Global Health Travel-Related Coursework

Global Health Experience Courses

Early in the Master of Science in Global Health (MScGH) program, students participate in a Global Health Experience course. These travel-related courses provide students with an opportunity to immerse themselves in a culture different from their own and gain tangible experience in a global health setting. Locations range from the United States to Central America to Africa to Asia. Students from all NUNM programs are welcome to join in these Global Health Experience courses.

Upcoming Courses (Trips)

GSGH 832E: Thailand Global Health Experience Course (4 credits)
Winter 2018 term – travel occurs during winter break

Travel Dates: Dec. 28, 2017 – Jan. 6, 2018. Travel must occur before and after these dates.

Trip locations: northern Thailand: Chiang Mai, Pai and surrounding areas.

Students will learn about Thai massage, Thai nutrition, and Thai herbal medicine in Chiang Mai and then move to the quaint mountain town of Pai to explore more about Thai traditional cooking and herbal medicine. Students will visit natural hot springs, an elephant conservation camp, night markets, and various cultural and historical sites. Free time will be available for relaxation and rejuvenation (self-care).

The course is four credits and the fee is still $1400. There are no extra costs. However, a deposit (50% of trip fee = $700.00) must be paid to secure a spot in the class. This fee can be refunded up to eight weeks from first day of class in Thailand (Dec. 28), which is November 2, 2017. After that date, the 50% fee is non-refundable.

Download the application. Applications are due Friday, October 13, 2017 at 5 p.m.

Interested persons can contact for more information about the course.

Course Location & Descriptions

Ghana (GSGH 835E/836E, 4-6 credits)

Ghana is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies where large hospitals in the capital epitomize the impact of globalization, while rural villages live by centuries-old cultural traditions in resource-poor settings. This makes Ghana an ideal location for students interested in the application of community-based participatory research, health program development, and real-life experiences with cultural humility in the delivery of health care and social services. Set between the densely arboreal Akuapim Mountains and the bustling capital city of Accra, students are fully immersed in the rich Ghanaian culture—from local cuisine to music. Students participate in a variety of activities from collaborative learning opportunities within a local women’s organization to shadowing herbalists, midwives and doctors in both urban hospital and rural clinic settings. Through these experiences, students gain a deeper understanding of how traditional medicine and biomedicine interrelate to influence local healthcare practices.

Nicaragua (GSGH 833E, 5 credits)

The setting for this trip is Ometepe, an island formed by two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua. Within this stunning UNESCO biosphere reserve, students work with the oldest naturopathic global health nonprofit, Natural Doctors International, shadowing a variety of providers in an integrative naturopathic primary care clinic. The trip is community centered and community driven: students homestay with a local family, work with campesino farmers, and gain unparalleled rural clinical experience in a developing country. The curriculum prioritizes clinical service, cultural humility, and understanding the economic and political factors of globalization that impact global health policy. This is a true cultural immersion, a trip that empowers every participant to ignite their passion for social justice with knowledge, service and action.

Tanzania (GSGH 821E, 6 credits)

Tanzania is one of the most ethnobotanically diverse places in the world. With more than 10,000 plants, Tanzania is rich with botanical medicines. Unfortunately, those riches don’t translate into health care. With a physician to patient ratio of 1:250,000, Tanzania has extremely limited access to medical resources. This trip immerses students in Tanzanian culture. They learn the medical spectrum, from large-scale clinical trials on HIV, to indigenous medicines used in the villages, to the economic impact botanical medicine can have to improve a community. Equipped with the WHO priorities, our students have the opportunity to teach international public health topics to Tanzanian students. Tropical disease topics, such as malaria, dengue, TB and parasites, are studied in a country where these are significant public health issues. Students develop an understanding of social justice and community connection, as well as a genuine understanding of the African pace of life.

Taos (GSGH 844E, 3 credits)

Taos is a unique part of the United States, filled with historical pueblos, organic farms, eco-housing, art and natural healing environments. This trip allows students to explore the multicultural, spiritual and natural surroundings of this region. Students will be introduced to ancient native cultures, learn from sustainable farmers, hike in the Sangre de Christo Mountains, visit El Santuario de Chimayo, and relax in the Ojo Caliente mineral springs. These diverse experiences will expose students to some of the rich cultures and landscapes found only in this region of New Mexico.

Thailand (GSGH 832E, 4 credits)

Thailand is unique in the world of traditional medicine. Because of its central location between China and India, two similar but different forms of medicine merged there. Classical Chinese medicine combined with Indian Ayurveda and Thai folk medicine to form Thai-vedic medicine. On this cultural immersion trip, students study and experience Thai-vedic medicine in Northern Thailand in the towns of Chiang Mai and Pai. They study Thai herbal medicine, nutrition and cooking, Thai massage and bodywork, and how Buddhist theory influences Thai-vedic medicine. This global health experience is rooted in traditional medicine and provides a personal, experiential understanding of the Thai culture and the modalities of traditional Thai medicine.

Global Health Fieldwork

GSGH 630: Global Health Fieldwork (7 credits)

GSGH 629: Global Health Fieldwork Preparation (1 credit)

The Global Health Fieldwork course provides students with advanced practical experience in a population-focused, global health-related local, national or international setting over an eight-to-ten-week period. This supervised experience allows students to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired during their didactic training to a practice, research or policy-related project that incorporates a public health framework, systems approach, traditional medicine philosophy and cultural humility.

Students demonstrate professional and MScGH program outcomes and competencies through the design and implementation of this fieldwork project, realization of their fieldwork learning objectives, and the dissemination of a final product that mutually benefits both the student and the host site.

Fieldwork projects involve diverse activities such as ethnographies, educational program development, secondary data analysis, environmental health assessment and community activism. Students share the results of their fieldwork projects with the School of Graduate Studies and at global health conferences, and can use them as a launch point for future employment. Students find the fieldwork experience meaningful and often life changing.