International Study Opportunities

Penn State is dedicated to educating its students to become the next generation of global citizens and leaders. International study and field experiences provide Penn State students opportunities to explore how different cultures, economies, and governments address social issues like the provision of health care. There are many ways for Health Policy and Administration students to go abroad and incorporate an international experience into their academic careers.

Education Abroad Programs
Global Penn State Programs

Global Institutes (under the Health Sciences track)

IES: London, Health Practice and Policy (Fall or Spring Semester / 15 Credits)
Requirements: Second Semester Standing and a 3.0 Minimum GPA

The IES: Health Practice & Policy program was created to meet the academic needs of students in pre-professional medical studies and public health majors and minors, as well as Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology. The program allows students to immerse themselves in public health issues in various locations such as London and Kingston, Jamaica through theories and practice. Some of the courses offered for Penn State students include health studies taught by IES Abroad in London, one elective course from the Study London Program, and an intensive service learning and practicum in London and Kingston at the University of the West Indies School of Nursing, Mona. In the last two weeks of the semester, students participate in an extended field study trip to Kingston at the University Of West Indies School Of Nursing, Mona where they learn through lectures, discussions, and a practicum at community health clinics.

IES: Santiago, Health Studies (Summer / 7 Credits)
Requirements: Sophomore class standing or higher at time of study; 2.5 Cumulative GPA; 4 semesters of Spanish (or equivalent)

As the capital of Chile, a country with one of the strongest economies in Latin America, Santiago is the industrial and financial center of Chile and home to more than six million people, making it an ideal place to observe rapid development and its effects on culture and society. Experience first-hand how historic and modern architecture, fine and folk arts, a dynamic business sector, and fascinating history come together in this electrifying metropolis. The IES Abroad Santiago Summer Health Studies program allows students to fully immerse themselves in the daily life and culture of Chile while studying the Spanish for Health Practitioner’s and taking a clinical observation course. Due to Chile's community-centered health system, students have the unique experience to gain culturally-based health practices and an understanding of navigating the health care system of a developing nation.

Courses are conducted in Spanish, and this program is appropriate for students with at least four semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent). There are two prescribed courses for the program, with students having the option of one of two Spanish courses.

To view a list of other semester long programs available to our students, visit Education Abroad Programs through the Global Programs website.

Faculty Led Programs

The Department of Health Policy and Administration offers several faculty-led study abroad experiences. These programs include activities such as observation at in-country health facilities, lectures by in-country experts, and participation in fieldwork.

HPA students have the option of taking a short-term faculty led trip as they rotate to various locations in different semesters. Current faculty led programs are being led or planned for Costa Rica and Sweden. Credits for this experience will range from one to twelve and include at least two pre-trip sessions covering the cultural, social, economic, and health system issues of that particular country and two post trip sessions to process and apply this experience to future careers in health care.

To find out which current faculty led programs are being offered visit the Penn State Schedule of Courses (look for HPA 499) or visit Global Programs Education Abroad Regional Program Brochures.

Global Health Minor

The Global Health Minor (GLBHL), offered by the Department of Biobehavioral Health, is designed to give students exposure to issues affecting the health of various populations in the world. Emphasis is placed on encouraging students to more fully recognize the global interconnectedness of current population health problems and to think critically about how particular global health challenges might best be solved.

The GLBHL minor supports the goals of those who are planning careers in research and teaching or in health services, be it in universities, government agencies, international agencies, non-governmental organizations, or private industry. The minor also provides those who plan advanced specialist health training—in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, allied health (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy), or other areas—with a broad appreciation of the most critical global health topics, which will enhance their later education and practice. It is anticipated that completion of the GLBHL minor will prepare students for positions of global leadership and greatly enhance their competence and competitiveness when applying for health-related post-baccalaureate training and careers.

As part of the minor, students complete a field work experience that is designed to give students an opportunity to translate knowledge obtained in the classroom in a practical setting and further nurture their cultural awareness and sensitivity.