About the electives scheme

Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland provides an Overseas Electives Scheme for final year medical students from overseas medical schools to undertake a clinical elective placement at Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand hospitals in the Auckland region.

The University of Auckland Overseas Electives Scheme coordinates all overseas elective placements in Waitakere, North Shore, Auckland and Middlemore hospitals and any associated clinical sites.

Interested students should not approach other university or hospital staff directly seeking placements. Approaches by overseas students to other University or hospital staff will be referred to back to the Overseas Elective Scheme Coordinator at the University of Auckland.

Any offers of placements made by other University or hospital staff are conditional only and subject to confirmation by the Overseas Elective Scheme Coordinator.

Competitive student placements

Placements for overseas elective students are generally available only in areas not currently involved in teaching University of Auckland medical students. Opportunities for overseas elective students are therefore limited to some specialty areas only. Generally, only elective opportunities related to medical and surgical sub-specialties are available to overseas elective students.

There is an extremely high demand for elective placements in the Auckland region and therefore we cannot guarantee placement to all applicants. Overseas elective students attached to the more specialised aspects of medicine and surgery may be able to take part in other activities offered in the hospital of attachment and, if appropriate, in the teaching arrangements of the School of Medicine. Such additional arrangements may include medical and surgical Grand Rounds, radiology teaching, service and unit conferences and seminars.

All additional opportunities are subject to space availability and as such are not guaranteed to Overseas Elective Students.


In order to be admitted to this scheme a student must:

• Be a genuine medical student in their final year of study.
• Have completed at least two years clinical study at the time of the elective.
• Be competent in clinical English. If English is not your first language or you have not undertaken your medical studies in English, then you must provide an IELTS certificate showing you have achieved the standard of 7.5 or better.
• Agree that the purpose of the experience is elective and not core undergraduate training.

Priority will be given to those students:

• Enrolled in a member university of the Universitas 21, APRU or WUN networks.
• Enrolled in a university located in the Pacific Rim region.
• Enrolled in an overseas university where scholarship or reciprocal arrangements exist with the University of Auckland’s School of Medicine.

Please note: Students from German and Austrian universities are usually not eligible as the University of Auckland cannot provide core clinical training and is not able to verify documentation.


1. The University of Auckland does not provide any formal endorsement that the elective experience is the equivalent in terms of the rights and duties as the University of Auckland final year medical students because it is often not supervised under the auspices of a university teacher/department in a University teaching hospital. Elective students fit in around the needs of the University’s own students on their core attachments. In the core clinical attachments our final year students are expected to contribute to the care of about 1/3 of the patients under the care of the doctor or team. Core attachment learning for Auckland students is therefore carefully monitored, whereas elective students have some latitude to devise specific activities to suit their own learning goals.

2. Overseas elective placements are to be no more than six weeks in duration.

3. All Overseas electives are administered by the Overseas Electives Coordinator, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

4. It is not possible for overseas elective students to be enrolled in the University as the elective scheme is not recognised as a formal course.

5. The University’s internet and email services are available on request, but other student services are not. This includes access to University Accommodation and to Student Health and Counselling services.

6. Once confirmed all overseas electives placements are considered final. Changes to dates and placement may not be possible due to high demand for placements.

7. All overseas elective students should provide evidence of appropriate insurance for the duration of their stay. This included Malpractice Insurance and Health and Travel Insurance.


Claudia Makgill
Overseas Elective Coordinator
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Email: overseaselectives@auckland.ac.nz