Help Our Students Travel Program
The Help Our Students Travel (HOST) Program connects current Medical School students and trainees traveling for residency and fellowship interviews with alumni hosts in the vicinity of their interview sites. Alumni provide lodging for students in their homes during their stay, as well as offer invaluable advice about the community in which they are interviewing.
If you are not in a position to host a student in your home but would like to share your insights and guidance, sign up to be an eHOST. Alumni eHOSTs provide insight and guidance on specialties, hospitals, research areas and/or the local community. Student questions may arise while the student is traveling for interviews or at anytime during their Medical School training.
These programs are a great way for alumni to volunteer and stay connected to the Medical School and to see the caliber of students who are studying at the University of Minnesota Medical School. The Office of Alumni Relations would like to genuinely thank all of our alumni, in advance, for volunteering to help change the lives of our students.
What are the responsibilities of an Alumni HOST?
Alumni who volunteer to be a HOST may do one or more of the following: Provide overnight accommodations for student for one or two evenings. Meals, transportation, and tours may be offered by the hosting alumni. Counsel students/trainees who have questions about the residency program or the community where they are interviewing.
What are the responsibilities of an Alumni eHOST?
Once you are registered as an eHOST, you'll be on a list of alumni available to answer student questions. As student questions and requests come in, our office will work to match students with eHOSTs based on the question topic. If you are selected to answer the student's question, we will send an introductory email to connect you with the student. It is the student's responsibility to then contact you with their question and any additional details. At a minimum, you will provide the student with an answer to their question and any related follow-up questions. If you would like to remain in contact with the student after his/her question is answered, that is up to you, but is not required.
How do I sign up to be a HOST or eHOST?
Do I contact the student I am matched with?
Once the student is identified as interviewing in your area, our office will send an email connecting the host and student. Student and alumni contact information will be shared in this email. It is up to the student to contact you to share additional details of their travel and interview plans, and to arrange the visit.
How far in advance will I be contacted?
Students are asked to contact their host as soon as they receive the contact information. Be sure to exchange cell phone/email contact information. It is also a good idea to re-contact your student prior to his/her visit to confirm plans.
Who are the HOSTs?
All HOSTs are University of Minnesota Medical School alumni who have volunteered to participate in the program. They have studied at the Medical School as an undergraduate medical student, graduate student, resident, or fellow.
How many times can I use the HOST program?
Each student can be matched a total of 5 times. However, you may submit unlimited requests, keeping in mind that we process matches on a rolling basis and you may not be matched in all cities. Matches exceeding this limit will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The Alumni Relations Office will make as many host connections as possible. Please complete the form for each trip where you would like to be connected with a host.
Can I stay with a host for more than one day?
Absolutely! This can be arranged on a case by case basis. Many alumni will work with your travel schedule, if you find that you need to stay an extra day to receive better travel fare.
How do I sign up to utilize the HOST program?
Fill out the Student Request Form to let us know when and where you will be traveling. At least two weeks advance notice is appreciated, but we understand that interviews change frequently and we will try to accommodate all requests. Although we hope to provide a match for all requests, we may not be able to do so due to the volume of requests versus the number of volunteers. If possible, we suggest making other refundable plans as a precaution.
How far in advance should I contact my host?
Please contact your HOST as soon as we share their contact information with you. If you are matched early, we recommend you follow up with the HOST again closer to the date of your travel.
What if my plans change and I have to cancel?
We understand that plans may get altered and as that you contact your host as soon as possible to let them know about the change in plans. Also, please inform the Medical School Alumni Relations Office of the changes at (612) 626-3884 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need to do anything after my visit?
All students are asked to send a thank you note to the alumnus who hosted your stay as soon as possible following your trip. Then, contact the Alumni Relations Office with any exciting information, photos, or other experiences.
What can I expect from the host?
We simply ask the alumni to provide overnight accommodations in their home. That said, many go above and beyond by offering transportation to and from interviews and airports, home cooked meals, guided tours of the area, and invaluable professional insight on the regional medical community. Every HOST experience will be different and we promise that you will benefit every time you choose to use the program.