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Program Overview and Registration


Preclinical junior medical and dental students and select health sciences graduate, premedical undergraduate college, public health and pharmacy students enrolled at the listed partner schools are eligible for participation. Students must be in good academic standing. No other foreign language proficiency the than English is required and conversations are held in English (unless students decide otherwise). There are no credits or grades given for participation in this program. The program is free of charge (no tuition) and is a voluntary activity but active participation in the program is requested.


Students are expected to submit a consent form prior to participation of the program questionnaires to respond to a short feedback (ICE questionnaire) after parts 1, 2 and 3.


Fall/Winter ICE Program

The fall/winter program is a 4-part program and extends over 2 semesters:

Part 1 - online small group work, monthly - October to May; minimum once a month

Part 2 - online large group global "meet and greet" monthly meetings for social networking, games, student debates and faculty lectures - October to May, weekends only

Part 3 - online large group international student conferences - early March, one weekend

Part 4 - 

  • optional international student research exchange travel - June through October (exception: University of Sydney travels November to December)

  • optional student research group placement ("student pods"; online or as part of student research exchange travel)

  • continuation into virtual summer program (see "ICE summer program")

  • short-term immersion travels

Students can participate in part 1 (small group work, via videoconferences), part 2 (large international student videoconferences) and part 3 (student conferences) without participating in part 4.

Participation in parts 1-3 is considered a prerequisite for part 3 (i.e., international student travel and research lab placement).

Travels for Columbia MD-PhD students will only take place during their PhD lab research time and only if the PI approves. 

Commitment:  18 hours time commitment is desired for part 1 and 2, and a 4 hours time commitment is expected for part 3. Part 4 (i.e., research internship abroad or student research pods) is typically 8 weeks in duration.  The program is not a lab placement exchange program but focuses on the international networking component. Therefore, if students travel we expect that they meet with their peers for social activities while visiting and when they receive visitors.

Students remain connected to the large group via Slack, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn (see our media tab for details). Students should join our LinkedIn group for long-term networking with all current and past ICE program participants. Join here.

Registration for the fall/winter program

Interested in signing up?

Please sign up here. Registration is open from August to October.

More details will be shared after start of the program under "Program Details".

Consent-  Participation in the program and in the questionnaires is voluntary.

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ICE Summer Program

The ICE summer program is meant as a substitute for international travels during part 4 of the fall program (for students who are unable to travel) or as an addition for students who would like to continue broadening their international network during the summer and improve their leadership skills.  Students can also participate during

the student summer travels in addition. The program is open to all ICE program students and select students that have not participated in the fall program.


Because of its focus on leadership training, active participation during the summer program group discussions and debates are requested. 



Aforementioned students from our international partner universities



Deepening intercultural competency and leadership in junior students, learning about cultural competency, ethics, research, current world health events (i.e.COVID-19 pandemic related research) and other basic sciences as substitute for an international summer exchange internship.



Mid June - mid August on weekday nights and weekend. For most students this will be during summer vacation. 



Online platform from home, using online videoconferencing platforms



All meetings are held online from home

  • Weekly small group discussions (1 hour)

  • Weekly to weekly large group discussions and networking sessions (1-2 hours)

  • Expert faculty research speaker series (1 hour)


Registration for the summer program

If you are interested please sign up here. Columbia students who have not participated in the program in fall please send the consent form (see attachment in fall program section) to Dr. Wu. 


Registration opens in April/May.

More details can be found under "ICE Summer Program" after registration.

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