Site Selection – List of pre-approved mission elective sites
The Global Health Institute and SIMS maintain a list of approved mission hospitals in developing countries that have agreed to participate in the senior mission elective program. This list contains over 40 mission hospitals in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Central and South America that work with SIMS on a regular basis. Students planning to participate in a senior mission elective should select hospitals from SIMS’ list of pre-approved sites.
Step 1: SIMS application process
Students must submit the SIMS Senior Mission Elective application to the SIMS office a minimum of three months before their intended departure date. SIMS reserves the right to decline mission elective placements for students who do not submit their applications within the stated timeframe.
Students may download the SIMS application from the SIMS website at www.llu.edu/llu/sims on the “How to apply” page. In addition to their application, students must provide SIMS with the documents requested on the application checklist which include clearly defined learning objectives a current CV, and a copy of their passport face page. SIMS cannot begin processing an application until the student has submitted all of these documents.
Step 2: Site contact and confirmation of placement
After a student’s application is complete, SIMS will contact the mission hospital on behalf of the student to confirm that:
The Global Health Institute reviews students’ requests for mission elective placements to countries with current travel alerts or warnings on a case by case basis. GHI receives regular risk briefings on international risk issues from the Worldwide Advisory & Information Service (WAIS). The briefings enable GHI to more accurately assess the risk in sending students to various countries around the world. Risk levels to traveling students vary greatly depending on the events unfolding in each country, such as natural disasters, political/civil unrest, epidemics, war, or terrorism/kidnapping.
SIMS’ list of pre-approved mission elective sites contains some hospitals that are located in countries that have current travel warnings. In most cases, SIMS has communicated regularly with these hospitals over a period to time to determine that elective placements at these facilities are as safe as they can be. However, placements at these hospitals may also be denied if the risk level in the country increases significantly.
Students indicating a desire to be placed at a hospital in a travel warning country will be asked to sign a travel warning waiver stating that they understand the risks involved in traveling to these locations. Because many pre-approved hospitals are not located in countries with travel warnings, students who choose to travel to travel warning countries do so at their own risk.
Step 3: Notification of placement and SOM application process
SIMS will notify the student via email when a hospital has confirmed the student’s placement for a mission elective. SIMS will also notify the SOM Dean’s Office of the placement. Once placements are confirmed, students should complete the SOM Senior Elective Application and return it to the Dean’s Office with an attached copy of their SIMS placement confirmation email. This confirmation email will serve as the “Signature of Preceptor” on the SOM application form. No additional signature from any SIMS staff member is required on the SOM elective application.
Step 4: Trip planning
Once confirmed, SIMS provides students with the name and email contact information of their on-site preceptors. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate directly with the preceptor to determine:
If a preceptor is unresponsive to student email communications, students may contact SIMS for assistance in communicating with the site. In rare cases, sites may request that SIMS be the point of contact between the hospital and the student. If this is the case, SIMS will inform the student that email communications regarding trip planning need to be sent via SIMS on behalf of the student. If a group of two or more students are traveling together, SIMS requests that one student act as “group leader,” communicating with the site on behalf of other group members to avoid duplicate emails to preceptors.
Travel Expenses: Students are responsible for all travel-related and in-country costs, including airfare, visa fees, in-country transportation, housing, meals, and tourism. Students may apply to the SOM for an airfare subsidy of 50% of their ticket cost, up to a maximum of $750. Students must provide a copy of their itinerary and receipt of payment to the SOM Dean’s Office for reimbursement. Students may also apply to the SOM Alumni Association for airfare subsidies. In the case of Deferred Mission Appointees (DMAs), all travel costs will be reimbursed by the SOM, limited to one mission elective per school year.
Visas: It is the student’s responsibility to determine whether or not a visa is required to travel to a particular country. If traveling on a US passport, students may refer to www.traveldocs.com to determine whether they will need a visa. If traveling on a non-US passport, students may need to contact the country embassy directly for more information. SIMS also suggests that non-US citizens consult with the LLU International Student Services Office to ensure that their travel documents will allow them to reenter the US after their stay abroad.
In some cases, due to complicated visa procedures, SIMS will assist students in processing visas. However all visa-related costs including visa fees and postage/shipping remain the responsibility of the student.
Step 5: Post-elective responsibilities
After returning from their electives, students must submit the following documentation to fulfill their mission elective course requirements:
The SIMS Mission Elective Summary and current photos of the hospital may be submitted to SIMS via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the Senior Mission Elective Student Checklist (PDF)