Students in the Global Health Scholars Program at Penn State College of Medicine traveled to Ghana in June 2016. Here, a group of students is pictured during a traditional welcoming ceremony conducted by a Ghanaian village chief, who is pictured at front with Ghanaian men on either side of him and the students behind them. They are outside on a porch.

Global Health

Changing Lives Around the World

Students in the Penn State College of Medicine Global Health Scholars Program traveled to Ghana in 2016. A student is pictured here speaking with a Ghanaian woman and her child.

The Global Health Center at Penn State College of Medicine provides educational opportunities for students interested in international health, including challenges that commonly present a greater burden to disadvantaged populations.

Students can participate in the Global Health Scholars Program, which offers immersive trips to a number of partner sites around the world, such as the 2016 trip to Ghana seen in this photo.

Medical students can also take fourth-year electives focusing on caring for underserved populations in the U.S. and abroad.

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Our Global Health Programs

Global Health Scholars Program

A stylized world map with a Penn State lion crest in the general vicinity of Pennsylvania, with dotted lines reaching out to standard GPS location icons near Peru, Taiwan, Senegal, Ghana and Zambia.

Students accepted into the Global Health Scholars Program (GHSP) take two immersive trips to one of our partner sites:

  • Ghana
  • Peru
  • Australia
  • Taiwan
  • Zambia
  • Japan
  • Croatia

The first trip is primarily an introduction to the community, during which you’ll develop a community health project. During the second trip, occurring in your senior year, you’ll participate in clinical care at the same location.

You’ll receive pre-trip safety sessions, in-country medical education specific to the site, and several sessions by our faculty on global- and community health-related issues. About a quarter of first-year students apply, and 80 percent of those are typically accepted.

Learn more about the Global Health Scholars Program.

See a photo gallery from previous Global Health Scholars trips.

Electives in Global Health & Underserved Populations

As a fourth-year medical student , you’ll have the opportunity to take electives that will give you experience caring for underserved populations, including those in other countries.

Previous electives have included:

  • Pediatric cardiology in Guayaquil, Ecuador

    This program offers fourth-year students the ability to start a Pediatric Cardiology elective in Hershey and finish with two weeks participating in an open heart surgery mission at Children's Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

  • Indian Health Service work in Cherokee, North Carolina

    This is an opportunity for fourth-year students to work with a unique, underserved domestic population, engaging with a tribe that has rich history and culture, and working with a interdisciplinary team that uses an embedded model with home-based care and social support services.

Learn more about electives in Global Health.

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