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Away rotations are one of the biggest topics of fourth year. Should you do an away rotation? How do you do well on an away rotation? What are the costs versus benefits?
There are many reasons you might choose to do an away rotation. If you’re using away rotations to get interviews and boost your chances at certain programs, do your research beforehand!
Why? Because different programs see away rotations differently.
Some programs (typically “top tier” ones) do not view away rotations particularly favorably, and spending a whole month there will not help your application at all. For these programs, away rotations are seen mostly as an educational experience for you, and perhaps a way for you to get a letter of recommendation.
On the other hand, some programs will guarantee interviews to all rotators and will also seriously consider you as an applicant (as long as you do reasonably well during your away rotation, of course).
So which program is which? You’ll have to ask around. This can change yearly, so your best bet is to ask previous years’ applicants, ask the Internet, and ask your mentors.
Each away rotation can cost $1500+ for the month. If you simply want to spend a month living in a cool city even if that program doesn’t interview you, then go for it. But if you’re using away rotations to get interviews, do your research! Use your time and money wisely by doing away rotations where it will actually boost your chances.
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