by Anjlie Gupta
A new Problems Without Passports course entitled Biological Sciences 499: Global Health will be offered to USC students this summer. The four-unit course will take place in Oxford, England from July 18 to August 5.
The program, whose application deadline is Friday, April 1, was created by Dr. Kenneth Geller, Director of Pre-Health Advising. Supplemental Instruction Director Judy Haw is collaborating with Geller and will accompany students on the program.
The course will cover five themes in global health: “challenges in global health, health policy and public health, tropical medicine, vaccinology, and international development and health,” according to the Problems Without Passports website. Students will attend three sessions per theme, as well as attend a special guest session.
The course will be taught by Oxford University faculty and will include a total of 45 contact hours, according to the program syllabus.
The course will not include exams, but instead a final paper will be assigned and will determine students’ grades in the course. This paper will be created by a group of 4-5 students and will cover one of the five major themes of the course, according to the program syllabus.
In addition, the course will include various side trips in England. In London, these locations include the Wellcome Collection, the British Museum, the Hunterian Museum, and Guy’s Hospital.
In Oxford, students will be able to visit the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of the History of Science. In addition, students will visit the Edward Jenner Museum, in Berkeley, Gloucestershire.
Additional side trips, such as a visit to see the play Macbeth in Stratford-upon-Avon, will be offered as well.
Haw believes that the location of the program as well as the side trips will really make the program unique.
“The opportunity to study at Oxford comes with such historical and prestigious [possibilities],” Haw said.
In fact, students participating in the program will be staying at Lady Margaret Hall, the first women’s college created in Oxford.
In addition, after studying some of the side trips that will take place, Haw said, “It has sort of made me wonder why we don’t have some of those places here in Los Angeles.”
In order to apply for the program, students must be on a pre-health track, must be enrolled at USC for the Fall 2011 semester, and must have a cumulative USC GPA of at least 3.0.
The application itself asks for personal information, GPA, academic awards, extracurricular activities, a current photograph, and a one page personal statement.
The total program cost is expected to be about $11,125, but additional funding possibilities are available. Trustee and Presidential Scholars can apply exception funding towards this program.
In addition, Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) can provide up to a $3,000 research stipend for USC College students to participate in the program.
According to Judy Haw, the program was created because the Problems Without Passports program directors were, “looking for something that specifically targeted premeds, which is such a huge population.”
For pre-med freshman Pavitra Krishnamani, who has applied and been accepted to the program, the program directors succeeded in this goal.
“I applied to [the program] because as a pre-med student I don’t get too many opportunities to study abroad and too many cross-cultural experiences,” Krishnamani said.
“This program seems like it will give me exactly that, especially because of its focus on global health and its location on a different continent.”