The Division of Community Engagement

Additional Steps for Global Health & International Shadow & Clinical Electives (Undergrad & Residents)

Pre-Departure Training

If students/residents have not completed the U of A pre-departure training within the last 3 years, they must either attend a pre-departure training session which is offered by the University of Alberta’s International group at Telus Centre or complete the online training prior to departure.  THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL.  If learners have attended the U of A pre-departure training within the last 3 years they are exempt from the in-person session but must still create a Risk Management Plan (RMP) via eClass. Contact to reset your RMP for the new program.  Students will also have to update their UGo registration for their new program. 

The following steps are to be followed for the online pre-departure training:

  • Click on the following link
  • You will be prompted to log-on to the eClass External system
  • You will then be prompted to enter in a self-enrollment key. Your self-enrollment key is Medicine20. Please note that this key is case-sensitive
  • You should then receive access and be directed to the online pre-departure course homepage. You are required to complete the Risk Management Plan (under the "While You're Abroad" section)
  • For future access go to the U of A home page, select eClass at the top of the page, select external courses click continue and then enter your information.


Goals and Objectives

Learners are to prepare a list of goals and objectives using this form and submit them to 1 month prior to departure. All students and residents attending all international electives must complete this form.  The goals and objectives serve as a catalyst for setting expectations with the student’s preceptor and a tool for individual evaluation. 

Project Proposal

Learners interested in attending an elective in a non-field station location, or a non-CACMS or non-LCME accredited institution, or non–UAlberta European elective site, or organizing their own elective must complete a Project Proposal.  The Project Proposal form can be found here.  This form is to be submitted to 3 months prior to departure. 

Malpractice Insurance

UME Students are automatically covered for malpractice insurance when on any international elective.

Residents will need to be in touch with the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) for advice on malpractice insurance for the duration of their electives.

Health Podcast

Students/residents are required to listen to an important Health Podcast (60 minutes) which can be found here:

Global Health Wiki

Medical students taking electives abroad are required to sign in to the GH Wiki.  Residents are exempt from this requirement.  Go to provide a couple of blog posts during their elective about their clinical and other experiences and what they’re learning. Residents are exempt from this requirement.  The Global Health Program will send students a username and password for the Wiki prior to departure. Specific instructions:

  • Once students have received their username and password, click on the and sign in.Do this well in advance of departure to ensure your ability to sign in.
  • Signing in will take you to a page with the title "Welcome to the Division of Community Engagement Wiki".  On the right side of this page there is a title called "Spaces List".  Under this title you will see an option called "Global Health Student Electives".  Click on this.  You will come to the Global Health Student Electives Home page.  On this page you will see Announcements/Instructions which tell you the purpose of the blog.  There is a place on this page for blog posts. As soon as you arrive, please make a blog post to let us know you arrived safely and during your stay, write at least a couple of times of the highlights of your experience. We understand that there are some locations where internet access is intermittent. Do your best. If you are unable to access the wiki while you’re away, please post something when you return.


Release of Liability Waiver Form

Liability form:  all students and residents must sign and have witnessed, the Release of Liability form and return it when they submit it with their checklist.  This form can be found here.

Worker’s Compensation

Undergrad medical students attending Global Health Field stations will be automatically enrolled in WCB with the assistance of the Global Health Program.  The process for residents is currently being developed.   General information about student WCB coverage can be found here and specific information for Student Coverage can be found here.

It is important to note that if a student/resident is exposed to blood or fluids while on an elective overseas, they follow the U of A Human Blood or Body Fluid Exposure Protocol.  WCB must be contacted within 48 hours of being exposed.  Information is within the Protocol.

Research Projects

If your international elective is research based please contact for further information.

Approval Letter

Some electives require a letter stating that students are in good standing and are approved to go on an international elective.  These letters of approval can be obtained from the Director, Global Health by contacting


Arrange a consultation at a travel clinic if attending an elective in a LMIC. Arrange to have a pre-travel TB test and ensure to receive a post travel TB test.  For more information about AHS’s Travel Health Services go hereA signed certificate is required if attending a Global Health Field Station.


Some countries require visas. Check the specific information about the Field Stations for information for those countries. If you have organized your own elective, check whether or not you will need a visa for that country or what sort of visa you may require.  Some locations such as China may require a study visa rather than a tourist visa, for example. Please note that electives in Kenya require a visa which must be applied for at least 6 months before the elective.

University Policy for Off-Campus Activity and Travel Policy

The University of Alberta strongly supports off-campus activity and travel as a means of broadening experience, expanding and sharing knowledge, and encouraging innovation and collaboration. Off-campus activities and travel can incur some level of risk, which should be mitigated through planning and preparation. The university's policy regarding off-campus activity & travel was designed to support travel that is safe, productive, and enjoyable.

When traveling internationally, you should always be aware of your destination's safety and security conditions. Keep in mind that some regions of a country may be considered more hazardous than others.

The University of Alberta follows the advice of the Government of Canada in restricting international travel. Global Affairs Canada assesses risks associated with individual countries and rates the country (and sometimes specific regions of countries) according to one of four risk levels. China is currently a Level 2, as are France, Brazil, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and others. No University travel restriction is in effect at this time for Level 2 travel.


Level 1: Exercise normal security precautions

Level 2: Exercise a high degree of caution

Level 3: Avoid non-essential travel

Level 4: Avoid all travel

There are some important precautions to take when arranging international trips.  These steps are included in the Global Health application and must be completed prior to departure:

  1. Review the Off-Campus Activity and Travel Policy and complete the Off-Campus Activity & Travel Planning Tool for guidance in planning and assessing the risk of your travel
  2. Check Global Affairs Canada regularly for travel advice and advisories
  3. Ensure that you have met all applicable entry/exit requirements of your destination (e.g. you may require a work or study visa rather than a tourist visa)
  4. Take care to respect all laws and regulations of the destination country
  5. Be sure to speak with a health professional well before travel about recommended vaccines for the destination [must students show a certificate showing that they have had their
  6. Register with the University's UGo Off-Campus Travel Registry and Government of Canada's Registration of Canadians Abroad so that you will receive information from the University and the Government of Canada in the event of an emergency or crisis situation
  7. Use the International SOS service for further planning and emergency assistance. Ensure that you have appropriate travel insurance in place (including emergency health insurance and personal travel insurance) and take your travel cards/contact numbers with you. Students travelling abroad should read through the U of A’s information on travel health insurance here.  Students have some coverage from the University but some exclusions apply.
  8. For more information and resources visit University of Alberta International's website about Safety & Security Abroad
  9. Students will need to arrange their own trip cancellation insurance

Post Elective Debrief Session

Attend post – elective debrief session.  These 30 minute debrief sessions are with the Director, Global Health, or Director’s designates from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, at the completion of elective.  The debrief sessions are an opportunity to receive students’ feedback and evaluation of their elective and contribute to the quality improvement of the Global Health electives.  This information is of great value to ensuring high quality Global Health electives for our students. 

Post Elective Evaluation Form

Complete evaluation of elective within 21 days of completion of elective as per MD Program Electives Policy.  The evaluation is automatically sent by the UME Office to students upon their return.

Global Health Bursary Poster

If students have received the Global Health bursary (only students attending GH field stations who have taken the 12 Hour GH elective are eligible) they are required to create a poster and present it at the annual Global Health Fair.  The poster is to summarize their international elective and must be submitted in time to be presented at the Fair.  This academic year (2019-2020), the Fair is scheduled for February 3, 2020, 11 am – 6 pm in ECHA 2-420.   Guidelines and details regarding the poster can be found here. An example of the poster can be found here.