Course description

The 3-week Global Health field course in Rwanda introduces concepts of global health from a unique African perspective. You will learn about the healthcare system in Rwanda and study one major public health concern in particular – infection prevention and control (IPC) in healthcare settings.

A week of skills development through classroom learning, workshops, field visits and general cultural immersion is followed by two weeks of service-learning at Rwandan hospitals and health centers. Here, you will work hand in hand with service providers to help assess and discuss different ways to minimize public health risks.

In addition to IPC, you will also learn about various important healthcare services within different communities, such as nutrition programs for mothers and children, health education and promotion, and community health workers and their role. Throughout the course, local students from the University of Rwanda will join your delegation and contribute to a greatly enriching cross-cultural learning environment.

  • Explore healthcare concepts and programs in resource-limited settings.
  • Work hand in hand with local healthcare providers at an urban health center and a rural district hospital.
  • Learn how to analyze IPC protocols, and design and provide workshops for medical and non-medical staff.
  • Gain invaluable intercultural competence relevant to your field of study.
  • Explore the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ through unique excursions and a safari.
  • Create once-in-a-lifetime memories, and build lasting friendships.

What’s included?

  • Tuition
  • Arrival day airport meet and greet
  • Accommodation with breakfast
  • Transportation for all excursions
  • Meals during program activities (typically all lunches and selected dinners)
  • On-site orientation
  • Course-related activity and entrance fees
  • Full-time on-site coordination and support
  • Health insurance

    What isn’t?

    Not included are the transportation to/from the destination airport (including international airfare and taxes), visas, immunizations, some of the meals, items and services of a personal nature, medical expenses not covered by the insurance provided and other discretionary expenses.

    Academic credits

    Academic credits are available at an additional fee from the U.S. academic school of record.

Enrollment requirements

There are no academic prerequisites. To be eligible to apply for this course, students should be enrolled in a major or minor in public health or a related area in the health sciences, natural sciences or social sciences. Enrollment is generally reserved for sophomores, juniors and seniors, or by consent of the instructor. Graduate students and professionals are welcome to apply for participation without credits.

Course requirements and student evaluation

  • Course participation and engagement (25%)
  • Weekly reflective journal or blog (10%)
  • Journalistic article (10%)
  • Group presentation (25%)
  • Essay relating to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (30%)


Global instructor

Waleed Fatth
, a trained pharmacist with a Master’s degree in Public Health, is the global instructor for our Global Health field courses. He is typically assisted by experienced local university lecturers and instructors. Prior to working with GEI, he supervised the implementation of Infection Control protocols in all health facilities of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) in his native Yemen.


The course gateway is Kigali, Rwanda’s political, economic and cultural center, and one of the cleanest, greenest and safest capital cities in Africa. The first two weeks of the course take place largely in Kigali’s colorful Nyamirambo neighborhood, while the third week of the course is located at the rural Shyira District Hospital in Nyabihu. Students are typically hosted at a local guesthouse or at the partner hospital. Excursions are arranged to visit attractive historical and cultural sites as well as Akagera National Park for an African safari experience.