Your Pre-Dental Planner
I See London; I See France—And So Can You!
Studying abroad is often an amazing, life changing experience. Unfortunately, many pre-health students feel that they cannot go overseas due to the rigorous demands of their major or field of study. However, if it is something you have always wanted to do or would benefit from, both personally and intellectually, it should not be overlooked.
Studying Abroad: Assessing Your Situation
Studying overseas is definitely plausible as long as you account for pre-dental considerations beforehand. Potential complications generally involve: Physics, which is usually taken both semesters of Junior year; DATs, generally taken in April; setting up interviews; getting recommendations; and organizing all of your material for the application process.
Most of these matters, except for physics, generally take place in the spring. Although most students seem to go abroad in the spring, it is much less problematic to go away in the fall. As for Physics, talk to your advisor and see if you could take a semester either the summer prior to your Junior year, or if need be, after your Junior year. Remember that if you are set on going away in the spring you will have to wait to take the DAT in August instead of April, when most people take it. This means that your application to dental schools will not be considered until the scores are mailed, usually 6-8 weeks later.
Since most dental schools have rolling admissions and begin admitting before the application deadline, waiting until August can lower your chances of getting in. In addition, if you do poorly on the DAT you will not have an opportunity to retake it.
If you are concerned about receiving academic credit, or specifically need credits that can count toward your major, check with your advisor to find the most beneficial program for you. Some students choose to only take classes within their major, some explore their minor, others take classes for elective or general credit, and some simply take classes that they think will be interesting for no credit. Since you have several pre-dental requirements, you will most likely need to take courses that count towards your major.
Overseas Programs for Pre-Health Majors
Here are some overseas programs that are designed specifically for pre-health majors or have a concentration in the natural sciences:
University of Bristol
University of Lancaster (Premed and Health Care Program)
University of Sydney (College of Health Sciences)
University of Queensland
University of London Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Some programs offer internship, research, or volunteer opportunities in combination with academic courses:
Boston University/Hebrew University of Jerusalem Pre-Med Program (Rothberg International School)
University of Sussex
Ben Gurion University (Israel)
Denmark International Studies (Medical Practice and Policy Program)
Going away during the summer is another possibility. Most of the aforementioned programs offer summer opportunities as well. Talk to your schools abroad advisor, your general advisor, and your pre-health advisor (if you have one) to determine which time and program is best for you.