Hands-On Learning in Diverse Locations

Undergraduate Global Opportunities

If you're unsure of what type of program to look for, be sure to visit the Getting Started page for Going Global for Students.     


The undergraduate nursing curriculum includes two elective courses on global health. These courses are taught in the winter term.
N420: Introduction to Global Health: Issues and Challenges: This course, taught on campus introduces global health concepts and the network of organizations working to advance health care internationally. 
N421: Perspectives in Global Health: This 2-credit elective seminar, taught on campus in the winter term, has two options for a 2-3 week faculty-led field extension for an additional 2 credits
  • Quito, Ecuador (2 ½ weeks) Travel to Ecuador will take place in June.  Intermediate Spanish proficiency required.
  • New Delhi, India. Travel (3 weeks) Travel to India will take place in August. No foreign language proficiency required.

In 2015, the interdisciplinary seminar will be part of the Global Course Connections program. It is open to all undergraduates with at least sophomore standing. For more information, contact Prof. Megan Eagle

In addition, there is an option for students to incorporate global interaction into the required curriculum.
N456: Community Health Nursing: This required class, normally taken during fall or winter of senior year, offers opportunities for global and intercultural engagement in a subset of its clinical sections. Each semester, one section will use videoconferencing technology to engage in a joint project with students at one of U-M's international partner schools in Haiti (fall term) or India (winter term).
Clinical immersion in a global setting: N456 offers a special option for rising seniors to enroll in N456 during the spring term, before their senior year, and fulfill some of the clinical requirement with one of the faculty-led field extensions in Quito, Ecuador and New Delhi, India (see 421, above.) For more information on the N456 spring term section and the global immersion options, contact Prof. Norma Sarkar.

Study Abroad Programs - Sponsored by U-M

Spanish Language for Health Care Professionals (Oaxaca, Mexico)

  • 6 week spring/summer program
  • Intensive language, including Medical Spanish and conversation
  • Homestay with a local family
  • Volunteer placement at a local hospital or social service agency
    Eligibility: Undergraduates in good academic standing who will be returning to campus for the fall term. Students graduating in April or August are not eligible.
    Spanish proficiency requirement: 1 year of college level Spanish or the equivalent.

    For more information (including a link to download the program brochure) or to apply to this program, please visit the M-Compass page: Spanish for Health Care Professionals in Oaxaca, Mexico.
The U-M Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) provides centralized support for a variety of global engagement and learning opportunities for the University of Michigan community. Listed below are just a few of their many offerings that may be of specific interest to nursing students. For more information and additional programs, visit the CGIS website.

Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates (GIEU)

  • 3-4 weeks of travel taking place between May 3 and August 16
  • In addition to global experience, students participate in a service project
  • Students earn 3 credits for course UC275: 2 credits in the winter term and 1 in the following fall term
  • Applications are due in mid-fall
  • More info: About GIEU

Summer Community Public Health Program in the Dominican Republic

  • U-M program in partnership with CIEE
  • 6 weeks in Santiago, Dominican Republic
  • Includes homestays with local families
  • Requires at least 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
  • More information coming soon!  Please check the M-Compass and the CGIS websites.

Global Course Connections (GCC)

 CGIS offers opportunities to add a global travel component to a range of interdisciplinary winter term classes, with travel occurring either during Spring Break or after the end of the term..

Spring/Summer Language Study

  • Allow students to complete their third and fourth term language requirement in one intensive half term immersion
  • Homestays and internship/volunteer opportunities are available
  • Programs available in: Grenoble, France (French 230), San Jose, Costa Rica (Spanish 230), Granada, Spain (Spanish 230), Ferrara, Italy (Italian 230)
In addition to those offered by CGIS as highlighted above, other U-M sponsored study abroad opportunities can be found by searching the M-Compass website.

Study Abroad Programs - Sponsored Outside U-M

Some students opt to pursue summer study abroad programs on their own that are not sponsored by U-M but by another university or, in some cases, a third-party provider or a non-governmental agency. Courses taken through non-U-M programs may or may not count for credit or towards degree requirements. Please consult with an academic advisor in the Office of Student and Multicultural Services (OSAMS) for advice on transfer credit before enrolling in these non-U-M programs. Below are some program offerings by geographic area.

Multiple Locations

Northwestern University Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI)
Application Deadlines: December/January/March
Duration: 9 weeks
Synopsis: This summer program consists of a week long pre-departure training in Chicago, followed by an 8-week internship with a grassroots organization in one of six developing countries (Nicaragua, Bolivia, Uganda, Dominican Republic, India, or South Africa). While in-country, students work directly with local leaders to design and implement a development project. Students gain credit for two courses through Northwestern University. More info: Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI)

Latin America

Little to no previous language study required:

Argentina Georgetown University: Translational Health Science Internship
Application deadline: Early February
Duration: 6 weeks
Synopsis: The for-credit internship provides participants the opportunity to work with US and Argentine scientists studying respiratory infections in children. It consists of both a laboratory and clinical component, as well as visits to healthcare facilities in Buenos Aires. Students earn 6 Georgetown University credits. More info: Translational Health Science Internship.
Brazil Michigan State University: Healthcare in Brazil
Application deadline: Early March
Duration: 4 weeks
Synopsis: Graduate students or upper-level undergraduates learn about Brazil’s public health infrastructure and policies through a combination of field experiences and lectures at the Universidade Federal de Bahia (UFBA) in Salvador, Brazil. More info: Healthcare in Brazil
Costa Rica - CEA Medical Spanish and Health Sciences
Application deadline: Early February
Duration: 5 weeks
Synopsis: Offered at Veritas University in San José, this course allows students to improve their Spanish and practice it in a clinical environment. Two course options allow students to take an additional course in Costa Rican healthcare. Field work consists of visits to clinics, healthcare centers, and health fairs. More info: Medical Spanish and Health Sciences
Ecuador International Partnership for Service Learning and Leadership (IPSL): Spanish for the Healthcare Professional
Application Deadline: Early May
Duration: 4 to 5 weeks
Synopsis: This short-term study abroad and service-learning course, offered through IPSL, combines Spanish language study for a healthcare setting with service in a health services facility in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Academic excursions to health centers and cultural sites are included. Students have the opportunity to extend their programs by one week, working full-time at their service-learning placement. More info: Spanish for the Healthcare Professional
Dominican Republic Health, Nutrition & Environmental Issues
Application Deadline: Early April
Duration: 7 weeks
Synopsis: This University of Iowa administered program is a cultural immersion program that takes place in the summer in Jarabacoa and La Esquina, Dominican Republic.  It provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to study a broad range of topics related to public health, nutrition, education, human rights, Caribbean/Latin American culture, and Spanish language through interdisciplinary, field-based studies. More info: Study Abroad - Univ. of Iowa
Mexico Central College Abroad: Studies in Global Health
Application Deadline: Early March
Duration: 4 weeks
Synopsis:  Based in Merida, students can choose one or both of the following: Healthcare in Yucatán (taught in English) or Spanish for Healthcare Professionals (taught in Spanish, minimum 2 semesters college-level Spanish required). Visits to healthcare centers, rural clinics, and urban and rural health intervention sites are included. More info: Studies in Global Health
Mexico Instituto Cultural de Oaxaca: Spanish Language Study *
Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions
Duration: 4 weeks     
Synopsis: This renowned institute of Spanish language study offers two programs: a 15 hour/week course and a 20 hour/week course. Both can be supplemented with Medical Spanish and private lessons. Medical Spanish classes include visits to various clinical settings in and around Oaxaca.  More info: Spanish Language Study
Peru – Centro Tinku: Spanish and Quechua Language Programs
Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions
Duration: Various, depending on program chosen
Synopsis: Centro Tinku, a well-regarded language school in Cusco, offers various Spanish and Quechua language programs that may be coupled with skills learning courses in ceramics, weaving, or Andean literature. More info: Spanish and Quechua Language Programs

At least 4 semesters of Spanish or equivalent required:

Argentina and Uruguay Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE): Summer Community Public Health
Application Deadline: Early April
Duration: 8 weeks
Synopsis: Designed for health sciences students with intermediate to advanced Spanish, this program provides three weeks of intensive Medical Spanish and Public Health courses, followed by four weeks of field placements throughout Argentina and Uruguay. More info: Summer Community Public Health

Chile IES Abroad: Santiago Health Studies Program
Application Deadline: Early April
Duration: 6 weeks
Synopsis: Participants with intermediate to advanced skills improve their Spanish skills by taking a Medical Spanish course before taking part in a Clinical Observation Internship consisting of a seminar with weekly field visits to various Chilean healthcare settings. More info: Santiago (Chile) Health Studies Program


Botswana – CIEE: Summer Community Public Health
Application Deadline: Early April
Duration: 8 weeks
Synopsis: The Summer Community Public Health study abroad program in Gaborone provides you with an introduction to basic healthcare issues in Botswana. Through coursework, a community health practicum, homestays, and a rich and challenging social environment, you’ll gain a holistic appreciation and understanding of health and healthcare in Botswana. What’s more, the program helps equip you with basic Setswana-speaking skills. This is accomplished through a communicative and interactive approach that ensures you have the basic language skills to engage the local communities. More info: Summer Community Public Health in Gaborone
Kenya School for Field Studies (SFS): Field Practicum in Public Health and Environment
Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions
Duration: 4 weeks
Synopsis: This broad-based program introduces students to health issues facing rural Kenya, with a particular focus on the Maasai people. Participants will visit traditional villages and ranches, as well as local healthcare facilities, HIV/AIDS clinics, and a national park. More info: Field Practicum in Public Health and Environment
Madagascar School for International Training (SIT): Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems
Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions
Duration: 7 weeks
Synopsis: Participants study the intersection of traditional and allopathic medicine in one of the world’s poorest countries. The program incorporates thematic seminars, field studies, and interactive involvement with communities. The course requires a minimum of one year of college-level French or equivalent. More info: Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems
South Africa IES Abroad: Cape Town Summer Program
Application Deadline: Early April
Duration: 6 weeks
Synopsis: Designed for students interested in health-related careers, this program examines health care delivery in South Africa. Field visits and placements in the townships surrounding Cape Town and a week-long rural excursion in the northern part of South Africa provide firsthand experience with the many health issues that plague South Africa, and the national effort to improve public health.  More info: IES Summer in Cape Town
South Africa New York University (NYU): Community Health - A Society in Transition
Application Deadline: Mid-March
Duration: 4 weeks
Synopsis: Participants in this New York University graduate-level seminar learn about topics such as health care delivery, infectious and chronic disease, HIV/AIDS treatments, and health policy in Cape Town. Students spend three weeks in Cape Town, and then one week traveling throughout rural areas of Western South Africa. More info: A Society in Transition

Asia / Pacific Rim

China Education Abroad Network: Contemporary Issues in International Public Health ProgramApplication Deadline: Rolling Admissions
Duration: 3 weeks
Synopsis: This program is taught by a Purdue University nursing professor who will lead students through Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, and to the Great Wall. Along the way, students will learn about public health in an emerging economy, and will see first-hand how public health is viewed in one of the world’s oldest civilizations. More info: Contemporary Issues in International Public Health Program
China – School for International Training (SIT): Community Health and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions
Duration: 6 weeks
Synopsis: In addition to intense Mandarin language study, students will be introduced to the traditional Chinese medical system in Yunnan province, along China’s southern border. Participants learn and practice many different Chinese remedies and take lessons in acupuncture, massage therapy, and herbal medicine while also observing the Public Health infrastructure in rural China. More info: Community Health and Traditional Chinese Medicine
China Georgetown University: Global Health Summer in Shanghai
Application Deadline: Early February
Duration: 5 weeks
Synopsis: The course, offered through Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, surveys issues in Global Health, with a special focus on disease patterns and the development of the Chinese healthcare economy. Participants visit national centers for disease control and surveillance, international health organizations, and community healthcare centers. Students are based in Shanghai and also travel to rural Yunnan province. More info: Global Health Summer in Shanghai
India School for International Training (SIT): Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Practices
Application Deadline: Early February
Duration: 6 weeks
Synopsis: This program examines traditional approaches to healthcare and how such systems fit into the country’s overall health and development. Students will meet with practitioners of Ayurveda, yoga, and Sidda through lectures and site visits in and around New Delhi, as well as in the rural Himalayan state of Sikkim. More info: Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Practices
India Alliance for Global Education: Contemporary India
Application Deadline: Early March
Duration: 7 weeks
Synopsis:Students study in Pune, the intellectual capital of India and an emerging global city. Participants enroll in a seminar course on the history, culture, and issues facing contemporary Indian society. During weeks three-seven, students are placed with internship and research placements in Pune based upon academic interests and skills sets. More info: Contemporary India
Japan Japan Center for Michigan Universities: Comparative Health Care in Japan
Application Deadline: Mid-February
Duration: 6 weeks
Synopsis: Students of any major can enroll in this 8-10 credit summer course-internship hybrid experience, led by a UMSN professor. Participants first spend three weeks learning introductory Japanese culture and language for a healthcare setting. They then take a one-week survey of the Japanese healthcare system and culture followed by a two week internship in a hospital setting. All U-M students also receive a $1500 scholarship toward program fees. More info: Comparative Health Care in Japan.


Cyprus Global Learning Semesters: Summer in Cyprus - Health Sciences Program
Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions
Duration: 4 weeks
Synopsis: Nursing students enroll in two courses, one of which is a hands-on practicum course that introduces students to clinical settings in a European healthcare system. Participants complement their studies and clinical experiences with 6-8 days of in-country travel throughout Cyprus. More info: Health Sciences Program
Denmark Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS): Health Delivery and Prioritization in Northern Europe
Application Deadline: Mid-April
Duration: 3 weeks
Synopsis: Offered by the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, this three credit course, coupled with a study tour, aims to provide students with knowledge of the provisions and infrastructure of Public Health in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. Health policy prioritization and health service provision will be studied through coursework and visits to physicians, policy-making institutions, and interest groups. More info: Health Delivery and Prioritization in Northern Europe
Denmark Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS): Human Health and Disease - A Clinical Approach
Application Deadline: Mid-April
Duration: 3 weeks
Synopsis: The objective of this program, offered by the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, is to introduce participants to human disease and its diagnosis, treatment, and to the methods of healthcare professionals as practiced in a European hospital. Students will learn various clinical skills, but will not be introduced to clinical, patient-care-centered settings.
Italy Oakland University: Nursing Research in Italy
Application Deadline: Mid-February
Duration: 15 week online course, including 2 weeks in-country
Synopsis: The Oakland University School of Nursing offers this course in Nursing Research and the Italian Healthcare System for undergraduate students. The program is an online course offered in the spring/summer semester, with a 2 week international component located in Padova, Italy. The course is approved for elective credit at the U-M School of Nursing. More info: Nursing Research in Italy
Spain/Portugal - The Atlantis Project
Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions
Synopsis: This program brings pre-health undergraduate students for 5-week and 10-week summer programs in the Canary Islands (Spain) and the Azores Islands (Portugal). Atlantis Fellows intern at public hospitals, see the European healthcare system from the inside, and improve language skills; some also contribute to the islands by teaching English to community members. More info: Atlantis Project
Switzerland New York University (NYU): International Health Policy and Prospects
Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions
Duration: 1 week
Synopsis: This short excursion to the heart of global Health policy and organization in Geneva is offered through NYU. The trip includes access to and meetings with officials from the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), the Global Funds to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (The Global Fund) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). More info: International Health Policy and Prospects
United Kingdom Michigan State University: Nursing in London Program
Application Deadline: Rolling, but students are encouraged to apply before the Christmas holiday break
Duration: 4 weeks
Synopsis: The program compares nursing education, practice, and health care policy in the United Kingdom and the United States with emphasis on nursing's historical development. It is divided into 3 modules: nursing education in the United Kingdom, historical development of nursing and health care; and nursing practice as a social institution. British nurse educators, practitioners and officials serve as guest lecturers during the program. More information available at: Michigan State University - Office of Study Abroad.
United Kingdom – King’s College London Summer School
Application Deadline: Mid-May
Duration: two 3-week sessions
Synopsis: The King’s College London Summer School, located in the very heart of London, is a high quality and intensive academic program open to students from around the world. In addition to offering a unique academic and social experience, the King’s Summer School offers the opportunity to study at England’s fourth oldest university, with global recognition and a historic tradition of over 180 years of academic excellence. The Health and Society track is available during both sessions. More Info: King's College London Summer School
United Kingdon - Scotland - CISabroad Nursing and Health Care in Scotland
Application Deadline: Mid-April
Duration: 4 weeks
Synopsis: This program will allow students to study contemporary nursing practice in Scotland. The student will explore the different fields of practice within which nurses in Scotland provide care; discuss the nature of health care in Scotland; experience delivery of health care in the Scottish National Health Service; and contrast Scottish nursing practice and philosophies with those of their country of origin. The program will include a short practical experience in a Scottish health care establishment such as the newly opened Forth Valley Royal Infirmary and will include patient interaction supervised by nursing mentors. The excursion will allow students an insight into how nursing students in Scotland acquire practical experience. Students will also go on a field trip to a clinical skills simulation laboratory on the Stirling camp. More info: Summer in Scotland

Research Opportunities

Not all global experiences need to be connected with earning academic credits (e.g. the study abroad programs outlined above).  Some UMSN professors routinely take students abroad with them to assist in research projects, an option that may be more flexible in terms of time commitment than study abroad programs. Another research opportunity open to undergraduates is:  
U-M Center for Human Growth and Development: Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program (MHIRT) - This NIH-funded program is dedicated to increasing the presence of underrepresented minorities in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Students who are accepted embark on three-month research positions with U-M faculty to international placements where they conduct their research. Accepted students are awarded a monthly stipend, living expenses, round trip airfare to the placement site, and foreign and domestic expenses incurred while on the program. Undergraduate and graduate placements are available. Applicants must be African-American, Hispanic American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or Rural Appalachian.


Internships and Service Opportunities

Like research opportunities, internship and service (e.g. volunteer) engagements may be more flexible than study abroad. These opportunities are available through U-M affiliated units as well as through a number of other accredited colleges, universities and external organizations.

U-M Affiliated Organizations

Michigan International Internship & Service Program (MIISP) provides a year-long series of workshops that prepare undergraduates for summer internships or service projects abroad. The program requires a four-semester commitment (F/W/Sp-Su/F). Attendance at all MIISP workshops and relevant events is mandatory. Participants agree to advise the following year’s cohort during the post-experience fall semester. Applications are available at the beginning of the academic year and are typically due during the first week of October.
Residential College Spanish Language Internship Program - an engaged learning course that is open to all undergraduate students and links Spanish-speaking students with community-based organizations to provide unique service learning opportunities in the Latino community.
LS&A International Internship Program - offers summer internship placements for returning undergraduates in a wide variety of locations and fields. The program is steadily growing and will to continue adding locations to the current choices. Please be aware that you do not necessarily need to speak a foreign language to intern abroad, depending on the country you choose. Applications are accepted from late November through early January.

U-M Student Organizations

To see a list of U-M student organizations, download:  Student Organizations

External Organizations

Download the list linked to below to learn about the opportunities available through accredited colleges and universities and external organizations that are known to U-M Education Abroad Office and the International Career Pathways network.

More resources

The University Library system has a wealth of online global health resources and a dedicated professional staff to assist faculty and students.  For a guided introduction to online databases, please download: Global Health Information Resources.

International Career Guidance

The U-M International Career Pathways network hosts events for undergraduates, graduating seniors and graduate students interested in working, interning or volunteering abroad or working in an international career:
  • The International Opportunities Fair provides students the opportunity to meet with and obtain information from organizations and recruiters from around the world.

See and Hear More Via You Tube

FoYou Tube link for MGoAbroadr those who would like to learn more about global opportunities from the voices of faculty and students, you are encouraged to visit the YouTube channel, MGoAbroad, sponsored by the U-M International Center. Whether you're  thinking about an eventual international career or simply interested hearing student panels discuss their experience during a term abroad, these YouTube videos provide some insights from the voice of the global traveler:   MGoAbroad 

Follow U-M Global Nursing on Twitter.