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SIT India Public Health, Gender, and Community Action

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring

Location:

New Delhi, India

Credit:

Transfer

Eligibility:

2.5 GPA, good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

Spring: 9/27, Fall: 3/15

Program Cost:

Refer to the Application tab for more details

Photo Credit

SIT Study Abroad offers more than 60 accredited semester and summer study abroad programs — in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as the International Honors Program, comparative programs in multiple locations.

The SIT Experience

  • Rigorous academic programs through a field-based, experiential approach
  • Undergraduate research through an Independent Study Project
  • Cultural immersion through fieldwork, language classes, and urban and rural homestays with local families
  • A small group of students in each program, supported by SIT faculty and staff, homestay families, in-country experts, and community members
  • Access to SIT's extensive local resources and networks
  • A commitment to reciprocity as the foundation of our educational philosophy

Academic Program

Explore the links between public health, gender, and community action in India and Thailand.

This program studies the relationship between public health and community in a field-study context. You will analyze specific case studies that illuminate the problems, prospects, and potential methods of promoting health. Policy advocacy efforts for realization of the right to health on the national and international levels will also be examined, along with relevant public health schemes and programs.

Major topics of study include:

  • Public health systems in India and Thailand
  • India systems of medicine (Ayurveda and yoga)
  • Social determinants of health (poverty, gender, and caste) and health equity
  • Public health challenges: water, sanitation, and environment
  • The scourge of malnutrition and responses of the community
  • Regional and grassroots approaches to improving access to healthcare
  • Major communicable diseases such as TB, malaria, and HIV
  • Non-communicable diseases: diabetes miletus and cardiovascular disease
  • Issues and challenges pertaining to mental health
  • “Health” and its relationship to human fulfillment
  • Status of reproductive and child health
  • Community health workers’ role in the healthcare system
  • The National Health Mission (NHM) and status of reproductive and child health
  • Privatization of healthcare and medical tourism in India and Thailand
  • Policy advocacy for health

Students who participate in this course earn 16 s.h. For course descriptions and syllabi, please consult SIT's program webpage.

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Cultural Activities

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Field excursions are an integral part of this program. You will visit rural and tribal communities, NGO headquarters, academic and research institutes, and hospitals in urban and rural sites. Most excursions are to underprivileged areas and aim to provide a better understanding of how social health determinants affect the lives of the poor in otherwise thriving India and Thailand. As part of the excursions, you will participate in health awareness and healthcare work implemented by partner NGOs.

Bahraich

The visit to Bahraich orients you to healthcare delivery in India. You will visit all levels of public healthcare institutions—primary-level community health centers, secondary-level district government hospitals and women’s hospitals, and a sub-center in a nearby hamlet—and observe their delivery of healthcare. You will meet doctors, paramedic staff, patients, village health workers, women, children, and community leaders in forest villages on the Nepal border.

Thailand

The excursion to Thailand provides opportunities to understand the role of NGOs in community mobilization and participation and health advocacy with the government and WHO and to learn about healthcare delivery in the context of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) scheme under Thailand’s National Health Security Act of 2002, which has quickly become a model for universal healthcare coverage for many countries. The Indian government considers Thailand’s system a possible model for healthcare delivery reform of India’s existing free healthcare system. The excursion gives you the opportunity to compare and contrast Thailand’s and India’s healthcare systems, healthcare delivery, and policy environments.

You will visit primary health centers, NGOs, and communities to gain hands-on experience and knowledge. Possible site visits include the Community Health Center in rural Thailand, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, the Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University’s Faculty of Public Health, and the Ministry of Public Health.

Workshop

You will also participate in a one-week workshop. Possible sites and topics include:

  • Goa - Mental health
  • Palampar - Traditional health practices of Ayurveda and yoga
  • Jamkhed - Community rural health
  • Udaipur - Reproductive and tribal health
  • Program Dates

    Program dates vary from year to year, but typically follow the University of Iowa’s academic calendar.

    The fall program takes place from early September to mid-December. The spring program takes place from mid-January to mid-May. You can find the specific dates for the upcoming sessions on SIT's program webpage.

    For More Information

    Steps to Studying Abroad

    1. Before initiating an application with SIT, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa. 
    2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
    3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.
      


    Study Abroad
    1111 University Capitol Centre
    Iowa City, IA 52242

    Phone: 319-335-0353
    Email: study-abroad@uiowa.edu

    New Delhi

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    The program is based in New Delhi, India’s central hub for policymakers and organizations active in both health and human rights. Greater New Delhi is home to more than three hundred international and more than a thousand local NGOs actively involved in the health and development sector. The National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Women, and other rights-focused organizations are headquartered in New Delhi. You will be encouraged to utilize the city’s many academic institutions and resources, including its excellent libraries, to advance your learning.

    New Delhi has an extensive public transportation system, many parks and green spaces such as Lodhi gardens, sports facilities, and dozens of historical monuments and cultural associations. The city sees itself as both cosmopolitan and distinctively representative of its ancient roots.

    India

    India’s astounding diversity of religions, languages, and cultures is unique and unparalleled. The society of vast subcontinent, varied and complex in its rich heritage, is among the oldest in the world.

    Culturally diverse and complex, with mainly rural, traditional, and agrarian population. India now is also a major industrial power experiencing rapid urban growth and rural-urban migration. It is a nation undergoing significant political, economic, and social change, while at the same time struggling to maintain many of its traditions and customs. India today is unfolding a story of a billion plus people, or more precisely, one sixth of the world’s population, on a big move as India's large and complex systems rapidly moving top-down and the country emerge as one of the fastest growing economies of the world.

    US Department of State Country Information

    The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

    Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

    Living Arrangements

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    By living with Indian host families, you will have an excellent opportunity to practice language skills and share daily life, including many memorable meals. You may also experience special cultural activities, including religious ceremonies and weddings.

    New Delhi homestay

    You will live with a carefully selected homestay family in New Delhi for approximately seven weeks. Families are typically middle class and of various sizes and religious backgrounds. A majority of host families have multiple generations living under one roof and are typically located in residential neighborhoods where transportation, shopping, and Internet resources are easily accessible. Most homestay families are at a distance of 20 minutes’ commute by Delhi Metro — known for its punctuality and comfort. The program center is located a walkable distance from the metro station.

    In addition to providing unique living experiences, homestay families are trained by program staff to understand SIT program policies and procedures with regard to student health and safety. Furthermore, the program has a policy of putting two students of the same gender in one home. Two students living in one home and traveling to and from program activities together helps enhance the safety of students. In the event of an emergency, families are equipped to respond. Over the course of the semester, the homestay coordinator and academic director will check in regularly with you and your homestay family.

    Other accommodations include NGO guest houses, hostels, educational institutions, or small hotels.

    Passport

    If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

    US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.

    Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

    Non-US Citizens

    Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.

    Travel Arrangements

    Airfare is not included in the program fee but students will work with SIT to determine the best time for arrival. Students will also receive support from SIT if they need to apply for a visa. More information on travel arrangements will be provided by SIT after the application cycle has concluded.

    Eligibility

    This program is open to UI students who fulfill the following requirements:

    • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA: Students must have at minimum a 2.5 cumulative GPA to participate in this program.
    • Good academic and disciplinary standing: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad. In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance, will not be allowed to study abroad, and are wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.

    Costs

    The cost sheet (forthcoming) outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

    The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

    Scholarships & Financial Aid

    For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:UI Financial Aid Information

    You can find more information about options for funding your study abroad experience including scholarships on Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad.

    SIT automatically gives students from Big Ten institutions a $1,500 scholarship. There is no application necessary, the credit is automatically credited to your account. SIT offers additional awards that can be found on SIT's webpage.

    Pell Grant Recipients will have their application fee waived by SIT, are eligible for additional SIT scholarships, and are competitive candidates for the Department of State's Gilman Scholarship. Please talk to your Study Abroad Advisor for more details!

    How to Apply

    Interested students should make an appointment with the designated UI Study Abroad advisor to discuss the program and the application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 319-335-0353. During the appointment, the advisor will provide full application instructions. Note: Application materials will not be reviewed unless a student has already met with the advisor to discuss the program.

    The application process consists of the following steps:

    • Complete the UI Online Application for Study Abroad. Please note that for study abroad programs through Spring 2022, students will not be charged the $50 application fee until travel is assured. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to the application fee being billed, it will not be charged.

    • Complete the SIT Application. Final admissions decisions to the program are made by SIT.

    Application Deadline

    Applications for the Fall session are due on March 15.

    Applications for the Spring session are due on September 27.

    Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

    Coming Soon.

    Health & Safety Planning

    In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:

    Study Abroad Resources

    Passports and Visas

    Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

    Students are also encouraged to complete the PDFHealth Preparation Guide for International Travel form with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.

    Visa

    If you need a visa, SIT will send you a document titled "Passport and Visa Information" and you should follow these instructions. Contact the SIT visa coordinator with questions or reach out to Study Abroad. You must have a passport valid for 6 months after your return date in order to apply for the visa, so please renew or apply for your passport as soon as possible.

    Orientation

    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email safety-abroad@uiowa.edu.

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.