FAQs for Approved Students

Below are answers to questions frequently asked by students who have been approved for an elective in our program. If your question is not answered below, please email globalhealthelectives@med.cornell.edu with your specific questions.

I've received an official acceptance notice, what do I do now?

Congratulations on your placement! Included in your official acceptance email will be a checklist along with other instructional documents. Please visit our Next Steps for Approved Students page for further instructions on how to complete the steps. There are quite a few items that must be completed before you arrive at orientation, so be sure to review the materials thoroughly.

How soon should I respond to the offer of Acceptance?

  • We ask that you respond immediately to confirm you have received the email. We request that your decision to accept or decline the elective be sent within 1 week from when your official acceptance letter was sent. This allows the Registrar and Department to identify who will be coming.
  • If you do not respond within two 2 weeks, you may be removed from the schedule and forfeit your placement.

How should I pay elective fees and deposit?

Visit the Weill Cornell Medicine Payment Portal by clicking here.  For step by step instructions, please click here

What type of visa should I obtain? When should I apply for a visitor’s visa?

  • We recommend applying to obtain a B1/B2 visitor’s visaYour official acceptance letter can serve as supportive documentation to obtain thisOur office does not issue any other documents for other types of visas (i.e. for study purposes). 
  • As soon as you receive your Acceptance Letter and confirm you will accept the elective, you should contact the U.S. State Department in your city to begin the visa process if you have not yet done so. 
  • It is highly recommended to have a USA visa when applying for an elective.  

Can I use a visa waiver if my country does not require visa?

Yes, you are eligible to apply for an ESTA visa waiver document if you are coming for less than 3 months from a European country or another country that does not require a visa. Consult the U.S. State Department in your city for more details.

I do not have a US bank account- where can I get a personal check for $30 to be mailed with my NYSED application? Can a relative/friend of mine in the US mail a check for me?

  • If you do not have access to an account in the US, it is acceptable to ask a relative or friend living in the US to write and mail a $30 personal check on your behalf. The check should first be scanned and emailed to you, and then they can mail the check to the address in Albany, NY (top left of the NYSED application form).
  • The $30 personal check must be made out to: New York State Education Department. Your name must be indicated in the Memo of the check to identify it belongs to your application.
  • If the relative/friend is not sending your complete packet of documents with the check, they should attach a copy of your completed and signed NYSED application form to further help link the check to your application.
  • The check and documents must be mailed to the address in Albany, NY- no exceptions. The packet should not be sent to our office under any circumstances. Students who do not successfully mail these documents to NYSED will not be allowed to begin their elective.

Is it possible to email my NYSED application documents and mail my $30 personal check separately?

  • Yes, you have the option of scanning all the documents of the application to NYSED. These should be sent to the NYSED email indicated on the application form.
  • In your email, you should also include a scan/picture of the $30 check along with the documents necessary (completed NYSED application form, Acceptance letter, Infection Control certificate and Dean’s Verification). 

Where can I find suitable housing on / off campus?

Visit the Housing page to see suggested options.

Where can I obtain health insurance and malpractice insurance? What about personal or traveler's insurance?

  • Students can be covered under any insurance provided by your medical school or insurance through an independent company.
  • Health insurance coverage should insure you for medical doctor visits, for emergency situations and for prescriptions in the US.
  • Malpractice insurance must cover up to $3,000,000 aggregate. Visit our Insurance Coverage page for suggested options.

My exams, documents and/or fees are still pending and the orientation is tomorrow- will I be able to participate in my elective?

  • All documents indicated must be submitted by the deadlines specified. Some documents are required 1 month prior to the orientation, and others can be sent as late as 1 week prior to the start of your elective. Please visit our Next Steps for Approved Students page for further instruction.
  • If the requested documents are not received prior to the orientation, you will not be allowed to participate in your elective- no exceptions. 

I paid the wrong fee, how can I get a refund?

Is it possible to get an extension?

  • While we would like to be able to provide every students with an extension, this is rare and at the discretion of our office.
  • By policy of the Weill Cornell Registrar Office - students cannot be added to electives less than 30 days from the start date of the course. 
  • If you wish to request an extension, you may send an email with your request to globalhealthelectives@med.cornell.edu clearly stating your request. Include what electives you would be interested in, and dates you would be interested in (as per the course catalog). You will be added to a waitlist if your request is approved, which does not give you priority for an upcoming elective – it only gives your priority if someone cancels their elective.
  • Note: Do not contact individual clinical sponsors for information on vacancies, elective availability, placement etc. Coordinate your requests with the Office of Global Health Education. Those who contact clinical departments directly will be disqualified from participating in the program.

I was approved for an elective and accepted, but now I can no longer participate- what do I do?

Weill Cornell Medicine
Office of International Medical Student Education
1300 York Avenue (C-118) New York, NY 10065 Phone: (646) 962-8058 globalhealthelectives@med.cornell.edu