Global/International Health Education

Central to the College mission is that we live in a global community, with quality of life influenced by global conditions and trends. Sam Houston students are strongly encouraged to think and act globally and to consider opportunities for engaging in global/international health issues and practice through focused study, internships, and career pathways.

Resources presented here will enhance your cultural competence and prepare you for a career in global/international health.  


  • International Health - Public health is a combination of sciences, skills and beliefs within a single nation that is directed to the maintenance and improvement of the health of all its citizens through collective of social actions. International health principally refers to problems of public health in underdeveloped countries and efforts by international organizations and developed countries to help address these problems.
  • Study Abroad - A university-sponsored educational experience in a country other than the United States that includes course completion and usually second language learning. Study abroad experiences can range in duration from 2-3 weeks (short-term study abroad) through an entire year (long-term study abroad). Long-term study abroad experience almost always require the student to complete classes in a language other than English.  Short term experiences may or may not include a requirement that the student speak a second language.
  • International Internship - A university-sponsored educational experience in a country other than the United States that includes work experience in exchange for academic credit, salary or both. Students completing an international internship may complete one or more assigned projects or specific duties and responsibilities during a normal work week. An international internship experience usually requires a student to be competent in the host language. Students can also use an internship to determine if they have an interest in a particular career, create a network of contacts, or gain school credit.

Student Resources for International/Global Learning 

Internships through Global Health Organizations

The mission of the College of Health Sciences is to collaborate with global partners to provide accessible student-centered health professions education, advance health science knowledge and evidence-based practice through scholarship; and promote stewardship of individual and population health and quality of life in Texas, the nation and the world through evidence-based practices.

COHS will soon sponsor short-term study abroad opportunities in Central America and possibly China, however students are strongly encouraged to seek additional internship and work opportunities through a variety of global health organizations.  Below is a listing and brief description of the leading global health organizations. You are encouraged to visit their web sites to learn more about their mission and activities and consider applying for one their exciting and rewarding internship experiences. 

  • World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is the premier international health organization. The principal work of WHO is directing and coordinating international health activities and supplying technical assistance to countries. It develops norms and standards, disseminates health information, promotes research, provides training in international health, collects and analyzes epidemiologic data, and develops systems for monitoring and evaluating health programs. 
  • Pan American Health Organization Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is the world’s oldest international public health agency. It provides technical cooperation and mobilizes partnerships to improve health and quality of life in the countries of the Americas. PAHO is the specialized health agency of the Inter-American System and serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the WHO. Together with WHO, PAHO is a member of the United Nations system.
  • World Bank The World Bank, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the other major "intergovernmental agency related to the UN" heavily involved in international health. The World Bank loans money to poor countries on advantageous terms not available in commercial markets. The World Bank Group has two ambitious goals: 1) end extreme poverty within a generation and 2) boost shared prosperity. They are not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development. The World Bank Group comprises five institutions managed by their member countries.
  • Centers for Disease Control Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protects America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same. CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise. Activities include: 1) taking the health pulse of our nation, 2) detecting and responding to new and emerging health threats, 3) tackling the biggest health problems causing death and disability for Americans, 4) putting science and advanced technology into action to prevent disease, 5) Promoting healthy and safe behaviors, communities and environment, and 6) developing leaders and training the public health workforce, including disease detectives. CDC also provides opportunities for students and graduates to work internationally through their Field Epidemiology Training Program.
  • The United Nation Children's Fund The United Nation Children's Fund (UNICEF) spends the majority of its program budget on health care. UNICEF makes the world's most vulnerable children its top priority, so it devotes most of its resources to overcoming poverty, violence, disease and discrimination in the poorest countries and to children younger than five. They have the global authority to influence decision-makers to act so that all children are immunized against common childhood diseases and are well nourished. UNICEF is active in more than 190 countries and territories through country programs and National Committees.
  • United States Agency for International Development United States Agency for International Development (USAID) work in more than 100 countries around the world with the same overarching goals that President Kennedy outlined 50 years ago – furthering America's foreign policy interests in expanding democracy and free markets while also extending a helping hand to people struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country. USAID extends help from the American people to achieve results for the poorest and most vulnerable around the world. USAID invests in ideas that work to improve the lives of millions of men, women and children by: 1) investing in agricultural productivity so countries can feed their people, 2) combating maternal and child mortality and deadly diseases like HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, and 3) providing life-saving assistance in the wake of disaster.
  • Partners in Health Partners in Health is an NGO founded in 1987 to deliver health care to the residents of Haiti's mountainous Central Plateau region. In the 25 years since then, PIH has expanded in Haiti's Artibonite and Central Plateau regions, and launched additional projects around the world. Their mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. By establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in settings of poverty, Partners In Health strives to achieve two overarching goals: to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair.
  • Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors without Borders Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of neutrality and impartiality. MSF was founded in Paris, France in 1971. MSF is a worldwide movement of 23 associations, bound together as MSF International, based in Switzerland. Thousands of health professionals, logistical and administrative staff – most of whom are hired locally – work on programs in some 70 countries worldwide.
  • OXFAM Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in more than 90 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty. Oxfam works directly with communities and seeks to influence the powerful, to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.. Oxfam's program has three main points of focus: development work, which tries to lift communities out of poverty with long-term, sustainable solutions based on their needs; humanitarian work, assisting those immediately affected by conflict and natural disasters (which often leads in to longer-term development work), especially in the field of water and sanitation; and lobbyist, advocacy and popular campaigning, trying to affect policy decisions on the causes of conflict at local, national, and international levels.
  • Institute of Medicine The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. Established in 1970, the IOM is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which was chartered under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Nearly 150 years later, the National Academy of Sciences has expanded into what is collectively known as the National Academies, which comprises the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Research Council, and the IOM. Their aim is to help those in government and the private sector make informed health decisions by providing evidence upon which they can rely. Each year, more than 2,000 individuals, members, and nonmembers volunteer their time, knowledge, and expertise to advance the nation’s health through the work of the IOM.


Domestic Internships

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