Study Abroad

More than 65% of Richmond students complete a study abroad. Because cultural awareness and skills are critical for health professionals, 100% of HS majors and minors are encouraged to participate in a semester-long, summer, or short-term international education program in addition to engaging with cultural learning opportunities on the UR campus.

Several UR partner organizations offer special health-focused study abroad programs. For example, the International Honors Program from SIT Study Abroad offers community health programs that involve visiting multiple countries (like Argentina, India, Jordan, and South Africa) within a single semester. DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden) offers core courses for pre-med and public health students that involve local field trips and weeks-long study trips to other European countries. CIEE offers summer sessions focused on community public health in countries such as Argentina, Botswana, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom as well as semester-long programs.

Another model for study abroad is to be a visiting student at a partner university. This option allows UR students to select a set of health-related and other courses that fulfill UR degree requirements. HS students have had transformative experiences studying in dozens of countries, including (among others) Australia, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, France, Hungary, Kenya, India, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Visit the GatewayAbroad website and search within the Health Studies subject area to identify study abroad programs that offer health-related programs and courses. Your academic advisor and advisors from the Office of International Education can help you make a great selection and being preparing for your cross-cultural experience.

The UR Study Abroad Course Equivalency database lists courses that have been pre-approved to count toward the HS major or minor.  Courses not listed in the database can be approved by your advisor after you have been accepted by a study abroad partner and are ready to register for courses. 

Meet a Health Studies major

Photo of Alana Curtis

Alanna Curtis ’24 spent the Fall 2022 semester studying at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in the heart of Barcelona, completing courses about the history and cultures of Spain as well as ones that fulfill requirements for her Health Studies major.  “UPF’s Program for Interdisciplinary Studies allowed me to take interesting classes in both Spanish and English,” she reported, “like one on ‘Ethics in a Globalization and Sustainability Context’ that challenged me to apply a systems thinking lens to bioethics and other dimensions of decision making in public health and clinical practice.” 

Her time outside the classroom was an even more valuable learning experience.  “Studying abroad in Spain forced me to practice my Spanish language skills every day, and I was also able to experience other languages and cultures by traveling to other European countries.”  After a Summer 2023 internship with the event fundraising team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Curtis is exploring nursing, public health, and healthcare administration as possible career pathways.  “I know that being proficient in Spanish and having intercultural communication skills will help me become a highly competent health professional.  Studying abroad was an incredible experience for me as a Health Studies major.”