Field Experiences are a hallmark of the Global Health programs at UW-Madison and a unique opportunity for students to explore global health issues outside the classroom, engage with community partners, and learn from experts and practitioners in the field.
Field experiences are required of all students in the Certificate in Global Health. Students in the Global Health Major are not required to complete a field experience, but they are strongly encouraged and may be counted as a depth course in the major.
We encourage planning 6-9 months in advance to ensure that you find the right program and do not miss any application deadlines. Students can complete a field experience any time before graduation, but we encourage students to complete their field experience before senior year.
Field experiences range from 1 to 4 credits and are educational programs, not volunteer opportunities. With the exception of senior Nursing students in supervised clinical programs, students will not provide medical care to patients as part of their field experience. Ethical engagement is central to a global health ethos, and our field experiences programs strive to follow best practices and core ethical guidelines.
International Field Experiences
Signature Short-Term Study Abroad
Typically 2-3 week programs led by UW-Madison faculty/staff and developed specifically for global health students. Students apply through the UW-Madison Study Abroad (IAP) website.
Semester and Summer-length Study Abroad
Longer study abroad programs offered through IAP and approved as field experiences. Programs with many courses, such as DIS or CIEE, have a specific list of approved courses that can meet the field experience requirement.
International & Domestic Internships
Cultivated and independent internships that range from 4 weeks (summer) to 15 weeks (semester) and are administered through the International Internship Program (IIP) or Study Abroad (IAP).
Local Field Experiences
Local UW-Madison Courses
Select UW-Madison courses that have a field or community engagement component and cover global health topics. These courses are typically open for enrollment for declared students and do not require an application.
Local Programs and Internships
Local internships and programs with a public health focus that vary in length from a couple of weeks to a full semester. These programs require an application, and accepted students enroll in UW-Madison credit.
Local Independent Internships
For students that have identified their own internship with a public health focus and/or global health dimension, and wish to have it satisfy their field experience. Requires approval beforehand.
Funding International Field Experiences
Both International Academic Programs (IAP) and CALS Study Abroad award a large number of scholarships to help offset the cost of study abroad, and we encourage all students to apply for these study abroad scholarships. It is also important to note that most student abroad programs are eligible for financial aid, and for some programs the costs are comparable to being a student here in Madison. To learn more about funding study abroad please explore these resources: