Global Health Travel-Related Coursework

Global Health Experience Courses

Students in the Master of Science in Global Health (MScGH) program must participate in at least one 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. Courses in the MScGH program include travel to Ghana (GSGH 836E) and Thailand (GSGH 832E).

Alternatively, travel with MScGH Program partner organizations (Child Family Health International (, International Partnership for Service Learning ( and Natural Doctors International ( can be used to meet the required Global Health Experience through the GSGH 837E: Collaborative Global Health Experience course.

Students from all NUNM programs are welcome to join in these Global Health Experience courses.

2018-2019 Upcoming Travel-Related Courses

GSGH 836E: Ghana Global Health Experience (4 credits)

Travel Dates: Dec. 16-30, 2018. Travel must occur before and after these dates.
Trip location:
Accra, Ghana and surrounding areas
Application DEADLINE: Oct. 8th, 2018. Download the trip application.

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. During the trip students are fully immersed in the rich Ghanaian culture—from local cuisine to clinical observation. They participate in a variety of activities from hiking through jungles with local herbalists, to shadowing doctors and nurse midwives 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.

Interested persons can contact for more information about the course.

GSGH 832E: Thailand Global Health Experience (4 credits)

Travel Dates: December 17-28, 2018. Travel must occur before and after these dates.
Trip location:
Chiang Mai, Thailand and surrounding areas
Application DEADLINE: Oct. 1st, 2018. Download the trip application.

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 Thai herbal medicine, nutrition and cooking, Thai massage and bodywork, and how Buddhist theory influences Thaivedic 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.

About Chiang Mai
Located in the northwestern part of Thailand, Chiang Mai is known for its temples, creative shops, and incredible street food. In Chiang Mai, students will explore food as medicine, Thai physical medicine, and how spirituality influences Thai-veda.

Day Trip Topics
We will be traveling around Chiang Mai and the Thai countryside to learn about world health issues, including:

  • Migration and refugee issues
  • Human trafficking
  • Organic and sustainable agriculture
  • Health and social influences of Buddhism

Each day starts with a morning lesson and experiential learning, and ends with an evening reflection.
In between course content, students have time to sight-see.

Course Fees
Approximately $1,800, which includes:

    • Lodging for 11 nights
    • Meals for 12 days
    • In-country travel
    • Translator
    • Airfare: About $1,600
    • Personal expenses: About $200

GSGH 832E: This course counts for 4 elective credits in all graduate, ND and CCM programs. Students who do not need course credit pay the course fee + 20% of tuition.

Optional Post-Trip Travel
From Chiang Mai, it’s easy to travel to Pai, Bangkok, the Thai islands, or Cambodia. If you wish to continue your Asian travels after the trip, you can explore the canals and Golden Buddha in Bangkok, the beaches of the Thai islands, or Angor Wat.

Laura Scher, EdM, co-led the 2017 Thailand trip. Prior to teaching global health at NUNM, Laura designed and led workshops for the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Switzerland and Turkey. She brings a love of Thai culture to this trip, along with a background in contemplative practice, psychology and systems thinking.

Heather Zwickey, PhD, co-led the 2015 Thailand trip. A seasoned international traveler, she has also taken students to Tanzania and Brazil. Heather has a passion for international public health, integrative medicine, and social justice.

If you’d like to learn about the trip, please email Laura or Heather.

Global Health Fieldwork

GSGH 629: Global Health Fieldwork Preparation (2 credits)
GSGH 630: Global Health Fieldwork (6 credits)

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 can use their fieldwork projects as a launch point for future employment. Students find the fieldwork experience meaningful and often life changing.