Why should you attend the next IFMSA General Assembly? By Natasha Matthews

Posted by Liban Ahmed

Sat, 26 Nov 2016

My name is Liban Ahmed and I am this years, Director of International Affairs. If you'd like to know more about international opportunities email me at

To put it simply, if you're interested in working on global health issues at the international level and would like to learn more about the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), a recognised NGO within the UN system that works on local, national and global platforms towards health equity for all, then this is your chance to get stuck in! 

To put it more elaborately, for global health enthusiasts, the IFMSA General Assemblies are a wonderfully weird, challenging, uplifting, unmissable experience! For one week only, you are thrown into a mix of students from organisations all over the world – all highly motivated, passionate for change and united to better health around the globe. As cliché as it sounds, the atmosphere is electric. Throughout the week, you are constantly thinking, learning and being challenged in some way. The air of excitement, hope and determination leaves you feeling almost dizzy once you land on home soil. 

Whatever your global health interests, there will be something for you, as well as platforms for you to work with students from all around the world and share skills, ideas, and experience. You will attend sessions within one of the IFMSA’s 6 Standing Committees in Medical Education, Human Rights and Peace, Public Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health including HIV/AIDS, Professional Exchanges or Research Exchanges (see for more info) and can opt to run sessions (including training sessions) and share Medsin’s vision as well as develop future plans inspired by fellow participants. You may even end up collaborating to form an international Small Working Group (SWG) on a topic of shared interest! 

For those intrigued by global governance, the late night plenaries offer a chance to take part in international voting and debate on several motions including IFMSA bylaw change proposals, collaboration agreements and policy statements on a range of global health topics. Other highlights include the infamous IFMSA fairs, such as the Contracts Fair where National Exchange Officers (NEOs) from many different National Member Organisations (NMOs) sign contracts with other NEOs for the upcoming exchange season. Many countries go all-out promoting their exchange program and their culture - one can easily get buried wandering amongst the sea of flags, trinkets and treasures from all over the world! There is also the Projects Fair, a similar event where countries host stands showing their projects and campaigns, allowing other students to get ideas, and get involved.

As students, Medsin and IFMSA members, we have the privilege of being able to access this unique forum that allows us to work with representatives from over 100 other NMOs to learn and enact positive change. I urge you to make the most of it! Further, no single person’s experience is the same. If you’re curious, the best way to find out is to apply now!

Any questions? Email the lovely Liban, Medsin Director of International Affairs on   



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