IHP Health and Community: Globalization, Culture, and Care (Fall)
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Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program locations can vary from year to year.
Fall Program Sites
Washington, DC, USA
The seat of government for one of the richest nations in the world and hub of international policymaking, Washington, DC, is also home to among the poorest neighborhoods in the United States. Hear from global health experts from the World Bank, influential think tanks, and international NGOs, while observing firsthand how health inequities affect those living within earshot of the halls of world political power. Investigate the many social determinants of health, such as gender, housing, racism, and income. How have imbalances in these factors led to some of our country’s worst health outcomes. Over the course of the two weeks in DC, students will gain deeper insight into the many challenges of and solutions to health and disease at the national and local levels, while setting the stage for their exploration of similar issues internationally. Students will explore the diverse neighborhoods and local NGOs of DC; meet with community leaders, activists, and government officials; and begin to develop their own toolbox for effecting change by participating in policy advocacy in the halls of our nation’s capital. Students will also delve into the four interdisciplinary courses that make up the Health and Community program, while connecting with new friends and exploring the political heart of the nation.
Coordinated by Vu Cong Nguyen
One of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant and rapidly developing nations, Vietnam has succeeded in dramatically reducing poverty, yet considerable challenges remain. The most vexing health-related issues include an HIV/AIDS epidemic that threatens to become widespread; the enormous demands placed on health systems from rising rural-to-urban migration; widening inequalities; and worsening environmental conditions. The whirring of motorbikes, the calls of fresh fruit vendors, and the clang of new building projects are sounds that fill the air in Hanoi, where students will be hosted by the Family Health Research and Development Center of CIHP. This dynamic NGO, formed by experienced public health experts, implements a range of health research and development programs, such as an online HIV/AIDS and sexuality counseling service for teens. The Hanoi School of Public Health, Vietnam’s premier public health institution -- known for its applied teaching approach utilizing an array of urban and rural field sites -- will serve as co-hosts. This combination will provide a rare opportunity to study with Vietnam’s finest public health professionals and observe, first-hand, creative efforts to resolve some of the country’s most vexing problems through visits to project and field sites. The program will include homestays in Hanoi, as well as excursions to surrounding rural areas.
Cape Town, South Africa
Coordinated by Rose Blake
South Africa, with its history of apartheid, brings into sharp focus the role of race in determining health. Reflect on how social and health inequities are manifest in India, China, and in your own country(ies) as compared to South Africa. Homestays in a small community in Cape Town and in a rural black township allow students to see and experience, firsthand, how recent change in political structure affects health and community life—in profoundly positive ways as grassroots health activism is burgeoning, and in equally disturbing ways, as deep disparities in health persist. The urgency of the HIV/AIDS and TB epidemics is nowhere more visible. Hear from and interact with community activists, physicians, public health practitioners and officials as they seek to understand how and why the HIV/AIDS epidemic has ravaged communities in South Africa. Farmland, pesticides and health will be the environmental focus of the program, and students will be challenged to understand domestic and political violence in the context of the country’s social relations. Amidst the multiple public health “crises” that face South Africa, probe the promise of community activism as a transforming influence in the lives of all people. The program concludes with a three-day retreat in a serene setting in the beautiful hills outside of Cape Town. Students will synthesize their academic work, personal journeys and the challenges of re-entry. It is a celebration and culmination of learning and community life.
Coordinated by Abid Siraj
India is a world power with a burgeoning economy and a population that will soon surpass that of China. Delhi, India’s capital city, provides the base for exploration of health in India. Examine the mental and physical health challenges faced by farmers, sexual minorities and the urban poor. How do lack of access to clean water and food and infectious diseases like HIV and malaria compound these challenges? Examine how such a large and diverse nation addresses the double burden of its infectious disease epidemics and burgeoning chronic disease prevalence, as its population both grows and ages. What roles do public and private entities play in developing solutions?
Duration: Fall, 16 weeks
USA, India, Vietnam, South Africa
Prerequisites: None. Coursework in public health, anthropology, biology, or related field recommended.
Other Program Options:
Spring Option 1 Itinerary
Spring Option 2 Itinerary
View Student Evaluations for this program:
About the Evaluations (PDF)
888.272.7881 (toll-free in US)
PO Box 676, 1 Kipling Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302 USA