Health Education and Promotion - Study Abroad Switzerland

From July 28 – August 8, 2019, we’re returning to Switzerland for a summer study abroad experience that will include site visits to the World Health Organization, the European Headquarters of the United Nations, the International Headquarters of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and the University of Geneva Hospitals. While in Geneva we will also take day trips to UNESCO Heritage Site vineyards in Lavaux, view Geneva from the top of France’s Mount Salève and stroll the picturesque streets of the Medieval French fortress town Yvoire. After a week stay in Geneva, we will hit the road– spending two nights at the base of the Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland. Our final destination will be in Italy visiting the the beautiful Borromean islands in the lovely resort town of Stresa.

Students will take the 6 s.h. course HLTH 4800 “Field Study in International Health.” Alternately, BSHS students can choose to receive credit for HLTH 3020 and HLTH 3520. The program leaders are Dr. Don Chaney and Karen Vail-Smith; both have lead many previous summer study abroad programs, including ones to Switzerland. The approximate cost of the program is $3550.

Please let us know if you’re interested and we’ll be sure to include you on all future updates and announcements. Please email vailsmithk@ecu.edu

Applications for this program must be submitted to ECU Pirates Abroad Office  (http://piratesabroad.ecu.edu/) by NOVEMBER 1, 2019.


The world’s smallest metropolis, cosmopolitan Geneva is surrounded by unspoiled nature and breath-taking scenery. Quays, lakeside promenades, parks, elegant stores and lively streets and alleyways in the old part of town wait to be discovered. Boat trips beckon on Lake Geneva and the Alps seem close enough to touch. During our week in Geneva, we will take classes at the renowned World Health Organization, the European Headquarters of the United Nations, the International Headquarters of the Red Cross, the European Headquarters of Doctors Without Borders and the world famous University of Geneva Hospitals.

Just a short ferry ride from Geneva, Lavaux is home to the Vineyard Terraces, which are an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Terraces stretch for about 30 kilometers along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva, in the Vaud region. They cover the lower slopes of the mountainside between the villages and the lake, and their origins can be traced back to the 11th century. We will hike along the vineyard terraces and visit a winery for lunch and a tasting.

We will take a scenic train trip from Geneva to Zermatt, where no vehicles are allowed. At the foot of the Matterhorn – the rocky pyramid, the outline of which is renowned throughout the world – Zermatt is a beautiful Alpine resort where the air is sparkling. There you will spend an active two days hiking, zip lining and even parasailing or skiing (in August!) There’s great shopping and nightlife in Zermatt too!


Located just 20 miles from the city center, Salève is called the Balcony of Geneva. We will take a cable car to the top of Mount Salve, where there are spectacular views of the surrounding area including Geneva, the Jura mountains and Mont Blanc. There are also many recreational opportunities including hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and paragliding.

When we visit Lavaux, we’ll hop over the border to see one of the most beautiful villages in France. Yvoire is located on the French shore of Lake Geneva. A small, medieval town, Yvoire still has some of its original 14th Century buildings, including the castle. A stroll down it’s picturesque lanes is a nice break from the bustle of Geneva. And the Lake Geneva ferry ride to Yvoire is relaxing and scenic.


We’ll take a scenic train ride from Zermatt to the heart of the Italian Lake District and visit Stresa, Italy. Stresa has been an internationally renowned resort since the middle of the 19th century. Stroll along the panoramic and picturesque Lake Maggiore waterfront, facing the Borromean Islands. During our say here, students can take full advantage of all the activities the lake has to offer including kayaking, canoeing, swimming, paddle-boarding etc.

In addition to seeing the sites of Stresa, we’ll take a short boat ride to visit Isola Bella – one of the three main Borromean Island. Visit its majestic baroque palace with its masterpiece Italian garden. Isola Bella village, built around the palace, is where you’ll want to buy all your souvenirs! There are open-air markets occupied by local craftsmen. And we’re in Italy, so the prices are great! You’ll have a day-long ferry pass, so you can also choose to visit the two other Borromean Islands. With its picturesque fishing village, Isola dei Pescatori (“Fishermen’s Island”) is the perfect place to have a delicious seafood lunch. And Isola Madre (“Mother Island”) has world renown botanical gardens.

On our final day, we will be taking a short bus ride from Stresa to Milan’s Malpensa International Airport. Milan is also a great hopping-off city for other Italian destinations, including Venice and Florence.