Background / Language

Collecting information and details about your time in the field is a crucial step in the preparation process. This includes information about the country where you’ll be traveling, the region and sub-location where you’ll be working and living, and the customs and religious practices of the people you’ll be living with. In addition, a basic understanding of the geography and demographic breakdown of the country is essential. It is also highly likely someone at UCSF has already worked where you are going. It will be extremely helpful to you and your onsite partners and advisor to connect with them prior to your departure.

You can find more information from your UCSF/GHS mentor and the Global Research International Database. Visit these online resources for additional information:


Language is another important piece of your living and working abroad experience. Language and communication are keys to overcoming misunderstandings, relieving culture shock and building trust.

  • Travlang - Travel language resources, including signs and road rules, foreign newspapers, etc.

  • Audio-Forum: The Language Source - Catalog listing with instant download, audio and video cd/s and other study materials of more than 100 languages, including medical Spanish.

  • Google Translate - Translate text between more than 70 languages.

Last updated: November 7, 2013