Help Our Students Travel (HOST) Program
COVID-19 Update: We are still accepting and encouraging HOST applications at this time, and will continue to virtually connect our students with our alumni physicians during residency interviews for the 2020-2021 school year.
The "Help Our Students Travel" (HOST) Program matches fourth-year medical students with alumni volunteers in various cities during residency season.
Alumni volunteers host students while they are traveling for interviews offering lodging, invaluable advice about the community and medical center at which they are interviewing, and/or transportation to and from the interview(s). Becoming involved in the HOST Program is a great way for alumni to connect with current students, give back to their alma mater and help reduce student indebtedness as they begin their own medical careers. Because residency interviews are taking place remotely, students may not have the opportunity to see their potential new cities in person. Instead, we’re connecting students with alumni for one-on-one Q&A sessions — from “What do you love about your city?” to “What can I expect while working in this specialty?”
The program is available during residency interview season (typically from October to January), although alumni are able to register as volunteers at any point throughout the course of the year.
HOW IT WORKS
- Alumni interested in being a host will complete the online registration form with all required information and e-sign the disclosure agreement.
- Students who are interested will complete an online request for HOST once they receive interview date(s) and e-sign a disclosure/agreement to abide by the code of conduct as detailed in the Student Handbook. Student forms are open in October-January.
- Once the Office of Alumni Relations receives the student online request, they will reach out to alumni that have signed up for HOST in the requested area.
- Once an alumnus/alumna agrees, the Office of Alumni Relations will facilitate the connection, sending a joint communication to both parties including contact information and FAQ's.
Successful HOST pairings are based on the particular student needs in a given region, as well as the total number of Alumni HOST Ambassadors available in those areas. Some locations will have a higher demand than others (i.e. New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California) and not all ambassadors will have the opportunity to host a student this year. We understand the impact our alumni have on the student experience and will do everything we can to pair students with Alumni HOST Ambassadors whenever possible.
Students can ask to be connected with alumni based on geographic location or specialty. After a match has been made, the student and alum may communicate via Zoom, email or phone calls. While HOST conversations are intended to answer questions about residency or a particular location, students and alumni are welcome to keep in touch.
If you’re an alum with time to answer just a few questions to help a student, we encourage you to sign up. We will contact you when a student requests to speak with someone in your location or specialty area, and you can decide if there’s room in your schedule.
HOST availabilities vary based on the locations of the RUSM alumni population and are paired on a first come, first served basis. To assist us in the matching process, please submit your requests well in advance of any upcoming interviews with a minimum of two weeks' notice. We recommend securing refundable accommodations for all HOST requests and you will be notified immediately if an Alumni HOST Ambassador is available in your area.
SUBMIT A STUDENT REQUEST FOR HOST
*Student request will open in October.
Timing and Confirmation
Alumni can register to become a host at any time. All hosts are contacted first to make sure they are available — no matches are set up without confirmation from the host.
Students should register for HOST when they want to be connected with an alum; timing is more flexible this year. However, please be aware that the holiday season may reduce availability from November through January. The more advance notice we have, the more likely we’ll be able to find an alum in your requested city or specialty.
When we set up a student-alumni match, we will provide the alum and the student with each other’s contact information. Students are responsible for scheduling Zoom chats and/or phone calls and sending introductory emails with questions.
Student Cancellations and Changes
If you need to cancel your request, please let the alumni office know right away. The matching process is time-consuming, so cancelling a session you no longer need will free us up to help other students like you.