Public Health Study Abroad: Everything You Need to Know

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Community Public Health

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College Study Abroad

If you’re majoring in public health, or if the subject is related to your studies in some way, save this post. You can even bookmark this piece if you’re simply passionate about the topic and you’re starting to picture the public health field in your future career.  

Why should you save this? Because we’re going to review everything you need to know about public health study abroad!  

Can You Study Public Health Abroad?  

Absolutely! CIEE offers several fascinating public health study abroad programs across the world and we highly recommend students with public health backgrounds or interest in the industry look into study abroad opportunities.  

Which Country is Best for Studying Public Health?  

Now this is a tricky question because all our public health study abroad program destinations are incredible! From Europe and Greater China to Latin America, Africa, and beyond, our programs span the world, each offering a unique perspective on public health.  

No matter which public health study abroad program you choose, you’re in for a fantastic experience. Not only will you learn more about a variety of international health systems and their impact on the population, but you’ll also get to dive deep into the local culture and make lifelong connections with people from all over the world.  

Although there’s no wrong choice when it comes to picking a study abroad public health location, we do suggest taking a close look at programs in nations with evolving public health systems, such as Argentina or the Dominican Republic. In such places, you’ll be particularly challenged and gain unique perspective into the magnitude of public health systems.  

santiago dominican republic orientation

Why Study Public Health Abroad?  

There are many reasons why you should study public health abroad, but we’ve tried to narrow our thoughts down to just three:  

Reason #1: You’ll learn more about the world.  

During your public health study abroad program, you’re going to gain real-world experience shadowing professionals and volunteering in public health clinics, hospitals, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). You’re going to learn a lot about the significant role public health systems play in different countries and how such systems truly impact a nation and its people.  

Reason #2: You’ll stand out to future employers.  

Chances are if you’re interested in public health study abroad programs, you’re planning on continuing your studies in the field or incorporating your experience in a future career. And you should. With public health abroad experience, you’ll not only learn more about international public health systems, but you’ll also gain a competitive skillset such as intercultural competency and communication skills, problem-solving skills, and more. You are going to be an absolute standout to a future employer.  

santiago public health

Read More: How to Put Study Abroad on Your Resume: 4 Steps

Reason #3: Make a global impact.  

During your public health study abroad program, you’re going to meet many people, no matter what type of experience you choose. This includes getting to know public health professionals and educators, and possibly recipients of a variety of public health-related services, including citizens, local community groups, and more. With these encounters, you’re going to learn a lot, and most importantly, you’re going to make a difference.  

Top 4 Public Health Study Abroad Programs

We’ve covered that we have several exciting public health study abroad programs, but which ones do we consider some of our top ones? Let’s take a look at our list below.  

Community Public Health (Gaborone)  

As the capital of Botswana, Gaborone is home to one of the most vital healthcare systems on the African continent. Students on this program will dive deep into regional, social, and scientific health issues. As you gain a deep understanding of biology, medicine, and other integral public health courses in the classroom, outside the classroom, you’ll observe community public health in action in government-run clinics, NGOs, and hospitals. 

Program details:  

  • Length: 18 weeks
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours/22.5-27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.8 Overall GPA
  • Costs: $19,850
  • Featured Course: Public and Environmental Health Issues in Botswana  
  • Excursion Highlight: Visit the world-renowned Khama Rhino Sanctuary  

Summer Community Public Health (Gaborone)  

Although shorter, this public health study abroad program in Gaborone is just as impactful. You’ll learn valuable information in your courses at both CIEE Gaborone and at our partner school, University of Botswana, while working alongside local organizations conducting community assessments and organizing health fairs in communities in rural Botswana. This will be an unforgettable experience.  

Program details:  

  • Length: Eight weeks
  • Credit: 10 semester hours/15 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA
  • Costs: $7,950
  • Excursion Highlight: Explore the magnificent Mokolodi Nature Reserve


gaborone public health student selfie

Summer Community Public Health (Santiago DR)

You’ll get a close look and new perspective on the social and health issues facing the Caribbean in our Summer Community Public Health program in Santiago, one of the Dominican Republic’s major cities. While you learn more about this evolving system, you’ll also improve your Spanish language skills and explore the beautiful DR.  

Program details:

  • Length: Eight weeks  
  • Credit: 10 semester hours/15 quarter hours  
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA
  • Costs: $8,750
  • Featured Course: Pre-Professional Health Care Issues  
  • Excursion Highlight: Explore 1,000 miles of topical paradisiac coastline  

Summer Community Public Health (Buenos Aires)

Travel to the Argentinian capital and dive into the public health challenges of Latin America while developing your Spanish language skills and absorbing valuable information from a range of courses including biology, medicine, nursing, and more.  

Program details:

  • Length: Eight weeks  
  • Credit: 10 semester hours/15 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA
  • Costs: $8,450
  • Excursion Highlight: Visit many museums, art galleries, and cultural centers like Museo de Bellas Artes and Centro Cultural Recoleta

Take Your Public Health Studies Global

Public health study abroad programs are not only an exciting opportunity with CIEE, but they’re also fun. You’ll explore local communities and see incredible international sites, all while learning about a field you’re passionate about both inside the classroom and out. What are you waiting for? Get exploring today!