Experiential Learning Project

Global Health Scholars complete an experiential learning project related to global health, typically between the summer of their junior and senior years for a minimum of eight weeks. If students pursue a placement-based project (e.g., field research, internship, health advocacy project with a community group), the placement can be facilitated and structured by GHS faculty and advisors, who will ensure that projects are part of ongoing, mutually-agreed upon and accountable relationships with partner organizations within and outside of the U.S.

Students who pursue their experiential learning project with an established partner will be prioritized in GHS Funding opportunities, although students can also receive faculty support and advising in securing placements with other organizations.

All projects must be pre-approved by the GHS Faculty Director prior to submission of a fellowship application and have a clear relationship to global health.

The criteria for what is considered an experiential learning project include:

  1. field research
  2. internship placements
  3. health advocacy projects across media
  4. archival and desk-based projects that entail substantive research and/or require access to archives and other resources
  5. development of a creative work requiring significant time, originality, and expertise

This broad scope is in line with the GHS program’s commitment to interdisciplinary learning in global health and will permit students undertaking non-traditional approaches to global health fieldwork to complete the Global Health Scholars MAP requirements.

One of the four elective courses for the Global Health Scholars MAP must help the students prepare for the experiential learning requirement. This course will be proposed by the student and tied to their experiential learning proposal, with approval from the GHS Faculty Director. For instance, the required preparatory elective may be a methods course, such as for research-driven fieldwork; a media studies or art course for artistic projects; or an area studies, ethics, politics, or other relevant course depending on the nature of the project, its sociohistorical context and geopolitical location, and the skills or knowledges required for its completion.


Below are a samples of past fieldwork projects:

Barriers to Screening for HPV and Cervical Cancer

I spent eight weeks in León, Nicaragua conducting a mixed-methods investigation with two Yale College students and a student from the Yale School of Public Health.  The goal of our study was to assess the barriers to screening for human papilloma virus and cervical cancer in the subpopulations of urban and rural women of León.  Working within three urban health centers and three rural health posts, my team and I completed over 300 surveys, and interviewed 21 women.  The connection with our in-country advisor was facilitated by the Yale organization Student Partnerships for Global Health.

Patient and Provider Perspectives on Diabetes Prevention

I worked with a team of two other undergraduates to conduct a mixed-methods study to assess knowledge and attitudes toward type 2 diabetes and perceived barriers to diabetes prevention among healthcare providers and Hispanic female patients of reproductive age in a high-risk population in New Haven, Connecticut. We used quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews to analyze both patient and provider perspectives on diabetes risk, as well as perceived barriers to mitigating that risk.

An Examination of Barriers and Facilitators of Uptake of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV in Malaysian Female Sex Workers

I worked in Malaysia, primarily in Kuala Lumpur but also in Penang, Kuantan, and around the Klang Valley, on my own research which entailed surveying transgender women and cisgender female sex workers on their willingness to use PrEP, a medication to prevent HIV. The study reached 500 participants across Malaysia, and sets the stage for advancing access to PrEP within the next year for communities that need it most.