International students are defined as those who are non-citizen and non-permanent residents. International students are welcome to apply to medical school in the US, but they may be more limited in where they can apply, for some schools have policies not to admit international students. Medical School Admissions Requirements Guide is a great resource in helping international students to determine what schools will be open to application from international students and how many students are interviewed and matriculate each year. It is important to emphasize that international applicants are not held to a different standard, than their US counterparts, but rather that they have fewer schools to which they are eligible to apply.
International students do however face challenges with financing medical school, given that they are ineligible for federal financial aid. While there are some schools that have institutional funds available for international students it is generally not as generous as at the undergraduate level. There are some private loans available, but currently most of these programs require the borrower to have a US co-signor. Finally, some schools have policies which may require evidence of the student’s capacity to pay tuition above and beyond the INS requirements for an I20.
We have however had many successful international applicants from Columbia and if you are interested in this path, we encourage you to speak to a premedical advisor early in your career so that we can help you to begin planning.
Other useful resources which appear on the AAMC website include: