Learning Abroad Center
Golden Temple in Amritsar, India

Health & Medicine in India

Asia & Oceania
LAC Program

Compare the social and cultural contexts of health and medicine in both India and the U.S.

Program Details

Mysore, India
Winter Break (Spring semester on campus)
Languages Taught In
Languages Taught In

Program Eligibility

Student Type
Student Type
UofM Students
Student Year
Student Year


Mysore, India, is a mid-sized city in the southern Indian state of Karnataka known for its beautiful palaces, ornate temples, and royal heritage. This global experience will allow you to more fully understand health, healthcare, and public health in the context of a historical culture and a rapidly developing economy of India. The future health of our world’s population requires a generation of creative, motivated, strategic, expansive thinkers prepared to collaborate across disciplines and sectors to proactively address the complexity of health needs, especially in under-resourced communities throughout the world. Mysore, India, is an ideal place to learn about the unique challenges faced in urban and rural communities in southern India.

Course Description

In this course, explore areas in and around Mysore, India, to compare the social and cultural contexts of Indian and American health and medicine. While abroad, take classes at Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies (VIIS), an educational institution of the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM), a leading NGO in the field of health and development in India. At SVYM, take classes taught by physicians who have worked in a variety of roles in the Indian health care system.

Prior to departure for India, you will be assigned to teams and given a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to focus on while in India. You will gather information and perspectives on site to be able to compare and contrast your SDG between India and the US/Minnesota, which you will present at the end of the course.

For the two weeks in India, learn from health professionals, travel to rural communities and urban centers, and explore the dynamics of a rapidly developing community with significant health and wealth disparities. Observe the role that culture plays as it interacts with health and health care in a country that still faces the remnants of being colonized. Explore the SDGs and the progress India is making towards those goals.

Upon returning to the University of Minnesota, you will continue exploring global health by comparing and contrasting aspects of health in India and the US. You will finalize your teams’ SDG project and prepare to present at the end of the class.

Program Model


Housing & Meals

You will stay in shared rooms in dormitories within walking distance of the education center. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided, offering a wide array of vegetarian Indian meals. 


Field visits and excursions will illuminate the coursework and may include:

  • Mysore Palace and Chamundi Temple
  • Mysore Medical College and Hospital
  • The ancient city of Sharavanabelagoa
  • All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH)
  • a local hospital
  • an elephant camp


All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

Learning Outcomes

Understand the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

  • Compare in depth at least one SDG between the Twin Cities and Mysore and the role culture plays in influencing situations, strategies and approaches.
  • Articulate the underlying principles and stakeholders of the One Health approach, which focuses on the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health.
  • Describe the competencies needed for effective interprofessional teamwork.
  • Explain the role of culture when working in interprofessional teams and the varied perspectives and approaches that need to be respected to solve complex health challenges.

Influence of Culture

  • Define culture and related concepts and practices, which will promote awareness of personal and cultural identity.
  • Describe the influence culture (norms, wisdom, traditions etc) has on disease, health practices (prevention and treatment), social determinants of health and healthcare systems between Thailand, the US, and India.
  • Explain how Indian culture influences the conditions that impact disease.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the Observe-Describe-Interpret-Evaluate model and how this cultural awareness tool can be transferred to diagnostic problem solving.


  • Explain the importance of self-reflection for individuals, as well as those who are part of a team.
  • Reflect on the qualities of professionals across cultures.
  • Demonstrate cultural humility and culturally respectful professionalism.

Faculty & Staff

Program leaders for this Seminar are Dr. John Ward and Dana Lovold, MPH, Career Counselor and Instructor in the Pre-Health Student Resource Center.

This seminar is also taught on-campus by Karin Hamilton, DVM, MPH, Coordinator and Instructor, Global Programs, Pre-Health Student Resource Center. She has extensive experience working globally in 22 countries in health fields and has led multiple student programs to India, Thailand, and Panama related to global health, interprofessional/One Health, and intercultural development.

Program Structure

Program Level
3000-level coursework

One 3-credit course

Course Schedule

This is an embedded spring semester course, with the abroad portion in India taking place over winter break and on-campus classes taking place in the first half of the spring semester. On-campus Spring Semester 2024 course meets: Wednesdays 1:25–2:15pm, for the first 7 weeks of class plus an additional session from 5–7:30pm during the final week of class. Abroad term: Winter Break 2024.


Coursework will include journal entries throughout the entire course to facilitate meaningful reflection, as well as team assignments, building up to the final case competition-style presentation.

Eligible students: Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors (best for those interested in health field careers)

Health & Medicine in India Syllabus (PDF)


The Learning Abroad Center is committed to sustainability and incorporating this into our programs. This course can be tied to multiple Sustainable Development Goals through course content and program activities including:

  • #2 Zero Hunger
  • #4 Quality Education
  • #6 Clean Water & Sanitation

Numerous SDGs will be discussed during this course. These will be focused on through lectures by local health professionals and experts, as well as field experiences to see the SDGs in action. Student teams will complete a final project looking into one of these SDGs.

Receive credit for: AHS 3001

Approved for: Global Perspectives

Dates Details

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

Program TermProgram DatesApplication Deadline
Winter Break 2023–24December 28, 2023–January 14, 2024October 8, 2023

Program dates are subject to change.

If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 25 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.

Information Sessions

Join in-person or over Zoom. Register and learn more about this and other events on our events page.

Thurs., Sept. 282:00 p.m.Hybrid (Heller Hall 230C or Zoom)
Fri., Sept. 2912:00 p.m.Online (register for Zoom link)

On Campus Dates

Wednesdays 1:25–2:15 p.m., for the first 7 weeks of class; East Bank 

During the final week of class an additional poster presentation will be required from 5:00–7:30 p.m.

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

Term AbroadDate/TimeLocation
Winter Break 2023–24: In-person orientation session 1Tuesday, Nov. 7th, 5:00–8 p.m.TBD—East Bank (Zoom option for Rochester students)
Winter Break 2023–24: In-person orientation session 2Saturday, Dec. 2nd, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.TBD—East Bank (Zoom option for Rochester students)


Winter Break 2024 Cost of Participation

The cost of participation includes educational costs, group flight airfare, program administration, housing, most meals, international health insurance, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, and local transportation. Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. You must also budget for visa, passport and passport photos, meals not included (most are included), spending money, and miscellaneous living expenses.

Recent increases in international airfare and accommodation costs have impacted all instructor-led program fees. The LAC strives to follow best practices to provide the lowest cost program while ensuring a quality academic experience.

If you are registered for less than 13 credits, you will be charged tuition for this course in addition to the program fee.

If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Bridging Loan

Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

Cancellation Policy

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.

Winter Break 2024

Health & Medicine in India

Winter Break 2024 (Spring on campus course)

Program Fee

  • UofM students pay program fee instead of on-campus tuition & fees while abroad
  • Billed through UofM account
Non-refundable deposit $400
Tuition and educational costsIncludes cost of visa and visa processing fee $2,715
International health insurance $42
Housing and/or mealsIncludes all meals in-country $508
Transportation (if required and included in program fee)Group flight $2,220
Total Program Fee $5,885
Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable $0
Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable $5,885

Estimated Additional Expenses

  • Financial aid-eligible but not included in program fee
Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.
Transportation to and from program site $0
Passport/photos $150
Visa/required documents $0
Travel clinic/immunizations*Travel clinic office visit and recommended immunizations $200
Housing deposit $0
Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure $350
Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country
Texts/materials $0
Housing and/or meals not included in program fee $100
Essential daily living expenses $0
Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country $100

Total Estimated Cost of Participation

  • UofM students—compare this to your estimated on campus cost of attendance
Total Estimated Cost of Participation $6,335
Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation $200
Additional Notes & Information
* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.


Be aware: Learning Abroad Center programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

US Passport holders require a visa to study on this program. In order to obtain a visa, you must have a valid passport. Current US passport processing times are longer than normal. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad, apply for a new passport now.

COVID-19 Information

A COVID-19 vaccine & booster and negative COVID test before departure (own expense) may be required on arrival in country or at various venues in this location (based on current government and local policies). This may change before departure.

Participants are expected to follow local and governmental COVID-19 guidelines and requirements while abroad. Visit the CDC International Travel website and the LAC COVID Policies page for updated information.

US Consulate in India COVID-19 Information site (current updates on entry/exit and local requirements).

More information can be provided during advising sessions and pre-departure orientation with the program contact in the LAC.


The COVID-19 vaccine series is strongly recommended, pursuant to CDC guidelines, but not required for participation in this program.

You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now


After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

  • Application Essay

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

Next Steps

  1. After you complete all required application checklist items, you will receive an automated email message indicating your application is ready to be reviewed.
  2. Your completed application will be reviewed by the Learning Abroad Center.
  3. If admitted, the Confirmation & Payment Agreement form will be added to your checklist. Complete this form to secure your spot on the program. By submitting the form, you also give your approval for the program deposit to be billed to your UofM student account.
  4. Complete the confirmation checklist, which include the following items in additional to program-specific forms:
    • Passport Information
    • Emergency Contacts
    • Health Information Form
    • Online Health & Safety Orientation
    • Release & Waiver
  5. You will receive information about additional steps from the sponsoring college/department.

Register for On-Campus Course

Your participation on this program is secured by applying and confirming through the Learning Abroad Center application process first.

Once confirmed, you will also need to register for the on-campus course AHS 3001. You will receive a permission code in order to register for the course.

Note: Registering for the course, but not confirming through the Learning Abroad Center, will not hold your spot in the program.

After You Apply

Before your program begins, review these resources.

Health & Safety

Learn more about staying healthy and safe abroad, including mental health and wellness, international travel insurance, and safety precautions.

Power of Attorney

Consider designating someone as your power of attorney to act as your legal representative while you’re abroad.

Student Identity

Consult our resources on student identities as you prepare for your abroad experience.

Travel Resources

Ready to go abroad? Our travel resources will help you pack and learn what to expect.

Program Contact

For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

Jemma Lund or call at 612.625.8827