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The program investigates prominent issues dominating the international health and development arena. You will learn through onsite briefings and lectures with health and development experts at international and nongovernmental organizations such as the University Hospital of Geneva, the World Health Organization, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. The program’s eight-day excursion to Morocco provides you with a different vantage point in which to compare and contrast public health systems and the impact of development on health.
One of the people who I interviewed for my Independent Study Project (ISP) works at the University of Colorado (CU) Anschutz Medical Campus, where I now intern. After working on my ISP, I wanted to pursue research on cancer stem cells and asked my interviewee about internship opportunities at CU. My ISP work helped me get my foot in the door for an internship that has inspired me to pursue a career in cancer research.
Emily Paton, Santa Clara University
You will have outstanding opportunities throughout the semester to learn from and engage with experts from academic and international organizations headquartered in Geneva. The knowledge and field experience of key program contacts will provide you with concrete illustrations of public health, development policy implementation, and best practices in the areas of health and development.
NGOs with which interactions may be possible include The International Centre for Migration Health and Development, Red Cross Geneva, The Global Institute for Water Environment and Health, and Althea. Engagement with a particular NGO may or may not require French language ability.
You will receive an individual pass to the United Nations library, which you can use for the entire semester. Most of the program’s lectures and French classes take place on a campus-like environment in Nyon, a charming city located on the shores of Lake Geneva. Nyon is located between Geneva (a 15-minute train ride) and Lausanne (a 25-minute train ride).
As a result of the program’s comparative approach, you will be able to consider the complexity of healthcare systems, and health and development policy, from diverse vantage points. You will witness global health systems from a centralized policy and decision-making perspective in Geneva as well as localized applications of health and development programs in a rural setting in Morocco.
The program fully accommodates beginner, intermediate, and advanced students of French. French instruction — offered at a variety of language levels — is an important part of the overall curriculum. All French courses emphasize speaking and comprehension skills. The excursion to Morocco will expose you to the subtleties and diversity of the French language in a postcolonial cultural environment.
You will spend four weeks near the end of the semester working on an Independent Study Project (ISP), pursuing original research on a selected topic of interest. The ISP is conducted in Geneva or in another approved location appropriate to the project.
Sample topic areas include:
You will work with an ISP advisor, a faculty or professional with expertise in your field of interest. Advisors have included the program’s policy experts, program practitioners, medical professionals, and other experts. In addition to providing needed expertise, the advisor works with you on the design, implementation, and evaluation of your research project.
Previous college-level coursework and/or other significant preparation in development studies; public health; or the social, economic, and political sciences, as assessed by SIT. No previous background in French is required. Students with a background in French will have multiple opportunities to practice their French language skills.
The program’s thematic seminars explore alternative models of public health systems in the context of developed, developing, and transitional societies. Looking at the role of public health within international development requires examination of diverse organizational strategies, programs, and projects of public health policy for major diseases, epidemics, and pandemics. A comparative approach to public health delivery allows a critique of national and international public health agendas and public health support systems. The program also emphasizes the crucial nexus between health, the environment, and development.
The following syllabi are either from a recent session of this program or for an upcoming session. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.
The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
The program spends eight days in Morocco, primarily in the capital of Rabat, with a short excursion to a rural setting. Topics of study during this period include food safety, human rights, and the effects of development on Moroccan culture and politics.
The excursion allows you to compare and contrast public health systems in Morocco and in Switzerland, two very different political and cultural contexts. You will consider the collaboration between nongovernmental organizations, international governmental organizations, and Moroccan health authorities. Additionally, you will examine the realities of development, the effects of international collaboration, and the impact of development policies on public health in a rural setting.
The excursion also gives you a chance to experience Moroccan cuisine, architecture, and the country’s Francophone culture.
You will attend briefings by experts with the Federal Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation during a one-day excursion to Bern. You will typically have a chance to visit the Old City of Bern, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where you will be exposed to the Swiss German identity.
Alexandre Lambert is Swiss and holds a PhD in international relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (Graduate Institute). He has been an academic director and lecturer with the SIT Study Abroad program in Geneva since 2007. Dr. Lambert has been lead researcher on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) at the Graduate Institute, project officer at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), and a civil servant at the Swiss Federal Department of Defense. He belongs to a number of nonprofit civil society organizations, such as the Swiss Foreign Policy Association, the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR), and European Research Group on Armed Forces and Society (ERGOAS). He is also a fellow of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society (IUS) based in Chicago and frequently provides independent policy advice to the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC), including in the context of its regional operations in the Western Balkans, South Caucasus, and Central Asia. Dr. Lambert has published in the field of international politics and history, international security, and security sector governance.
Dr. Golaz is a physician and epidemiologist by training. She holds a medical degree (MD) and a doctorate in medicine (DrMed) from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and a master of public health (MPH) from the University of Washington, in Seattle. She completed the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta and the CDC Preventive Medicine Residency program at the Indian Health Service (IHS) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Dr. Golaz worked as a visiting scientist and medical epidemiologist for the CDC in Atlanta and as a regional immunization advisor on secondment to the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia in Kathmandu, Nepal; the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office in Cairo, Egypt; and the WHO South-East Asia Regional Office, in New Delhi, India.
Dr. Golaz teaches public health in humanitarian emergencies at the University of Geneva’s Center for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH) and at the Global Studies Institute. Before joining the University of Geneva in 2012, she was a UNICEF senior health advisor for humanitarian emergencies in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2007 to 2012.
She has co-authored or contributed to many scientific publications, mostly related to humanitarian action. Her selected recent publications include:
Françoise Flourens joined the Global Health and Development Policy program in January 2015 as academic coordinator. She holds a master’s in community planning and landscape architecture (option environment) from the University of Rhode Island, a master’s in communication from the Paris-based Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, and a bachelor’s in international relations / political science from the University of Sorbonne. She has more than ten years of professional experience in change management and project management in large companies such as IBM and Aerospatiale in France. During her seven years’ stay in the US, she worked for the Department of Environmental Management and the Conservation Law Foundation. Prior to that, she also worked for the French cultural agency in Mexico City. Upon her return from the US, she has been living in Switzerland for the past six years. For over a decade, she has been engaged in manifold volunteer and community projects and has developed a strong interest in medicinal plants and the ecology of places and landscapes.
Dr. Astrid Stuckelberger is a scientist, teacher, and writer recognized internationally for her work and publications on different areas of public health, including policy, gender, ageing, technology, human rights, and ethics. She is currently a senior lecturer and researcher at the Public Health Medical School of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva.
She is currently working on a joint e-learning program led by the World Health Organization (WHO) with the University of Pretoria, Georgetown University, and the University of Geneva for health ministries around the world and WHO regional offices. She has published several books and more than 100 scientific articles, policy papers, and governmental or UN reports.
She holds a master’s of science from the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at the University of Geneva with a specific focus on cross-cultural psychology, media, and anthropology, as well as an advanced master’s of science on cross-cultural health psychology. Her PhD was on the determinants and mechanisms of a population health assessment with a gender perspective (cross-sectional study of the ageing population of the Canton of Geneva).
She has advised the United Nations (UN), the European Commission, and the Swiss government in different areas related to public health. She worked for the Geneva State Health Department as deputy director of the Department’s National Research Programme on Ageing. She received awards from the UN Secretary-General in 1999 for her work and in 2009 was recognized as being among the 100 leading personalities in Switzerland.
Dr. Stuckelberger recently conducted a joint project developing a training manual and casebook on international research ethics with the WHO and Harvard University. She is chair of the UN-affiliated NGO committee on ageing and convener of the working group on education development at the UN. She has represented two nongovernmental academic organizations at the UN for the last ten years. She currently serves on the board of the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues.
With more than twenty years of professional experience in three sectors: private industry, international organizations and universities, Dr. Olivier Brenninkmeijer applies his broad experience to developing quality and integrity in academic degree programs, in teaching, research, student counseling, and inter-cultural university partnerships. Olivier has worked as chief academic officer with CAPA Centres for Academic Programs Abroad; previously, he developed and managed both undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as graduate and postgraduate fellowships.
Olivier holds a PhD and a graduate diploma from the Graduate Institute, University of Geneva, and two degrees from the University of British Columbia, Canada. In recent years, Olivier has also focused on pedagogical methods to enhance quality in university-level education.
As an academic, Olivier has published studies on multilateral conflict prevention, international cooperation for security, and public-private partnerships in industry. He has also conducted research on cross-sector management and on international economic development and humanitarian assistance. What fascinates Olivier most in research and in higher education is to bridge gaps between cultures and sectors to discover areas of convergences where learning becomes most effective and dynamic.
Dr. Agatiello studied international economics and law at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (PhD, MALD) and the Universities of Córdoba (LLD) and Buenos Aires in Argentina (LLB).
After working in the capital markets of New York, London, Tokyo, and Frankfurt am Main in the 1980s, he joined Argentina’s team of foreign debt negotiators at the central bank, eventually reaching the level of undersecretary for Projects and Technical Cooperation and deputy to the vice minister of Economy. In the 1990s he coordinated the Latin American practice of the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie. In the 2000s he coordinated a global program of South-South trade promotion at the International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO), funded by the governments of Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. An advisor to national governments and international organizations, he has worked, mentored, or supervised experts in the field in over 80 countries, including fragile states.
Today, Dr. Agatiello is a professor of international economics and governance. His original interest in international finance over the years shifted to international trade, socioeconomic development, and ethical governance, topics on which he has lectured and published extensively. He is the author, co-author, or editor of 14 books and numerous peer-reviewed articles.
Dr. Judith Richter, associate senior research fellow at the Institute for Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine of Zurich University, has a multidisciplinary background. She studied pharmacy in Geneva (1981), participated in the graduate program at the Tübingen Institute of Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (Ethik in den Wissenschaften), and obtained an MA in development studies at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague (1992) and a PhD in sociology at Amsterdam University (2001).
Throughout her professional carrier, she has interwoven work as researcher and consultant with work as a pharmacist. Much of her research centered on the challenge of safeguarding public interests in global health policies. She has done consultancies for UN agencies, governments, and civil society organisations and networks.
She has written three monographs, numerous articles, briefing papers, and book chapters (among others, with Zed Books, Harvard University Press, and Routledge) and has given presentations, lectures, and workshops in 22 countries on four continents. Audiences ranged from UN officials, academics and students to civic activists; venues included the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), Oxford University, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Hastings Center, Jawahrlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and the Institutes of Development Studies in Geneva and The Hague.
Her work as a health professional included work as a pharmacist in hospital and retail pharmacies in (the French, German and Italian speaking regions of) Switzerland and in Germany. She has also worked as researcher and information coordinator with a consumer protection group in Bangkok and as a lecturer of community pharmacy at Khon Kaen University in northeast Thailand.
You will spend 14 weeks living with a Swiss or international family outside of Nyon in a small city, town, or village. Most of the host communities lie northeast of Geneva between Nyon and Morges.
Families typically are middle class and reflect the cultural diversity of Switzerland. Host parents and siblings may speak more than one language, e.g., German, English, and/or Italian, in addition to French.
Most host families are located, on average, 20 minutes by train to the SIT center in Nyon and 20 minutes by train to central Geneva. Trains to Geneva run every 15 minutes.
During the homestay, you might undertake a variety of outings with your host families; activities could include skiing, tennis, swimming, volleyball, and/or hiking. Cultural offerings are vast and include music festivals, art exhibitions, museums, and theaters.
During the program’s excursion in Morocco, you will stay for four days with a host family (two students per family) in the historic city center (medina) of Rabat and for three days in a rural area of northern Morocco.
You will continue to live with your Geneva/Nyon homestay family during the ISP period.
A diversity of students representing different colleges, universities, and majors study abroad on this program. Many of them have gone on to do amazing things that connect back to their experience abroad with SIT. Learn what some of them are now doing.
Program Arrival Date: Aug 24, 2016
Program Departure Date: Dec 6, 2016
The dates listed above are subject to change. Please note that travel to and from the program site may span a period of more than one day.
Student applications to this program will be reviewed on a rolling basis between the opening date and the deadline.
Application Deadline: May 1, 2016
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding; this award can be applied to any SIT semester program. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
International Airfare to Program Launch Site
International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
Visa Expenses: $ 465
Books & Supplies: $ 150
International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.
Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.
Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.