Engage first-hand with health challenges around the world through Carle Illinois College of Medicine Global Community Immersion Program. During your discovery learning session, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in an international community for three weeks. There, you will be challenged to identify an unmet medical need abroad, which will in turn provide you with data and inspiration to create a solution. As a Carle Illinois student training abroad, you will learn from local leaders and contribute to the community through teaching seminars or assisting in local health facilities.

Preparation and Application

To prepare for your global immersion experience, you will take a specially-designed two-credit hour course preparing you for cross-cultural effectiveness, and equip you for a productive partnership with the client community. You may also use this experience to prompt direction for your Innovation, Design, Engineering and Analysis (IDEA) Projects, which could ultimately become your Capstone Project. Then, bring your data and ideas to the Medical Maker Lab, working alongside world-class research mentors to develop innovative solutions to the global health challenges you are most passionate about.


Njala University
Sierra Leone

The Njala University Hospital provides health care services not only to about 10,000 students, staff and their relatives, but extends those services to the immediate communities adjacent to it. As a rural-based hospital, it caters for the healthcare needs of over 300,000 rural inhabitants covering the four adjacent chiefdoms of Kori, Dasse, Kamajei, and Kowa lying within an average radius of 40 miles.

Njala University, Sierra Leone, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Carle Illinois College of Medicine
Clinic Exam Room
Njala University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Carle Illinois College of Medicine
Pediatrics Clinic
Universidad San Francisco de Quito
Quito, Ecuador

The Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ (USFQ) was founded in 1988 as the first fully private university in Ecuador. USFQ is the number one ranked university in Ecuador and is a global leader in education, research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and academic freedom in Latin America. The mission of USFQ is education, research, and service to the community within the framework of liberal arts, integrating all aspects of society. The vision of USFQ is to be the model university in liberal arts education, entrepreneurship, scientific discoveries, technological and cultural development for Latin America, well recognized for the quality and leadership of its graduates. The USFQ main campus is located in Cumbayá, outside of Quito. USFQ is the only university in the world that owns a campus in the Galapagos Islands, and a campus in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve (Tiputini Biodiversity Station), one of Earth’s most biodiverse areas.

Universidad San Francisco de Quito, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Carle Illinois College of Medicine
Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School

The Pan-American Agricultural University, Zamorano, is located in Honduras, Central America. Explore the beauty of Honduras and develop your skills through cultural immersion, high-quality academics, impactful experiential education, and supportive student services. The exchange program in Honduras provides students with the opportunity to work at the Zamorano Clinic, volunteer in the community, conduct research with a local professor, and experience the breathtaking landscape of one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Carle Illinois College of Medicine
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation
Rio de Jainero, Brazil

The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation is a scientific institution for research and development in biological sciences located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is considered one of the world’s main public health research institutions. It was founded by Dr. Oswaldo Cruz, a noted physician and epidemiologist.

The National Institute of Women, Children and Adolescents Health Fernandes Figueira (IFF) carries out important work related to breastfeeding and is a reference for children with cystic fibrosis and other serious illnesses. The hospital offers the only free-care ambulatory for medical genetics in the country, and a modern nursery for high-risk newborn infants.

Rotations and assistance to patients with infectious diseases such as STDs and AIDS, tegumental leishmaniasis, fungal infections, Chagas’ disease, TB and dengue, among others, is the specialty of the Evandro Chagas Institute of Clinical Research (IPEC).

Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Future Partners:

Potential global and domestic locations include: Uganda, India, Peru, United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, China, Australia, Chicago, Champaign-Urbana/Champaign County, Appalachia, Alaska, Puerto Rico, Native American communities, Amish communities, and migrant farmers communities in the southern U.S.

Through the Global Community Immersion Program, you will gain well-rounded, cross-cultural experience, preparing you for patient care. As a program participant, become a globally-minded physician-innovator who will lead the way in democratizing healthcare delivery and make excellent health care affordable and available to all.
Sponsored by the Center for Global Studies through support of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI NRC Program.