IHP Health and Community: Globalization, Culture, and Care

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About

Investigate how communities can ensure the health and well-being of all citizens amid mounting challenges created by changing economic, environmental, and social forces.

The Health and Community program strengthens students' ability to understand, interpret and compare the biological, ecological, economic, political, and socio-cultural factors that affect human health. Students broaden their global perspective and deepen their skills in critical and comparative thinking, while gaining practical knowledge about:

The health impacts of globalization
Comparative health systems
Governance and policymaking
Public health issues and innovative strategies to address them
Field-based research methods and analysis.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

93%
based on 6 reviews
  • Academics 6.8
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 8.8
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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Miriam
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience Ever!

My view on the world has completely changed since being back from studying abroad. Getting to experience things that I learned in a textbook firsthand in India, South Africa, and Brazil has taught me that going out and experiencing the world is so important and I encourage everyone I know to do the same, depending on financial resources. Traveling to each of these countries has opened my worldview even wider to the field of public health and my future career as an epidemiologist. I will forever cherish my memories I made on the program and definitely recommend the program to anyone looking for a hands-on learning-intensive study abroad experience.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I saw a newborn baby 5 minutes old and the mother just after giving birth in India. Seeing this firsthand really gave me a wide view of birthing practices around the world and demonstrated what life really was in that moment. It was a moment I will never forget and likely will never have again.
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Emilia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing academic experience in four diverse settings

IHP is not an average study abroad program. When trying to describe my average day with IHP health and community, I realized it's nearly impossible because there was no average day. One day may have been a site visit to a traditional medicine hospital while another may have been a lecture about environmental health on a nature reserve. This is even more complicated by the fact that we spent the semester in 4 different continents! I was on track 2 so we launched from Washington D.C. and went to Vietnam, South Africa, and Argentina.

Everyday brought new challenges, surprises, and learning experiences. I chose this study abroad program because I wanted something that was academically challenging, focused on global health, which is a topic I am passionate about, and allowed me to have many new, unique experiences. This program met all of those needs. The experiential learning aspect allowed us to see global health framed in a very local context and from unique perspectives.

Despite this, there were also challenges. Throughout the semester, you are traveling with the same 25-30 people--being in this insular group can become tiring and draining. Class time is also significantly longer than at your university. "Class" time lasted from 9-5 monday-friday. Although this takes some adjusting, it is part of the reason the program is so academically-rich. Lastly, you will never feel ready to leave a country and move on to the next. One month in each place barely gives you enough time to see everything you want, much less immerse yourself in the location. If you are looking to do that, this program probably isn't for you.

Despite these challenges, I cannot recommend the program enough. My perspectives have shifted so much, and I feel much more knowledgeable about global health and medical anthropology.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be ready for change all of the time! Embrace that and you will enjoy the experience so much more.
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Grace
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Program With Real World Views

My experience with SIT Study Abroad in the IHP Health and Community program, Track 1, was life changing, and I do not say this lightly. If you’re someone like me who didn’t want to do the typical semester in Europe route and you’re excited by the idea of discussing real public health issues with the people and communities who are impacted the most, this program is for you. You also don’t have to come from a public health background to do this trip. I’m an English major myself and other people in my group were liberal arts majors as well. The locations of Delhi India, Cape Town South Africa and São Paulo Brazil all have their unique vibes and qualities that make spending time in them special. The workload is definitely not light, but it’s interesting and relevant to the hands on learning we do everyday. Be prepared for packed schedules, constant movement and sometimes overwhelming realities that you witness and learn from in the local communities. Choosing this program was the best decision of my college career if not my life.

What would you improve about this program?
I would say it’s definitely a program where you’re constantly on the go, sometimes leading to a breaking point both for myself and the group. I would want the program to include more downtime and time for exploration but I also understand that every moment counted in the places we were and we used it effectively.
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Elena
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

You need to go on this program

This was the trip of a lifetime! Traveling to four different countries in the span of one semester was incredible and exposed me to so many different ideas and perspectives. Aside from learning about public health in classes, you are experience learning from your host families, exploring the cities, guest lectures, and rural visits. We had chances to visit hospitals, clinics, museums, and so much more during class time and also had free afternoons to spend as we pleased.
I wouldn't trade my semester for anything, but there definitely were difficult parts as well. There was a lot of moving around, as you are studying in different continents, and you had to learn that there are things that you cannot control. As someone who values consistency and stability, I grew a great deal on this program! You learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable and make good memories out of not always fun situations!
That being said, I can't recommend this program enough. It was a once in a lifetime experience that opened my eyes to the world.

What would you improve about this program?
We had tension between staff and students not communicating well, but it was solved through a sit down discussion between everyone. I think if there had been a better way of communicating established early on in the semester, it would have been better.
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Julia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IHP Health and Community: A Whirlwind

This program is rigorous in that it demands great flexibility from participants. You are constantly traveling and seeing new things and you are faced with the challenging of staying engaged as often as possible to contextualize, observe, and reflect on your experiences. That being said, these experiences are once in a lifetime. This program included face to face interaction with healthcare practitioners, providers, and institutions of all kinds in India, China, and South Africa. Contextualizing this information with what you learn about daily life and culture in your host families gave me a richer and more complex body of knowledge about health practices and healthcare in the three countries. There's great value in the many guest lectures and site visits that are planned for you. But there was also a fair amount of time on the weekends to explore and travel more. I developed close relationships with the other students on my program through always being with each other. I saw the most beautiful places in the world, but more importantly, I saw myself grow immensely.

What would you improve about this program?
The demands in terms of academic rigor were rather light. But most frustrating was having two traveling faculty members who were less engaged with the host countries than we were. It is clear that IHP was going through transition, but I hope that future traveling faculty that know more about the countries and tackle each lesson with quite a bit more vigor.
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Wren
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Study Abroad Opportunity No One Should Miss

How can I best put my IHP experience into words? Honestly. I can’t. Every time I think back to my time spent abroad with IHP, I remember so many amazing moments that stole my breath, changed my life, and rocked my world.
At the beginning of IHP you meet many alumni and faculty that throw this term ‘life-changing’ at you like they’ve been practicing the pitch for days. I thought nothing of it, when they said it. Now, I write to you to say that it is absolutely no pitch. It is the gospel truth - every word of it. I came back from my IHP trip with a whole new perspective and I completely changed my goals and plans for post-graduate life.
I can safely say that IHP has set me on the career path that I am following today. This is not a study abroad opportunity to be missed.

What would you improve about this program?
I would like to see that IHP develop a more academically rigorous program, but this is of course a result of certain traveling faculty. I also know personally that IHP has understood our concerns and plans to fix this for future programs.