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IFMSA-CFMS International Exchange Program

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IFMSA Exchanges

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We are thrilled to announce that applications are now open for the Summer 2024 Exchange Program.

Canadian medical students, this is your chance to immerse yourself in a unique international medical or research experience. Explore healthcare systems in a variety of cultural and social settings, engage with medical students from around the globe, and gain exposure to medical specialties and research of your choice.

for further details about exchanges, the timeline, and FAQs, visit this link

Application Details:

  1. Eligibility: Canadian preclerkship students are eligible for this program. Clerkship students may use this as an international elective if given approval by your school’s global health/electives office.
  2. Timeline: Applications open on September 25, 2023 and close on October 13, 2023. Successful applicants will be notified of their country match by October 27. The exchange program takes place in the Summer months, and students can apply for a specific month depending on their school’s Summer break.
  3. Application Process: Please visit the application form, which has pertinent information and links to detailed documents about the IFMSA and exchanges. Contact the local exchange officers (LEOs) at your school or reach out to the NEOs/NOREs (contact info provided below) for further questions.

Remember, spots are limited and given the popularity of the exchange program, applications will be competitive. For updates and more information, keep an eye on this webpage and follow CFMS on our social media platforms.

Ready? Apply Now!

What is the IFMSA exchange program?

The International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA) represents, connects and engages a network of 1.3 million medical students in 130 countries around the globe. Each year, more than 15,000 medical students have the opportunity to explore health care delivery and health systems in different cultural and social settings through IFMSA exchanges.

Students can choose to participate in either research (SCORE) or clinical observerships (SCOPE) over a four-week timeline. Lodging, accommodation and social programming is also organized for students by the host country.

Past Partnerships

CFMS Canada has previously signed exchange contracts with countries across numerous regions, including Austria, Brazil, China, Croatia, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malta, Mexico, Norway, Romania, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, and the UK. The partner countries vary each year, but are selected to give students a diverse range of options. You can read previous details of our CFMS-IFMSA International Exchanges Program here.

For Canadian Medical Students

CFMS-IFMSA exchanges are separate from international electives that may be offered at your individual schools. Through the IFMSA network, we have the potential to create exchange placements in a wide range of unique countries. Some highlights from previous students include: meeting medical students from around the world, exposure to a self-selected specialty for an extended time, and embracing a new culture within a social program provided by the host country.

The number of exchange spots for Canadian students varies each year, but are restricted to preclerkship students only, as preclerkship Summer breaks allows for students to go abroad for 4 weeks during the Summer months (May-August). Although clerkship students are not excluded from applying, they must have a discussion with the appropriate global health or elective coordinator at their school to receive approval and adequate time off. Exchanges have traditionally been a popular program, and students who apply are not guaranteed a spot.

For Incoming Exchange Students

Details on local committees that are available for placements, English language requirements, and other details can be found on the IFMSA exchange portal. If you are interested in doing an exchange in Canada, please get in contact with your local or national exchange officers, who will have more information on existing exchange partnerships between your country and ours and can guide you through your country’s application process.

If IFMSA SCOPE and SCORE exchanges are not available to you, please review the opportunities each of our Canadian medical schools offers for international students. The AFMC portal has a university-by-university review of each program and includes information about the application process and key contacts.

Contact Us

The National Officers of Exchange (NEOs) are Ahmad Khan and Lauren Wong. They oversee the clinical exchange program (SCOPE). Contact them at [email protected]

The National Officers of Research Exchange (NOREs) are Yvette Yao and Ali Sherazi. They oversee the research exchange program (SCORE). Contact them at [email protected]

For exchange details specific to your school, please contact your local exchange officer (LEO). Contact information for LEOs can be found here. This is a list from the 2022 academic year, and some contacts may not have been updated since the transition to the 2023 year. Get in touch with your Global Health Liaison, who could also direct you to the correct exchange officer contact at your school.