Gain a global perspective

Infographic with statisticsUndergraduate study abroad programs led by the School of Nursing

Due to disruptions in international travel caused by COVID-19, the U-M School of Nursing is offering global immersion experiences locally and virtually. Study abroad programs will resume when conditions permit.

Learn about the value of global experiences from current and former students

Gabriela Miles (BSN '20) describes the impact of studying midwifery in Denmark. 

Read nursing students describe their global experiences in their own words on the Michigan Nursing Students Abroad blog.

Staff Q&A: Academic Program Manager Beste Erel Windes

Undergraduate students at the U-M School of Nursing have a unique opportunity to declare a minor in Population Health in a Global Context. The minor expands on the undergraduate curriculum to allow students to more fully explore global health through a variety of courses and a required field experience, providing opportunities to examine health care processes and systems at the global level.

Academic Program Manager Beste Erel Windes explains how a minor in global health can take your nursing career in exciting directions and create new job opportunities in an increasingly interconnected world.

Beste staff portraitWhat are the basic requirements students need to fulfill for this program?

Beste Windes: The requirements are actually very flexible. There are 15 credit hours required in addition to a student's nursing courses. You’re already required to complete 12 credits of open electives for your BSN, so basically you're taking one more course to fulfill a minor on top of your nursing degree. There are also ways students can combine their other interests into this minor. For example, if a student is doing a minor in Spanish or anthropology, we can use some of those credit hours toward this global health minor.

What is the immersion experience requirement?

BW: The main purpose of the immersion experience is not for students to leave the United States but to gain the skills and competencies required to develop intercultural intelligence, and there are many ways to accomplish that. We put together programs specific to nursing students’ needs, but nursing students are also encouraged to explore global programs through the LSA Center for Global Intercultural Study (CGIS), School of Engineering Global Health Design Initiative, Ross School of Business and the School of Public Health. There are also internships and volunteer experiences we can develop with students, leveraging our expansive global partnerships. Every student is different, so I work closely with each student to make sure their interests are lined up well with the global experience they are pursuing.

How can students make research part of their immersion experience?

BW: There are a lot of opportunities to connect with mentors and use global health toward your future goals, including research experiences that can help you if you're interested in graduate school. If students have a specific research interest and a faculty mentor they’re already working with, they can make that part of their immersion experience, traveling with their mentor to assist with research while also exploring the places they’re working in. And because we are a Pan-American Health Organization PAHO/World Health Organization WHO Collaborating Center, we are part of an amazing network and have access to valuable resources.

How can this program expose students to other career opportunities in global health?

BW: Global health is broad and mostly uncharted territory, yet there are some established pathways for nurses within global health careers such as practice, research and policy/advocacy. If a student is interested in service, research or policymaking in a career with organizations such as U.S. Agency for International Development USAID, WHO or other international bodies, we help create pathways to take your career there once you become a nurse. Some of those go through immersion experiences around the world, while others are based around the research or consulting experiences our faculty members participate in.

What are the advantages of studying global health at the U-M School of Nursing?

BW: I think our global mindset is one of the most uniquely important aspects of being a student here, and I think every student should take advantage of that as much as they can. When you pursue this minor at the School of Nursing, you will be networking with scholars who are well known for their work in global health. When you decide to pursue a global opportunity and need someone to vouch for your qualifications, you can rely on the Michigan professors who worked with you to develop those skills. If you are committed to global health, it's very important that you have the professional network and infrastructure that can help launch your career.

Learn more about global health at the U-M School of Nursing, and contact Beste at


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