Geneva 2020

Preparations for the 2020 Global Health Immersion: Geneva course began like any other back in August 2019. As we approached spring, things picked up speed as students booked flights, began to learn about the World Health Organization, and made friends with their classmates. However, as the scope of the COVID pandemic began to emerge, it became clear that travel to Geneva would be impossible. In fact, attendance at the World Health Assembly (WHA) itself, which is the central event of the trip, was severely curtailed. Without missing a beat, the course faculty, Dr. Tom Brewer and Dr. Madhav Bhatta, developed plans to offer the course virtually. “Over the years we have developed strong relationships with the global health community in Geneva. When asked to deliver lectures remotely, they were all very accommodating” reports Dr. Brewer. The ability to take the course virtually allowed more students to participate than in a year when we travel. Brewer continued “the trip can be expensive and potentially out of reach for a lot of people, this format made it much more accessible.” Students were also able to view the WHA proceedings in real-time or archived through a live stream. Given the current uncertainty, it’s likely that the program will be virtual again in 2021. But due to the success of this year, faculty are considering a distance component for students staying in the United States even when travel restrictions are lifted.

POSTED: Monday, November 9, 2020 - 1:27pm
UPDATED: Monday, November 9, 2020 - 1:27pm