- Location and Housing
- Experiential Learning
- Faculty and Staff
- Additional Information
Join a group of twenty students for five and a half weeks during the early summer in North India to learn about the challenges of emergency medicine, public health and medical care in the Himalayas, one of the most spectacular mountain ranges on earth. Following an intensive series of courses that involve field trips and experiential, hands-on learning opportunities, students will earn nine credits, be certified as a Wilderness First Responder and will understand the unique health and medical challenges faced by people living in remote mountain villages. At the conclusion of the program students will visit the Taj Mahal in the city of Agra.
As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to:
- Get certified as a Wilderness First Responder
- Experience shadowing doctors and nurses in a community hospital
- Understand the range of health and healing options in a pluralistic medical environment
- Develop insight on how to find solutions to pervasive public health problems in an environment of extreme social and economic inequality
- 3 meals per day
- Double or triple rooms
- Shared bathrooms
- Dining area
- Communal lounge space
- Communal kitchen stocked with pantry items
- Wifi and computer lab
- Laundry service
Public health is defined by social, cultural, economic and political factors that establish the parameters of risk for chronic and contagious diseases as well as morbidity. Environmental factors also play a critical role. Focusing on geography and the environment, this course provides an overview of the economic conditions that shape public health and medicine in the mountains of northern India.
This 6-credit intensive Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course focuses on health, medicine and the environment in the Himalayas of North India. WFR is the standard training in the US for guides, international leaders, and backcountry travelers. The course assumes that access to advanced medical care is hours to days away from the point of injury or illness, and as a result the responder must focus on patient assessment, long-term, and improvised patient care. The WFR course will emphasize care in remote, international settings and will augment didactic and scenario learning with clinical rotations at Landour Community Hospital (LCH) and its surrounding communities, where students will shadow LCH and Aerie staff as they care for patients.
The Hanifl Centre was established in 2003 to promote the study of the Himalayan environment with a focus on outdoor education. The University of Pittsburgh has partnered with the Centre since 2013 and now runs three programs in the summer and spring. Hanifl Centre staff embody India’s multicultural modernity with a certified record of professionalism, having earned national and international recognition for their programs in leadership training and wilderness medicine. India’s first green design campus, the Hanifl Centre is near a nature reserve in-between India’s two most sacred rivers, the Yamuna and the Ganga. In 2019 Pitt’s Chancellor visited the Centre in recognition of our well-established partnership, innovative programs and proven record of success. To learn more about the Hanifl Centre please visit haniflcentre.in.
Joseph Alter was born in the Himalayas and has been studying religion, culture and the environment in the mountains for thirty years. He is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh with research expertise in medical anthropology.
Please feel free to reach out to Dr. Alter with any questions about the academics of the program. His email is: JSALTER@pitt.edu.
Akshay Shah is head of programs at the Hanifl Centre. He is an environmental activist who has established conservation and leadership programs in the mountains. He is also a certified Wilderness EMT with expertise in community health and medicine.
Aerie Backcountry Medicine based in Missoula MT partners with Hanifl Centre and University of Pittsburgh for this course and will send one of their senior faculty to teach the Wilderness First responder course.
Items Billed by Pitt
|Study Abroad Fee||$300||$300|
|Total Billed by Pitt||$6,299||$6,499|
Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs
|Personal Expenses||$500 - $1,000|
As a part of your Himalayan Health & Wilderness First Responder program fee, the following are included in the program:
- Tuition for 9 credits
- All meals
- Health Insurance
- Airport Transfers
- On-Site Transportation
Dates for the 2020-2021 academic year will be posted in the fall!
Please note that in addition to the required pre-departure meeting and the pre-departure orientation, there will be a three-hour mandatory class prior to departure for India. The date and time of the class will be posted soon.
- Remember that this is an intensive summer academic program and that you should expect to invest the same amount of time and effort on your courses abroad as you would on a course at Pitt.
- You should be prepared for a physically demanding summer with lots of outdoor activities. The program includes a three-day backpacking trip that is challenging but requires no previous experience in the outdoors.
- Due to the nature of the program, the schedule is subject to change. There may be instances where a guest speaker or visit needs to be rescheduled. We ask for your patience and understanding in advance.