Health and Pre-Med Programs Abroad
Middlebury students are encouraged to meet with an advisor for health professions in the Center for Careers and Internships, for guidance on preparation for a career in health professions.
The following are several examples of study abroad programs geared toward pre-med students and students who are interested in global health and/or public health:
Denmark: Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS): Medical Policy and Practice Program
Gain unique pre-medical experience, such as clinical lab exercises, as well as insight into clinical practices and healthcare in Europe.
- Learn from Danish medical doctors at Copenhagen University hospitals, and gain an insider view of the workings of hospitals and clinics, and the daily practice of physicians such as recording patient history and clinical cases
- Perform physical examinations and procedures on medical phantoms, such as blood drawing, I.V. entry, and suturing
- Compare and contrast healthcare and medical practice in newly reformed countries versus welfare state systems by visiting hospitals, clinics, and research institutions on study tours in Denmark and cities in Western and Eastern Europe
Tel: 1-800 247-3477
Denmark: Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS): Public Health Program
Develop a Northern European perspective on salient aspects of public health such as prevention and quality improvement while examining the challenges of health economics, delivery, and prioritization.
- Travel with your classmates and DIS faculty on course-integrated study tours to compare insights from the analysis of contrasting national healthcare systems
- Access to real-life and current debates within the Danish healthcare system by designing a research question in a semester-long project in collaboration with a Danish public healthcare institution
- Examine what determines the priority setting for healthcare provision and the relationship between the many players involved in policy making and delivery of health services
Tel: 1-800 247-3477
Denmark: Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS): Biomedicine
Delve into biotechnology-based methods for disease treatment and the dynamics of drug discovery and development, and build your perspective on the relationship between academia and the biotech industry.
- Gain insight into world-leading biotechnology research, development, and academia on faculty-led study tours
- Get hands-on experience through the Science & Communication Project by interviewing and researching a Scandinavian biomedical company about their products and labs
- Learn about the biology behind new-generation biopharmaceuticals from leaders in field studies to companies and research institutions
Tel: 1-800 247-3477
SIT Study Abroad: IHP Health and Community: Globalization, Culture, and Care
SIT's IHP Health and Community study abroad programs offer a comparative perspective on some of the most challenging health issues around the world. These intellectually stimulating and experientially rich programs can jump-start your graduate education or career in public health, medicine, anthropology, international development or a related field.
The Health and Community program strengthens students' ability to understand, interpret and compare the biological, ecological, economic, political, and socio-cultural factors that affect human health. Students broaden their global perspective and deepen their skills in critical and comparative thinking, while gaining practical knowledge about:
- The health impacts of globalization
- Comparative health systems
- Governance and policymaking
- Public health issues and innovative strategies to address them
- Field-based research methods and analysis.
Fall Program Sites: USA, India, South Africa, Brazil
Spring Program Sites (option 1): USA, India, South Africa, Brazil
Spring Program Sites (option 2): USA, Argentina, South Africa, Vietnam
SIT Study Abroad - Kenya: Urbanization, Health & Human Rights
This program examines health and human rights in Kenya through a complex constellation of urban issues including housing, urban infrastructures, land tenure, informal settlements, food (in)security in the city, and evictions.
Students consider demographics, public health education, HIV/AIDS, health issues of orphaned and vulnerable children, women’s healthcare needs, differential access to healthcare, and mental healthcare, among other topics, in various cultural contexts.
Students examine Kenya’s healthcare challenges, practices, and systems, in both rural and urban contexts, together with analyses of locally informed debates surrounding human rights.
SIT Study Abroad - South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy
This program focuses on topics such as the relationship between traditional healing and state-of-the-art medicine, prenatal care, access to healthcare, and health education. Students consider how various health paradigms — ranging from biomedical to holistic — and health policies have achieved mixed results in addressing the healthcare needs of South African people.
The program base of Durban, in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, serves as a nexus of health teaching, research, and practice in both allopathic and traditional healing systems. Students receive lectures from academics and leaders of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), many of whom are on the cutting edge of research and policy development in South Africa.
CIEE Botswana: Community Public Health
Botswana is on a quest for a zero-rate of new infections of HIV by 2016. With CIEE, you’ll explore the country’s campaign against this devastating disease and actively work side by side with nurses, doctors, and social workers in clinics, hospitals, and community agencies. Engaging coursework, Setswana-language learning, homestays, and more will immerse you in this inspirational country and help you gain an understanding of its people. Your work in the classroom and engagement in the community offer you a unique insight into healthcare in Botswana and a profound intercultural study abroad experience.
Study abroad in Gaborone and you'll:
- Study with local professors and students though direct enrollment at the University of Botswana
- Intern with local healthcare service providers and organizations
- Partake in an urban community service practicum based in and around Gaborone
- Explore rural public health issues and the relationship between modern and traditional medicine through a multi-day stay in a rural village
CIEE Thailand: Community Public Health
Known for its innovative public health system, Thailand provides a fabulous environment for students interested in an intensive and integrated experience. Combining traditional classroom instruction with extensive field study involving public health initiatives, healthcare facilities, and visits to local communities, you will examine issues of public health and social services on a local, national, and international level.
Study abroad in Northeast Thailand, and you will:
- Interact and engage with villagers, academic researchers, government officers, and practitioners working to improve public health in Thailand
- Immerse yourself through visits to various public health facilities and through community research stays
- Visit another Southeast Asian country to compare and contextualize your knowledge of public health systems
- Get a university experience with direct enrollment at Khon Kaen University’s Faculty of Public Health
- Engage in Thai culture through community stays, translated exchanges, Thai student roommates, and peer tutors
Costa Rica: Organization for Tropical Studies: Tropical Medicine and Public Health
OTS (Duke University)'s program is designed primarily for pre-med, biology, public health, and natural science majors to be trained in research in the areas of tropical medicine and public health in Costa Rica. The 15-week undergraduate semester abroad program emphasizes the scientific, intercultural, and social aspects of global health, tropical medicine, public health, ethnobiology, and research topics in these subjects. Instruction focuses on the internationally-recognized OTS method of field-based, hands-on learning. Lectures, readings from primary literature, and discussions are also integral components of the program and provide the conceptual framework for discussion, analysis, and interpreting field observations and research.
Tel. (919) 684-5774
Middlebury School in Latin America, Chile
The Middlebury School in Chile offers course work and internship options in public health. More information:
Science courses are available at many of the Middlebury Schools Abroad, in the language of the host country.
English-speaking University (direct enrollment) Options:
There are many opportunities for pre-med students at UK and Irish universities; see our web site for more information. Also, a number of universities in Australia and New Zealand offer pre-med opportunities; see our web site.
Some specific examples include:
England: University of Bristol (Pre-Medicine)
The University of Bristol's Faculty of Medical Sciences offers units in anatomy, biochemistry and physiology, neuroscience, molecular genetics and cell biology. In addition, units from the Science Faculty can help you prepare for MCAT. The Departments of Philosophy, English Literature and Religion and Theology also offer fascinating units ideally suited to students pursuing pre-Medical degrees. Pre-Medical students in the past have chosen units such as: ‘Buddhist Psychology and Mental Health’, ‘A Body of Evidence: Forensic Medicine in Britain’ and ‘Philosophy of Medicine’.(Please note: You can study at Bristol for the full year, or for fall or spring semesters only; note that the fall semester includes J-term.)
England: King's College London: Health & Society
The Health and Society course (MX1000) offers a valuable learning opportunity for undergraduate students, interested in studying medicine at the pre-med level. The course is particularly suitable for those registered or thinking of registering for their Medical Degrees and is offered in conjunction with other elective modules as part of the King’s College London Study Abroad Programme.
The Health and Society course is the first in the UK to offer an integrated curriculum including the social, ethical and anthropological perspectives underpinning practice. The course combines an in-class curriculum with a range of shadowing opportunities in different clinical settings.
Stacey Thebodo, Assistant Director
International Programs and Off-Campus Study
Arlinda Wickland, Health Professions Advisor