Over the course of 7 days, the Exploring Health Care (EHC) online program brings together 12-20 students from medical universities around the world to explore a wide variety of health care topics, from organ transplantation and palliative care to public health and medical education. The current COVID-19 pandemic will be used as a lens to examine its effects on health, the health care system, and social challenges more broadly. As participants reflect on their own career goals as future health care professionals, they will receive mentorship from peers and health care experts in the US from diverse backgrounds.
Continue reading below to learn more about the program, or click the blue APPLY button if you’re ready to start your application. After clicking the APPLY button, you will be taken to the application portal to create a user account. This will allow you to save your progress and return to continue your application at any time.
Since launching the EHC program in 1996 in collaboration with Tokyo Women’s Medical and Tokyo Medical Universities, VIA has brought over 750 university students from Asia studying in various health care fields to Silicon Valley to explore issues related to culture, society, diversity, and innovation in the context of health care.
VIA Health Care Programs Overview (2024) by VIA Programs
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$900 USD program participation fee* includes:
- Pre-program orientation
- 30+ hours of live online presentations, discussions, and interactive workshops
- Mentorship from peers and a variety of health care experts
- Access to an online learning platform with additional information, resources, and opportunities to connect with peers
By joining the virtual program, you won’t have to worry about travel time and expenses, and you will still get:
- Opportunities to discuss a variety of health care topics, related social issues, and current events
- To build friendships across cultures
- To expand your English vocabulary and communication skills in the context of health care and social issues
- To join an international network of VIA health care programs alumni
Participants who join all online sessions and group discussions, and complete all activities on the online platform will receive a certificate of completion.
*Participants who join multiple VIA programs are eligible for a $200 discount on every subsequent program participation.
Program Fee Reduction Funding
Successful applicants for this fellowship will receive a $100-500 award for the online program that will be applied as a discount towards the program fee. In order to apply for the fellowship, you must complete an additional short essay in your application.
Program Participation Fee Payment & Cancellation Policies
Invoice & Payment Deadline
If accepted to the program, you (or your university, if your university is paying on your behalf) will receive an invoice from VIA’s finance department with instructions to complete the payment within approximately one week of confirming your participation. Full payment is due 30 days from the invoice issue date. If the invoice is issued 30 days or less before the program start date, full payment is due when you receive the invoice.
VIA will return 50% of the program fee if your cancellation is confirmed at least 30 days before the program start date. If you cancel less than 30 days before the program, we are unable to refund your program fee. Partial refunds will be considered in extenuating circumstances.
“If you want to widen your thoughts, you should participate! There are a lot of chances to widen your thoughts and [meet] great friends in this program. This program changed my thoughts 180 degree.” – EHC Spring 2022 Participant
“Youths who are interested to explore about health care and try innovative ways should join this program as this program brings up many different kinds of health topics that are very useful in the medical field. And you can discuss whatever you think related with the topic and get the advice, suggestions from professionals and experts. And the learning environment is flexible, supportive, helpful and totally stress-free. You will gain more knowledge and idea than expected after the program. 100% recommended.” – EHC Spring 2022 Participant
“If you think you are not confident enough to express your ideas in English in front of others, I promise that this program is a great opportunity for you to gain some confidence. Actually I was in this kind of situation before this program, but great fellows ice-broke my mindset in a nice way and I felt myself changed successfully! I hope you will enjoy this program!” – EHC Spring 2022 Participant
“If you want knowledge on health care system, new insight, English skills…, there is no choice [but] to join EHC. You will definitely find all of them, and more. EHC is not a forum to show off your knowledge, skills, and respectable personality. Here is a place to find allies, be honest, be curious, try to understand each other, watch reality in healthcare, and hopefully take a first step towards brighter future of your career and healthcare!” – EHC Spring 2022 Participant
“EHC introduced me to people with various backgrounds, interests, and fields, and there were many new ideas and perspectives that made my eye open! It is a great opportunity to be brave and educate yourself!” – EHC Spring 2021 Participant
There are multiple application deadlines for university students and professionals from all regions. Some universities also have a separate timeline, which will be listed below. This is to accommodate differences in everyone’s schedules and allow our staff time to review applications.
|Application Deadline||Oct. 29||Dec. 3||Jan. 7|
|Interviews||Nov. 6-9||Dec. 11-14||Jan. 15-18|
|Results||Nov. 10||Dec. 15||Jan. 19|
|Participation Confirmation||Nov. 19||Dec. 24||Jan. 28|
All online program activities will take place in the morning and end by early afternoon, with several breaks in between. Participants will also reflect individually and are invited to engage in optional activities to deepen connections with one another.
|Morning & Early Afternoon Sessions||Late Afternoon & Evening Activities|
Sample Topic for Each Day
- Pre-Program Orientation
- The orientation session will take place a few weeks before the program, to provide an overview of the course and introduction to the online platform (it will also be recorded).
- Day 1: Medical Education
- Panel discussion with EHC alumni and US medical students on medical education in the US and Asia.
- Day 2: Health Care, Disparities & Response to COVID-19 in the US
- Panel discussion with health care professionals on how they have been responding to COVID-19.
- Day 3: Work-Life Balance
- Panel discussion with health care professionals on their perspectives on work-life balance.
- Day 4: Organ Transplantation
- Panel discussion on organ transplantation with organ recipients and donor family members.
- Day 5: Palliative Care
- Panel discussion on hospice and palliative care with a variety of health care professionals from nurses and social workers to chaplains and bereavement counselors.
- Day 6: Mental Health
- Interactive workshop on the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health.
- Day 7: Women in Health Care
- Panel discussion on gender bias in health care featuring diverse health care professionals.
Minimum Participation Requirements
In order to be eligible to participate in this program, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age at the beginning of the program.
- Have reliable access to the internet and a computer or mobile device with a camera and microphone, or headphones with a microphone.
- Be able to use the Zoom video call application for online sessions and activities.
- Be able to join all online sessions and group discussions.
- Be able to complete all required activities on the online platform.
To see if this program is a good match, we want to get to know you: your passion, motivation, interests, and experiences! Please share about yourself (in English) in the following sections:
- Personal & Contact Information – Share some basic information about yourself and your preferred contact details
- Academic & Professional Information – Share about your academic and professional experience
- Deeper Questions – Share your story and show your personality by answering the following short essay questions (up to 250 words each):
- Why do you want to participate in the program? What do you hope to learn or achieve? What do you hope to contribute?
- Describe 1-2 health care topics or issues you are interested in, and why they interest you. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: organ transplantation, free clinics for underserved communities, geriatrics, the healthcare system (including insurance), the medical education system, etc.
- Why did you choose to become a health care professional? How do you hope this program will impact your studies and career?
- Help us get to know you better by writing 1-2 paragraphs about your hobbies, your character, and your plans after graduation.
- [Program Fee Reduction Applicants Only] Enlight Fellowship Essay
- How do you intend to apply what you learn in the future to “pay it forward” and contribute to the health care profession and community?
- If you are accepted to the program but do NOT receive a program fee reduction, would you still be able to participate?
- Next Steps – Interview: The final step will be a 20-minute interview on Zoom with the Program Director. If your application is selected, the program director will follow up with you to confirm the interview time.