Child Family Health International

Child Family Health International

About the Experience

Note: This experience is currently only for CPH graduate students. Undergraduate students should contact the UI Office of Study Abroad for eligible undergraduate programs.

The UI College of Public Health has a standing agreement with Child Family Health International (CFHI) that allows public health students to participate in a number of global internships around the world. CFHI provides community-based Global Health Education Programs for students and institutions. Their unique model fosters reciprocal partnerships and empowerment in local communities, transforming perspectives about self, healing and global citizenship. Students can choose from internships in 10 different countries around the world, focusing on a wide variety of public health issues, including community engagement, healthcare access, reproductive health, and disease prevention.

Their programs emphasize a model to let the world change you and encourage students to commit themselves to address disparities at home and abroad, recognize the complex determinants of health, and embrace cultural humility. Students witness the building of health systems, governmental and non-governmental collaborations, and intimate exchange between healthcare providers and patients that uncover cultural, historical, and social influences to health and healthcare. Their Theory of Change emphasizes the strengths of sustainable, local health systems, enabling public health policies and economic development to address health disparities at home and abroad.

Internships focus on a wide variety of public health focus areas and differ by location. Opportunities include community medicine, healthcare access & inequities, infectious disease prevention, and many others. During the enrollment process, students will have an opportunity to specify their areas of interest to ensure an optimal and educational experience. However, students should review the program types available in each location carefully before applying as not all locations offer every opportunity.

Some locations do have a minimum foreign language requirement.

The duration of this experience is 4-16 weeks. 1-week programs are not approved for CPH graduate student work. 2-week programs may be approved for select students on a case-by-case basis.

CFHI does not offer course credit. However, UI students may arrange to receive UI course credit if so desired. All arrangements are the responsibility of the student and must be made prior to the program start date.

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About the Organization

CFHI is a global health 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 1992 and based in San Francisco, California. The organization was founded by Dr. Evaleen Jones, who was named one of Silicon Valley’s Women of Influence in 2009. CFHI utilizes an asset mapping model to provide more than 30 global health education programs in 10 countries for health science students and trainees. Student programs are based on a service-learning model of education. CFHI supports community health projects in each of its partner countries.

CFHI’s work has been recognized through numerous honors and awards. Since its inception, CFHI has become a leadership in ethical and sustainable global health practices. They are also affiliated with a number of impactful professional organizations and global health NGOs and has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 2008.

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About the Locations

CFHI offers over 30 programs in 10 different countries around the world. Current partner countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Students are encouraged to choose a program by discipline as each location offers specialized experiences. Click here or on the button below to learn more about each program by location.

Intern housing varies by availability in each location. Most students will either live with a local family or stay in a furnished apartment/designated lodging, depending on location.

Learn more about the locations

Costs and Fees

The cost of a each internship varies by location with over 50% of program fees invested in local host communities where they benefit the local economy at large and specifically under-served health systems. On average, a 4-week program costs $2,300-$2,900. (Student who wish to stay longer than 4 weeks can find the corresponding fees listed on each programs page on the CFHI website.) These fees include a majority of in-country costs, including housing accommodations, transportation, internship placement, pre-departure support, and other necessities. Included expenses vary by location and are outlined in the program details on the CFHI website. Students are responsible for purchasing their own airfare in addition to the required program fees.

All CFHI program fees are paid through the University of Iowa U-Bill system. The full tuition amount will be due 45-60 days prior to departure.

Learn more about costs and fees

How to Apply

All students must be enrolled with CFHI a minimum of 3 months prior to their intended departure date. Earlier application and enrollment is highly encouraged as many programs may fill up, especially during the summer term. Students must receive approval from the CPH Global Public Health Coordinator prior to applying with CFHI. 

  1. Students are advised meet with the Global Public Health Coordinator prior to beginning the application and enrollment process. Ideally this meeting will take place a semester or more before the intended departure date.
  2. After meeting with the Global Public Health Coordinator, students should then complete a CPH Global application. All students must complete this application and receive written approval from CPH in order to complete an application to CFHI.
  3. Once approved by CPH, students will receive a CFHI coupon code, allowing them to complete the CFHI online application. Student who do not have this code will be charged an application fee and will not be admitted by CFHI.
  4. Once accepted by CFHI, students will have 30 days to confirm with CPH that they plan to go abroad.

Students applying for the summer term must apply for CPH approval (step #2) no later than February 1st. Once approval has been received, students must complete the CFHI application no later than February 28th. Early approval and application is STRONGLY advised.

Please note: Students interested in applying for the Global Public Health Student Travel Grant are advised to complete the grant application simultaneously to the CFHI application (step #3). Students should not wait to receive admission from CFHI prior to submit a grant application.

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To receive approval from CPH, students must meet the following minimum qualifications. Approvals are granted on a case-by-case basis.

  • Students must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA.
  • Undergraduate students are required to submit a reference from their primary academic advisor.
  • Students must be able to obtain a passport and the appropriate visa documentation, if needed. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens.
  • Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

CFHI admission will be made based on their independent qualification standards and space available.

Contact Us

All questions regarding program content, application, and enrollment should be directed to Sophie Switzer, Global Public Health Coordinator.

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