PROGRAM DATES*: 05/14/2018 - 06/16/2018
*Start date marks arrival in host country. End dates marks departure from program housing.
As part of the Global Health (GLBHL) minor, students must complete a supervised fieldwork experience, either internationally or domestically, for a period of five to six weeks during the first summer session i.e. May-June. Throughout their field work experience, students will engage in a range of inter-cultural encounters and gain broad knowledge of global health issues in the resource-poor context. More specifically, they will work in pairs or small groups, under the guidance of an on-site coordinator and supervisor, to observe and, where appropriate, contribute to locally relevant projects that serve to understand and address global health inequities.
Prior to their entry to the fieldwork program, students must complete a semester-long preparation course (i.e. BB H 390A), which aims to ensure their logistic and academic readiness to travel. Following their return to campus, they are encouraged to engage in an interactive workshop during which they will be asked to reflect upon and share their field experiences, as well as consider how their greater appreciation and knowledge of global health issues may be integrated into their personal and professional goals and plans.
Students' direct experience and interactions with local communities serves to deepen their understanding of the complexity of global health issues and interventions, as well as develop the core competencies needed to work cooperatively and respectfully with diverse groups in a global health setting. The fieldwork experience also encourages students to become independent and active global citizens who engage in meaningful two-way exchanges of knowledge and ideas for the purpose of contributing to the development of society.
Presently students have the option of completing their fieldwork experience in one of three African countries, Senegal, South Africa or Tanzania. It is anticipated that in future years new sites in other countries, as well as the United States, may progressively become available.
In South Africa, students will work with faculty and students from the University of Limpopo. The University of Limpopo is the result of a 2005 merger between the former Medical University of Southern Africa (Pretoria, Guateng province) and the University of the North (Polokwane, Limpopo province) Penn State students will be based on the former University of the North campus on Polokwane, which is the biggest and most important urban centre north of Gauteng province, home to Johannesburg and Pretoria.
All students participating in this program will be taking BBH 390B for 6 credits.
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.
Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program leader.
- Completion of BB H 305 (Introduction to Global Health), BB H/ H P A 440 (Principles of Epidemiology) and BB H 390A (Preparation for Global Health Fieldwork)
- Admittance to the Global Health minor. Only students enrolled at University Park are admitted to the minor.
More information regarding the Global Health minor can be found on the Biobehavioral Health website.
While in Polokwane, students will stay in dormitory-style blocks. Students will share rooms, bathrooms and kitchens. Laundry services are available. Students will be provided a stipend for meals. Any meal expense in excess of the stipend will need to be paid by the student.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Summer budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.
For more information, please contact Dana Naughton the faculty leader for this program in the Biobehavioral Health Department. You may also schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
- Education Abroad Questionnaire
- One academic recommendation
- Signature Documents
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
Application deadline: February 1, 2018
Studying Abroad with a Disability
Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.
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