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SIT Study Abroad New Orleans, USA: Public Health, Policy, Practice & Advocacy - IHP Health & Community (January Term)
New Orleans, United States (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms:  
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Program Sponsor: SIT/World Learning 
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Minimum GPA: 2.5 Fields of Studies: Anthropology
Language of Instruction: English Experiential Learning: ITR Field Study, URI Affiliated Program
Program Description:
Program Description:
SIT Study Abroad New Orleans, USA: Public Health, Policy, Practice and Advocacy- IHP Health & Community

Explore how communities in New Orleans, Louisiana, are addressing ever-increasing health disparities as they strive for health equity, wellbeing, and social justice.

Health practices differ widely across the US, but one constant is that health inequities—between urban and rural and along lines of structural inequity—are increasing exponentially. In this J-Term course based in New Orleans, Louisiana, you will explore local health strategies and community well-being in different social contexts. New Orleans also offers insight into longer-term public health efforts through nearly 15 years of rebuilding after multiple disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city in 2005. You will see first-hand the complex relationship between policy and practice both from a historical perspective and as it continues to play out in the present. This course will provide a timely examination of the massive socio-economic upheaval due to COVID-19 and varied state and federal public health responses, as well as wide-spread racial justice movements.

You will study the complex interplay of social determinants of health in local contexts and learn basic fieldwork methods for gathering data relevant to the practice of public health. Through case studies and site visits, you’ll explore health realities at individual and population levels. These experiences will deepen your ability to explore, understand, and interpret the socio-cultural, ecological, economic, political, and biological factors that affect human health.

Participating in this course during a unique public health moment will demonstrate that one cannot separate the individual and the social, the personal and the professional, nor the theoretical and the applied practice to understand critical health challenges and organize an effective, collaborative response.

Program Highlights
  • Explore how public and private sectors and civil society intersect at the frontlines of healthcare in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Compare realities of public health work on the ground in urban and rural settings
  • Investigate the history and legacies of structural racial health inequities in New Orleans and the US South
  • Examine critical local and national public health initiatives and the relationships between providers and folks who need care



Program Structure

This January-term program will run from December 28, 2020-January 16, 2021. Participants will earn three credits.

You will explore health in one of the most culturally distinct cities in the US: New Orleans, Louisiana. The city is globally known for its cultural celebrations of food, music, and the famed French Quarter, yet New Orleans is also still recovering from massive environmental and social disasters, including hurricanes and oil spills, a lack of middle-class economy and jobs, the legacy of post-disaster displacement, the opioid crisis, and deep structural racial health inequities. New Orleans offers a chance to explore the role of civil society in a place where locals often see governmental solutions as failures and the city still struggles to make its economy, social services, and environmental safeguards sustainable. You will learn first-hand about New Orleans’ diverse neighborhoods and varied health outcomes and will meet with activists, government officials, and experts at leading universities and nongovernmental organizations.

Your program will include an excursion to Cajun communities north of the city to compare urban and rural health care, health priorities, and the variations of local needs. In this way, you will learn comparatively and from an array of urban and rural perspectives by engaging with the people whose everyday lives are impacted by the decisions of local and national policymakers.

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Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.  

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Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
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