Summer Abroad Global Health Internships


Status: Closed for 2018


India — Public Health in New Delhi and Primary Care in Rural Himalayas

On Location

India, with over 1 billion people is a confluence of religions, languages and cultures. Here, 50% of the urban population lives below the poverty line. Participants will be immersed in ancient cultural traditions and complex healthcare systems.


In New Delhi, participants will stay in in a southern neighborhood of the city called Saket. The apartment is close to the local subway station and the area is considered up and coming, middle class neighborhood. There is a caretaker for the apartment who cleans, cooks the meals and takes care of any daily needs students may have.

In Dehradun, students will lodge with a local homestay family and in the village of Patti, lodging will be at the rural clinic, which has three bedrooms and two bathrooms downstairs. There is also a caretaker in the village of Patti who will cook, clean, etc. In the Hospital in Masoorie, students eat at the Hospital Cafeteria.  

All housing will be on a shared basis, two to three students per room. 

Students should be flexible, resilient and willing to live at the local level in very modest conditions.  Air conditioning is not guaranteed.  


2 (3 at times) meals a day for both programs.


Airport pick-up and drop off as well as intercity group transportation detailed below is included in the program fee:

  • Delhi to Dehradun
  • Dehradun - village of Patti - Dehradun
  • Dehradun to Delhi

Students should plan on packing light since this program rotates to a variety of sites.

Transportation within the city of Dehradun and during site visits to local NGO’s in Delhi is not included in the program. However, local personnel will accompany and provide guidance. 

Clinical Rotations and Public Health Visits
Sample Schedule

The first week of the program will be spent in New Delhi. This week will include welcome orientation where basic information about transportation, safety guidelines and other logistical matters will be covered. This week will also include activities and lectures to provide you with a better understanding of today’s India. The activities for orientation week will include educational field trips, 10 hours of Hindi lessons, and various lectures focusing on Indian culture, history, politics and most pressing public health challenges. 

After orientation week, participants will spend two weeks in New Delhi and visit non-governmental organizations that are tackling the most significant public health challenges facing India, including sanitation and hygiene; HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and maternal and child health. Participants will observe and engage in their efforts, while interacting with targeted populations like IDUs, MSM, sex workers, scavengers, and street children.

During the last two weeks of the program, participants will travel to the northern state of Uttarkhand, This part of the program will consist of clinical rotations in both urban and rural locations with special emphasis on understanding the rural and urban divide in a developing country and the needs of rural low income communities that lack easy access to these. 

One of these weeks will be spent in Uttarkhand’s capital city of Dehradun, roughly 6 hours north of New Delhi. Participants will participate in clinical rotations at various state public clinics and hospitals. The city of Dehradun is situated at an altitude of 1440 feet, nestled between the Himalayan foothills to the north and the Sivalik Hills to the south. It offers breathtaking scenery and serves as a convenient base for the rural portion of the program.

The other week will be spent at a small clinical site in the rural village of Patti, about 25 miles from Dehradun. This clinic is the only healthcare facility in that rural area serving over 30 villages. The local physician conducts health camps in more remote villages, some a full days hike away, to provide basic clinical services. These trips are essential for providing health services and check-ups to those who cannot come to the main clinic and will teach participants about the challenges of providing services rural populations.

Week 1- Orientation week

All participants will spend first week in Delhi.

  • City tour of Delhi.
  • Welcome dinner and cultural show
  • Full day tour to the Taj Mahal and Agra
  • Lectures about Indian culture, customs, history, politics, economics, and public health
  • 10 hours of Hindi Lessons

2nd and 3rd week

  • Participants will be divided into two groups for the rest of the program. Group #2 group goes to Dehradun and Group #1 stays in Delhi.
  • Group #1 Delhi – 2 weeks in Delhi: NGO Visits and the Public Health part of the program.
  • Group #2 – 2 weeks in Dehradun: they will be split into 2 groups,
  • Group #2A goes to Patti 1 week and Group #2B remains in Dehradun for clinical rotations; 3rd week - vice versa; 4th and 5th week
  • Group #2 – return to Delhi and spends last 2 weeks
  • Group #1– Travels to Dehradun and follow same schedule as group #2A and group #2B

The public health portion of the program in Delhi will visit various NGO’s and Foundations which may include:

Environmental and Social Service NGO

This facility is the largest internationally recognized social service agency in India. Participants will learn from experts working on projects promoting human rights, environmental sanitation, alternative energy, waste management and social reforms through education, training and awareness campaigns.

LGBTQ Community Center

This NGO works to empower sexual minority group issues of discrimination, safe sex, and STD prevention. The center holds community meetings, provides free STD testing, and organizes activist and advocacy efforts on LGBTQ human rights issues.

Truck Yard HIV Counseling and Treatment Center

This NGO focuses on HIV prevention and treatment, providing counseling and testing centers for high risk groups in accordance with the National AIDS Control Program.

Juvenile Rehabilitation Center

This NGO partners with the government in Delhi and offers inpatient rehabilitation facilities for adolescents struggling with addiction. It also provides counseling, vocational and literacy training, meditation sessions, art and theater workshops, and assists in transition and reintegration including a halfway home.

Homeless Services NGO

Mandated by the Delhi government, this NGO identifies and maps homeless populations and provides services such as food, shelter, health service referral, HIV and AIDS treatment, and drug rehabilitation and treatment.

HIV & Drug Rehab NGO

This NGO offers holistic programs serving injection drug users, street children, and homeless populations. It provides preventative services, treatment and counseling for HIV/AIDS and STDs, rehabilitation services, needle exchange programs, and opioid substitution therapy. Students will accompany community health workers providing education and outreach in high risk areas.

Street Children’s Center

This NGO has a shelter, day care center, and provides vocational training to help integrate street children into mainstream society. Students will join volunteers in offering guidance, care and organizing workshops for children.

Rural Nonprofit Hospital

This facility offers affordable health care to the underserved, and offers 12 specialties with modern infrastructure and comprehensive diagnostic facilities.

Government Hospital Tour

Participants will Visit government facilities to understand how some of the largest Government hospitals in Delhi function, providing free and high quality healthcare services to the poor who come from across India to seek care.

The Rural/Urban Himalayan Clinical Rotation will likely include rotations at the following clinics and hospitals:

Private Nursing Home in Dehradun

The clinic offers inpatient and outpatient services; students will shadow the OB/GYN, accompanying her on rounds and observing surgical procedures.

Private Pediatric Hospital in Dehradun

Students will shadow a local physician in the Emergency Medicine and Cardiology ward and accompany him on rounds and observe minor procedures.

Government Hospital in Dehradun

This facility provides eye care to the local and marginalized population. Students will shadow an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon in OPD and surgery.

Government Facilities in Dehradun

These include primary health care centers, community health centers and district hospitals. Students will observe the government’s effort to provide health services to low income populations and rotate through outpatient and other specialties.

Rural Clinic in Patti

Participants will spend one week living and working with local physician, Dr. Paul, accompanying him on 2-4 hour treks to surrounding villages to conduct health camps. These trips are essential for providing health services to those who cannot come to the main clinic and a great way to get a glimpse of life in a small Himalayan mountain village. Yoga classes provided daily in Patti.

Community Hospital in Massoorie

This facility is a multi-specialty teaching hospital that offers surgical, orthopedic, OB/GYN, dentistry, and emergency medicine services. Students will rotate in the outpatient department and partake in clinical rounds and case discussions with the attending physician. The hospital also runs rural health camps and community initiatives, including a village health and sanitation empowerment project and a community based rehabilitation project for empowerment and inclusion of people with disabilities.

Excursions and Day Trips

Short excursions and day trips will be included during orientation week.

Orientation week sample schedule:

  • City tour of Delhi.
  • NGO and Foundation visits
  • Welcome dinner and cultural show
  • Full day tour to the Taj Mahal and Agra
  • Lectures about Indian culture, customs, history, politics, economics, and public health.
  • 10 hours of Hindi Lessons
Study Abroad Advisory of Student Risk

Participation in this UC Davis Study Abroad program requires travel to and extended living in a foreign location(s) abroad. UC Davis Study Abroad endeavors to reduce and mitigate risk wherever possible.  However, the environments and risks associated with living in these locations are substantially different than those found during a regular course of study at UC Davis. All participants must download and review the following information prior to departure. Any questions should be directed to the Program Coordinator.

Study Abroad General Risk Advisory

Program Specific Risk Advisories (PDF)

About India

India bristles with a mind-stirring mix of landscapes and cultural traditions. Your journey through this intoxicating country will blaze in your memory long after you've left its shores. India loves to toss up the unexpected. This can be challenging, particularly for the first-time visitor: the poverty is confronting, Indian bureaucracy can be exasperating and the crush of humanity may turn the simplest task into a frazzling epic. Even veteran travellers find their nerves frayed at some point; yet this is all part of the India experience. With an ability to inspire, frustrate, thrill and confound all at once, adopting a 'go with the flow' attitude is wise if you wish to retain your sanity. Love it or loathe it – and most travellers see-saw between the two – to embrace India's unpredictability is to embrace her soul.

Source: Lonely Planet

Indian Currency: Rupees

Language Spoken: Hindi and English are India’s official languages

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