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Fellowship Pre-Departure Resources

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Tip: Download the PowerPoint presentation shared in the Pre-Departure video here.

Doing something new over the summer or post-graduation can be extremely exciting, but if it is your first time traveling or participating in this kind of experience, it can also be daunting! The resources below are intended to help prepare you for your experience. While we encourage you to explore all the resources on this page, they are separated by category to help you find the information that may be most valuable to you and your summer or year-long experience.

In-Person & Virtual Pre-Departure Presentations

Watch a recorded presentation to learn even more about preparing for your experience before you leave. These sessions are geared towards students engaging in experiences over the summer or engaging in a post-graduate fellowship experience.

Making the Most of Your Experience

Learn the checklist of what to do from start to finish along with telling your story and other health and safety resources.

Tip: How structured would you like your experience to be? Refer to this graph for help in deciding.

Use this Goals Chart to help think through your experience.

Think of starting a personal journal or blog. Write a letter to your future self or stick to specific goals by using some of the websites below. Make sure you keep track of your experience so that you are better prepared to reflect on it afterwards. Here are some resources that can help:

Fellowships and Independent Activities Pre-Departure Presentation

Watch the video at the top of this page if you are engaging in a fellowship experience or any type of independent project to learn more about preparation and what to expect.

Think about these things when pursuing an independent project or research:

  • Set clear, detailed methods in advance
  • Know how to reach your faculty or project mentors
  • Make contacts in the research/project location in advance
  • Secure library/archive access permissions in advance (your personal librarian may have tips)
  • Seek out local mentors in the community you will be working with
  • Make sure you get IRB approval if necessary for your research
  • Set feasible expectations and discuss these with your faculty/project mentors in advance
  • Think about how you will follow up on this work
  • Take time to reflect on your experience, making adjustments along the way

Public Health/Pre-Med/Medical Students

If you are planning and engaging in a Global Health or Public Health project, check out this link to make sure you are approaching your project appropriately.

If you are pursuing health work in other countries, remember:

  • Respect. Respect. Respect.
  • Listen carefully and ask questions
  • Try to imagine yourself in your host's shoes and enter the environment with a spirit of openness and humility
  • Consider the context you are entering and be aware of how you may be perceived withinin that context
  • Manage your expectations and be aware of the expectations others may have of you
  • You will likely learn more than you contribute; that’s okay!
  • Respond to needs, but never act without training

Will you be working in a clinical environment? Read through the AAMC’s Guidelines for Premedical and Medical Students providing patient care during clinical experiences abroad.

Internship/Apprenticeships Checklist

Are you pursing an internship or apprenticeship? Will you be working in a new workplace? OCS has created a useful checklist for getting the most out of your internship experience.

Think about these things when pursuing an internship/apprenticeship:

  • Consider why you chose this organization/company and how you hope to learn and contribute
  • Get to know people at ALL levels
  • "Work culture" exists - you are entering a new environment and it will take time to adapt
  • Be open, listen, and ask questions
  • Know what you bring and know your limits - ask for help when you need it
  • Contribute and communicate effectively and appropriately
  • Establish mututal expectations with your supervisors and colleagues in advance and keep checking in
  • Make connections for your future. Remember - you may be secretly interviewing for your next job!

Experiences Abroad

Emergencies While Abroad

Things happen! No matter how much you prepare, it is possible that emergencies may come up.

Tip: In the event of an emergency abroad, please refer to this resource.

Travel Planning & Logistics

If you are going abroad, you want to make sure you plan for travel and logistics. Please refer to this page for information on passports, visas, finances, communication, and packing tips.

You are automatically enrolled in ISOS. It helps with any practical and safety questions at your destination. Get the International SOS Assistance App.

Tip: Important ISOS resources and emergency contact numbers.

Housing Resources

Find helpful resources, strategies, and tips from Yale students and alumni on the OCS website.

YC3 Tips for a Summer Abroad

Spending a summer abroad presents exciting opportunities - and unique challenges. YC3 shares tips and strategies for tackling study abroad and making the most of your experiences!

DEIB Abroad

Take time to research and consider:

  • The context of the environment you are entering 
  • How aspects of your identities might shape your experience and interactions abroad

Refer to this page for preparation resources by identity and destination.

Cross Cultural Engagement

One of the most important parts of your experience abroad will be meaningful interactions with the people who live in the country you’re visiting. Learn more about how to truly immerse yourself in a new environment with these resources.

Think about these things to improve your engagement:

  • What do you know about the location? What else would you like to learn?
  • Explore your location before you go and while you are there
  • If you do not already speak a local language, consider learning a little before you go and make an effort to learn while you are there
  • Get to know local people and get involved in local activities that interest you
  • Take any committments, work or projects seriously
  • Think about returning to the country in the future

ISA Requirements & Policies

Are you using your ISA to study abroad this summer? Make sure you know what is required of you before you embark on your experience! Here’s a link that discusses the ISA required reports.

Library Resources While You Are Away

Just because you are off campus doesn’t mean you lose access to Yale’s immense library resources; see below for how to access things while you are away.

More Information

Yale’s International Toolkit

Yale has an international toolkit that you may find helpful. It provides valuable information about conducting any sort of activity outside of the U.S.