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Since 2017 we have been providing SNO students with an opportunity to apply for an exchange program at the annual TUFH conference co-hosting university. The exchange program provides, on average, two students with a chance to participate in health system placement in another country, and usually on another continent! The SNO Exchange has been a collaboration between GEMx and SNO in the past years. The 2020 SNO Exchange is a collaboration between SNO, TUFH and the local co-host: UNAM and sponsored by ECFMGFAIMER

To apply you have to be a member of SNO or GEMx student whose school is part of the GEMx networks. You have to be a current student in a health sciences program, and highly motivated to participate in this internship. Fully commitment to the program is necessary to gain the most out of this opportunity. The winner(s) receives fully paid travel and accommodation for the duration of the exchange as well as during the TUFH conference, the conference registration, and a health care department placement. 

For the TUFH 2020 SNO Exchange we expect to work with a group consisting of students from various backgrounds and professions. The collaboration will consist of two parts: 1. digital collaboration and 2. on-site visits
This group will work together on the analysis of a health system (Mexican Health System) from an interprofessional viewpoint. The collaboration will be digital months before the TUFH 2020 conference (6-7 months approximately) through videoconference and email. Tutors from UNAM’s public health department will be working alongside the aforementioned students as well as students from the UNAM. After the digital collaboration portion of the program, students will visit Mexico to spend two and a half weeks learning about the function and organization of the Mexican Health System first hand through site visits and coursework.
The on-site program consists of visiting the three large networks and their three tier levels of health care in Mexico including a visit to a private hospital and the Ministry of Health. In the afternoons the students will have a class on the health system and a discussion group. 
During the two and a half weeks the students will finish writing the paper, adding their experiences and analysis after visiting the sites.

When applying students will need to provide:
1. SNO membership certificate or Institutional school from GEMx
2. Student ID
3. Letter of recommendation from dean / faculty member
4. Letter of commitment to complete the exchange (both the digital collaboration and the on-site visit) and attend the TUFH 2020 conference 
5. CV
6. Profile photo 
7.Motivation letter, including, but not restricted to, answers to the following questions: 
Why should you receive this award? What makes you stand out from other health sciences students? What are some characteristics of the health system in your country?

As part of the SNO Exchange award, you are fully sponsored to attend the The Network: Towards Unity For Health (TUFH) 2020 annual conference in Mexico City, Mexico. Full sponsorship includes fully paid registration fee, hostel accommodation, and economy travel. You agree to abide by all local laws of the country and the terms of your Visa to Mexico. 

The winners will:

  • Write a blog every about their exchange in the TUFH Online Community
  • Receive their award at the ECFMG/FAIMER Cocktail Reception at TUFH 2020
  • Provide feedback for the next year on the Exchange (as follow up)

ECFMG/FAIMER/TUFH/SNO/UNAM will be issuing press releases, so we ask winners to please not promote or announce the fact that they have won until we have done so. The winners can share the official announcements as they see fit.

Please write to for more information about this opportunity or if you have any questions regarding this application.

The deadline is February 15, 2020!
Winners will be announced March 1st 2020.

Benefits of the SNO exchange: 

  • Immersive experience in a different health care system 
  • Unique from other exchange programs through inclusion of different health care professions 
  • Personal development through exposure to another country and culture, and self-reflection 
  • Meeting other health care students and sharing experiences, making friends
  • Unique academic experience through learning about the differences between host and native country
  • Breaking barriers and stereotypes among students and staff and promoting intercultural and multidisciplinary collaboration 
  • Accessible to students of all socio-economic backgrounds, awarded based on merit
  • Return economy flight to Mexico City
  • Fully paid accommodation during the exchange
  • Attendance TUFH 2020 conference (registratrion is covered)
  • Fully paid accommodation during the TUFH 2020 conference

Specific objectives:

  • Learn about the organization of the Mexican Health System
  • Learn about how the Mexican Health System functions
  • Analyze the Mexican health system from an interprofessional viewpoint
  • Write and publish a paper(s) describing the results of the analysis
  • Share this experience with the TUFH 2021 institution so they can apply this same structure for their student TUFH 2021 collaboration group.
  • The idea is to have a publication from each year and then a 5-year analysis of the results. (TUFH 2020-2025)

Who qualifies?

  • Ideally second year or older students
  • SNO/GEMx member with membership certificate (become SNO member here)
  • Currently enrolled students with a valid student ID
  • Legally allowed to leave your university
  • Commit your time maximumly to the exchange
  • Winners of Student Projects for Health, Projects that Work, and GEMx regional exchange grants, will not be considered for the exchange program.
  • Past winners will not be considered for the exchange program.
  • Student must receive a VISA for Mexico, if needed.
  • Student must participate in all online collaborations prior to TUFH 2020, or the exchange will be cancelled!
  • The winner will need to provide all documents required by UNAM and the Mexican Governement (more details after winner selection)

Past winners were, 

In 2017: Alejandro Avelino, a medical student from Colombia; and Vishnupriya Vijayalekshmi, a medical student from India. They participated in a two week exchange at University of Tunis El Manar (Tunisia) where they shadowed many specialists in different medical departments and attended lectures and classes with their Tunisian peers. They shared their experience in detailed reports which can be found on our website

In 2018: Esther Hallal, medical student from Romania; Yassein Kamal, medical student from Sudan; and Prudence Baliach, pharmacology student from Kenya. That year the winners were invited for a three week program at the Graduate Entry Medical School at the University of Limerick (Ireland). The two medical students joined their Irish peers during a surgical rotation, while Prudence had an opportunity to intern at the pharmacy department at the hospital.

In 2019: Roxana Ramos, a medical student from Mexico. Her exchange was at the pediatrics department of the Flinders University, Northern Territory hospital in Darwin. It gave her a unique opportunity to fully immerse in the Australian health system, as well as learn about Australian Indigenous people and their culture, including their languages, kinship systems and ways of being.






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