UMCU Summer observership program for refugee-students

Course code
Student fee
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
This course is closed and you can't apply anymore. Please check our other courses.

This 2-month summer program offers refugee students an opportunity to participating in one of the selected Utrecht Summer Schools, followed by an observership at the clinical wards of pediatrics, surgery and obstetrics/gynecology (two weeks each) of the UMC Utrecht.

The observerships in this program are different from clinical internships. Clinical internships involve physical examinations and direct interaction with patients. Because of language barriers, this is not feasible within the Dutch clinical context, and the emphasis will be on observing physician-patient interactions and care. Of course, there will be room for reflection and discussion.

The program is divided into two parts:

Summer School 
In the first part of the program you will follow a 1-week Summer School offered by the UMC Utrecht. You can choose one of the following courses: 

The second part of the program exists of a 6 weeks observership at the departments of OBGYN, surgery, and pediatrics of the UMC Utrecht. Below you can find an overview of the learning objectives for the observership. 

During the observership you will be at the clinical wards from Monday till Thursday. On Friday, there is a weekly meeting with all participating interns and a UMC Utrecht staff member(s) of the participating departments. The aim of these sessions is to reflect on experiences and learnings, and participate in workshops and masterclasses.

Additionally, the students will get a buddy (a 5th or 6th-year medical student) that will help the students with exploring the city of Utrecht, organizing social activities and help to answer questions. 

Accepted students will not be required to pay for the Summer School nor to participate in the observership.

Please note: this program does not offer entry into the UU medical school program.

Course director
Dr. Annet van Royen, Program director Medicine & Dr. Joyce Browne, assistant professor Global Health

Target audience

This UMCU summer refugee program is open to all final year medical students or postgraduate clinical trainees with a refugee status in the Netherlands.


Aim of the course

The learning objectives for these observerships are:

  • Monitor how a physician interacts with patients, with an emphasis on how physical examinations are performed, and clinical decision making in collaboration with patients. NB: Please note the majority of consultations will be conducted in Dutch. Depending on the available time and consultation room dynamics, translations to English can be provided by the consultant during or after the consultation.
  • Observe (inter-)professional communication and interaction between the physician and other members of the health care team and hospital administration.
  • Observe the healthcare in a Dutch Hospital.

Study load

Before the observership starts, students will receive a syllabus including recommended materials and expected knowledge at the start of the observership, assignments, assessments, and useful information about Utrecht University. 


Course fee:
Student fee:
Student fee
Fee covers
Course + course materials + mealplan
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School
Extra information about the fee

This program is a collaboration between the UU Faculty of Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht (Julius Global HealthWilhemina Children's Hospital), and supported by the UMCU Research Program of Child Health and the UU research program Dynamics of Youth which provide full funding for this program. 

The UMCU summer refugee program offers the following support:

  • Summer School Course and a placement for the observership
  • Accommodation from Utrecht Summer School during the full length of the program  
  • Weekly stipend to support living costs and transportation

Costs that are not covered: the transport costs to come to the housing that is provided for you during the program. 

Additional information

Accommodation is guaranteed during the program for those who are accepted. Housing is provided for free. 


Extra application information

Participants will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Final year medical student or postgraduate clinical trainee with a refugee status.
  • Fluency in English (C1 level), evidenced by either secondary school education in English (from any country), or equivalent tests on IETS/TOEFL/Cambridge/etc.
  • Municipality registration in the Netherlands, or the ability to arrange this before June 5th. Non-Ukrainian refugees may require a visa. This is a hard criterion: due to the short timelines and municipality processing times, we are unfortunately not able to accept applications from students who do not meet this requirement.
  • Summer school eligibility criteria: please assess this in checking your preference course.
  • Urgency: priority for students who can use this experience to finish their medical training, as evidenced by a statement from their home university.

Selection procedure: 
Students apply with a motivation statement and CV through this summer school portal.

  • Motivation statement - please answer the following questions: 
    • Why would you like to apply?
    • What are your 5-year aspirations, and how can this program contribute to this? We can understand that there is a high degree of uncertainty given the current situation. Nonetheless, we would like to know more about your dreams and aspirations, and how these align with what we could offer.
    • Which Summer School would you like to participate in, and why? What would be your second course of preference?
    • What experiences do you have in clinical internships/observerships?
    • Confirmation statement that you meet all of the eligibility criteria (see above)?
  • CV- for recommendations on how to create a CV, please see for example these websites: or

For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:

Motivation Letter

More information


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
31 May 2022