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Switzerland: Geneva 
School for International Training: Development Studies & Public Health

The School for International Training program is based in Geneva, the world’s capital for international organizations dedicated to public health, social justice, and sustainable development. Students address current questions and policies relating to development and public health. Grounded in a framework of social justice, this program focuses on vulnerable groups, and critiques organizations that respond to their needs.

Classroom seminars are supplemented by lectures and briefings at international and nongovernmental organizations, including the United Nations, the Red Cross, the International Labor Organization, and the World Health Organization. Interactive research studies and field excursions in Switzerland and France deepen students’ understanding of the challenges faced by organizations that foster public health, human rights, peace-building, multilateral diplomacy, environmental accountability, and sustainable development.

Program Dates: Fall (late August to late December) or Spring (January to June) semester only.

Eligibility: 2.5 GPA; Previous college-level coursework and/or other significant preparation in development studies; public health; or the social, economic, and political sciences, as assessed by SIT. Completion of two semesters of French, including FREN 203.

Academic Program: The courses offered on this field-based program consist of Intensive French (4 credit hours); Development Studies & Public Health Seminar (6 credit hours); Field Study Seminar (2 credit hours); Independent Study Project (ISP), (4 credit hours).

In addition, students undertake two critiques in the field. The first combines the Federal Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (Bern) with the Swiss Italian federation of non-governmental organization (Lugano). Students evaluate micro development projects and contrast local participatory development with the goals of macro development organizations. The second field evaluation is in Paris where students critique the activities of UNESCO, Doctors of the World and the OECD.

In the final four weeks of the program, the ISP is conducted in Geneva or other appropriate location. Sample topic areas include: international organizations in development and in complex emergencies; the health sector in peace-building operations; international human right to health and vulnerable groups; the health sector in humanitarian relief; international, national, and regional response to epidemics and pandemics. The ISP is supervised and evaluated by SIT faculty. Students must submit a copy of their ISP to the OSA no later than four weeks following the completion of the semester in Switzerland.

To receive Public Service credit for the ISP component of this program, students must demonstrate that the experience meets the same criteria for service learning classes at Tulane – namely that it is attached to an academic component and that the service benefits a community partner.  Students should consult the Center for Public Service for more details before departure.

There is no Pass/Fail (S/U) option for this program. Tulane awards 500-level credit.

Living Arrangements: Varied throughout the program, housing arrangements include Ten weeks with a Swiss or international family in rural villages and other communities near Nyon. For students who undertake an ISP in the Geneva area, the homestay is usually extended by four weeks. Other accommodations include hostels or small hotels.

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