Educational Exchange and Service Learning Program

Our School places a strong emphasis on practical learning and practice-based education. This is evidenced by the stringent internship requirements our Master of Public Health (MPH) students must complete and our nearly thirty-year partnership with the New York State Department of Health. There is no better way to learn than by “doing.” This experiential learning approach is a vital aspect of how we prepare our graduates for challenging and rewarding public health careers at home in the US and abroad.

Costa Rica – Each January / Winter Break
Participants work side-by-side with faculty and students from the University of Costa Rica to learn about the country’s highly regarded health care system, its most pressing public health challenges, and about the country’s rich cultural heritage. In addition, trip participants engage in a service learning project designed to help improve the health and quality of life of some of the country’s most vulnerable populations. Participants also have the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Costa Rica and see some of its most important sites.

MPH students “zip into” Costa Rica to collaborate on parasite infection control with our partner School of Public Health at the University of Costa Rica.

Dominican Republic – Each March / Spring Break
In “the DR,” trip participants work with a local non-profit organization to learn about the country, its history, and culture. They do so while visiting local and international organizations engaged in efforts to safeguard the health of the country’s people and by collaborating with a dedicated team of local Health Promoters to complete a specially designed service learning project. DR trip participants also get the chance to tour the country’s historic capital city of Santo Domingo and to enjoy some of the island’s beautiful beaches.

University at Albany students and alumni work with our local partner organization in the DR, The Community Service Alliance, to help improve the lives of families living in the nation’s “Batey” communities.