- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.5 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Junior standing or above at the start of the program
- Completion of BB H 305 (Introduction to Global Health), BB H/ H P A 440 (Principles of Epidemiology) and BB H 390A (Preparation for Global Health Fieldwork)
- Admittance to the Global Health minor. Only students enrolled at University Park are admitted to the minor.
- Students should understand that for much of the fieldwork they will be living in a high altitude region.
- Students do not need to know Spanish for entry to the program, but must be willing to take language classes once in-country that are embedded in the schedule.
As part of the Global Health (GLBHL) minor, students must complete a supervised fieldwork experience, either internationally or domestically, for a period of five weeks during the first summer session i.e. May-June. Throughout their field work experience, students will engage in a range of inter-cultural encounters and gain broad knowledge of global health issues in the resource-poor context. More specifically, they will work in pairs or small groups, under the guidance of an on-site coordinator and supervisor, to observe and, where appropriate, contribute to locally relevant projects that serve to understand and address global health inequities.
Prior to their entry to the fieldwork program, students must complete a semester-long preparation course (i.e. BB H 390A), which aims to ensure their logistic and academic readiness to travel. Following their return to campus, they are encouraged to engage in an interactive workshop during which they will be asked to reflect upon and share their field experiences, as well as consider how their greater appreciation and knowledge of global health issues may be integrated into their personal and professional goals and plans.
Students' direct experience and interactions with local communities serves to deepen their understanding of the complexity of global health issues and interventions, as well as develop the core competencies needed to work cooperatively and respectfully with diverse groups in a global health setting. The fieldwork experience also encourages students to become independent and active global citizens who engage in meaningful two-way exchanges of knowledge and ideas for the purpose of contributing to the development of society.
This five-week field work placement will take place in the beautiful South American country of Ecuador. Students will undertake fieldwork in Quito with multiday side trips to Oltavalo and Cuyabeno National Park. Spending the first three weeks in Quito students will visit numerous clinical sites from a large government hospital to small community clinics. Each weekday students will spend a portion of their time learning Spanish in small classroom settings and each week they’ll attend seminars focusing on global health issues across the country. Weekends students will have the opportunity to visit the Equator, visit a world famous indigenous market and engage in numerous other cultural outings. During their last two weeks students will travel to Cuyabeno National Park and have an opportunity to explore Ecuador’s indigenous health clinics and healing traditions, and gain an understanding of the importance of environmental protections and initiatives in the Amazon region.
Summer: May 14 - June 18, 2022
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.
Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.
Withdrawal & Refund Policy
Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.
Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.
Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. For faculty-led freestanding programs, there is a specific withdrawal penalty schedule.
Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account
Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
30 - 89 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
Following the start of the summer semester, any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. More information can be found on the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.
If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.
After the Start of the Program
For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.