Global Health Abroad

Immerse yourself in culturally enriching opportunities to explore important health issues from diverse perspectives and through the lenses of various disciplines via Earlham’s off-campus health programs in Costa Rica and Peru or by shadowing at a bilingual hospital.

Learn more about our programs below.


Global Health in Costa Rica

Earlham College has once again funded international travel experiences for students pursuing careers in public health as part of a continuing partnership in Latin America.

In 2019, nine Earlhamites, a majority of whom had never traveled outside of the United States, worked alongside medical professionals from the Foundation for the International Medical Relief for Children (FIMRC) across Costa Rica. FIMRC and faculty mentors from Earlham prepared the team of students to participate in public health campaigns, working at mobile clinics and after-school centers to support families from underrepresented populations, including Nicaraguan refugees.


Led by José-Ignacio Pareja, Ph.D. (director of the Science and Technology Commons) and Lori Watson, Ph.D. (professor of Chemistry), the group of nine students was comprised of aspiring dentists, pediatricians, physical and occupational therapists and alternative medicine practitioners.

The team took a step toward those goals by learning how to take vital signs and glucose readings, working in a pharmacy, and designing health education programming for children. The students were also supported by doctors and psychologists from the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children and received additional mentorship from Kevin Schmidt Tanager, M.D., a member of Earlham’s Class of 2012 who is currently conducting his residency in pathology at the University of Chicago. Tanager was a Chemistry and Biology double-major at Earlham.


Global Health in Peru

In May 2017, Earlham launched its first global health May Term program in Peru. Students assisted in clinics in communities that have been negatively impacted by flooding and landslides. The program was funded by Earlham’s Center for Global Health and the Center for Global Education. The three-week program allowed students and faculty to participate in initiatives organized by International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) and Partners in Health, two multinational global healthcare organizations.


Led by Peter Blair, Ph.D. (associate professor of biology and co-director of the Center for Global Health) and José-Ignacio Pareja, Ph.D. (director of the Science and Technology Commons and a native of Peru), the group of 10 students provided diabetes and blood pressure tests, health checks, fluoride treatments and doctor referrals. The program also allowed students to improve their Spanish, learn a little about the culture of Peru, and reflect on the cultural and ethical issues raised by international public health campaigns.