements for UGME students must be a minimum 70hours/2weeks 
  • Pre-departure training is a mandatory requirement to be approved for an international placement 
  • Travel dates for first and second year UGME students are during the summer, and upper year UGME students from September to February. 
  • Students must be in good academic standing, as verified with the UGME office. 

Notice to 4th year students

  • Students who wish to do an international research placement, must first complete and submit (to the Liaison Officer Year 4) a research elective application form (pdf, 327.87 KB) to obtain approval. 

  • Students cannot travel during the period including the CaRMS match day. 

Students seeking a global health experience in a low-middle income country, should visit the Global Health section.

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

MSc and PhD Students should consider the following:

  • All thesis-related travel should be approved by the student’s thesis supervisor prior to registering with the GHP.  
  • Travel dates may vary depending on their program of studies.

MPH Students should consider the following:

  • Practicum placements must be 420 hours/12-16 weeks and travel dates are usually during the summer.  
  • Inquiries about MPH practicum placements must be sent to the MPH educational officer at [email protected].  

For information on setting up your placement and the application process for all international placements, including information on the mandatory uOttawa travel registry, please refer to IGHO International Mobility.

Postgraduate Medical Education

The International and Global Health Office and the Postgraduate Medical Education Office jointly approve international elective activities for postgraduate medical trainees. 

COVID-19: once the application is approved, students must ensure they abide by the uOttawa travel policy (information available here: International Mobility - Faculty of Medicine Learners). 

Pre-Departure Training

Pre-departure training is an essential part of international placements. The level of training required will depend on the location to which you are travelling. 

ALL learners at the University of Ottawa planning international travel related to their program must complete mandatory International Mobility Risk Management online modules 2 weeks prior to departure. 

In addition to the online modules, learners travelling to low-middle income countries must complete the following trainings prior to leaving: 

  1. In person or virtual live session : The objectives sought to be covered in this training include personal health, travel safety, cultural awareness, language competencies and ethical considerations. 

  2. Online Educational Module (Available through Brightspace) 

  • Introduction to global health 

  • The ethical responsibilities of global medical volunteerism 

  • A guide to personal safety 

  • The social determinants of health 

  • Cultural competency 

Prior to departure, learners must:

  • Follow the University vaccination policy.
  • Have an insurance policy that covers COVID-19 and trip interruptions
  • Follow local public health guidelines at their destination and when returning to Canada.
  • Research the COVID-19 and other travel risks at the destination in advance. See the Global Affairs Canada destination advisories.
  • Share travel information with the University of Ottawa Global Assistance Program (which partners with International SOS), to receive automated travel advice and security alerts.
  • Students must complete the travel registry before departure.  In the form, travellers must acknowledge the ongoing risk of COVID-19 infection, lockdowns, and other travel disruptions. 

Travel Abroad