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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Ferney-Voltaire, France
  • Program Terms: Summer Internships
  • Restrictions: UPENN applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

Global Internship Program (GIP): World Medical Association 
World Medical Association LogoThe Internship: This internship is available for two students seeking to gain experience in medical ethics at a major international organization in Europe.

Number of Spots Available: 2

Duration: 8-12 weeks

Start Date: Mid-Late May 2018

The Organization: The World Medical Association (WMA) is an international organization representing physicians.  It was founded on September 17, 1947, when physicians from 27 different countries met at the First General Assembly of the WMA in Paris.  The organization was created to ensure the independence of physicians and to work for the highest possible standards of ethical behavior and care by the medical profession at all times.  This was particularly important to physicians after the Second World War, and therefore, the WMA has always been an independent confederation of free professional associations.  Funding has come from the annual contributions of its members, which have now grown to 114 National Medical Associations.

The Location: The internship will take place in Ferney-Voltaire, France, though many interns choose to live in nearby Geneva, Switzerland

Internship Details

Interns at the World Medical Association will:
  • Work with the WMA team and WMA members on current projects in the field of medical ethics, socio-medical affairs, human rights in medicine, and advocacy
  • Be involved in activities and interactions with WMA's partners in the health policy field, as well as in daily advocacy work
  • Have the opportunity to observe the meetings of U.N. institutions and other organizations in Geneva as part of the WMA advocacy activities
  • Be involved in upcoming projects, which include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
    • Conscience and science
    • The (non-)involvement of physicians in acts of torture and degrading treatment
    • Do we need a clearer demarcation between assistance for dying and assisted suicide (or euthanasia)?
    • Vulnerable groups in medical research
    • Patient autonomy, preferences, and demands vs. medical ethics and rules
    • Rich world/poor world
    • Ethical standards for academic publications
    • The issue of informed consent
    • Standards for medical education
    • Revising WMA policy
    • Organizational history
The interns can expect to work from 9:00am-6:00pm, Monday through Friday, with a 90-minute lunch break daily at 12:00pm.


All GIP applicants must be current full-time, degree-seeking University of Pennsylvania students who are returning to their degree program full-time in the Fall semester.  All GIP applicants must also be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

The internship at the World Medical Association also requires applicants to meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Background in medicine, health policy, public health, human rights, project management, or similar
  • Strong interest in international affairs and in ethical and/or medical policy issues
  • Proficiency in English
  • Basic knowledge about international organizations, such as the United Nations and their agencies
  • Proficiency in office applications and social media
  • Self-motivated person who is accountable and takes ownership and pride in his/her work
  • Good communicator, creative problem-solver, and a strong team player
Priority will be given to applicants who have the following criteria:
  • Fluency in a second language besides English

Please Note: Students who have participated in this program in the past OR who accepted a placement through this program in the past but then withdrew are not eligible to apply again.


Geneva, SwitzerlandStudents are responsible for finding their own accommodation.  The World Medical Association will provide interns accepted to this placement with suggestions as to where and how you can find safe, affordable, and comfortable housing close to your internship site.

Money Matters

All students accepted to the GIP will be awarded a Global Internship Program Award.  GIP award amounts vary by student, and are based on location of internship, length of internship, the student's need, and the student's merit. The internship placement application process includes the GIP award application essay.

The estimated budget for this internship is as follows:
Expense Estimated Cost Notes
Program Fee $0 None
Round Trip Airfare $1,500 Estimated cost PHL - GVA
Accommodation $2,250 Estimated cost 8 weeks - 1 private room
Meals & Personal Expenses $1,500 Could vary based on lifestyle
Visa $0 U.S. citizens do not need visa up to 90 days
Local Transport $250 Public transportation, occasional taxi
Other $0  
Total Estimated Cost $5,500  

How to Apply

Ready to Apply?  Follow These Steps:
1. Click Apply Now above to login with your PennKey and password and begin the application
2. Complete all requirements listed in the online application, including:
  • CV/Resume upload
  • Cover Letter or Personal Statement upload
  • Unofficial transcript upload
  • Award essay
  • Required advising appointment with the Global Internships Manager (schedule yours by clicking here)
  • Other program-specific requirements, as needed
3. Once all requirements have been received and checked off, submit your application by the deadline
Don't Forget:
  • You may apply to a maximum of two (2) GIP programs.  You may open your first program application by following the above instructions.  To open a second application, you must first meet with the Global Internships Manager for an advising appointment.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to schedule your advising appointment, as appointment slots may fill!  Advising appointments will not be available from December 23rd-January 1st, so please plan ahead.

Application Deadline: January 10th, 2018 at 11:59pm EST


Schedule an Advising Appointment: Don't forget that meeting with the Global Internships Manager is a required component of applying to the GIP.  Schedule your appointment by clicking here, and don't wait too long, as appointment slots may fill!

Past Participants: Want to connect with a student who participated in the Global Internship Program?  Click here to view a list of past participants and get in touch.

Career Services: The Career Services office on campus can help you in several ways.  You may find the following links helpful: Visas: Depending on your citizenship and destination country, you may need a visa or work permit to participate in this internship.  It is your responsibility as a GIP participant to determine your visa requirements and obtain a visa, if needed. Past participants have found the following resources helpful in determining visa requirements:

This program is currently not accepting applications.