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Public Health in Europe - Geneva Excursion
by Vasantham Annadurai, 2012

Public Health in Europe - Normandy Excursion
by Vasantham Annadurai, 2012

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Karey Fuhs
Assistant Director, IPD Study Abroad
(847) 467-6953

Schedule Appointment

Open to non-NU students.
Location: Paris, France
Institution: Sciences Po
Term: Fall Quarter (2014 Program Dates: August 30 - December 13)
Application Deadline: February 10, 2015
Fellowship Application Deadline: February 10, 2015
Language Requirement: None - all classes are taught in English


The Northwestern IPD Public Health in Europe program is designed to introduce students to current public health issues in the European Union as they affect standards of living, welfare systems, fiscal policy, trade, and scientific development. Through a series of seminars and excursions, the program covers the European public health policy process, systems for health care delivery in the EU, and the role of governmental and non-governmental institutions in addressing public health issues. The comprehensive curriculum – including seminars, excursions to Rennes, Geneva, and public health sites in Paris, and French language training – was developed jointly by Northwestern and Sciences Po, a premier university for public policy studies in Europe.


Established in 1872, Sciences Po is one of Europe’s most distinguished and well-known schools of public affairs. The majority of France’s political leaders are alumni, including former presidents Jacques Chirac and François Mitterrand. The Paris campus, located near the Seine and within walking distance of Notre Dame de Paris and the Louvre, is the most famous of the seven Sciences Po undergraduate campuses located all over France. While the University primarily conducts classes in French, the education has a strong international dimension, where students are expected to study at least two foreign languages in addition to French, and many courses are offered in English. Forty percent of Science Po’s student population is international, with 60 different nationalities represented.


Accommodations and a meal plan are provided as part of the program package. Students have two options: living with a French family in a homestay or staying in a dormitory at St. John’s University’s Paris campus. Students living with a homestay family will select between a "half board" meal plan option, with breakfast and dinner included daily, and a "bed & breakfast" option, with breakfast only provided daily. Students living in the dormitory will be provided breakfast daily.


Program courses take place at Sciences Po in Paris.  This is a Northwestern program with a set curriculum, so students must enroll in the courses listed below. Public Health in Europe participants will receive letter grades on their NU transcript, and the grades are factored into their Northwestern GPA.

POLI SCI 364-SA: France and the European Union (1 credit)
This course provides students with a history of modern French political culture and institutions. It addresses France's participation in European integration, the development of French social policy, and the political crises that informed the emergence of critical theory. The course is taken along with other IPD students abroad in Paris.
Course Instructor: Michael Loriaux

GBL HLTH 311-SA: Health Care Systems in Europe and the US (1 credit)
This course provides students with an understanding on the various ways in which health care systems are organized in European countries, the problems they face, and the reforms implemented or proposed at the national and regional levels.
Course Instructor: Bruno Palier

GBL HLTH 312-SA: Public Health in Europe: Issues and Policies (1 credit)
Students examine issues and debates on health policy in France and the EU, including primary health issues, health insurance, health inequalities, HIV/AIDS, and elderly care. Lectures are supplemented by visits to relevant sites and guest speakers.
Course Instructor: Bruno Palier

GBL HLTH 313-SA: International Organizations and Health: A Research Seminar (1 credit)
The aim of this seminar is to provide students with the opportunity to conduct social science research on a topic that explores the role of international organizations in rule-setting as well as framing, supporting, and implementing health policies. Students design team research projects, learn about research methodology, discuss their research progress, and present findings.
Course Instructor: Bruno Palier

FRENCH 199-SA or 299-SA: French Language (2 credits)
While there is no language prerequisite to participate in this program, students are required to take intensive language training in French while in Paris. Four levels of language instruction are offered, corresponding to the various levels of student proficiency. In addition to basic language skills, the course covers cultural and social aspects of Parisian life.
Courses taught by various instructors.


Northern France
On one of the first weekends of the program, students will travel to see the beaches of Normandy and the American and German cemeteries from World War II. The trip provides a great opportunity for students on the program to get an introduction to France and to each other.

Students will visit the Ecole Nationale de Santé Publique (ENSP) in Rennes for a two-day seminar exploring topics currently under research. In a series of lectures, guest speakers address a variety of health-related issues. Topics have included the effects of stress on health, HIV/AIDS in France, the relationship between culture and quality of health care, and the economics of hospital financing.

Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva is home to the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO), Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), United Nations (UN), International Labor Office (ILO), and Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF). Activities scheduled during this field trip vary annually but may include a visit to the WHO library, WHO Disease Prevention Headquarters, MSF offices, or the Health and Welfare Reform Offices of the ILO.


Review the following cost information sheets for a breakdown of and information about program costs:
NUSP Student Budgets: Homestay & Dormitory Options (Fall 2014)

Students applying to this program may be eligible for IPD Study Abroad Fellowships and for external funding opportunities. Students participating in this program are subject to Withdrawal Policies for Northwestern-Sponsored Programs.

For more information about billing, finances, and financial aid for study abroad, please refer to the Money Matters resource page of the Study Abroad Office website or contact Krista Buda Bethel in the Financial Aid Office.