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Study Abroad

NOTE: As of November 2020, all Winter and Spring Quarter study abroad programs have been canceled. For more details, consult the Global Learning Office's COVID-19 FAQs.

While throughout its history the Program in Global Health Studies (GHS) has required study abroad for all students with rare exceptions, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it difficult to predict when and to what extent study abroad opportunities will become available again. Therefore, all current GHS majors and minors and those declaring the major or minor during the 2020-21 academic year will not be required to study abroad. This policy will continue for as long as the pandemic continues to limit options for safe travel and compel the suspension or postponement of programs

During this period, we encourage all of our GHS students to take advantage of what health-related experiential learning opportunities will be safely available (including, e.g., Chicago Field Studies). Students who have not been impacted by program cancellations or postponements will be expected to earn their required elective credits for the GHS adjunct major and minor through standard Northwestern-based coursework.

We have also decided to allow the Fall 2020 Global Engagement Studies Institute program course INTL_ST 393, Development in a Global Context, to count for one required GHS elective credit toward the adjunct major or minor. This option is being offered on a provisional/trial basis for the upcoming academic year (2020-2021) only; it is not a guarantee that GESI courses will always count as GHS electives in the long-term. We will revisit the question of counting GESI offerings toward GHS degrees before Fall 2021.

For all 2020 graduating GHS seniors in canceled spring and summer programs, GHS is waiving the study abroad requirement for the major/minor. Up to two electives towards the GHS degree may be waived. To graduate, eligible minors would need 1 elective and majors would need 2.

For all 2021 graduates impacted: GHS is waiving the study abroad requirement, and up to one elective course may also be waived. For these rising seniors with limited flexibility, minors will need two electives to graduate with the GHS degree, and majors will need three.

For all 2022 and later graduates impacted: You have the option to waive the study abroad requirement, but we will encourage you explore abroad options when they again become possible. The elective requirements will remain the same (three for minor, four for major). 

Study abroad requirement

For more than 10 years, Northwestern University and the Program in Global Health Studies has worked with the Global Learning Office and other international partners to develop academically rigorous study abroad programs. These programs have been vetted and are high-caliber experiences that complement our major and minor curricula, provide regional context, are regularly evaluated, and qualify for financial aid. Because of this, we strongly encourage GHS students to participate in Northwestern-run or Northwestern-affiliated public health programs.

Students are required to complete one public health-related international experience, which counts towards course requirements for the major/minor. Interested students are encouraged to study abroad twice, and are able to receive additional elective credits.

Northwestern's International Public Health Programs

Program Type
Comparative Public Health: Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina Serbia & Bosnia-Herzegovina English Summer Northwestern
DIS Scandinavia: Copenhagen Denmark Danish, English Fall, Full Year, Winter-Spring Affiliated
DIS Scandinavia: Stockholm Sweden English, Swedish Fall, Full Year, Winter-Spring Affiliated
Geneva Internship Switzerland English Fall, Winter-Spring Affiliated
Global Healthcare Technologies South Africa English Winter Northwestern
King's College London, Health & Society Program England English Fall, Winter-Spring Affiliated
Public Health & Development in South Africa South Africa English Spring Northwestern
Public Health in China China Chinese, English Summer Northwestern
Public Health in Europe France English, French Fall Northwestern
Public Health in Mexico Mexico English, Spanish Summer Northwestern

 Read more about direct enrollment programs and unaffiliated programs here.

Choosing a program

Feedback from current and past Global Health students may help you select the right program. Click on the program links above and view the Student Voices section for blogs, videos, and more.

Applying to a program

Review the public health programs on the GLO website, meet with one of the GLO study abroad advisers listed on the individual program pages, and start your online application. You will meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to get approval for your program.

Funding opportunities

Northwestern students who participate in GLO public health programs may be able to take advantage of various fellowship opportunities through GLO. Both need-based and merit-based fellowships are available.

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