Information & Opportunities for CUSON Students


The School of Nursing encourages students at all degree levels to develop an understanding of global health issues and of the cultural, economic, and social factors that affect healthcare in the US and abroad.

Many students come with a wealth of experience in other parts of the world. Student-led initiatives for sharing these experiences, invitations to guest lecturers, and organizing topical journal clubs have been important ways to take advantage of the academic environment at Columbia. Our students also participate in the university-wide global health organization Columbia University Partnership for Development (CUPID) and the campus-wide International Health Organization (IHO).

There are opportunities for students to become involved in international initiatives. Doctoral students have the most flexibility if opportunities match career objectives and dissertation topics/practice area. BS and MS students may be involved depending on schedules.

Because of the compact and intense schedule of classes at CUSON, the most suitable time frame for international volunteer opportunities is either in August or over the Christmas/winter break. BS/MS students going to La Clinica de Familia in La Romana, Dominican Republic as part of their Integration experience go in spring semester; masters students typically go in summer. These experiences require permission of the appropriate program director. The Office of Student Affairs notifies students of these upcoming opportunities.

Students engaged in international rotations for clinical practice in other countries must maintain the same ethical standards that exist in the U.S. and must attend a predeparture symposium consisting of practical, cultural, and ethical considerations while studying abroad. Preparation for international practice and research may benefit from opportunities in coursework and individualized learning arrangements to also gain crucial knowledge about health policy, organization of health services, and issues pertaining to global nursing. Some language classes are available on the CUMC campus at varying times. Information about these is available through the Office of Student Services.

When available, CUSON will provide funds to supplement credit-bearing international student experiences. If financial support is available through CUSON, students seeking funds must complete an application.


Please view the links included here to complete your preparations for going abroad.

It is required that you prepare in advance for taking care of your health while studying abroad. Student Health Services (SHS) offers pre- and post-travel health services.

In order to receive prophylactic medications and immunizations, you must complete the Travel Verification Form at least one month prior to your scheduled departure and have it signed by the person supervising your international experience. Once the form is signed, you should contact Student Health Services to make an appointment for these services.

Additional Resources
Below is the Mailman website for students who are traveling abroad.

CDC website:

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Online Course: Primary Health Care in Low Resource Countries
More information...

The School of Nursing has partnered with the International Family AIDS Program in La Romana, Dominican Republic. Cohorts of students, both ETP and masters, have gone to work in la clinica there and receive credit for clinical hours. This program is continuing and is very popular with students who wish to have an international experience. Current students are notified by email when information sessions are held and applications are due.

Pledge to volunteer with Edna at her maternity hospital in Somaliland where she and her fellow midwives have cut the maternal mortality rate of their patients to one-fourth of the national average. Work alongside this pioneering midwife as she aims to train 1,000 new midwifes to send out into communities across Somaliland. This position is for volunteers with medical experience only.

Alternatively, send this image to your friends with medical experience, and encourage them to take time to volunteer with Edna's staff in Somaliland. Or, if you'd like to help sponsor or fundraise for a friend to volunteer with Edna, share your pledge to support a friend who wants to take the trip.

Volunteer Opportunity
Maternity hospital in Somaliland seeking volunteers to train new midwifes to send out into communities across the country. This is only for volunteers with medical experience. For more information, go to

India Study Abroad Center (ISAC) hosts students for its Rural and Public Health Rotation (, Clinical Rotation, Mumbai ( and Healthcare in India ( programs.

There are also limited opportunities for master’s students in the Acute Care NP program in Oslo, Norway. Please contact Dr. Mary Johnson at for more information.

Week One on ISAC's Rural Public Health Rotation Program in Malavli.


The following are selected links to sites that list volunteer opportunities for student nurses and nurses. (By listing these links here, the SON does not confer recommendation or support of any of these sites.)

Bioethics in Thailand, July 30 - August 15, 2012

ICAP Next Generation Training Program - Student Projects 2012

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Directory of Grants and Fellowships in the Global Health Sciences

Columbia University School of Nursing Chapter of Global Brigades
For information, please contact Stephanie Orth at

Columbia University International Study Information

India Study Abroad

Global Brigades

Nurse Together

World Learning

International Medical Volunteers Association

Sigma Theta Tau International Opportunities

Hillside Belize

Worldwide volunteer opportunities.

Students Abroad

Global Services Corps

Girls 2 Women
Self-Made, Reusable, Sustainable Sanitary Pads (powerpoint presentation)