Switzerland

Food Security and Nutrition

Get an in-depth look at how the international community addresses today’s challenges of food security, nutrition, and health around the world.

At a Glance

Credits

9

Prerequisites

Relevant previous coursework

Language of Study

French

Courses taught in

English

Dates

Jun 2 ‎– Jul 14

Program Countries

Switzerland

Program Excursion Countries

Croatia

Program Base

Nyon/Geneva

Critical Global Issue of Study

Global Health & Well-being

Global Health & Well-being Icon

Overview

WHY STUDY FOOD SECURITY IN GENEVA?

Alleviating hunger and ensuring access to healthy and balanced nutrition are among the top priorities cited in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. From your base in Geneva, you’ll learn how experts from the UN World Food Program and World Health Organization are addressing health and nutritional needs. Explore a range of issues, such as food sovereignty, global health, climate change, humanitarian emergencies, and forced migration in the context of sustainable development and global food security. Excursions include a visit to Istria, Croatia, to savor the peninsula’s rich culinary tradition and experience the slow food movement.

Highlights

  • Examine obstacles to nutrition and global food security in the 21st century.
  • Network with professionals at major international organizations.
  • Uncover sustainable agriculture’s role in fostering food security and public health.
  • Explore the cultural diversity and rich culinary tradition of the Istrian region.

Prerequisites

Coursework or majors in the following areas: environmental studies, ecology, agriculture, sustainable development, political science, policy studies, sociology, or public health.

Excursions

ISTRIAN PENINSULA’S CULINARY TRADITION

Visit the verdant countryside and taste the farm fresh ingredients of Istria — a region at the crossroads of Latin, and Slavic cultures — on a weeklong trip. Explore the Istrian Peninsula, which covers parts of Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia, and is known among globe-trotting gourmands and enthusiasts of the slow food movement. Sample some of Europe’s highest quality olive oils and truffles. Learn about the role of organic food production, sustainable agriculture, and fisheries in fostering food security and public health. Take in the charming medieval houses and cobblestone streets of Rovinj, an enchanting fishing town surrounded on three sides by the sparkling Adriatic waters.

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

Academics

Coursework

Access virtual library guide.

The program’s thematic seminar examines issues of food security from the perspective of sustainable development and social stability. Students also undertake an independent project, directing their interests toward a specific research question. The program includes a French language component.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. However, courses develop and change over time and the program takes advantage of dynamic learning opportunities. As a result, actual course content may vary from term to term.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Key Topics

  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Impact of climate change on food sovereignty and global health
  • Public health and non-communicable diseases
  • Obesity, under-nutrition, and inadequate nutrition
  • Infant and child feeding
  • Slow food culture in Switzerland and Istria

Food Security, Nutrition, and Sustainable Development

Food Security, Nutrition, and Sustainable Development – syllabus
(IPBH3000 / 3 credits)

Students examine a broad range of topics such as food culture and nutrition, their links to global health in both developing and developed countries, global agri-business and food trade, land ownership, land grabbing and other factors affecting food security and food sovereignty, and broader but connected issues such as global health, climate change, and forced migration.

French

Beginning French I – syllabus
(FREN1003 / 3 credits)

Intermediate French I – syllabus
(FREN2003 / 3 credits)

Advanced French I – syllabus
(FREN3003 / 3 credits)

Emphasis on speaking and comprehension skills through classroom and field instruction. Students are placed in intensive beginning, intermediate, or advanced classes based on in-country evaluation, including oral proficiency testing.

Project on Food Security, Nutrition, and Sustainable Development

Project on Food Security, Nutrition, and Sustainable Development – syllabus
(IPBH3060 / 3 credits)

In this course, students are introduced to recent research and become familiar with the methodologies employed in public health and development studies. Students select and analyze relevant issues in consultation with program faculty. In most cases, topics grow out of lectures, briefings, and discussions of the Food Security, Nutrition, and Sustainable Development course. Students directly apply experience-based learning and interactive research skills.

Potential research project topics:

  • Food security and socio-political stability
  • Biofuels and implications of land grabbing
  • The interplays between malnutrition and infectious disease
  • Organic food culture and nutritional diet in local contexts
  • Infant feeding in the context of natural disaster and humanitarian relief
  • The use of GMOs in agricultural and food production supply chains

Homestays

Nyon

A five-week homestay with a local family in the French-speaking canton of Vaud will enrich your cultural experience during the program. Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, approximately 15 miles north east of the city center, Vaud offers a variety of outdoor activities and historical sites. The picturesque town of Nyon, where most of the homestays are located, is surrounded by the Jura Mountains and La Côte vineyards, offering leisure activities on weekends.

Living with your homestay family for almost the entire program, you will have the opportunity to improve your French language skills and gain insight into the traditional values of Switzerland, such as tolerance, federalism, neutrality, and direct democracy. You will commute to classes and program activities in Geneva just like the locals, using the region’s excellent public transportation system.

Other Accommodations

You will stay in a hostel during the orientation period and while on excursion.

Faculty & Staff

Switzerland: Food Security and Nutrition

Alexandre Lambert, PhD
Academic Director
Christina Cornes, MA
Homestay Coordinator
Françoise Flourens, MA
Academic Coordinator
Anne Golaz, MD, DrMed
Academic Advisor

Discover the Possibilities

  • COST & SCHOLARSHIPS

    SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.

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