The Zambia Global Health Program offered me an amazing opportunity for personal and academic growth. I spent the summer researching the role of the nutrition profession in Zambia in the context of malnutrition and non-communicable diseases. I was so excited to explore this global health issue while also developing professional and academic skills through my first research experience. At the same time, I became more independent, reflected on my social identities, and explored and experienced a new culture. The things I learned from my time in Zambia are invaluable and go far beyond what I could have gained in a classroom.

Clara Rice '21
Zambia Program Participant
group photo of cornell global health students in zambia

The Global Health Program offers an eight-week summer program in Lusaka, Zambia during which students have the opportunity to work with the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR) to complete a policy research project on a global health issue in Zambia. Participants live with local host families for the first 4 weeks and then move to a hostel for the final 4 weeks. Through their living arrangements and work placements, participants are immersed in Zambian life and are able to expand their world views. Planned excursions also allow students to experience Zambia through trips to the market, national parks, and a weekend long Peace Corps site visit. 

Student pairs will work with a local non-profit organization to research and develop a topic that supports the interests of the organization. Working with both their organization and SAIPAR, students write a research paper and present their findings to partners and relevant stakeholders during a final presentation. Final research papers will then be published by SAIPAR as occasional papers. Past students have completed research on lead exposure in Zambia, corporate social responsibility in Zambian copper mines, malnutrition and non-communicable diseases, and improving water, sanitation, and hygiene in healthcare facilities among others.

Read more about our program in this article in the Cornell Daily Sun: ILR Program Gives Students Policy Analysis Experience in Zambia

My time in Zambia was pivotal in helping me understand how I hope to be involved in Global Health. Not only was I able to learn more about a public health issue through my research, but I was also able to build meaningful relationships with my host family and my cohort. Together, we were able to support one another as we tackled complex issues in our research and pushed ourselves outside our comfort zone during the Peace Corps trip. During my summer in Zambia I was able to expand my worldview and learn the importance of community engagement. These are lessons that I will definitely carry with me in my future career and for the rest of my life

Efe Airewele '20
Zambia Program Participant
students walking along wooded path in zambia

Zambia Global Health Summer Program

Summer Program Applications can be submitted through the Office of Global Learning. Applications are open annually from late September to early November. Further details can be found here at Experience Cornell.

What is the cost of the program? 

The total cost of the Zambia Program will be approximately $9,000. This includes Cornell tuition (4 credits), visa, airfare, room, and board for 8 weeks, immunizations, personal expenses and a Peace Corps excursion. Don't let the program cost deter you from applying, as there are grants and scholarships to support student participation in the program, especially those students who qualify for financial aid. If you have concerns about this, reach out!

Where would I be living? 
Students will be living with home stay families for their first 4 weeks in Lusaka. Family homes are comfortable, with showers, western toilets, and sinks. For the second 4 weeks, students will live in group housing together in a local hostel.

Are there any prerequisites for this program?

Yes - all global health students must have taken NS 2600: Introduction to Global Health to participate in this program. Additionally, students will be required to enroll in NS 4620 (1 credit pre-departure seminar) in the spring semester. 

Who should I contact if I have more questions? 
Contact the Global Health Program at