Global Health Opportunities for Students (2024)

Our SPH students study and travel all over the world.

Global Health Opportunities for Students (1)

College of Health & Human Services Undergraduate International Experience

The College of Health & Human Services incorporates an international component in all its undergraduate curricula, including its BS in Health Science. Students participate in residence for two or more weeks.

Specific details about the requirement and upcoming travel opportunities can be found on theCHHS Undergraduate International Experience web site.

For more information on SPH Undergraduate Study Abroad Opportunities, Click Here.

SPH’s International Partnerships

  • University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule), Magdeburg, Germany
    SPH’s exchange agreement with this partner allows students to take classes, do internships/field practice, and participate in cooperative research in Germany for a period of one month up to two full semesters. Contact Dr. Elder or Dr. Gersberg for current opportunities here.
  • Universidad de Chile, Chile
    SPH’s exchange agreement with Universidad de Chile includes teaching and research activities, and publication of jointly authored articles related to health promotion efforts in Latin American. Contact Dr. Elder or Dr. Talavera for current opportunities here.
  • Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexico
    Each semester, students spend approximately four days in the field, in integrated Mexican and American teams. Students, with faculty and doctoral student leaders, conduct health assessments and interventions, deliver health care, and provide much needed stimulation (and entertainment!) to the children in migrant camps. Contact Dr. Stephanie Brodine or Dr. John Elder for current opportunities here.

Global Health Research and Practice Opportunities for Students

Public Health Research in Peru
Opportunity for motivated graduate students to participate in unpaid research opportunities for 8-15 weeks conducting infectious disease work in Peru. Spanish language is recommended.

Contact: Eyal Oren,

Aztecs Abroad Public Health Opportunities

  • Worldwide
  • Oaxaca City, Mexico

Research Opportunities in Uganda, Nigeria, Brazil, or South Africa
Opportunities for research (thesis, dissertation, independent projects)

Contact: Susan Kiene,

Field Placement/Study Abroad in Uganda and Nigeria
In this tri-University collaboration SDSU graduate (master’s, PhD) students work with public health students from Makerere University in Uganda and University of Ibadan in Nigeria to plan and conduct field research and service projects. Students from the three universities jointly plan their projects in the Spring semester. The study abroad takes place in the summer where students spend 6 weeks in either Uganda or Nigeria (site alternates by year) to complete their projects in collaboration with their Ugandan and Nigerian counterparts.

Contact: Susan Kiene,

Global Health Courses and Trips for Students

Global Public Health in Peru
This three-week study abroad course will expose students to public health issues in the beautiful mountainous state of Cusco, Peru in South America. The course will be conducted together with a local non-profit organization, with students staying in the homes of Peruvian families. Together with community partners in Peru, students will engage with local communities to address numerous public health issues of both local and global concern, including non-communicable disease challenges, emerging infectious diseases, sanitation, and environmental pollution.
Over the course of a three-week period, students will attend lectures by faculty leaders, guest lecturers, and community professionals; complete preparatory work, such as survey development and design, prior to community visits; attend tours to build understanding of the local culture; and conduct collaborative projects with communities in the Peruvian highlands intended to provide interventions that may improve health status.

Public Health in Costa Rica
The course involves travel to Costa Rica for 10 days where students will engage in field visits, seminars, and workshops. Students will work with faculty from SDSU-UCSD’s Joint Doctoral Program in Global Health (JDP-GH) as well as the Interamerican Center for Global Health in Costa Rica (Centro Interamericano para la Salud Global: CISG). Field site visits include primary care clinics, rural hospitals, border health offices, and NGOs. The topic área of discussions will be on migrant and border health in rural contexts. The course is available for SDSU master’s and doctoral students in relevant fields of study.

Challenges in Health in the Valle De Cauca, Colombia
In this class, students will travel to Cali, located in the state of Valle de Cauca, Colombia, to develop first-hand experience with public health challenges in Colombia. This class will be conducted in concert with the School of Public Health of the Universidad de Valle in Cali, and will involve Colombian students and professors. Dr. Steve Stoddard, Adjunct Professor in Public Health, who resides in Cali, will lead the class.

Public Health in Vietnam
This trip is offered during spring break over ten days and nine nights, with students arriving in Hanoi on a Friday and departing from Da Nang on a Sunday. Students will travel to Hanoi, Vietnam where they will receive an afternoon of lectures on the Vietnamese healthcare system. They will visit a large, urban, tertiary hospital and its outpatient facilities, a center for physical therapy, in addition to visiting a number of cultural sites in the city. Students will also visit Ha Long Bay. Secondly, students will fly to Hue, Vietnam where Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy is located. The school also has a School of Public Health and students will have an opportunity to spend an evening meal and other activities with students from the SPH, and visit national treasures in the city. After leaving Hue, students will travel to a remote mountain area and visit a rural hospital and clinic. The trip will culminate in Hoi An City, the city of lanterns, where students will spend a day on a local organic vegetable farm and have a cooking class and visit the My Son Sanctuary.

Day-trip: Economic and Community Development Initiatives in Tijuana, Mexico
Students will travel to Tijuana, Mexico for a day to visit programs led by Via International, a local non-profit that organizes educational tours for students and leads community development programs in Tijuana. The focus of the day will be to learn about microfinance initiatives implemented by Via International. Students will visit businesses started with microfinance loans and hear from business owners how they started their businesses, including challenges and benefits of these programs. Microfinance loan programs all of the world have sought to reduce poverty and financial burdens among populations who do not have access to loans through traditional banking services. Many programs also provide business training.
Contact: Elizabeth Reed,

Hands-on Exploration of Culture, Health, Sustainability, and Environment in India

This study abroad course will expose students to exotic Indian culture while exploring the challenges and successes India is facing with various issues of interest in public health, sustainability, and environmental health. While in India, students will experience three locations with unique challenges: a megacity (one megacity selected from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai that we rotate by year), a fast-growing planned city of Bhubaneswar in the state of Odisha, and some locations of importance in rural India. Field trips to various places and institutions within the state of Odisha and the selected megacity will immerse students to Indian life and culture while giving them an understanding of the current challenges that Asian metropolises face as they develop. Students will also meet social workers affiliated with Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) and tour locations of ecological, cultural, natural, and spiritual interest to understand the social, cultural, and environmental determinants of health in a developing country like India. To enhance understanding, students will be grouped to conduct a small air and noise pollution sampling field study using portable pollution monitors, analyze the collected data, and present the findings to peers.

For more up to date information about this course, see Hands-on Exploration of Culture, Health, Sustainability, and Environment in India

Introductory and promotional videos of the program can be found at:

Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT)Program

MHIRT allows U.S. institutions to offer short-term international research training opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students from health disparity backgrounds. MHIRT fundingprovide training and international exposure for students who plan to pursue careers in the biomedical, basic, clinical, and socio-behavioral sciences. The goals of the program are to:

  • Encourage students from health disparity backgrounds to pursue careers in science and biomedical, clinical, and behavioral health research
  • Provide research training in theoretical modeling, developing hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, problem solving, and clinical or lab activities
  • Expose students to global health issues that relate to health disparities
  • Enable collaboration between colleges/universities and international research programs.”

SDSU has had MHIRT funding for more than 15 years, and currently has 6 active international sites.

Study Abroad Info Session Presentations

  • Student Trips Abroad (pdf)
  • India Study Abroad (pdf)
  • Uganda Summer 2020 (pdf)
  • VIDAII Overview (pdf)

SDSU Exchange

Through SDSU Exchange, each semester a student from the host university comes to study here in San Diego, while an SDSU student goes to study abroad.

SDSU Exchange programs can be done for a semester or an academic year. Students pay SDSU tuition and receive resident credit. Financial aid and scholarships can be used.

For more information about SDSU Exchange programs, please contact the SDSU Education Abroad Office. Exchange locations are subject to change.

  • See theSDSU Education Abroad Office, SDSU Exchange program site.

SDSU Global Campus

SDSU Global Campus offers a wide variety of study abroad programs to both SDSU students and community members. The majority of the offered programs occur during the regular semester, summer or winter breaks.

While many programs are offered in English, there are also a number of language immersion programs available. Students are able to use financial aid on these programs. The cost of this program is dependent on the number of units in the chosen program and other program costs, including accommodation.

  • See the SDSU Global Campus Study Abroad page.
Global Health Opportunities for Students (2024)


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