Opportunities for Global Health Students

Each year, students from the Hubert Department of Global Health receive dedicated funding from the Global Field Experience (GFE) program and the Global Health Institute to support their international applied practice experiences. Students routinely cite their applied practice experience opportunity as a highlight of their training at Rollins.

Applied practice experiences not only shape students' personal career goals, they also often have an immediate and tangible impact on the health of the communities they serve. The Hubert Department of Global Health hosts an annual Global Health Opportunities Fair where students can network with faculty and collaborators to explore a variety of applied practice experience opportunities both in the United States and around the world.

Recent Student Experiences

Adrian King: Assessing LGBT Stigma in Rwanda

Adrian King

Thanks to my GFE award, I was able to put my focus on helping LGBT people find their voices within a hostile culture. I am so grateful for the Hubert family's generosity and sponsorship of the GFE program.

- Adrian King, '17 MPH

Adrian King, an MPH alumnus from the Hubert Department of Global Health, participated in a GFE to conduct a qualitative assessment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender stigma and homophobia in Kigali, Rwanda. Adrian worked directly with the LGBT populations in Kigali, listening to individuals describe their experiences. Participants described rejection from family members, including being labeled as "cursed" and being barred from their homes. Because the cultural traditions in Rwanda do not acknowledge the possibility of homosexuality or gender nonconformity, participants felt like their country was denying their very existence.

Adrian's goal for the project was to identify points of entry within the local culture where interventions to combat stigma and homophobia might be effective, with the ultimate hope of increasing health-seeking behaviors among LGBT individuals.

Despite their experiences with discrimination and exclusion, the people Adrian interviewed expressed hope that the government and their fellow citizens could become more tolerant through dialogue and advocacy.

While the road ahead for LGBT rights in much of sub-Saharan African remains daunting, Adrian determined that the members of the Rwandan LGBT community may be their own best resource. Their voices, combined with research and education, may one day lead to recognition and acceptance.

Skander M'zah: Serving Syrian Refugees in Turkey

In 2011, Skander M'zah, a physician and active participant in the movement known as the Arab Spring, was called home to Tunisia by the Red Crescent to respond to the emerging refugee crisis on the border with Libya. Thousands of displaced families arrived each day, fleeing violence at home only to encounter new challenges securing access to basic needs, including adequate health care.

Skander carried his experience in the camps to his medical residency in family medicine in the public hospital in Tunis, where he created a professional training program for clowns to bring humor and light to disadvantaged children.

Skander's exposure to public health challenges in the refugee camps and in Tunis inspired him to apply for a Fulbright fellowship to attend Rollins. As a global health student, he enrolled in Emory's Center for Humanitarian Emergencies certificate program.

During his experience at Rollins, he traveled to Gaziantep, Turkey—20 miles from the Syrian border—to participate in the World Health Organization's emergency response to Northern Syria. Skander was tasked with writing the first mortality and morbidity report for the region since the refugee crisis began. He also helped design a health information system to address the gaps in data created by the disparate surveillance tolls each organization used. Skander and his team continued their work on behalf of Syrian refugees through the siege of Aleppo and an attempted military coup in Turkey—events that solidified his commitment to creating safe and healthy environments for the world's most vulnerable populations.

Skander M'zah

During the siege of Aleppo, my team had to switch gears to redistribute resources to those most in need. I learned how to push through a very tense and frightening situation and help the people we were there to serve.

- Skander M'zah, '17 MPH

Past Rollins Applied Practice Experiences/Practica

Students may find applied practice experience ideas by reviewing our map highlighting past Rollins applied practice experiences around the globe. These applied practice experiences have taken place in nonprofit organizations, hospitals, state or local health departments, federal agencies, community based organizations, and for‐profit firms. Click the map below.

map of practicum locations around the globe