Global Health Promotion: Health Services Delivery in Resource-poor Settings
BHS 400/BNURS 409/BNURS 597



Program Dates: June 20 – July 23, 2016

Locations: UW Bothell (June 20–July 8) and Rio Dulce, Guatemala (July 8–23)

Program Director: Dr. Mabel Ezeonwu,

Academic Credits: 12 Summer Quarter credits, BHS 400/ BNURS 409/ BNURS 597. Specific course numbers will be determined to meet the needs of program participants.


  • $4,000 program fee, which covers: 12 Summer Quarter credits; housing, all meals, local transportation, and educational field trips in Guatemala;
  • $250 study abroad fee;
  • ~$1,000 airfare;
  • $40 travel insurance;
  • ~$200 (depending on health insurance) vaccinations;
  • Passport;
  • Personal expenses at UW Bothell and while abroad


Course Details: This service-learning course is designed to expose students to the policy contexts in which health care is delivered in resource-poor settings with particular emphasis on Guatemala. Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America. It is home to over 15 million people and more than half of the population is below the national poverty line and 13% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Poverty among indigenous groups, which make up more than 40% of the population, averages 73%, with 22% of the indigenous population living in extreme poverty. Guatemala struggles in several areas of health and development, including infant, child, and maternal mortality, malnutrition, literacy, and contraceptive awareness and use. Nearly one-half of Guatemala's children under age five are chronically malnourished -- one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. This program presents excellent learning opportunities for students and aims to expose students to global development, health systems, global health issues and health care delivery strategies in resource-strapped communities. The course utilizes the community as the pedagogical platform and challenges students to view global health care issues holistically in order to understand how in-country health policies are influenced by local and global determinants or factors.

The course is designed in a hybrid format. The first three weeks of the quarter will be classroom and online-based at UW Bothell.  The remaining time will involve intensive on-site community-based work in Guatemala. Students will be exposed to the population and local health practitioners as they work with minimal resources. Following students’ orientation to the environment, students will work collaboratively with multidisciplinary teams from United States and Guatemala to support the health needs of the community.

Course Structure: The course will follow a seminar format. There will be open discussions and minimal lectures during classroom meetings. Online activities will be based on reflective analysis of the course content. Significant amount of time will be devoted to fieldwork and student-led open discussions -- synthesizing field experiences, course readings, and individual/group generated ideas. Learning through field observations, active participation in community health promotion activities and team-based problem-solving will be emphasized.

Learning Goals

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the essentials of primary care and health promotion in resource-poor countries
  • Develop skills to conduct a health needs assessment of communities in a developing country and describe ongoing policy strategies to address identified needs.
  • Understand and discuss local and global determinants of health of communities in developing countries with particular focus on Guatemala
  • Articulate the roles of health professionals, local and global health organizations and agencies, charitable foundations and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in global development efforts.
  • Develop skills to collaborate effectively with an interdisciplinary team in resource-poor settings.
  • Understand the effectiveness of cross-cultural dialogue
  • Describe how pre-trip learning goals were met or unmet through the study abroad experience.
  • Present activities and experiences to peers and UW community

Previous Schedule:

Spring 2016: Several pre-departure meetings will be required, including a meeting with Guatemala Village Health and a general UW study abroad orientation offered by Global Initiatives on Friday, April 22, 2-3:30pm, in DISC 162. (An alternate time can be arranged for those unable to attend on April 22). This is in addition to regular course activities. All students are required to attend all pre-departure meetings!

Summer 2016: The first three weeks of the program will include the following activities:

  1. Seminar sessions centered on laying the groundwork for the fieldwork in Guatemala. Pertinent global health topics related to Guatemala will be discussed including the country’s history, demography, economy, and the health system.
  2. A one-day camp or retreat to reflect on trip objectives prior to departure. In addition, students will have the opportunity to meet with the team from our partner organization, Guatemala Village Health.




What's the program like?

Check out blogs from UWB Study Abroad Ambassadors who participated in the program in previous years:

Guatemala Group, 2016


UW Bothell News

Eye-opening experience in Guatemala


Program Support

Natalia Dyba, Director of Global Initiatives


Study Abroad Advising

Student Success Center UW1-160

Make an appointment