This new interdisciplinary global health field course is open to ALL McMaster undergraduates and will run in spring term, 2016. It provides students an integrated linguistic, cultural and historical study of public health in the Islamic North African country of Morocco.
There is one week of intensive introduction to public health at McMaster University, May 3rd - May 6th, 2016, 6 hours/day, and four weeks of intensive global health and Arabic study in Morocco, May 7th - June 5th, 2016.
In the Morocco urban component (3 weeks) students will learn about the determinants of health and the array of social, government, and environmental factors that affect women’s reproductive health and infant and child health:
In the Morocco rural component (one week), students will have a hands-on fieldwork experience that focuses on community health, the challenges of providing health care and maternity services outside the state support structure, and the environmental determinants of health. Students will:
Students each complete an individual research project upon return to Canada, thus the Morocco program can satisfy experiential learning and individual research projects for a number of academic programs. The Morocco program can be part of an ELE for the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program, for example, especially for the Global Health Stream. Because it is a research program, students can apply for McMaster grants for experiential learning, individual research, and OSAP.
For more information about the Morocco program, visit our dedicated website and student blog at:
The site provides bios of the speakers to the program, websites of the NGOS and other organizations we visit, an extensive photo gallery, the student blog from 2013 and 2012, the titles of student research projects from the class of 2013 and 2012, and other resources.
Dr. Ellen Amster is the Jason A. Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine at McMaster and Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Department of History at McMaster University. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003 and her B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Amster has conducted medical fieldwork and archival research in Morocco for over fifteen years and is the author of Medicine and the Saints: Science, Islam, and the Colonial Encounter in Morocco, 1877-1956 (University of Texas Press, 2013), research supported by Fulbright, SSRC, AIMS, and the government of France. She is an Islamicist, Arabist, and has served as a simultaneous Arabic-French-English translator for an eye surgery mission in Morocco for ORBIS, a Gates-foundation global health NGO. She has published widely about the history of public health in the Islamic world, Moroccan history, gender history, Islam, and French colonial science. She is a founding member of GNR-MENA, an international network for researchers for the prevention of AIDS in North Africa.
At McMaster, Dr. Amster teaches for the MPH program, the DeGroote School of Medicine, the Department of History, and runs the Hannah History of Medicine and Medical Humanities Speaker Series. She has created a History of Medicine web portal for McMaster students to create their own research projects, which will launch in April 2016. She is affiliated with the Center for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), the Health Policy Ph.D. program, and the Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Amster created this context-based, culturally-informed undergraduate interdisciplinary global health study abroad program in 2012 as an extension of her own research. The program emphasizes cultural competence for understanding the determinants of health in the developing world. It was originally created with support from a U.S. Department of Education (UISFL) Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages Grant and ran for 3 years, attracting students from 8 U.S. universities. It is the first program of its kind in Canada.Watch an interview with Dr. Amster at McMaster University in 2016, "Research Leaders in the Humanities," describing how the Morocco program arose from her own research.
This is a timeline to keep you on track. See the “Student Checklist, Statement of Responsibilities” on the Homepage for details and web links about all requirements.
|January 18, 2016||
Information Session about the Morocco Program
|January 26, 2016||
2 Information Sessions about the Morocco Program
|February 22, 2016||
Completed student applications are due to Dr. Amster
|February 25, 2016||
Students will be notified of acceptance or waitlist
|March 1, 2016||
Students confirm by email if they accept or do not accept to attend the Morocco program
Health Status Form is due.
|March 7, 2016||
Orientation Session for student participants.
|March 9, 2016||
Orientation Session for student participants.
|March 22, 2016||
Full Morocco Program fees are due from students
Immunizations documentation demonstrating a consult with a travel health clinic are due.
Visa documents if not Canadian or US citizen due.
Completed Travel Health Insurance Information Form with proof of Insurance is due.
April 6, 2016
April 15, 2016
Notification of Permission to Register for McMaster Credit
Pre-Departure Orientation, *Mandatory.* Students receive detailed in-country handbook, group airline travel itinerary, detailed syllabus and in-country itinerary, specific checklists about packing, interaction with host family, answer all questions, etc. 10:00AM - 12:00PM MDCL 2230
Due, Student registration for McMaster course credits with university registrar (HIST or ANTHROP 3GH3 or RELIGIST 3GH3 and ARABIC 3GH3) or BHSC credits.
Due, proof of payment to McMaster registrar for course credit registration.
Signed Participant Assumption of Risk Waiver due.
|April 25, 2016||
Signed copy of Student Checklist, Statement of Responsibilities is due.
TCPS 2 Tutorial Completion due.
Registration with travel.gc.ca as a Canadian national traveling abroad is due.
Review of emergency information on website is due.
Knowledge of Canadian embassy in Morocco due (see Checklist for details).
Registration with Canadian Abroad Service is due.
|May 3, 2016||
Course Instruction begins for the program on McMaster Campus.
|May 7, 2016||
Depart for Morocco from Toronto Pearson Airport, see Itinerary and Syllabus for details about program and dates in Morocco.
|May 8, 2016||
Arrive to Casablanca, Morocco
|June 5, 2016||
Return to Toronto Pearson Airport
|June 15, 2016||
Brief oral presentations of research projects in a “research day” on McMaster campus.
One page write-ups of individual research projects due.
|July 10, 2016||
Final individual research projects are due.