Gaining Real World Experience in Global Health

GHS major while completing an internship in Cape Town, South Africa

A Global Health Studies major while completing an internship in Cape Town, South Africa

The Global Health Studies Program recognizes the importance of experiential learning, i.e. opportunities for students to be involved in activities outside of the classroom which reinforce and apply knowledge and skills obtained within the classroom.   Such engagement is crucial for students as they define their interests and work toward post-graduation goals. Program faculty and staff help connect students to local, regional and international opportunities for both academic and co-curricular engagement. 


Importantly, the Global Health Studies Program encourages student involvement in experiential learning
only if it is conducted through reputable organizations which uphold ethical and health standards
for both students and local populations worldwide.  


  • Every third semester the UI Global Health Studies Program offers GHS:3035 Engaging in Global Health, a 1 s.h. course in which students gain an understanding of how professionals and volunteers work in a broad variety of global health settings. 
  • The UI Global Health Studies Program offers, GHS:3034 Doing Harm by Doing Good, a 1 s.h. course which explores the complex issues involved whenever we try to "help" across geographic and cultural boundaries.
  • A guide to getting the most from your global experience without going beyond your qualifications and expertise is provided by a free online workshop, Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety, which is offered by the University of Minnesota.
  • Read more about "Selecting a Reputable Internship," and  "A Word about Ethics," on the UI Study Abroad website.
  • The UI Global Health Studies Program asks its students to share photos from their global experiences with the GHSP.  Students' photos might be featured on our website, and in our brochures and other publications. Students are expected to follow ethical guidelines as they are discussed in the following sources when documenting their experiential learning activities :  "Read This Before You Post That Selfie," "First, Do No Harm with Your Camera," and "Comhlamh's Guidelines for the Use of Social Media in Volunteering."