Outbound student opportunities

Overview | Financial assistance | Pacific Bridge Initiative – International Students Stage 3 | Placements | Applying | Student experiences | Resources

The Office for Global Health provides opportunities for students to develop their understanding of global health issues within the Sydney Medical Program. Many students choose to organise their own international experiences. However, the placements on this website are faculty-developed and considered to be an important part of the student mobility component of our key partnerships.

International experiences for students in the Sydney Medical Program

Students in the Sydney Medical Program (SMP) are required to complete an Elective Term in Stage 3 of their studies and those in Stages 1 and 2 can undertake an optional extra-mural during the year-end break. Many students choose to complete this overseas, arranging a placement that suits their interests. The Sydney Medical School's Office for Global Health (OGH) encourages our students to be an important part of our key relationships and as such has established an international placement program with many of our international partners. These consist of a 4–8 week clinical or research placement during the fixed elective term and must be applied for according to the process outlined on this website.

Students participating in this program will be asked to contribute to building our relationship with the relevant host institution and may be required to provide reports, give presentations or become involved in relevant projects. In addition, you will be encouraged to liaise with students visiting Sydney Medical School under reciprocal arrangements.

The SMP website has detailed policies and procedures concerning the elective term and all students must meet the faculty requirements by referring to the website. Please plan ahead and participate actively in the activities of the OGH and the student group GlobalHome to learn more about available opportunities. Note that students enrolled in Honours are required to complete their Honours during the fixed elective term period and should consult the Honours policy when planning their elective placement.

NB: Outside these OGH placements, the SMP also has special arrangements allowing international students to undertake some of their training in their home country. International students should consult the SMP website about that policy. It is possible for international students to be successful in gaining an OGH placement which happens to coincide in their home country but this cannot be guaranteed. All student applications are treated equally for the OGH placements and are assessed on the criteria outlined on this website (which does not include nationality).

Details of:

can be found in this section. Please refer to them carefully.

The Dean’s Scholarship Program and other opportunities for financial assistance

There are numerous scholarships and prizes that students can apply for to assist financially in undertaking an international experience. Details are listed at http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/current-students/costs-assistance/scholarships-prizes/index.php

NB: The OGH placement and some of the scholarship application processes have been merged and streamlined to minimise workload for students and staff. Outcomes of the application process will be forwarded to the scholarships committee for consideration (usually by mid-year). It is a condition of award that students applying for OGH placements should only do so if they are confident of self-funding.

The following will now be available to all Sydney Medical School students undertaking an international experience and seeking financial assistance.

What’s happening with the changes to OS-HELP?
On 28 June 2013 the Australian Parliament passed the Higher Education Support Amendment (Asian Century) Act 2013. The Act received the Royal Assent on 29 June 2013. The Act simplifies and enhances the OS-HELP scheme from 1 January 2014.

Under the new arrangements, eligibility for the OS-HELP scheme has been expanded to:

  • allow postgraduate Commonwealth supported students to access OS-HELP assistance;
  • remove the requirement that students be enrolled with an overseas higher education institution or an overseas campus of a higher education institution, so that students can receive OS-HELP assistance for study travel and clinical and professional placements undertaken outside of a university setting; and
  • reduce the amount of study that a student must have remaining to complete after their overseas study from 0.5 EFTSL to 0.125 EFTSL to allow more students approaching the end of their course to access OS-HELP.

Students undertaking overseas study in Asia may also be eligible for:

  • an increased maximum loan amount of $7,500, which is $1,250 more than for other destinations; and
  • a supplementary loan amount of up to $1,000 to assist with the cost of language study undertaken in preparation for overseas study in Asia.

The Government will amend the OS-HELP Guidelines to reflect the changes to the scheme and higher education providers will then be able to update their OS-HELP policies. We will advise higher education providers once the Guidelines have been amended.

Further information regarding the changes to the OS-HELP scheme will soon be made available on the Study Assist website.

If you have any questions about the changes, please email

The Pacific Bridge Initiative – International Students Stage 3

The Pacific Bridge Initiative was set up to allow Sydney Medical School international students to complete a Core Block of study overseas in their country of origin (or country in their region of origin) in their final year of medicine. International students, who have not done a community or other specialty block overseas, can apply to complete a Stage 3, Year 4 Core Block of study in either 4 or 8 weeks of medicine, 4 weeks of surgery, or 4 weeks of emergency medicine. Overseas rotations are usually self-organised and need to go through an application and approval process.

You can read the 2016 impressions of students here. In 2016, thirteen international students completed a Core Block overseas.

Sydney Medical School has an agreement with the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine for a bilateral student clinical placement exchange. This allows for 6 exchange students to complete a 4-week Core Block placement between April and August. This is a competitive process and all eligible students in Year 3 will be notified of the procedure mid-year.

For information on how to apply or if you have any questions email