How Long and When?
Those students who plan to study abroad for one year usually delay their applications to health professions graduate schools until at least the summer after they graduate. They begin the BC Committee Process in the Fall of their senior year, and apply in June — soon after graduation.
Many students choose to study abroad for one semester — usually (but not always) during their junior year.
Fall Semester Abroad
If you plan to apply to medical/dental school the summer after your junior year, study abroad during the Fall is preferable, as this would allow you to take the MCAT (see below) or DAT in the Spring and go through the traditional BC Committee process in the Spring of your junior year. This plan may necessitate taking one of your core premedical sciences in summer school. Please be sure to read our Summer School Guidelines.
On occasion, students may receive approval to study abroad in the Fall (only) of senior year. If this fits your plans, discuss the possibility with the Office of International Programs, and be sure that you have your Dean's approval. This may be appropriate for students who plan to apply to health professions graduate school after their senior year at BC.
Spring Semester Abroad
Study abroad during the Spring of your junior year can be difficult, though not impossible, to plan. Students applying at the end of their junior year usually study for and take the MCATs/DATs in the Spring of their junior year. During this time they also become heavily involved in the BC Committee Process.
If you plan to study abroad for Spring semester and hope to apply at the end of your junior year, you should probably complete all of your core premedical sciences and the MCAT/DAT before you study abroad. This may necessitate taking one of your premedical core science courses in summer school. Before you make the decision about a summer school course, please be sure to read our Summer School Guidelines.
Studing Abroad in the summer is a fine option for pre-health students who prefer to spend their traditional (Fall/Spring) academic semesters on the Boston College campus.