8 Do’s and Dont’s While Staying with a Med Student Host

By September 1, 2017February 14th, 2019Interview Advice

8 Do’s and Dont’s While Staying with a Med Student Host

For most applicants roughing the interview trail, staying with a student host provides a multitude of benefits.

Here are 8 Do’s and Don’ts to have a seamless, enjoyable time staying with a med student host! 


Staying with a Med Student Host DO arrange with your host as early as possible.

Sample Email:

Hey [name of host]!

My name is [name], and I’ll be interviewing at [school] on [date]. Thank you so much for offering to host!

A little bit about me: I am an undergrad/graduated from [your school] with a degree in [degree]. Some interests include [your hobbies]. I’ll be arriving in [City] on [date], and will be taking an Uber to get to campus.

Is there anything you’d like me to bring for my stay? (Toiletries, sleeping bag, pillow, earplugs, etc.). Looking forward to meeting you, and once again, thank you!

All the best,


Staying with a Med Student Host DO set expectations for host interactions based on their year. Your host will most likely be a first year medical student, and they will generally be the most enthusiastic and willing to show you around campus. In the rare exception that you are paired with a second year or, even rarer, a third year student, expect more interaction from their couch.

Staying with a Med Student Host DO arrange for independent transportation to and from your host. It’s amazing what a little Uber and Lyft can do nowadays.

Staying with a Med Student Host DO show your appreciation for your host. Consider this. Most schools recruit interview hosts at the beginning of a year, and only the most stalwart of students volunteer for these positions. Unfortunately, these few volunteers end up bearing the brunt of the work throughout the interviewing season; some even have to host students back to back! Thus, it really makes a difference to show your appreciation both verbally, and via…

Staying with a Med Student Host DO show your appreciation to your host by providing a thank you note and/or gift card for your stay. A free night at their place incurs savings from having to spend a night at a hotel or AirBnB. Put a little of that saved money towards a gift card for your host! It will go a long way. Or, better yet, offer to buy dinner for your host the night before your interview, perhaps at one of their favorite local places to eat. This way, you can (a) feed a grateful, budget-conscious medical student and (b) get a better sense of the atmosphere outside of the school and around town. And while you’re enjoying your time…

Staying with a Med Student Host DO ask questions…This is your opportunity to get candid responses from real students for questions that will have no effect on your admissions decision.

Such questions can include:

“What do you dislike about your school?”

“What do you like/dislike about your class?”

“Any tips for the interview?”

You’ll be surprised how much your host will share! Oftentimes, they’ll offer general pointers and may even be able to help you practice/prepare for your interview.




Staying with a Med Student Host DON’T ask questions that you could easily find yourself. We’ve heard stories from hosts where they had applicants ask them to tell them everything they could about the school. Umm, no. Research what you can about the school, and ask questions for clarification. Don’t be lazy, do your due diligence. After all, you should already be prepared for your interview! (add link to other blog post about interview tips)

Staying with a Med Student Host DON’T overstay your welcome with your host. This applies to interviews away from home where you may want to stay a couple of days more to take advantage of sightseeing opportunities. Please consider that your hosts have busy studying schedules. Try to limit your stay with a host to one night preferred, two nights maximum. If you decide to fly into the city early or stick around for a bit longer, arrange for your other nights at a hotel or AirBnB.

Use the tips above and you’ll have a great time! Who knows? If you end up going to their school, you’ll already have a new friend/mentor!

Contact the Cracking Med School Admissions team with Questions

Your Medical School Admissions Advisers

Rachel Rizal, MD

Rachel Rizal, M.D.

Changing the trajectory of people’s lives

Undergraduate: Princeton University
Medical School: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Harvard, Emergency Medicine
What I did After College:
• Improved vaccine distribution in developing countries
• Worked with the World Health Organization in the Philippines
• Launched a national HIV Awareness Campaign in the Philippines
• Produced an HIV awareness commercial for MTV
• Worked full-time at a healthcare consulting firm, advising pharmaceutical companies
• Created a public health program in Stanford’s Emergency Department

Devin Nambiar

Helping students reach their full potential

Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area, California
Undergraduate: Columbia University
What I did after I graduated:
• Worked at two education non-profits, improving public & charter schools across the U.S.
• Coached students to master interview, debate, and speech techniques in the U.S. and Asia
• Advised students in China, Korea, and Japan with college applications to American Universities
• Developed mobile education content for iPhone apps
• Worked in investment banking, conducting industry analysis and advising technology companies
Rishi Mediratta, MD, MSc, MA

Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.

Advising students to attend their dream schools

Undergraduate: Johns Hopkins University
Medical School: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics, Stanford
Masters: Masters in Medical Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies; Masters of Science in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
What I did after I graduated:
• Interned with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland
• Founded and launched an NGO to improve the health and education of Ethiopian
• World Bank consultant who helped implement Ethiopia’s national nutrition program
• Partnered with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to study child health practices in communities