Public Health in Europe

  • Classic statue at bridge

About This Program

Fall 2018

  • Application deadline: February 10
  • IPD study abroad fellowship application deadline: February 10
  • Program dates: Saturday, September 1 (date of arrival in Paris) – Saturday, December 15, 2018 (date of departure from Paris)

Fall 2018: $23,530 or $24,530, depending upon accommodations selected

Total fees charged by Northwestern: $18,040, $16,840, or $18,840, includes:

  • $12,865 tuition fee covers courses and excursions
  • Accommodations options:
    1. Homestay with daily breakfast and dinner: $5,000
    2. Homestay with daily breakfast only: $3,800
    3. St. John's University dormitory with weekday breakfasts: $5,800
  • $175 for GeoBlue Health Insurance
  • $0 Study Abroad Administrative Fee

Estimated additional costs: $5,490, $6,690, or $5,690, includes:

  • $1,500 round trip airfare to Paris, France (students book their own airfare; rates vary)
  • $1,000-$2,200 for additional meals
  • $200 for books and supplies
  • $290 for visa fees
  • $2,500 for discretionary expenses, including local transportation, personal expenses, and incidentals

Students applying to this program are eligible for IPD Study Abroad Fellowships and may be eligible for external funding opportunities.

Students participating in this program are subject to the Withdrawal and Refund Policies for Northwestern-Sponsored Programs.


The 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. Developed jointly by faculty from Northwestern and Sciences Po, this program combines seminars with excursions to Geneva, Bordeaux, and public health sites in Paris to expose students to 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. Students also take intensive French language classes and visit historic and cultural sites in Paris and elsewhere in France.

Host Institution

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 Sciences Po’s student population is international, with 60 different nationalities represented.

Housing & Meals

Accommodations and a meal plan are provided as part of the program package.

Students will have two options:

  • Living with a French family in a homestay. Students select between a "half-board" meal plan option, with breakfast and dinner included daily, and a "bed & breakfast" option, with breakfast only provided daily.
  • Staying in the dormitory at St. John’s University's Paris Campus with breakfast provided daily.


This is a Northwestern program with a set curriculum, so students must enroll in the courses listed below. All courses and grades appear on students' Northwestern transcript and are figured into their Northwestern GPA.

POLI SCI 364-SA: French Politics, Culture & Society

This course provides students with an introduction to French politics with a framework of European integration. It addresses France's participation in European integration, while also exploring French identity politics, state institutions, and the development of French social policy. This is a required course for all students participating in IPD programs in Paris.

GBL HLTH 311-SA: Health Care Systems in Europe and the US

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.

GBL HLTH 312-SA: Public Health in Europe: Issues and Policies

Students examine issues and debates on health policy in France and the EU, including primary health issues, health insurance, health inequalities, HIV/AIDS, and other topics. Lectures are supplemented by visits to relevant sites and guest speakers.

GBL HLTH 313-SA: International Organizations and Health: A Research Seminar

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.

FRENCH 199-SA or 299-SA: French Language

  • Taught by French instructors at Sciences Po

While there is no language prerequisite to participate in this program, students are required to take intensive language training in French while in Paris. Three to four levels of language instruction are offered, depending on student's skill level.


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 Bordeaux School of Public Health at the University of Bordeaux and speak with experts about topics currently under research. Possible research areas include: HIV/AIDS infection, maternal and infant health, health issues in Southern countries, nutrition, and cancer. They will also visit a psychiatric hospital. 

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 students will have the opportunity to visit the WHO library and access resources for their research projects.